Puppy Boot Camp Day 5 – Proofing the “Stay”

Loki does not like working outside. I am not really sure what the reason is for this. Yesterday he shut down completely, but was very enthused inside the house. Today I was able to coax him into a little session. It wasn’t too much torture as the temp is a balmy 65 here and sunny.

It’s really important to train your dog in different locations so that he doesn’t associate the behavior with the location. “When I say sit, I mean sit, even at the pet store. Sit, even at the ball field. Sit, even in the living room.”


Learn to walk on loose leash without pulling.

Stop jumping up.

Stop biting.

Come when called.

Stop chewing/destroying household items.

Stop chasing cats.

He was relaxing on the deck after a morning of hard play with Jasper. He is good and hungry, having not eaten since the night before. I had brought Jasper into the house and Loki was resting on the deck alone. I managed to sneak out to the gate with him not knowing, probably because the neighbor was running his mower. I called him from the gate. He may not have realized where the voice was coming from at first, but then he did a beautiful recall from the back porch.

This is the type of recall worth building on.

Next we worked on a down stay, which he handled even though it was his first time ever doing it outside.

We like a nice, calm puppy, and in order to have that, he must get all his required daily aerobics in prior to the training session. I am lucky in that I have other dogs that will help with this aspect of his training.

The sit stay was more difficult. He was a little nervous (note the yawn).

His sad expression is due in part to the fact that he hates working outside. But it is also due to having to concentrate on the task at hand. He is working it out.

He got up and then heard my disappointed groan (which serves as a no-reward marker) and he tried to correct it by sitting again. Notice he doesn’t get a correction or get dragged back to the original spot. He just gets a groan and no click and no treat. We try again.

On our next attempt, he did just fine.

We kept the session short and sweet, leaving him with a “jackpot” treat on the ground. He got to go back in the shade and rest with Jasper.

This is just one more step in the long, long process of teaching a dog to stay. For a dog like Loki, it is a great exercise in self-control. For a dog with a compulsive jumping habit, it is a nice way to re-learn keeping all four paws on the ground.

For more info, check out my books:

25 Ways To Raise a Great Puppy

15 Rules for Clicker Training Your Dog

15 Rules for Clicker Training Your Cat



About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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