How do you train a Blue Heeler to stay?
It’s a common question because Blue Heelers are full of energy.
They are working dogs after all.
The good news is that if you want to know the answer, you’ve come to the right place.
This breed is smart and loves mental stimulation, making them extremely good at training (with the right strategy, of course).
What You Need to Know About Blue Heelers
While the basics of training any command to any dog are fairly similar, it helps to understand your breed’s demeanor in order to better tailor your training to them.
Blue Heelers, also called Australian Cattle Dogs or Queensland Heelers are related to Australia’s wild dog, the Dingo.
This herding breed is highly intelligent and motivated, however, he gets bored easily if not mentally stimulated often enough.
The breed has an intense work drive, excelling at hunting, chasing, and moving livestock.
While this energy level presents no problem to a Blue Heeler whose owner lives in a rural area where he can run freely, it becomes an issue for owners who don’t frequently do things like hunt, hike, or other similar outdoor activities.
This breed loves to be active, and he makes a great running partner.
For owners who aren’t the most active, a couple of vigorous walks, lots of playtime, and plenty of brain stimulation like training work wonders.
What does all of this mean for you and training your Heeler to stay?
Basically, it means it won’t be too difficult.
With their high intelligence, love of stimulation, and eagerness to please, it’s a fairly easy process to train a Blue Heeler to stay.
How Do You Train a Blue Heeler to Stay?
This method of teaching your Blue Heeler to stay begins in puppyhood.
It’s the perfect time to begin teaching the stay command, as your dog’s little brainy mind soaks up information like a sponge.
You’ll begin by teaching the “stay” command during feeding time and then branching out from there.
The first step in teaching your pup to stay is teaching him to sit. It’s a straightforward process.
First, get your dog’s attention. Having a treat in your hand helps with this.
The key is that you want your pup to be focused on you.
Then, give him the “sit” command. He won’t understand it the first time, which is expected.
Give him the command again while gently, but firmly pushing his hindquarters down until he’s in a seated position. Give him a treat.
Repeat this process until your dog sits when given the command. It won’t take long at all for him to get the idea.
Be aware that it can take a few weeks to a month before your puppy completely masters a command, but you’ll be amazed at how fast he gets to the basics of it.
Always remember to give him a treat and praise him liberally when he is successful and ignore any mistakes.
If you need a visual guide, the video below is terrific.
It’s important to keep your dog on a feeding schedule, and you should start doing that when he’s a puppy.
That makes this method of teaching him to stay super easy.
It’s really just a few seconds every time you feed your puppy, and it’s a quite natural way to teach him to stay.
Give the Stay Command Before Feeding
After you’ve put the food down and given the “sit” command, give your pup the “stay” command.
You’ll be doing this from a young age, and in the beginning, you’ll most likely have to physically hold your puppy back from the food.
Simply put up your hand as you give the “stay” command.
Hold this for a few seconds, and then give him a release command like “okay” before letting him go to his food.
Repeat and Lengthen
Repeat this process every time you feed him. You’ll notice that in only a few sessions, he’ll pick up the idea.
Remember, Blue Heelers are smart, and they catch on quickly.
As your dog gets more comfortable with the command, you can increase the length of time that you keep it in place before giving him the release command.
Eventually, your Blue Heeler should have no problem staying for as long as you have your hand up.
How Do You Train a Blue Heeler to Stay? – Step 2
How do you train a Blue Heeler to stay no matter where you are?
You switch things up.
After your pup has learned to stay until he’s released, no matter how long that might be, it’s time to add in some variety.
After all, you want your pup to stay any time you give the command, not just before eating.
Walk Across the Room
Give your pup the “stay” command and then begin backing away.
Keep an eye on your pup and give him the “stay” command again whenever he looks like he’s gearing up to follow you.
Back up a few feet to begin and then give him the release command.
Over time, begin repeating this process, backing further and further away every time until you can give him the stay command and go anywhere in the room, or even outside of it, without him attempting to follow you.
Walk Around Him
Another way to switch things up and keep him on his toes is to give him the “stay” command and then simply walk around the room.
Meander all over the room, walking away from him, around him, and behind him.
The idea here is that he should maintain his “stay” position no matter where you are.
It’s a great way to teach him to hold the command amid distraction.
The Final Step
Once your pup has learned to stay well in the house it’s time to move outside.
Head to your backyard and bring your pup’s favorite toy with you.
In this step, you’ll be making him wait to play with his most favorite item.
Give the Stay Command Before Playing
Once you’re in the yard, give your pup the “sit” and “stay” commands.
While he’s seated take out his favorite toy and toss it in his direction, just out of reach.
As you throw it, repeat the “stay” command. Wait for a couple of seconds and then give the release command.
Repeat this process until your dog stays as long as you want him to before giving the release command.
By the time you’re finished training, your Blue Heeler should stay in one spot until you release him, whether it’s one minute or ten minutes.
There’s an excellent video on YouTube that answers how do you train a Blue Heeler to stay that outlines all of these points with great visuals.
How Do You Train a Blue Heeler to Stay? Pretty Easily, it Turns Out.
The answer to “how do you train a Blue Heeler to stay?” is actually really simple: consistency and repetition.
With high intelligence and an eagerness to please his owners, the Blue Heeler is an exceptionally easy dog to train, and it shows.
With just a couple of minutes of work a day, your Blue Heeler will master “stay” in no time flat.