Welcome to How to Love Your Dog!

Obedience Lessons
Getting Started
Lie Down
Walk on a Leash
Better Go Now
Leave It
Watch Me
Be Gentle
Move, Please


Watch the Video!

Boy telling Golden Retriever to stay.
A dog can learn to stay in any position. In order to do that, he must be taught to stay in each of those positions. You can teach your dog to sit and stay, lie down and stay, and stand and stay.
Boy telling little dog to stay.

What does stay mean? Stay means DO NOT MOVE. Your dog will not move when he understand what stay means.

So first, you will teach your dog to 'stay' from the sitting position. Your dog will sit and not move until you tell him it's OK to move.

• Have your dog sit; make sure he is sitting comfortably.

Stand or sit in front of him, put the palm of your hand in front of his face and say "Stay".

• Step away using your right foot. You should always leave your dog using your right foot.

Take only one or two steps, turn and stand right in front of your dog.

• You may repeat the word 'stay' a couple of times. Wait only a few seconds and then return to your dog's side.

When you finish, say "okay!". Get your dog to move and tell him he is a good boy.

• Do this several times over the next few days. When your dog seems steady, you can increase the time that you stand in front of him.

Then you can increase the distance, but only a little at a time.

If you want to give your dog a treat, give him a small piece while he's in the 'stay' position. Don't feed him after he moves, or he will think that he got the treat for moving. You can also tell him, "good stay" while he is staying.

You may practice your 'stays' from a down or standing position by following the same steps.


little dog icon 

Why did the man bring his dog
to the railroad station?

To train him!

Rusty's Ridiculous Riddles

Thank you Martha, age 8, Florida USA for this fun riddle!


After your dog understands how to sit and stay, you can try lie down.This might be days or weeks later. Follow the same instructions as above, but first have your dog lie down. Your dog probably won't understand right away. Go slowly, like he has never heard the word 'stay' before.

Boxer dog lying down.

Standard Poodle standing and staying.
Standing and staying is the hardest of all the stays.
Now that your dog understands sit and stay, and down and stay, you can try stand and stay. Like before, follow the same instructions as above, but first your dog must be standing. If he tries to sit, jut put your hand under his belly. Your dog probably won't understand right away. Go slowly, like he has never heard the word 'stay' before. You may need to stay very close to your dog or even touch him as you move in front of him the first few times you say 'stay'.



What is Proofing?
Proofing is practicing 'stay' under many different circumstances. Here are some things you can try:

Have your dog 'stay' in the house and outside. Have him 'stay' when you have friends over. Roll a ball past him while he is on a 'stay'. Have someone call him while he is on a 'stay'. Practice next to another dog...or a chick.

Golden lying down with yellow chick.

Never overdo it. Be kind to your dog. Proofing is not to tease him, but to show him exactly what 'stay' means. Your dog will become more confident as he begins to understand the meaning of 'stay'.


If you and your dog have fun practicing, your dog will become more confident. Learning things actually makes your dog smarter!

Practice sitting and staying with other dogs.
It's good to practice the 'stay' command around other dogs,
but don't take the leash off unless you are in a fenced area
and with an obedience class and a teacher.
Never, ever leave your dog to go into a store.




• If your dog makes a mistake and moves...Great! Now you have the chance to show him that stay means: don't move.

• Just smile to yourself for the opportunity and return him to the same position. Say 'stay'. This time, stand closer to your dog and wait just a few seconds. Then be sure to praise your smart dog while he is in the stay position. Happy training!

Never, never yell at your dog for moving before you say okay. Your dog is not being bad. He is just learning!


See the video!
Teach your dog to stay!



Here are our favorite training books and videos written for kids:

Puppy Training
Puppy Training for Kids, by Sarah Whitehead, Barrons Juveniles 2001
This book has easy-to-understand instructions for children on puppy training and care. With an emphasis on fun. Learn what to feed puppies and how much to give them, and how to play games that are safe and enjoyable. They also learn basics of puppy handling, grooming, giving commands, teaching obedience, tricks, and much more. There are great full-color photos throughout the book. For ages 9-12, or 4-8 with parents' guidance.

