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Master Dog Etiquette: Train the Advanced “Stay” Command for Calm Trips & Guest Arrivals

The "STAY" command is a cornerstone exercise in basic dog training, teaching our furry companions patience and discipline. However, delving into the advanced stages of this command unlocks many practical applications, shaping your dog into a well-behaved and adaptable companion.

In basic dog training, one of the fundamental exercises is the Advanced Stay command, which is required of our friend when we have to move away from him for a specific time (e.g. one minute) at a particular distance (e.g. 20 metres).

Once we have set up and practised this exercise well, increasing the difficulty and working patiently gradually, we can move on to the next phase, teaching the ADVANCED STAY and its important applications. It is essential to separate the difficulties of the exercise well so that the dog, put under pressure, is not too agitated to wait patiently for our return.

Difficulties

In the STAY!, several elements make this exercise burdensome.

  1. Distance. The further away we get from the dog, the more complex the exercise becomes, and it is therefore crucial that this element is gradually increased,
  2. The time. As above, as time increases, it becomes more and more tiring for our friends to stand still and wait for us.
  3. Out of sight. Distance and time are further exacerbated when we are out of sight of the dog, who, not seeing us, has a more challenging time waiting.
  4. Distractions. If this is ‘spiced up’ with noise, the presence of dogs or people, food in the vicinity or games, standing still is expected to become a real challenge.

More sessions

Command Stay is essential if we want to go anywhere with our dog, including the shop outside, where he must wait for us without having or creating problems.

The secret, then, as you practise this exercise, is to do several sessions alternating between the different difficulties.

Example:

1- Ask the dog for a “DOWN“, give the STAY, move only a few metres away, and time the waiting time (e.g., 1 minute). If you are starting, you can break the wait by returning to the dog, rewarding him and walking away again.

Practical example:

  • Give the STAY and move two metres in front of the dog.
  • Start counting (mentally) to 20.
  • Return to the dog and reward, but before he moves, give the STAY command again and return to the position two metres from the dog.
  • Count to 40 (so the previous 20 plus 40 makes one minute).
  • Return to the dog, reward it, and end the exercise. In subsequent sessions, you can vary: 30″ + 30″; 40″ + 20″; 50″ + 10″.
  • One whole minute without interruption.

2- In the second session, put the dog in the SITTED position, give the STAY and walk away again facing the dog (so you will be walking backwards) for about 20 metres. When you arrive at the predetermined point, do not stop but return immediately to the dog. In this session, there must be no waiting time. In practice, the dog will always see you moving (as you move away and when you return).

3- Now try walking away with your back to the dog, stopping after 5 metres and returning to him. Here, too, there are some tricks to apply:

  • Walk away very slowly.
  • Once you have got five metres before you turn around, look at the dog and, if it has not moved, say GOOD BOY.

4- The last session can be devoted to “out of sight”:

A- Position yourself with the dog sitting about three metres from a tree, a door or anything else that might conceal you.
B- Ask your dog to wait (REMAIN, STOP or other words).
C- Leave him in place and move behind the tree, disappearing from his sight for no more than a second.
D- Return and reward.
E- Very slowly increases the waiting time or distance to the hiding place.

So, as you will have realised, the secret lies in gradualness. If you do not get carried away and work together daily on these different elements, you will get to the APPLICATION part of the STAY in everyday life.

Possible applications

Taking your dog into any shop or café is now possible, but you can still have fun simulating entering a place by leaving your dog outside.

Always inform yourself about the regulations in your area and any restrictions and, for the first few times, choose a time during which there is not too much movement. The principles are the same as for the work you have already done: introduce difficulties gradually and do not exaggerate.

Example I (at the café)

1- Arrive near the entrance door, give the STAY, open the door and return immediately to reward.
2- In the second session, after opening the door, enter but immediately exit and go to reward your friend.
3- If the two previous exercises are completed, you can try entering, ordering something, and then returning to the dog and sitting together at the table (preferably outside).
4- Last exercise: Choose the outside table you prefer, give the command STAY, enter, order and return to the dog.

Gradual progression is emphasized, advising trainers to increase difficulty across multiple sessions. Variety in the training keeps dogs engaged.

Example 2 (guest arrival):

1- Position the dog in a SITTING position a few metres from the house’s front door so that he can see it.
2- Give the command STAY, approach the door, open it and return to the dog by rewarding him.
3- At a later stage, repeat the same exercise, but this time, after opening the door, go outside.
4- In another session, try going outside, ringing the doorbell, and returning to the dog.
5- Having achieved these goals, you are ready for the final test: the arrival of guests. When someone arrives at the house, place the dog away from the door by giving the command STAY. Receive and greet friends and, at this point, give the dog the go-ahead to interact.

If the dog moves?

But what do you do if the dog moves in previous sessions or exercises after you have given the STAY command?

1- Reposition him patiently where you want him to be. This is for 1, 2 or even ten times. Please don’t get angry; make him understand that moving is useless because you will always put him there again.
2- Assess the difficulty well. If the dog struggles, you have accelerated the work too much. Go back a step or even two (this is why the above exercises have been divided into different levels of complexity).

Q&As:

What is the fundamental exercise mentioned in the article?

The fundamental exercise is the “STAY,” which involves the dog waiting patiently for a specified time and distance as the owner moves away.

What difficulties are associated with the STAY exercise?

The difficulties include distance, time, being out of sight, and distractions such as noise, other dogs, people, food, or games.

How does the article suggest overcoming the difficulties in the STAY exercise?

The article recommends gradually increasing difficulty through various sessions, incorporating distance, time, distractions, and being out of sight.

What is the importance of practicing several sessions for the STAY exercise?

Practising several sessions helps the dog gradually adapt to different difficulties, ensuring it remains calm and patient under pressure.

What are the possible applications of the STAY exercise in everyday life?

The applications include taking the dog into shops or cafes, simulating entering a place, and preparing the dog for various situations like guest arrivals.

How should you handle the situation if the dog moves during the STAY exercise?

The article suggests repositioning the dog patiently without getting angry and, if needed, returning a step in the training process to a less challenging level.

Takeaways:

  1. Gradual Progression: The key to successful dog training is gradually increasing difficulty, incorporating distance, time, distractions, and being out of sight.
  2. Session Variety: Practicing different sessions with varying challenges helps the dog adapt to various situations, ensuring adequate training.
  3. Practical Applications: The STAY exercise prepares the dog for real-life scenarios, such as entering shops and cafes or dealing with guest arrivals, making it a valuable skill in everyday life.
  4. Patience and Repetition: Patience is crucial in repositioning the dog if it moves during the exercise, reinforcing the idea that moving is unnecessary.

Comparison Table:

AspectSTAY Exercise
PurposeFundamental dog training exercise.
DifficultiesDistance, time, being out of sight, distractions.
Training ApproachGradual progression, varied sessions.
ApplicationsEntering shops and cafes, handling guest arrivals.
Handling MistakesPatient repositioning, going back a step in training if needed.
Real-life ExamplesEntering shops, cafes, handling guest arrivals.
Key TakeawaysGradual progression, session variety, practical applications, patience, and repetition.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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