Responsibility For Children With Dogs

Each year plenty of families bring a new dog into the home. It is very important to include all family members in the care of a dog and it’s a great opportunity to teach children how to responsibly care for a pet.

Very often parents are unsure of how to include their children in their dog’s raising.  Hopefully this blog gives you a great start.

These are responsibilities that would be excellent to encourage your children to do each and every single day. You may need to modify them depending on your child’s age.

Age 4-7

  • Pet your dog everyday- teach your child to gently Pat the dog and make sure they do this every day.
  • Give your dog a treat every morning– if your child is younger it may include placing the tree on the floor. If your child is older they may ask them to sit before placing the treat on the floor
  • Help brush the dog- have your kiddo help you brush the dog as he gets older this can become his responsibility.

Age 7-15

  1. Feed your dog– at age 7 your have children start to feed the dog every morning and evening.
  2. Brush the dog– at age 7 it can become your child’s responsibility to brush the dog each day or every other day depending on your breed of dog. This is a great bonding opportunity.
  3. Practice training– at age 7 I have your children start helping you practice sit, down, skake and stay with your dog. As your child gets older this can become their daily responsibility.
  4. Walks– start to go for a family walk for at least 20 minutes everyday. As your child becomes older this also can become their responsibility to do with the dog.  If you have a small breed or a particularly well trained dog if your child ask to go outside and play ask them to take the dog along with them.

Age 15 or older
By now your teenager should already be in the habit of feeding his dog, walking, brushing and training their dog.  They are also almost at the age where they’re going to be interested in getting their first car and responsibility should be taking a step up. This is a great opportunity for them to start learning adult projects like scheduling vet appointments.

  1. Vet appointments- go over with your kiddo how often your dog needs to go to the veterinarian and teach them to call and make their own appointments for their dog.
  2. Puppy class– if you just got a new dog or puppy it’s a great time to have your teenager take responsibility attend puppy classes with their new dog. If you have an older dog this could be a great opportunity for a refresher course.
  3. Bath time and brushing– can be your child’s full responsibility at this age.
  4. Walking daily or running- if your child is in to sports it could be a great opportunity for your child to stay fit with your pet.

For fun games for kids and dogs to play together: click here

Training Tools & Pulling 

As a professional dog trainer and as a trainer who has crossed over from old school training methods I can tell you that it makes even trainers who use adverse methods skin crawl when they hear people say “it’s a great tool if you use it correctly.”

Why? You ask….. 

90% of people who use these tools do not know how to properly fit them or even properly put them on. This is the most basic step in using any training tool.

 Now, I want them to convince me that they’re using a prong collar correctly when it isn’t even on your dog correctly?

It is really hard to permanently scar a dog mentally, create major behavior problems, or create anxious behavior with positive training methods.

I would say 85-90 percent of collars I see while out in public are improperly fit. How do they know how to properly use it if they can’t fit it on their dog? Correct timing that can often takes years to master and tools like prong collars, gentle leaders, and e-collars must be used correctly to be effective.

To correctly use this type of training tool one must haves perfect timing, a strong understanding of training methods comma and a wonderful ability to read a dog once they have learned all this seldom do they need these types of Correction devices.

I often find that when somebody is looking at buying these types of tools and you ask them why they need it their answer is often well, my dog pulls really bad on walks and I was hoping it would help, or my dog lunges at other dogs and I was hoping it would help.

Here is the truth. When I ask these people who want their dogs to walk well on leash, “if you say heel in the house holding something her really wants, does your dog come to your left side and sit?” they often answer, “no”.

If you answered “no”, my question for you is why would you punish a dog for not preforming a behavior you haven’t taught him? If he cannot perform a heel in the house without distraction why would you punish him for not being able to do it outside on a walk with the presence of distraction like squirrels and other dogs? This doesn’t sound very fair to me.

No tool should ever replace good dog training, especially not one that can have adverse side effects.

