The doorbell is ringing, the dog is barking. You struggle with your dog, hanging onto his collar with one hand, unlocking and opening the door with the other, holding on for dear life so the dog doesn’t bolt out the door or jump on the person outside.
Or. Imagine this.
The doorbell is ringing. You ask your dog to sit and to stay. You walk to the door, dog sitting calmly behind you, sign for the package, thank the delivery person, and close the door.
BAM! That’s how it’s done!
Teaching your dog a solid, advanced stay isn’t hard. First, of course, you have to teach your dog how to stay (see our article on how to do that). Once your dog knows the basics, all you have to do is add the three D’s: duration (how long he can stay), distractions (how crazy his surroundings can be), and distance (how far away you can be).
Set your dog up for success.
Start by working at a level you know he can accomplish. If you know you can take a few steps away, start there! Don’t start by trying to walk 10 feet away. Introduce just two components at a time. For instance, work on distractions and distance, without adding in duration. YET.
Levi’s service dog training.
Levi is going to be in public a lot. Distractions abound. The number of hands that reach out to pet him while he’s shopping with me could be overwhelming if Levi didn’t have a good stay. If we don’t perfect this now, he could leave his person’s side, thereby breaking the attention he has on his handler (someone who needs his help, like a person with diabetes or someone in a wheelchair, for instance).
By our next training session with the service dog organization, our goal is to have Levi holding a stay while food or toys are tossed near and at him, while people are calling his name and talking to him, and while I walk away from him and interact with someone else.
We’ll be working on these goals over the next few weeks so stay tuned for more Levi and more stays! Here’s a quick pic of sweet Caysun, one of our previous pups in training. She’s in a mall, handling that stay like nobody’s business!
Talk back! Leave a comment and let us know a situation in which the stay could come in real handy.
Hey Laurie! Just subscribed to the blog, as I’ve just begun the process of training my own service dog. I read everything I could find on the subject, and much of it is conflicting, so having this blog and your videos has helped provide a grounding force, a “home base” if you will, for my studies. I’m out in Norcal, and having trouble finding a trainer/program that I feel safe/confident/comfortable with, that I can also afford. (Turns out being disabled is not a lucrative life path 😛 ) Anyway, not sure if you have much time to chit chat with readers, but wanted to let you know I appreciate your work, and am SO excited I found your site! Feel free to reach out/write back. Thanks XD