Explicit Stay vs Implied Stay

Did you know there are two schools of thought on how to teach stay?

One school, likes an explicit stay cue, meaning they give a separate cue for stay. Sometimes it's verbal (saying the word "stay"), sometimes it's a hand gesture (hand up, palm out, like you're saying "stop" ✋), and sometimes both are used together.

The other school uses an implied stay, meaning, if you ask your pup to "sit" he should sit AND stay. You don't have to say "stay" because he knows "sit" also means "stay until you are released"

Both schools are right. We even have courses for both in Harper; however, we prefer the implied stay.

Harper Favors an Implied Stay


Well, first of all, because it is more popular with famous agility and obedience competitors and we figure what's good for them is good for us. (well, most of the time but not all of the time)

Second of all, because it seems logical that if we ask our pups to sit, we don't want them to sit and get right back up. Instead, 10 times out of 10, we actually want them to stay sitting for some amount of time. Since that's the case, it just seems redundant to teach a separate stay cue.

I'll avoid arguing with myself in front of you, but saying "stay" is not a bad thing either and we could make a list of ways in which it's better. The truth is, you can decide for yourself which school you prefer. No one knows your pup or your situation as well as you do.

Always remember, you are the CEO of your relationship with your pup. No one else can do that job as well as you because no one else cares as much or has the same bond.