Teaching your dog to stay can be one of the harder tricks that your corgi has to learn. Because on the surface, it doesn’t make sense to your dog.
Think about it! Imagine for a second, you’re a dog. If your owner is across the yard with a handful of treats, why wouldn’t you run over to them?
But teaching your corgi to stay is one of the most important skills they can learn. It makes it super handy for you, like when you need to grab a treat, open a door, or pick up a toy.
Here are the simple steps you need to train your corgi to stay.
1. Start by getting your dog to lie down
You may be thinking: hold on, hold on – I need my dog to lie down! I’m just starting to train my puppy; they don’t know how to do that.
That’s ok. Training your corgi to stay also works if you can get your corgi to sit. If they haven’t mastered either skill yet, give our guides a quick read to help get you started:
If they’ve got the basics under control, then go for it. Get them to lie down, as this is the starting position to train your dog to stay
2. Take a step back away from your corgi and stop
Once they are lying down like a good dog, you need to take a step back from them.
Maintain eye contact – and remember, it’s only a single step. The most common reason people run into trouble here is because they take a few steps back.
As you step back, show your corgi that you wish them to stay by putting your palm up, like a stop sign.
You should only be apart for a second or two. If your corgi stays, quickly reward them with treats. If not, you can repeat.
If they follow you immediately, do not reward them. You should only reward good behaviour from your corgi.
3. Give the STAY command and reward your corgi if they stay
Now you can try with the vocal command. We recommend the word STAY, as it’s short, punchy, and memorable.
When you are getting them to COME, your voice should be upbeat. But when you are getting them to STAY, you should focus on being calm and soothing. This encourages them and makes them feel like everything is going to be ok.
After you command your corgi to STAY, give it a few seconds, walk to them, and reward them if they’ve stayed. Give it to them while they are on the ground. Don’t wait until they’ve gotten up. This will reinforce good behaviour.
Pay attention to when your corgi is about to fail their stay command. If you notice they are about to fail, reward them before they do. It is better to succeed after a short time, than to fail after a long time.
4. Give your corgi the release word
You may be wondering: what’s a release word? A release word is the word or phrase you use to end the previous command. Basically, it’s what you say to get your corgi that’s STAYING to stop staying.
For your corgi, a useful release word is OK, or FREE.
The goal of our training is to have the dog obey their STAY command, before releasing them.
Stand away from your corgi and get them to STAY. Then throw a treat towards them, in front of them. When they step forward, give them the OK release command.
When they’ve got the hang of this, you can drill the release command. Get them to stay, then say the release command OK. When they release, then you can toss them the treat. This reinforces that the release command is for when they can leave their position.
Once you’ve got this down, you can also use COME, as a makeshift release command. This will not only break their stay, but get them to return to you if they’ve learnt the skill. Very useful when you’re off on walks.
5. Increase the time that your corgi stays
Your corgi should be getting the hang of their commands now.
As you progress, you can increase the duration your corgi stays. Do this by counting in your head, going higher and higher each time.
Your corgi won’t always make the full duration you have planned. That’s ok. You can simply reduce to duration to an easier length.
Training is a process. You’ll often go up and down in duration each session. But ultimately, the duration will increase.
Remember to practice on a regular basis. Short sessions done often are much better than long periods once a week.
As your corgi gets better at their training, you can reduce the number of treats you’re giving them. That way you know they are performing the action based on the command – which you can use whenever you need to.
6. Increase the distance between you and your corgi
Now that your dog will stay for longer, you can start to make the command from further away.
Much like the increase the duration, step back further and further in distance each time. Reward your dog as you progress together.
You should also try the command from more natural positions. For example, try not facing your corgi. Or standing by their side. Or behind them.
This mirrors what they will face in the real world. After all, when you’re taking them for walks, they will be walking alongside you, rather than towards you.
It can be very tempting to rush through this stage. But be patient. Make sure they’re ready before you move onto the next stay.
A great test is by adding distractions, like their favourite toy or tennis ball. If they stay, you know they’re ready to hit the open air.
7. Take your new skill to the great outdoors
Here we are! It’s now time to grab that leash, pop on your walking shoes, and take your corgi outside into the great outdoors.
It’s best to go to an enclosed area, without other people or animals. An empty dog park is the best option. A nature reserve or an open field can also be good for your dog. Just make sure they’ve got the command drilled if they are off-leash.
Final Thoughts on How to Train Your Corgi Dog to Stay
Well done! You’ve made it. Your corgi now has the skills they need to stay on command.
Training is a process. You’ll go forward and back. Some days will feel like they’ve got it, and then the next will feel like you’re starting over again. That’s nothing to worry about.
The main thing to remember is to always encourage your corgi, and make them feel like a winner. And even when they’ve got it locked in, the odd reward for a well-executed command can do wonders!
Always remember to make the learning process fun. And in kind, you’ll be rewarded with a useful skill for your dog that will make handling them even easier in the future.
Here are a few more skills you can teach your corgi.