Sit and down stays are very useful behaviors for dog training. A stay can help prevent a lot of impulsive behavior. For example, imagine parking your dog in a down stay on a mat while you answer the front door (no jumping on friends and neighbors!) or cook dinner. The Bungee Stay is a great way to help your dog improve his or her stay.
Dogs like to follow us, and when we’re teaching them to stay in a sit or down position our movement away from them can cause them to get up out of that position. A bungee stay is a great tool to teach your dog to remain in a sit and/or a down position while tolerating your movement away from and towards your dog.
To teach a Bungee Stay:
- 1. Start with a one-second sit stay without taking a step away from your dog. At this point you’re teaching them that all they have to do is sit and stay in that position and they’ll get a treat after one second. Once your dog has mastered a one-second sit stay (in other words, can do it 5 times in a row without getting up before you release them from the stay), then you can add a step.
- 2. Ask your dog to sit and then use your “Stay” hand signal or verbal cue. Take one step away from your dog then quickly return to them while they are still sitting. Again, do 5 repetitions at one step.
- A) If your dog only gets 1 or 2 of the repetitions correct, make the exercise easier by just taking a half step back.
- B) If your dog gets 3 or 4 of the repetitions correct, do the same exercise 5 more times, again just taking one step back.
- C) If your dog gets 5 out of the 5 repetitions correct, then your dog is ready for a two-step sit stay!
After each successful repetition, praise your dog and them give them a food reward. Try to use a small piece of something tasty that your dog likes. Give them praise and a reward after every success.
If your dog gets up out of the sit stay, simply reset them in the stay and continue the exercise. Continue until you can’t move back any more because you’ve reached a barrier of some kind, then reposition your dog and continue in a new direction. Hallways are very good for this exercise. Follow the Rule of 5 and your dog will get this in no time!
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