Here is a list of my favorite pulling tools and how to use them click here

Positive dog training

Focused Heel Flat Collar

Separation Anxiety 

Separation anxiety is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed and mistreated behavior issues. Many veterinarians, pet store workers, and even trainers misdiagnose dogs and provide owners with bad advice that will be counterproductive to True separation anxiety. Separation anxiety or any other anxiety is never fixed overnight. 

Is it truly anxiety?

1. Is your dog anxious and other areas? Does your dog easily become stressed in a new environment?  It is pretty rare for a dog to only be anxious in one area such as during separation. Most of the time dogs that have true anxiety will display anxiety and other situations as well

2. Is your dog chewing and digging at the doors and windows? Or is your dog chewing up everything? Most dogs with separation anxiety will fixate at points of exit such as the front door or window.

3. Does your dog start to get anxious when you’re getting ready for work in the morning? A dog that is simply chewing or getting into trouble while you’re away due to boredom will not become worried when you start preparing for work however a dog with anxiety will.

I like to break down treatment of separation anxiety into three separate categories. Management, training (behavior modification), and medical.

Here are some MANAGEMENT (not treatment) rules for separation anxiety. 

1.     Leave a radio or T.V. on.

2.    Give a high value bone as you are walking out the door.  As soon as you come home pick up the bone.  You want him to think “oh man, mom’s home.”  These bones also act as a pacifier. Pick up raw natural meat bones at specialty pet stores such as chuck and dawn, heroes pets, or wag and wash. Be sure to switch them out daily, so your dog doesnt get bored. 

3. Never get excited when you come home.  Stay calm for the first ten minutes and ignore the dog.
4. Your dog needs to be exercised hard enough that they are out of breath.  Not a little out of breath, exhausted.  This will release the same feel good chemicals in the brain as it does in humans.  
5. Practice Calm behaviors before leaving the house such as relax on a mat.

6. Record yourself reading a chapter or two out of a book. Play it looped when you leave the house and another room.

7. Dog walker, dog daycare or dog sitter. Some dogs me still experience anxiety when their owners are out of site, but a stranger is present. Most dogs have a much easier time to adjusting if they are being checked on through the day or even better staying with somebody through the day.

Separation anxiety is never treated through just one method. It frequently takes layering treatments such as medication and behavior modification for separation anxiety to be treated.  
I strongly recommend that you get with a veterinarian who has additional education in Behavior. We call these Veterinary behaviorists. They can address all three elements needed to truly treat separation anxiety.

 For more information on separation anxiety please visit the videos.

What is Anxiety in Dogs
Treating Anxiety in Dogs

shelter dog adopted food

Busy life and a bored dog

flirt pole pitbull

Flirt Poles are a great way to exercise a dog

How do exercise your dog without wasting precious time?

You live a busy lifestyle between the kids and work the idea of taking your dog for a long evening jog just doesn’t sound appealing to most families.
 Unfortunately, unless you own a senior Basset Hound hanging out in the backyard all day simply isn’t enough.   Even with a large backyard dogs do not exercise themselves enough to meet their basic mental and physical needs at least not without picking up some bad habits like barking, digging and chewing on your shrubs. 
A yard alone doesn’t exercise your dog!  Nope! No excuses it just flat out doesn’t.
Realistically a very high percentage of family dogs do not have their basic exercise needs met which is a huge problem because your dog is forced to practice behaviors like digging, escaping, barking and fence fighting.  These behavior problems may eventually lead to rehoming, frustrated dogs and frustrated neighbors.
Try these tips to provide your dog with the exercise it desperately needs without adding a ton of work to your plate.
  • Only feed out of Kong Wobblers or feeding puzzles. Spending 30 minutes chasing their food around twice a day is a lot better than spending 30 minutes twice a day barking at squirrels.
  • Stuff a kong with peanut butter and freeze it.  This’ll give your dog another 30 minutes of mental exercise time when they are not getting into trouble.
  • Do you already take your dogs for a walk?  If so then just pop a weighted backpack to your dog! This give them double the workout without any additional work from you! ( not ideal for dogs prone to joint and back issues)
  • Buy a flirt Pole!  It’s like CrossFit for dogs.  Plus the kids will have fun with it too. Keep in mind that this should be used as a training device not a wild free-for-all Chase session.
  • Turn on a bubble machine for 30 minutes of fun time to chase bubbles.

