How to Teach Your Dog to Sit-Stay, Down-Stay and Come

Dogs respond to positive reinforcement because they want a reward. Using praise and delicious treats will reinforce the desired behavior faster.


As a means of communication, your dog can sense your body language and you can tell by theirs if they are really interested. They too can tell if you’re serious and when they are relaxed. Always approach a lesson confident and your dog will listen.

You will need a leash and a collar to continue teaching your dog to stay. The main reason is because requesting a dog who is wandering around to stay still is very difficult so you will want to have control over where the dog can go. Both tools will help your dog to concentrate on his instructions.

Next in the training program is a step ahead of your dog and stand still. Whenever you move, say STAY clearly so your dog understands you. After your dog does this you will want to praise by saying good job. You will more than likely see your dog’s tail start to wag. Your dog understands that you are pleased so during the initial training follow the praise with a treat.

Teaching SIT – STAY

The easiest way to teach your dog to STAY is from, yes a sitting position. You can now see how important SIT is one of the first things you teach your dog. So many other commands smoothly follow SIT.

First, give the SIT command. You can also use a hand signals as well. Many trainers will use an index finger as if they are pointing toward the sky, and then lower it to indicate to the dog to sit.

Then, in a firm voice say STAY. At the same time, push forward your open hand like a crossing guard puts up to stop traffic.

If your dog remains stationary for a few seconds give him praise and a treat.

If your dog starts move to stand up, make him sit again and give the order to stay and sign again. As soon as he stays a few seconds, praise and treat.

Only do this exercise several times at first because you want your dog to remember STAY as a fun and easy way to get a treat. Once a dog gets bored doing a behavior that is more difficult for them to get to do it again on cue.

Reinforce the command STAY during the time you spend with your dog use everyday opportunities though out the day to have your dog sitting still.

Here are a few examples:

  • Your dog is following you to another room, say the SIT – STAY as you pass through the door.
  • You are preparing food for your dog say SIT – STAY while you place the food.

Once your dog comes up, you can extend the time it is to wait until you cross the room to sit, or even to arrange and serve dinner.

Teaching DOWN – STAY

After your dog knows how sit still, well, you can teach the DOWN – STAY command for longer periods such as if you have company come over this is a great command.

  • Give the command for your dog to LAY DOWN. If you would like to use a hand signal you can wave your hand down. Then give the STAY command with the same open hand signal. Praise and treat.
  • When your dog learns to stay down for a minute, extend the time remaining until several minutes over a seven-day period adding a minute each day. This will help with your dog getting used to staying in this position on command.

When you successfully train him to stay after this step continue the training with increasing the length of time you want him to stay put. Just remember to divide the SIT-STAY training in separate durations so that the dog will adapt to this beautifully.

It is preferable to perform this part of dog training in small spaces at home or even in your backyard. Your dog is still learning so large areas like the park will only distract the dog and you’ll end up frustrated. Even if you do dog training with the help of belts and collars, dogs can still move and are difficult to control. If the dog fidgets and starts moving during instruction, instructs him to be in the sitting position before continuing.

Teaching your dog to stay is an important lesson for your dog to learn. It is very frustrating to have your guests be uncomfortable when your dog lunges or jumps on them as soon as they enter the home. Conversation is also impossible when you have to continually look for your dog in the yard because it would not stay in one place. Having this as part of the training schedule with teaching your dog to go to his resting place will be a three in one training.

If your dog doesn’t get it right away just remember that no amount of yelling or screaming will help with the progress of training. You both need to take a break and regroup. Your dog will get it; you shouldn’t do this more than in 10 minute intervals.

Teaching Boundaries

Training a dog to stay in one place can be a great help with the rules and boundaries within the home. Teach your pet not to enter certain areas can be easily achieved with the method of positive reinforcement.

The first thing to do once they get this is to clearly define the limits of space, our dog indicating the areas in which entry is prohibited and those in which you can stay as long as you want. To better define the boundary line you can use a broomstick or other object that may be useful for this purpose. You can use both visual and verbal signals to educate your dog on the spaces that can occupy.

For your dog to understand where they should not enter you can stand there and you ask for the dog to sit behind the line. Then walk back inside the safe room and the dog will try to follow. It’s time to tell him not to do it, with a firm voice. If the dog understands and he will SIT – STAY behind the line of division, reinforce this behavior with some kind of recognition as a caress, a word of encouragement, a toy or a treat.

How to Teach Puppy to Come

The goal of teaching your puppy the command COME is to have a well disciplined dog that will always obey, no matter the situation or place where the dog is, both for the safety of your dog and as a better coexistence with you.

To teach COME you will need a collar and leash. It is also important to choose a time to do it with little or no distraction such as children playing, horns beeping or people talking loudly.

  1. The first lesson should be just a few minutes, the pup’s attention span is very short and you want that the lessons to be a fun time for the puppy and you.
  2. For starters, here are some basic rules: Never call a dog for anything the dog may perceive as negative, as nagging, baths, nail trimming, providing medicines, etc. If you need to give your dog a bath or a pill, simply go get the dog! COME should always be a command that the dog is happy to hear. If your dog already routinely ignores the word you must choose a new command word like “here” to use for training your dog. Never punish your dog. A fundamental rule on how to train dogs to COME when called is that you should never scold your dog after he or she comes to you or failure of the task.
  3. It begins inside the house, you and your dog in the same room. Have your dog on his leash.
  4. You must have some dog food on hand. Position yourself in front of your dog, stand a few feet away from the puppy and do small, gentle tugs on the leash while saying COME. When he obeys, and gets closer, you have to pet him and give praise. You can also bend making eye contact to encourage him to come.
  5. Call the dog’s name, followed by the simple command COME.
  6. You give your dog a reward after he approaches you.
  7. Gradually increase your expectations for your dog calling from another room.
  8. Gradually you can go to the backyard, front yard with a long strap and so on.
  9. Praise and encourage your dog when he comes to you.
  10. Remember to say well done or good job just as the dog takes the behavior you want.
  11. Congratulations, you’ve taught your dog to COME!

COME is the most important command you can teach a dog. It could save your dog’s life one day. You as the owner are the protector and the dog listening to you and this command is extremely helpful if the dog for example gets out of the house and runs off, you can call the dog and he will come running. Plus you will feel a sense of pride to have your dog respond to our command immediately.

As you are teaching your dog the various commands you will see which treats he likes best. It is important to us your dog’s favorite foods to train you will get a happy and excited dog who is eager to learn.