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Puppy Training: Why 'Sit And Stay' Isn't A Thing

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Shelties sitting in sunset

So, we all know to teach our dogs to 'sit'. Some of us also teach our dogs 'down' to lie down. How many of you also add the command 'stay'? Why?

One golden rule in dog training and, I would dare to presume, in most forms of training, is to keep things simple; don't introduce unnecessary commands to clutter up what your dog needs to be listening to and responding to.

'Sit' means 'sit'. (Or whatever other word you choose for this command). It doesn't mean 'sit until you've had enough and then wander off'. It means 'sit until further instructed'; whether that's a different command such as recall or a release word to allow them to continue as they were. The addition of the command 'stay' is unnecessary and confusing background noise to your dog.

Dog awaiting further instruction

This is particularly the case when you hear people repeatedly using the word 'stay' with a longer and longer vowel sound as they step further away: 'stay... staaay... staaaaaay'. Another important rule of dog training is that, once learnt, a command should not need to be repeated in order to gain a positive response. For instance, if you are recalling your dog, one command should be enough for the dog to respond and return to you, any further repeated commands done on a regular basis without 'punishment' of a raised vocal tone or other reprimand is merely teaching your dog that it's okay to ignore the first command or two before choosing to respond on their own terms.

Therefore, the 'stay' command breaks not one, but two golden rules of dog training - unthinkable...

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Related Articles:
Puppy Training: Recall
Puppy Training: Sit
The Best Commands To Teach Your Dog
Are Young Gundogs Being Pushed Too Hard Too Early?

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