Stop! Don’t run out and get another dog!

If you’re not meeting the mental and physical needs of one dog then you definitely can’t meet the physical and mental needs of a second dog!   It simply doesn’t work like this more often then not they will teach each other bad habits not the good ones.  Training must come from you you can’t expect another dog to teach your dog to stop digging, barking or chewing…. it just doubles the trouble!

Treats, Squirrels and More

You should never limit your motivational tool box to food rewards.

While we use a significant number of training treats in our classes we encourage all owners to think outside the box. You will have far more reliable behaviors if you learn to utilize the other rewards that already exist in your dog’s daily life.
First let’s consider what is a reward to your dog.
 Does your dog get excited when you pick up your keys to go for a car ride? Does your dog get excited when you walk towards the cabinet which holds his food? Does your dog go bananas when you pick up the leash?
If your dog is becoming excited for something consider this a reward. Your dog obviously finds it incredibly enjoyable and it’s a great opportunity to start to build some manners.
Make a list of all of the things your dog gets excited for whether it’s being invited onto the couch, being handed it’s favorite toy or just having a leash snapped on to his collar these are all opportunities for rewarding your dog utilizing something other than a food reward.
How to teach your dog to say please by sitting.
When you pick up the leash and your dog becomes very excited roll the leash up in your hand so none of it is dangling (if it’s dangling your dog may choose to bite at it) and wait. Your dog will probably offer the same behavior that’s worked for him for the last year or the last 6 months which may be spinning around in circles barking or even jumping on you.
I want you to ignore all that, so don’t try this exercise if you are in a hurry.  It may seem counterproductive but allowing your dog to cycle through those behaviors.  That will allow him to problem-solve and learn what behaviors do not work to get the leash put on.
Eventually your dog will offer a, behavior that is calmer.
If your dog was previously jumping on you and biting at the leash then you’re calmer Behavior might be standing and pausing for a second. If your dog was previously just spinning in circles without making any physical contact your, behavior might be a sit.
The moment you get the behavior that you’re happy with say “yes” and snap the leash to your dog’s collar. After a week of this your dog will automatically choose the behavior that gets him his reward having the leash placed on him the fastest.
You will be surprised by how little your dog now have to cycle through the other behaviors that formally earned him the reward of having a leash put on.
 Remember you get what you reward.
training bully dogs

We use all rewards, not just treats!

Faster Training With Markers

trick training

Markers are great for all dogs

Why we use reward markers…. 
When you take a class with Bennett Canine Training you will be asked to select a reward marker during your first session with us. A reward marker is a very clear way of communicating with your dog which increases your dog’s understanding of the content we are teaching and decreases how long it takes your dog to learn new behaviors.

What is a reward marker? 
A reward marker or a bridge word is used to tell your dog the exact minute they performed the correct Behavior.   A great example of this is if you were teaching your dog to make eye contact with you. If you asked your dog to look in your eyes and then simply fed him a treat you would be treating him while he was looking at the treating your hand not your eyes.   The moment you move your hands your dog WILL instinctively look at your hands. Whereas if you were able to use a word to say “that’s correct, now your food is coming” you can Mark while your dog’s eyes are still on your eyes before they look to the treat. Another important example would be if your dog was at a park off leash and you ask your dog to leave something, you want to be able to pinpoint the exact minute they left the object, even if it’ll take five to 10 seconds for your dog to make it across the field to you. Timing on your rewards is critical.

Why don’t we just use good boy? 
Technically you can use good talk good or good boy, but often times this word is used very frequently by strangers meeting your dog or by family and friends when they’re interacting with your dog. We want our marker word to be a special word that is used only when we will produce a reward after it.  This word is only between Handler and dog. If we choose to use good boy and our dog jumps up on somebody and they say good boy then they’re reinforcing that incorrect Behavior.
When to use a marker word? 

