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What you may be doing wrong when practicing stay on command- are making it practical?

Very often in dog training classes we are told to ask our dogs for a stay, walk away for a few paces and wait whilst facing them. If we are feeling a little more creative we can clap our hands, jump and sing. This is teaching the basics of the exercise but it is not really a very practical version (unless all you want to take a picture of your dog from distance or for any other reason you need to jump around your staying dog :P ) If you think for a second about why or what occasion you want to use a stay in real life and then try to create a similar situation during training. Be creative but also practical. You may practice stays when picking up something (poo!!), moving stuff around (suitcases when packing your car), talking to someone who is afraid of dogs or who has a dog that is not dog friendly and you need your doggy to stay. All these situations your dog is at a distance and your attention is more focused on something else and not on your dog. In none of these situations would you be facing your dog the whole time and constantly repeating ‘stay!’ ;) on the video I'm practicing stays around the car with Archie the lab. He was staying with me for Residential Training. I practiced in separate sessions going around the car and being out of sight, opening random doors and taking things from the car, doing my shoe laces, putting my jacket on. Once all the bits where ready I could put that these things all together.

So, forget about long boring and not practical stays and make it little bit more interesting for you and for your dog! :) Where or in what situation do you wish your dog had a reliable solid stay? maybe next to the shop? or at the doorway? when you forget to take something from your car? share in comments! Happy training!

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