Struggling to get your dog to stay? These 5 expert tips are so much simpler than we thought

Dog sitting on door mat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Teaching your pup to remain in place is something many dog parents struggle with sometimes – if you can relate, you’re certainly not alone! There are often just so many distractions for a dog that they can’t help but explore, or they might like to follow you like a little shadow rather than stay where they are – even if you’ve left them with some of the best dog toys

Either way, however, there are ways to teach your pup how to stay in place. Dog trainer and owner of Camp Lucky Board and Train Aaron Rustici has offered some advice in a new Instagram post. 

The first piece of advice from Rustici is to use distractions. You might imagine that a setting free from distractions is ideal when training, but actually, it can be more beneficial to teach your pup to stay despite there being distractions – because this is what will happen in real life. So, why not train your dog to stay in their bed while a favorite family member or friend walks past?

He also recommends keeping training sessions short, rather than going for longer, more comprehensive lessons. “This counter-intuitive approach keeps the training fun and less stressful for your puppy,” he explains. “For instance, five minutes of 'stay' training every hour can be more productive than a single 30-minute session.”

And, he explains that you shouldn't be too quick to release your dogs from the stay command. “Delaying the release can reinforce the command,” he says. “For example, make your dog stay for an extra few seconds before giving the release command.”

Remember to keep things fresh and mix things up, too. Maybe you don’t want to be training dogs with treats all the time, for instance. Instead, try rewarding your dog with praise or a fuss, instead, or give them their favorite toy or a short game of tug of war. And train in different locations, too. If you want your dog to stay, try doing it in the yard, in different rooms of the house, and on walks. 

And, finally, use a leash. Even when you’re training your dog indoors, using a leash will give you more control. This way, you can gently correct your dog if they move when you’d like them to stay. 

This advice might not always be foolproof. After all, every dog is different, and some dogs will take longer to learn this command than others. Or, your dog might spot a brand-new distraction and forget to stay in place every so often. 

However, if you’re struggling to get your dog to stay in their bed or in another spot, these tips can help you on your way. 


Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited.

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering pets, lifestyle, health and culture, and he has six years' experience in journalism. He was senior editor at, and has written for The Independent, GoodToKnow and Healthline

He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' golden retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.