Imagine that your marker word is a camera and you want to take a picture of the exact moment your dog does the correct Behavior. If I was working on teaching sit, I would use my marker word the second my dogs butt hit the floor or if I was working on down I would use my marker word the second my dog’s elbows hit the ground.

What word should I select for my marker word? 
It doesn’t really matter as long as you consistently use it before giving your dog the food reward. Timing is more important.  It should go, marker word pause food reward with only one to two seconds in between.   Marker words that I typically recommend for my students are yes, nice, super, yup or sweet.

Good luck in training and have fun!



Too many dogs suffer from the terminal illness of under socialization…

As a trainer I often meet confused dog owner’s stating that they thought they did everything right socializing their young puppy.  Often times it comes down to three major socialization misunderstandings which are stopping to early, believing that socializing with the other dog in the home or a select 3-4 dogs or people is enough and incorrectly socializing your puppy.

Many owners are under the impression that socialization begins and ends with puppy class and while puppy class is a fabulous way to develop manners, healthy bite inhibition, and get wonderful feedback on your puppy’s socialization status socialization should begin before 8 weeks and continue until at least 8 months of age.   Giant breeds that emotionally develop slower should ideally be socialized even longer.  Socialization should begin at the breeder’s where they are introduced to sounds, smells and people who carefully handle the puppy and help it become prepared for the new home.  Good breeders will be able to explain their socialization protocols and will likely encourage you to continue with their plan for socialization.  Once home and before puppy class begins your puppy should have lots of new visitors especially children and men. 

Hosting a puppy party or a game night is a great way to increase the number of positive experiences your dog has with people.  This is practically true if there are not children in the home. 

The next step is puppy classes.  Good puppy classes are done in clean indoor facilities that are regularly sanitized and have vaccinated dogs and puppies.  Trainers in puppy classes can quickly spot gaps in socialization giving you early indication if you need to focus on additional socialization, plus puppies will learn how to be gentle with humans and other puppies.  This is also a great time for

After completion of vaccinating your puppy trips to dog friendly retail stores like murdoch’s, jax’s, playgrounds and drop-in classes at least twice a week will help ensure that your continues to maintain or improve his socialization while his personality continues to develop into adolescents.

Another comment I frequently hear is “My dog was well socialized; she had plenty of opportunity to play with the other dog in the home and spends a lot much of the day with our family.”  That isn’t socializing.  It’s just not, I’m sorry, I wish it were that easy, but your dog has to have an opportunity to meet at least 20 new people a week.  Your dog should regularly be allowed to have positive interactions with men and children whom your dog is not familiar with and if you have a breed that can be aloof then you should double the number of people your dog meets.

Bad socializing is often the result of very well meaning dog owners.  Socialization isn’t all about exposing your dog to as many new things as possible or exposing your dog to as many new people as possible it  must be done in a methodically and practical way.  If your dog is hiding under a chair in puppy class you are creating issues NOT preventing them.   When socializing your puppy be sure to look at it from your puppy’s point of view…. receiving treats from a 7 year old girl creates a positive association ensuring that your puppy will look forward to the next time he meets her while being sat on by a 7 year old girl may result in a attempt to avoid the 7 year old girl.  Meeting a and greeting a large friendly adult dog may result in learning proper manners  while being snapped at or stepped on by a large adult dog may create a fear which may later turn into defensive aggression. 

Consider the quality of all socialization opportunities and closely watch to see how your puppy responds to each.  If you are putting the time into socialization quality of the socialization matters and it MUST be positive.

Keep up the socializing and feel  free to come watch our classes visitors and prospective puppy buyers are always encouraged to come watch.

To learn more about how to properly socialize:click here

House Training Tips

Heeler puppy quote
First things first make a very clear constant schedule. Make sure the whole family agrees on it.   Your schedule must be the same, everyday. 

This should include:

  • A potty break as soon as they wake up.

