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Stay is an important exercise that can keep your dog safe.

One of the most useful behaviours when out hacking with our dogs, and one that is tested frequently at a very high level in competition is the “Stay”.

When teaching stays I build them paying attention to three separate contributing aspects which helpfully all start with the same letter!




When hacking out with your dog and you require it to stay in a specific area you may be a considerable DISTANCE away. Perhaps asking him/her to stay for a long DURATION while you navigate a particularly awkward gate. You are constantly moving-DISTRACTION- and often away from your dog-which is the hardest time for them to comply with you. This requires obedience at a very high level!

Practice stays on the ground first. Using a mounting block to stand on can help you emulate being on a horse, gradually building up the DISTANCE away from you and the DURATION of the stay.

When you practice be mindful of only increasing one aspect at a time.

If you are going to increase the DURATION of the stay, have the dog at the same or less DISTANCE than you have been practising previously and don’t include DISTRACTIONS.

At first stays are best practiced when the dog is tired at the end of a ride perhaps incorporating it into the routine as you dismount.

Keeping notes can be helpful.

Stay is an important exercise that can keep your dog safe. However always allow for "intelligent disobedience" if the dog moves out of the horses way.


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