The K9 Companion class began as an entry level training course for dogs that are 6 months or older. The concepts, however, can be used for all ages of dogs including puppies. The class introduces you to reward-based training techniques that will help you communicate to your dog a basic vocabulary of commands and will strengthen the bond you have with your dog to help make him or her a better house companion. Please review all the weeks because information in latter weeks make be useful immediately. Certainly there are various sequences in which the exercises may be taught and you should do what works best for you and your K9 Companion.

Teaching Your Dog to Stay

A dog can learn to STAY in any position. In order to do that, he must be taught to STAY in each of those positions. So start with the STAY from the sitting position:

  • Have your dog sit making sure he’s sitting comfortably.

  • Stand to his right, briefly put the palm of your hand in front of his face and say STAY.

  • Step away using your right foot. It’s recommended that you always leave your dog using your right foot because dogs will cue in on your left leg moving and may follow you if you start with that foot.

  • Take only one step, turn and stand right in front of your dog.

  • You may repeat the word STAY but wait only a few seconds and then return to your dog's side.

  • If your dog is sitting, say YES, reward, get your dog to move and really praise him! If he’s not sitting, put him back in position, say STAY, step in front and right back, YES and reward.

  • Do this several times over the next few days. When your dog seems steady, you can increase the time that you stand in front of him and then you can increase the distance, but only a little at a time.

  • You may practice your STAY from a down or standing position by following the same steps.

  • Randomly give your dog a treat and tell him he’s GOOD while he's in the STAY position but don't feed him after he moves, or he’ll have trouble staying while he’s waiting for the treat.

Proofing is practicing STAY under many different circumstances. Here are some things you can try:

  • Have your dog STAY in the house or outside or when friends come over. Have a friend roll a ball past him while he’s on a STAY or have someone call him. Practice next to another dog.

  • Don’t overdo it. Be kind to your dog. Proofing is not to tease him, but to show him exactly what STAY means. Your dog will become more confident as he begins to understand the meaning of STAY. Click here for printable version of this form.

  • If your dog makes a mistake and moves...Great! Now you have the chance to show him that STAY means don't move. Just use this opportunity to return him to the same position and say STAY. This time, stand closer to your dog, wait just a few seconds, return, say YES and reward.

Never, never yell at your dog for moving before you release him.
He’s not being bad rather he’s just learning!