  • Never leave the food bowl down.  Feed your dog and if they don’t eat pick up the food after thirty minutes

  • Two feedings a day

  • A potty break after each meal

  • Kennel when unable to supervise the more we can catch them in the act the better.

  • A potty break before bed time

If you have a very young dog or a puppy kennel training might be a great opportunity to address house training along with other Behavior challenges such as trash can diving and chewing too!click here for kennel training

A very old or very young dog may not be able to hold it for very long. Consider these questions when determining this:

  • Does he or she hold it in the kennel? 

Do they seem to know when they are looking for a place to go?


  • Clean accidents with an enzymatic cleanser to minimize odors that might attract the dog back to the same spot.

  • Once your dog is house trained in your home, he may still have accidents when visiting others’ homes. That’s because dogs need to generalize their learning to new environments. Just because they seem to know something in one place does NOT mean that they’ll automatically know that thing everywhere. You’ll need to watch your dog carefully when you visit new places together and be sure to take him out often.

  • Likewise, if something in your dog’s environment changes, he may have a lapse in house training. For example, a dog might seem completely house trained until you bring home a large potted tree—which may look to him like a perfect place to lift his leg!

  • Never leave your dog unsupervised, until he/she is house trained. It’s okay to give them a kong in the kennel while you take a shower.

  • Give your dog a treat after going potty outside.

  • Don’t bring your dog inside right after she goes potty, some dogs will start to hold it in hopes of going for a longer walk.
  • If you would like to teach your dog to ring a bell to alert you when they have to go out please start here:  bell training
  • Bennett Canine Training
trick training

​I want to buy/adopt a puppy, so I can raise it how I want to

This is one of the most common and to be honest annoying phrases shelter workers hear, not because we don’t have at least a dozen puppies that need homes but because it shows a major lack of understanding. Normally, we don’t have the 30 minutes it would take to educate people. It is also doubtful that if we took this time to educate that we would be “heard” since the adopter is most likely a self-appointed expert who has owned dogs before.

Anymore most shelters have extensive training programs. Many of the dogs that shelters adopt out have a solid foundation of obedience, some of ours could even pass their canine good citizen. Most are already through their house training stages, have learned sit, down, stay, place, focus ect. When you adopt an adult dog who already has a foundation of obedience than the time you spend on training can be on the “fun stuff” jumping right into freestyle heeling, agility or nose work.  
You can’t teach an older dog how to adjust into your family…
Actually by picking an adult you can ensure a match that already fits your family. Many of our shelter dogs came to us because families with really good intentions adopted a puppy that they wanted to raise “how they wanted.” Why wouldn’t that be perfect? They could raise their puppy and it could grow up with their kids? They already had dogs in the past they know how to properly raise a puppy. So why did they find themselves standing in the lobby of the shelter surrendering their black lab a few years later? The answer is always a little different, but for the most part the same.
They kept putting off training him. They didn’t take him to puppy classes because “they had dogs before”, and they didn’t have time to work with him because they were too busy taking Mary to soccer practice and Joey to his playdates with both parents having full time jobs they were too busy and to tired at the end of the day. 
The truth is that you can train a dog of any age. Yes, you heard me. It is true that there are critical stages of development for puppies but there is a reason many major organizations are looking to adult shelter dogs for their rescue prospects. From service dogs to national disaster search dogs many organizations are now turning away from time consuming puppy raisers and expensive pedigreed puppies and searching local shelters to find their next adult prospect. Ask Freedom Service Dogs if they would rather have a playful, socialized, healthy adult lab mix or a lab puppy where they have to do all the work.

Shelters have come a long way in the last 5 years. Now almost all shelters test for everything. They know if a dog is confident, if they have strong toy drive and if they will tolerate children.  
It is NOT all about how you raise them! Think about it, if you raise a border collie and a great Pyrenees in the exact same pen with the same environmental stimulus (sheep) the border collies will herd and the Pyrenees will protect. Genetics play a role in behavior. It’s why labs fetch and mastiffs watch the ball being thrown and roll on their backs only to continue their naps. There is also a great deal of temperament variation within a litter, particularly in cross breed litters. When you are adopting a young puppy there is NO guarantee about the adult dog’s temperament. Both genetics and the way they are raised play a major role, but by evaluating an adult dog you can know exactly how the dog will interact with other dogs, cats, kids, if they will play fetch, if they will be confident and if they will have enough drive to participate in dog sports.

