Stay In Place

The 3 D's

  1. Distance 
  2. Duration 
  3. Distractions  

Ok, Free or Break  

Every cue/command has a beginning and and end, so instead of repeating “Stay" we start with the cue such as Sit/Down/Place and end with a release cue such as OK, Free or Break. Remember to always release with one of these words, so your dog knows exactly when to break a command. The release is the reward. Always go up to them to release to not to build anticipation.


Adding Distance to a Cue

When your dog is reliably staying in one position such as “Sit”, “Down” or “ Place”  start adding distance. Start with a small step away.  Repeat the cue before you step away. After you complete the step mark with a “click” or “Yes”, return and reward with a tasty treat. Repeat this with larger distances.

Pay attention to when the distance is too far and they break the position, go back to the distance they succeed in, repeat and end the session at that distance. Always end on a good note!



Place is a boundary stay. When your dog is on place, they can sit, lie down, sleep, snore, scratch, or even better, play with an interactive toy. This comes in handy in a number of daily activities: dinner time, homework time, movie time, and entertaining guest are all appropriate occasions to incorporate “place.” It can prevent unwanted begging, jumping, barking and other unwanted nuisance behaviors. Even better, it keeps your dog from being banished to the back yard, crate, or isolated in a separate area of the house. 

  1. Start by luring your dog with a tasty treat on to the bed
  2. Once all four feet are on the bed, click and reward (on the bed) 
  3. Then turn them around and “free” them
  4. Give the cue “place" and lead them onto the bed
  5. Repeat this a few times so they get comfortable getting all four feet on the bed
  6. Next, begin showing her the boundaries by walking from corner to corner, rewarding at each stop

If and when your dog attempts to come off the bed you will say “No” or "Ehh Ehh" in a low stern voice and guide them back on the bed and repeat the cue “place”. As they begins to understand the boundaries, you will start increasing your distance until you are a full leash length away. When they voluntarily sit click and reward, when she lays down click and reward. Remember to "free" them!

As they become more familiar with associating place, you will be able to send them from further away by pointing at it. Practice down stay at different times. A good way to practice is while you are watching TV! Start with place during commercials and free during the show, then swap it and place during the show and free during the commercials.