Not only is life easier for you, but it is much safer for a dog who knows how to sit and stay when you give him commands. Follow these instructions to teach your dog to sit and stay.
- Follow each step in order.
- Don’t skip ahead.
- Repeat each step until it’s taught.
Come back later and repeat the steps. When your dog is sitting when he hears the command (usually after a few training sessions), delay the treat a heartbeat or two and then give it to him. This will cause him to hold still for that bit of time, changing the definition of sit from “Move your hips to the ground: to Move your hips to the ground and hold still for a heartbeat.”
Over the next several days, gradually increase the wait for the treat, from a heartbeat or two to several seconds (no more than ten seconds right now). But make this change gradually, and only when your dog is succeeding by holding still. If he’s bouncing up from the sit, withhold the treat and praise, and the next time, ask him to hold it for a shorter period of time.
When you begin a new training session, repeat numbers 1 and 2 above, but take a step away from your dog after telling him to stay. Wait ten seconds, step back to him, praise and reward him, and release him. Repeat for a total of five repetitions and then give your dog a break.
As you teach the stay, increase the time, or the distance, or your position to him, but never add more than one training criteria at a time. Don’t increase the time of the stay and take extra steps at the same time. When you add something new, you might also want to relax one of the older criteria