Do you really have the time to raise the puppy the way you want? Socialization shouldn’t stop at 1 year old it should continue for a minimum of the first three years. A well socialized dog isn’t one who just went to puppy classes, it is one who has been interacting with new environments, sounds, people and animals on a daily basis all the way through their adolescents.  
Training is more than your dog sitting at home in the kitchen when there are no distractions, it is being able to take your dog in public and have them display good manners and be able to focus on their handler with distraction. Do you really want a puppy that you have to run 7 miles or take them to daycare to prevent them from eating your kid’s toys or would you rather have an adult dog that is passed their chewing stages and is content with a lovely walk around the block.

Picking a dog that fits YOUR life is important, but picking a dog whose needs you can meet is even more important. Don’t let picking a dog who will be in your life for the next 10-12 years be a speed dating session.


Waiting for a home

Train your dog to stay

The stay cue is one of the most important cues to teach dogs. Everyone would like to enjoy a patio lunch at a restaurant with your dog laying at your feet and this can best be accomplished with teaching a strong stay cue. Stay is great when your hands are full and you need to drop the leash for a minute. Stay is also great if you are inviting guests into the home or if you want to stop and talk to a neighbor while out on a walk. A dog that is in a down stay can’t jump up on someone or be rude!

Before we get started on teaching stay I want to address a common mistake people make when they are teaching their dogs to stay. This mistake actually teaches dogs to break their stay position.

Dogs learn everything through anticipation. If you get your keys may they anticipate a car ride. You get your the dog leash they will anticipate a walk.

If you put your dog in a stay, walk away and call them what do you think you are teaching them?

You are teaching them to anticipate breaking the stay position.

It is fairly rare that in a real life scenario you will have to walk away from your dog twenty feet while he holds a stay then have to call your dog to you.

It is more likely you will have your dog sit stay while you are grabbing your mail, unlocking your car or talking to someone on a walk. It is really easy to call your dog out of the stay position, it is much harder to go back and fix the habit of a dog who has learned how to break the stay. Don’t call your dog out of the stay ALWAYS return to your dog.

STAY DISTANCE STEP 1: Teaching your dog to stay if you walk away

We won’t say “Stay” for this step.

Start with your dog in the down position. Once they are down we can mark with “Yes” and give a treat. Place a flat palm towards your dog and take one step back then immediately one step forward.

When you step forward, if your dog is still in the down position say “yes” and place the treat on the floor where your dog can easily reach it without breaking the down. Go right into your next stay. Don’t reposition them if you can help it. If your dog breaks the down say “at” and put your dog back into the down position. This time when your dog goes back into the down position say “Good”, but don’t treat the down, and place a flat palm towards your dog. Repeat this step you can do five repetitions where your dog doesn’t break.


Great job guys! This next step is going to be much like the last step except now we are going to gradually add distance. Start with our dogs in the down position. Once they are down we can mark the correct behavior by saying “Yes” and treat the correct behavior.

Then use your hand signal (a flat palm facing your dog) don’t say stay yet, and take two steps away from your dog. Immediately walk back to your dog and place the treat right between your dogs front paws on the floor. Repeat this step until you can get five correct in a row without your dog breaking the down position. Remember not to say “stay” yet. We know it is tempting, but it is important that you only say “Yes” for now.


CONGRADULATIONS! You finally get to say the “S” word.

Just like the last two steps we are going to start with our dogs in the down position. Once they are down we can mark and treat the correct behavior. After treating your dog use your hand signal (a flat palm facing dog) as you say “STAY”, and take three steps away from your dog. Immediately walk back to your dog and place the treat right between your dogs front paws on the floor. Repeat this step until you can get five correct in a row without your dog breaking the down position.

