Teaching your dog to stay is a basic obedience command. It is not the easiest of the major commands because your dog wants to be close to you. However, this can be an important one when it comes to keeping your dog safe from harm. Your dog may run into situations when staying put is the best choice to keep him safe.
Your dog respects you from the start and aims to please. You might need to teach your dog to stay if you are leaving the house, and he expects to join you. On a walk, you might need him to stay put without following you off trail or even just to the mailbox if someone is nearby. There are many reasons you will ask your dog to stay. The biggest difference in asking your dog to stay and asking your dog to wait is his understanding that he will be asked to release his stay position while waiting is simply asking for your dog to be patient.
Asking your dog to stay leaves him in a position where he should remain in place without following you. If you teach him to stay from a sitting or down position, he is more likely to stay in place than if you try to make his stay while on his feet.
To learn this command, your dog needs to trust he will be able to move toward you again soon. He should also have the most basic of commands such as 'sit' and 'down' mastered before you begin to work on 'stay'. Your dog will need to associate the command 'stay' with these positions. 'Stay' may be moderately difficult for some dogs because they want to be near you and not away from you. This makes your asking your dog to stay while he watches you walk away more difficult than other standard commands.
Treats will be a big part of training your dog to stay. Relax and have fun with this one. He should already have simple commands mastered, so teaching him to stay will just add a challenge to the commands he knows. Be patient and work on this command often in short sessions. Before training starts, pick one word you plan to use to release your dog once he can move. This can be the word, "release" or you can choose another word to let him know he is free to move. Whichever word you pick, be consistent and use the same word all the time.