The “stay” cue isn’t hard to teach, although it is easy to nullify in short order.
The reason is usually due to a lack of proofing during training.
With this in mind, teaching “stay” is a long-term process that has to be done in stages. It can last for days, weeks, or even months depending on the duration expected and the conditions of the environment.
“Stay” is a great thing to teach because it comes in handy during unexpected times, and is a good exercise in self-control for impulsive pups like Loki.
Learn to walk on loose leash without pulling.
Stop jumping up.
Come when called.
Stop chewing/destroying household items.
Stop chasing cats.
Once your dog is lying down pretty reliably on cue, it is time to incorporate the “stay”. I decided to train Loki from the “down” position because he is typically very animated and it takes more energy to break a down than it does a “sit.”
I teach “Stay” as if it is a dance. I back away one step, and click at the farthest point away from the dog. Then I return to give the treat. The dog knows the treat is coming so typically just waits.
From there, I build up to greater distances. I walk around the dog or back farther away. I generally walk backwards at first. At the farthest point, I click.
If the dog gets up at any point during the retreat, I am progressing too fast and must click sooner.
One rule of thumb is I tend to return to the dog rather than calling them out of the stay. I broke that rule in the video just to show that Loki is very animated and gets up easily.
Despite his high activity level, Loki has been a really quick study about this and even let me leave the room. I just go around the corner and back.
Hearing the clicker, the cats want to get in the middle of it, but he is already accustomed to that.
As an aside, on my list of to-dos for Loki is to help him learn to stop chasing cats. This has been done gradually but with no correction. By keeping the cats as an incidental rather than a focal point, he is becoming desensitized to their presence.
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