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What's The Difference Between Stay Wait And Place?

In the realm of dog training, effective communication is a must. Clear and precise commands help establish boundaries, reinforce desired behaviors, and foster a harmonious relationship between owners and their furry companions. Three commonly used commands in dog training are “stay,” “wait,” and “place.” While these terms may appear similar, each serves a distinct purpose in guiding canine behavior. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the nuances of these commands and their application in dog training scenarios.

Stay: Teaching Dog's to Maintain Position

The command “stay” instructs dogs to remain in a specific position until released by their handler. It is a valuable tool for teaching impulse control and obedience. When training a dog to “stay,” consistency and patience are key. Start by asking your dog to sit or lie down, then issue the command “stay” while maintaining eye contact. Gradually increase the duration of the stay before rewarding your dog with praise or treats. Reinforce the command through regular practice sessions, gradually introducing distractions to test your dog’s focus and obedience.

Wait: Instilling Patience and Self-Control

Unlike “stay,” which emphasizes maintaining a position, the command “wait” is used to prompt dogs to pause or delay their actions. It teaches patience and self-control, especially in situations where immediate action may not be desirable. For example, you might use the “wait” command when approaching a door or crossing a street. Begin by teaching your dog to sit or stand in a designated spot, then issue the command “wait” while maintaining control of the leash. With practice, your dog will learn to pause momentarily before proceeding, enhancing safety and obedience.

Place: Establishing Boundaries and Relaxation Zones

The command “place” instructs dogs to go to a designated area and remain there until released. It is particularly useful for creating boundaries within the home and promoting relaxation. To teach the “place” command, designate a specific mat, bed, or area for your dog to go to on command. Encourage your dog to approach the designated spot using verbal cues and gentle guidance. Once your dog is in position, issue the command “place” and reward compliance with praise or treats. Practice the command regularly, gradually increasing the duration of time your dog remains in place, and reinforcing the behavior in various environments.

Integrating Commands into Training Regimens

Understanding the distinctions between “stay,” “wait,” and “place” allows dog owners to tailor their training regimens to suit specific objectives and scenarios. Here’s how these commands can be integrated into common training exercises:

  • Stay: Reinforce obedience and impulse control during obedience drills and recall exercises.
  • Wait: Enhance safety and self-control in situations requiring patience, such as crossing roads or entering/exiting vehicles.
  • Place: Establish boundaries within the home and create relaxation zones for your dog to retreat to when needed.


In conclusion, mastering the commands of “stay,” “wait,” and “place” is essential for effective dog training. By understanding the differences of each command and when to use them, dog owners can communicate more effectively with their canine companions, foster obedience and self-control, and ultimately strengthen the bond between human and dog. If you need help with training you furry friend you can get started today with a Free Training Session here!