Everyday at our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, I find myself saying, “Stay is an amateur dog training command.”
As you can see in our 400+ videos on our YouTube Channel, we never use the “stay” command; however, the dogs do not budge despite us running around them, cars driving around them, dogs walking around them, etc. This is because we train the dogs “properly;” meaning, when we train our dogs, we teach them that when they are given a command, they do not move until they are released from that command (we use the word “break”).
When people are using the stay command, I often times see/hear them essentially giving 20+ commands in order to achieve an extended sit or down. An average scenario is, the owner (or trainer) tells the dog to “sit,” as they walk away, you hear them saying, “stay..stay….stay…stay….stay..” So, essentially, you just gave your dog 7 commands in order to get them to sit and not move until being released.
So, if you tell your dog to sit, just walk away, if they get up, put them back in the sit. As soon as they wait for a few seconds, say “break” and then play with them. As they get the concept better, leave them there long, get further away, etc.
Essentially the dog learns, “If I get up before I hear the word break, you just put me right back into the same command.” So, by doing this, they teach themselves to “stay there” until they hear the word “break.”