For every 5 stays your dog can get correct in a row you can now add another step away from your dog. If your dog breaks 3 stays in a row you have to go back two steps. Just remember that they should be in the same position you left your dog in when you give them their treat.

STAY DISTRACTION STEP 1: Teaching your dog to stay even when there is a reason to get up

I’m excited for this next step because it’s where we really get to see dogs start to exercise their “Impulse control” or doggy self control!

Get your dog into the down position say “Yes” and reward your dog’s down. Have a treat prepared in the hand you have NOT been using for a hand signal. Now, say “stay” as you show your dog your palm. Very slowly take your treat and move it from your shoulder to your hip. If your dog holds the stay position raise your treat hand back up to your shoulder then bring it to your dog. Feed your dog the treat in a place he doesn’t have to get up from the down position. If your dog breaks the stay when you move the treat say “at” and reset your dog in the down position. Don’t treat your dog for a down if he has broken the stay. Instead, repeat stay and slowly start to bring your hand down. If you think your dog will break bring your hand back up. Go ahead and practice these until you can get five in a row where your dog doesn’t break the down position.


This step is going to be much like the last step, but our distraction is going to be a little harder. Just like last time place your dog in the down position and mark and reward the behavior. Then cue your dog to stay using your hand cue and say “stay”. Now lower your treat from your shoulder to your knee very slowly. If your dog holds the down without trying to snatch the treat give your dog a treat. If your dog starts to break the down immediately say “At” raise your treat back up and reset your dog into the down position. Repeat this until you can do five correctly in a row.


This time bring the treat from your shoulder all the way to the floor. If your dog doesn’t break the down position bring the treat to your dog and say “yes” as you place the treat where your dog can easily reach it. If your dog breaks say “At” and reset your dog in the down position. Don’t treat your dog for a down if he has broken the stay. Instead, repeat stay and slowly start to bring your hand down. If you think your dog will break bring your hand back up.

STAY DURATION STEP 1: Teaching you dog to stay for a period of time

Place your dog in a down mark with the word “Yes” and reward. Now, say “stay” and stand next to your dog without moving for 5 seconds if your dog holds it say “Yes” and deliver the treat to the floor in from of your dog. Repeat this stay exercise until you can do five in a row without your dog breaking the position. If your dog breaks the down say “at” and reset them into the down. Repeat until your dog can do five in a row without breaking the down.


For this step we are going to ask our dog to stay for a little bit longer. The longer our dog holds a stay the harder it is for them. Which means that they are learning Doggy Impulse Control. Place your dog in a down say “Yes” and reward with a treat. Now, say “stay” and stand next to your dog without moving for 15 seconds if your dog holds it say “Yes” and deliver the treat to the floor in front of your dog. Repeat this until you can do five in a row without your dog breaking the position. If your dog breaks the down mark with a “at” and reset them into the down. Repeat until your dog can do five in a row.

Once your dog does five, 15 second stays that you can continue to build the length of time you ask your dog to stay adding about ten more seconds for every 5 they can do correctly in a row, but if your dog breaks three stays in a row you have to make it easier by asking them to stay for less time. By making a mistake and breaking the stay your dog is saying “This is a little to hard. I need more practice with it a little easier.”

Once your dog is very solid at preforming the above exercises you can take your training up to the next level by using the 3 D’s of Doggy Impulse Control. When you are practicing the three D’s, distance, duration and distraction try to think of each stay as a question for example….

You might ask your dog, “Can you stay if I take ten steps back?” If your dog holds the stay the first time you attempt this he answered your question with “YES”, if he breaks he says “that’s to hard for me can you make it easier for me?”

Another example might be if you asked your dog, “Can you stay if I lower a treat to the floor?” He may answer that question by holding the stay, so you could also ask your dog “Can you stay if I drop the treat?” or “Can you stay while I lower your ball?” The more questions like these you can help your dog successfully answer the better of a stay expert your dog will be.