How to Train a Pomeranian to Stay

Easy
1-6 Months
General

Introduction

Training your Pomeranian to stay will be fairly easy. However, if you want the behavior to be solid and reliable, plan to practice this behavior quite a bit. Poms are smart--you can train 'stay' in 5-10 short sessions. Stay consistent and your Pom will get much better with 'stay' in a few months.

Another advantage of training 'stay' is that it will teach your Pom to be patient. This can be especially helpful for Poms that tend to be a little pushy. Regular 'stay' practice is a way to teach her: “Wait, and good things will come!”

We offer three training methods below. Save “Proofing” for after you have taught your Pom to stay using one of the other two beginner methods. This will make sure she will stay even in a challenging situation, such as around new distractions, other dogs, or in new places.

Defining Tasks

It is up to you if you wish to use a non-verbal cue in addition to a verbal command when training your Pom to stay. If you go with both, just use both with the early training, and then use one or the other (randomly) once she knows the basics.

You can have your Pom always stay in the same position (such as a 'sit') by always asking for that before practicing the 'stay'. If you want her to basically stay in the position she is in when you command the 'stay', then include that into your training of the command, rewarding only those turns where she holds her position.

Food rewards are by far the most effective to use in training this behavior. Use part of your Pomeranian’s regular kibble rations with the addition of a few higher value treats cut into small bits such as hot dog, cheese, or diced chicken liver. 

Getting Started

Making sure that your dog has lots of success while working on 'stay' is your job as a trainer. If you find that she is consistently failing to stay as long as you expect her to, then you need to lower your expectations and proceed more slowly.

Rapid reward for success is the surest way to keep her engaged in the training process, building her confidence. This will promote the fastest learning and the strongest possible stay in the long run.

For the most part, just ignore any failures, particularly early on in training. Just be careful not to reward unwanted behavior and that will be enough for him to get the message. Add an enforcement mechanism, such as a harsh tone or a “Time Out” only after your Pomeranian has the basics of 'stay' down and you have started to proof the behavior.

The Clicker Method

Effective
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Step
1
Click or mark
If you have a clicker, then you probably already know that the purpose is to “click” the exact moment your dog gives you the correct behavior, followed by a treat. This is a way of making the sound of the click, not the timing of the treat itself, a way to “mark” behavior – making it possible to tell her she is doing it right while you are at a distance. If you do not own a clicker, just make a special sound or use a special “marking word” that you ALWAYS follow with a reward.
Step
2
First stay
With your Pomeranian right in front of you, say “Staaaay” in a drawn-out tone (and use a non-verbal cue if you are using one). If she obeys even for a second, click/reward.
Step
3
Duration
Continue to repeat the last step, adding some duration gradually over a few sessions, moving at a pace she can handle.
Step
4
Release command
Now add the release word. Ask for a stay, wait a few seconds, say “Okay!” and throw a treat a few feet from her so she will break the 'stay' to get it. Praise her as she goes for it. Continue to practice with both rewarding longer and longer stays and also occasionally giving the release word and rewarding her for breaking the 'stay' when released.
Step
5
Distance
Start to add some distance slowly, starting with just a half step. Keep working over several sessions until you can walk all the way around her, walk over to a chair and sit down, or even walk into the other room for a few seconds.
Step
6
Next steps
Move on to the “Proofing” method for teaching advanced stay skills.
Recommend training method?

The Mat Method

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Step
1
Choose a mat
Make sure you choose a mat (or a towel or doggy bed) that is easy to transport. In this method we will associate this mat with a stay, which will make it easier to extend this behavior to new places.
Step
2
On the mat
Start by encouraging her to get on the mat by luring if necessary and marking/rewarding every time she is on the mat.
Step
3
First stay
Start to ask for a stay, rewarding for even a brief second or two of a stay on the mat.
Step
4
Time and distance
Add time and distance very slowly so she is successful most of the time. Make sure you can walk all around her and even pop out of the room for a few seconds before moving on to the next step.
Step
5
Release word
Add the release word once you get to a solid 10 second 'stay' with you a few feet from the mat. Simply ask for the 'stay', wait a few seconds (reward a few times if you like) then say “Okay!” and toss a treat a few feet off of the mat.
Step
6
Move the mat
Take the mat and practice in some other areas of the house, continuing to extend time and distance.
Step
7
Next step
Proceed to the “Proofing” method to make sure you train your Pomeranian to stay on her mat when you ask, regardless of when or where you ask for it.
Recommend training method?

The Proofing Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Basics first
Only use this method after you have used one of the other techniques to train the basics of 'stay'. This method is designed to teach your Pomeranian advanced 'stay' skills to strengthen the behavior.
Step
2
Places
Continue to practice 'stay' drills in as many new places as you can. Each time you practice stay with your Pom in a new place, the stronger her 'stay' will be.
Step
3
Other dogs
Do your 'stay' drills near other dogs. For example, go to the dog park, a pet store, or a dog sporting event such as Flyball, and work on your stay drills. Start at a distance where he is not distracted, moving closer with practice.
Step
4
Add enforcement
Add a consequence for breaking the 'stay' before being released. This might be a harsh tone, a squirt with some water, or a time out in his crate.
Step
5
Disappear
Disappear for longer periods of time to make sure he knows that breaking the stay even when you are not looking will come with a consequence.
Step
6
Outside
Work on his stay outside, using a long rope or leash if necessary to keep him safe near dangers such as traffic or fast-moving water.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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