When used together with the "sit!" command, "stay!" can form the foundation for more complex tricks.
Step 1: Get them to sit Pick a place outside, like the backyard or dog park. Stand in front of your dog and give the voice command to "sit!" Your dog should be resting comfortably on their hind quarters with their eyes on you. Delay giving them a treat for a second or two after successfully obeying the command.
Step 2: Longer delay Get your dog back standing and repeat the "sit!" command. Keep increasing the delay between command and reward until they can successfully stay still for several seconds. During these delays, start to use the voice command "stay!"
TIP: Always use words of praise and avoid punishment when training a dog.
Step 3: Move around While the dog is obeying the "stay!" command, take one step to your left. If the dog stays put, take another step to the left, but if they move, repeat the process until they get the hang of it.
Step 4: Try distractions Once your dog has mastered a long "stay," slowly move around them in a circle. Each time they can hold their position for a few seconds longer than before, reward them with praise and a treat. Keep increasing the duration of the "stay!" and how far away you move until your dog can sit alone in a room by themselves.
FACT: According to a British study, people tend to choose pets with similar physical attributes.