Which Position Is Best For a Long Stay?

You might not care what position your dog chooses to be in when you want her to stay, but you have to teach her something to start, so which should you choose?

Down stay. That's it. That's the article. Send tweet.

How Stay Differs Between Positions

Seriously though, Harper presents down stay first because we assume people are most interested in teaching a long relaxed stay and a down is the most relaxed position a dog can be in; however, maybe you're looking for something different.

For example, maybe you don't want your pup to get too relaxed. Maybe you're on your way out the door at the vet and you realize you left your keys on the counter. In that scenario, you might want a more "active" stay position because you're going to be moving again shortly so you ask for a sit, go over and collect your keys, and return immediately to head out the door.

Similarly, the dog in a stand stay is even more ready to move. Maybe you're at the corner waiting to cross the street. It's been a long light so your pup gets bored and lies down. You, a human who can read numbers on the cross walk sign, realize the light's going to change in three seconds. In that scenario you might ask your dog to stand so that he is immediately ready to start walking when the light changes.

The Benchmarks

Also, the duration of the stay is something else to keep in mind when deciding which position to use. Here are some rough guidelines to target to help you decide:

Stand-Stay: 90 seconds or less Sit-Stay: 90 seconds or less Down-Stay: 6 minutes or less

You can train longer duration stays in each of these positions, but these are great targets. If you can achieve these then you're in the same company as dogs that compete in obedience competitions.

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