This month we’re continuing to work on “Stay” in the Doggy Business play groups by teaching a fun game called the 4-Corner Stay. This game incorporates two behaviors – asking your dog to stay in a sit or down while distracted (in this case the distraction is the trainer walking away) and asking your dog to come when called. During the play groups we also have the additional distractions of other dogs romping around or coming to sit by the dog that’s doing the exercise – making it an extra tough game!
To play the 4-Corner Stay Game:
1. Start in an open room in your house where you can move easily from one corner of the room to another.
2. Move to a corner of your room, face your dog, and ask your dog to sit or down. Then use your “Stay” hand signal or verbal cue.
3. Walk away from your dog to the next corner of the room (ideally walk backwards to start the game, if this is safe for you to do, so you can maintain eye-contact with your dog).
4. When you get to the corner, stop and call your dog to you. You can ask for a sit or not, depending on how hard you want to make the game. Give your dog a treat, put them in a sit or down stay, and repeat the exercise moving to the next corner of the room.
5. Move to all four corners of the room to complete the game.
If your dog gets up out of the stay, simply move with them back to the corner, reset them in the stay, and continue the exercise. If your dog gets up several times, then make the exercise easier by trying to complete a smaller square (you could start by just moving 3 to 5 feet from your dog each time), or you can continue to work on their bungee stay.