proofing stays This is a game to proof a dog’s stay even while other dogs are moving around him. It is particularly useful for preparing for the group stays in AKC Obedience.

How to play:

Have 2 or more dogs line up in a stay (as close together or far apart as needed for all the dogs to be comfortable and successful).

One at a time, cue only one of the dogs to do a different behavior (such as lie down, sit pretty, or come). All the dogs who were NOT cued to do the different behavior should be rewarded for staying! This is easier if the “distractor” dog is doing a stationary behavior, compared to running to his owner.

If the staying dogs got confused or distracted and did not hold their stays, their owner can help them out next time by giving a reminder cue to “stay” or otherwise help them focus. Moving a little farther away from the group can also help.

To increase the difficulty:

If your dog is ready to do an “out of sight” stay, go ahead and hide while someone else cues their dog to recall. This prepares your dog for the Open level stay, if another dog gets up and goes to look for his owner.

You can increase the excitement level by having one dog stay while another dog plays with his owner, or even with a third dog. Make sure to use lots of rewards to make it worth your dog’s while to stay despite all the excitement!