Increase the Distractions

After practicing this direction in your home, you can gradually introduce STAY in more distracting environments. Go at a pace at which your dog feels comfortable: If she breaks consistently, you're going too quickly.

Use the 3-D guideline to increase distractions:

D Element Ideas



Vary the time to pique interest.


Motion and various sounds

Start with your movement, and then progress from controlled distractions to real-life situations.


Length from your dog's side

Move out a couple of feet at a time. Vary your angle, too. If your dog breaks repeatedly, go back a step to rebuild her success rate.

If your dog breaks, calmly reposition her by gently lifting up on her leash and squeezing her waist pressure point. Get as close to the original space in which you left her as possible. Remind her to STAY, and move closer if she fidgets.

If your dog breaks and moves away from the place you left her, calmly go to her and lead her back. Reposition her and reinstruct STAY. Remain close to reestablish her success rate.

Stay calm while teaching this lesson. Human frustration often creates tension for dogs and makes it even harder for them to stay still.


To teach your dog a DOWN-STAY, she must be comfortable going into a DOWN position. If she's not, refer to page 93 and work on that lesson first.

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