If you’re ever asked to think of the most intelligent of dog breeds, the dogs that come to mind are generally the Border Collie, the German Shepherd, or a more standard family dog like the Labrador or Golden Retriever. However, there is another breed that rises up as highly intelligent, eager to please, and very high energy. Though it may be hard to tell when your immediate thoughts turn to what might be known as a “circus dog” with its fluffy haircuts and bouncy step, the Poodle is definitely a standout star when it comes to obedience.
Poodles are fantastic at a variety of things such as obedience and sports, and can even excel in a job such as a service or hunting dog. But even Poodles need to learn the basics before moving on to more challenging work.
Teaching a Poodle to 'stay' may be more challenging than most other commands, simply because of their excess energy. With the urge to bounce and run around, keeping a Poodle’s focus can be complex and require a bit more motivation than normal. The good news is, many Poodles are food motivated and will readily pick up on a new command in order to obtain a tasty treat.
The ‘stay’ is important for any breed of dog in order to really get a handle on obedience. It can help keep your dog safe when out in public, can keep him from chasing after prey animals like cats and squirrels, and can prevent him from approaching any strange dogs or people who may not want him close by. Teaching the ‘stay’ can begin as soon as you bring your Poodle home. Even very young puppies can pick up on simple commands. Expect to dedicate at least three days to getting your Poodle to develop a really solid ‘stay’.
To teach your Poodle to stay, the only thing you’ll need is the proper motivation. While most Poodles are happy to behave for treats, others may find more motivation in the form of a favorite toy. Figure out which your Poodle prefers and use that to reinforce the appropriate behaviors.
If you decide to try teaching ‘stay’ with a clicker, invest in a small one. They are usually very inexpensive and some may even come in multi-packs. You may also choose to find a small mat or bed for your Poodle to practice his ‘stay’ on.