Your Puppy, Your Dog, by Pat Storer, Storey Publishing; 1997
From the Back Cover
What a dog needs most is love -- and loving a dog means providing everything it needs to be happy and healthy. With easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of illustrations, this book tells you just how to care for and understand your dog.
Includes: How to select the puppy or dog that is best for you, What and how to feed your dog, How to train and exercise your dog, How to play with your dog or puppy, How to keep your dog in the best of health, Where and how to show your dog, ... Ages 9 and up

Buy from Amazon

Kids Training Puppies in Five Minutes with DVD, by JoAnn Dahan, Cork Hill Press; (February 5, 2004)
From an Amazon.com reader: My name is Christi, I am 7 years old. I just got a new lab puppy from my Mom and Dad her name is Ginny. Before I could have Ginny I had to promised I would care for her and train her. This book is so great, it is very easy to read and the pictures of the lab puppies and kids are so cute. I taught Ginny to sit and lie down really fast. I think every kid with a puppy should have this book. Ages 5-8

Dog Training For Kids, by Carol Lea Benjamin, Howell Book House Inc. 1988
This is a great book for kids written by one of the best. It explains all of the basic training that a child will need to get a good start with a dog. Also covers common behavior problems. Ages 9-12

  Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters From Obedience School, by Mark Teague, Scholastic; 1st ed edition (September 1, 2002)
From an Amazon.com customer: This is a really fun book. Children will delight in the contrasting artwork. Adults will appreciate the little details of each illustration. The sarcastic comments of the dog will be humorous to all who read this story. I bought the book for my 5 year-old nephew. While awaiting his birthday, I read it three times. For kids, age 4-8



The Best!

Dog Training for Children with Ian Dunbar,
1997 VHS
This video is written and hosted by veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and author Dr. Ian Dunbar — the world's leading authority on dog behavior and training. Dr. Dunbar is the original creator and popularizer of off-leash puppy classes, which sparked the revolution for positive, reward-based, dog-friendly dog training. I have previewed this video and recommend it as an excellent training tool for kids. Jan Wall, author How to Love Your Dog

This video is a little older, but excellent, nonetheless. Ian Dunbar has a wonderful way with the children - clear, gentle, and kind. Easy to watch and understand, kids can be completely successful with this positive method of training. Adapted from the British television program, Dogs With Dunbar. Topics include: Taking on a new puppy. Housetraining. Early leash training. Teaching Sit and Down. Developing a rapport. Focusing attention. Improving off-leash control. Training a fast recall. Training as a family. Family competitions. Improving the Sit Stay. Teaching with toys. Playing training games.


For the little ones:

Teach Your Dog 100 Words
Charlie Brown
I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words (A Bright & Early Book), by Michael Frith, From and Amazon.com Reader: Beginning with "The first six words I'll teach my pup are 'dig a hole' and 'fill it up.'" this book is absolutely hilarious. I had never heard of it before my son came along, but it is one of his favorites and mine. It is whimsical, clever, and just plain fun: "have a care, don't paint the mayor." The cadence and flow of the words are masterful. Ages Baby to Preschool


Obedience Lessons
Getting Started
Lie Down
Walk on a Leash
Better Go Now
Leave It
Watch Me
Be Gentle
Move, Please

Cody's Tour
Kelly's Tour
Trouper's Tour
Your New Dog
Well-Behaved Dog
Special Topics
A New Dog
Your Best Friend
Too Many Dogs
I'll Love You Forever
Training Basics
Following the Rules
What Dogs Cost
Obedience Lessons
Keeping Safe
What Dogs Need
Behavior Problems
Older Dogs
Puppy Basics
Learning Tricks
Losing Your Dog

Ready for a Dog?
Your Stories
When I Grow Up
Your Dogs
Birthday Page
Book Club
Quiz Yourself
Your Poetry

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How To Love Your Dog...A Kid's Guide to Dog Care
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