only stop


Well-Known Member
hi forumfriends,

I'm a little bit confused about stop and stay commands and i need your big experience.
I always used stop for both, 'cause the trainer told me it was ok.

Pablo is great with "stop" when he has to stop:dogtongue2: but he seems to be confused with the stop command when i mean "stay":dogwacko:

i have worked with him only for a month, but i think using the same command was a big mistake, 'cause once i tried "stay" and he did! do you think he'll get more confused if i start 2different commands: stop and stay? (in italian "fermo" and "resta":dogwink: ) do you think changing now is ok?

thank you for your opinion!


Experienced Member
I'm not quite sure what definitions you use for stop and stay, so I think my answer depends on whether you really use them as 2 different things.

To me, "stay" means do not move a muscle. If they are on a sit stay, I do'nt want my dogs lying down, turning in place, etc.

I use the word "wait" to mean don't move forward. I don't care if the dog lies down or walks away, they just can't follow me. I use wait for getting out of cars, door ways, and my agility start line stay. I've also used wait when walking my dog off leash and I want him to stop forward progress and wait for me to catch up. My dog is usually in a stand when I say wait, but it doesn't matter.

I know there are some trainers that basically use wait and stay to mean the same thing. I've heard that you should tell the dog "Stay" if you plan on coming back to release him, and "wait" to mean basically the same thing, don't move, but I will eventually call you to come. In theory, they don't want the dog anticipating the cue to come and breaking their stay, so they use a different word. If you are using "stop" and "stay" in this sense, I personally think it's the same thing to the dog. In both situations you want the dog to be a statue, it's just proofing the dog to be still until I return and release you or until I call you.

I know a lot of people use the same hand signal for both (hand held up like a stop sign), but I use the held up hand for "stay" and a pointed index finger for "Wait"

Does that help at all? If you do want to start using a second word, I don't think it would confuse him. I would use stop like you always do, and just reteach a stay from scratch. The training will go quickly, but I would pretend like he has no clue what a stay is and retrain it all.


Well-Known Member
thank you very much!

it's not easy for me to translate italian training terms.
i meant what you understood; stop means for me "wait" it can be a calming signal or i can use it if i need Pablo to stop.
"stay" means: stay in that position and don't move.

thank you for your advices, i think they will be very useful!


Well-Known Member
I think it depends on you and your dog? Like fickla says many people find using stop/wait for 'wait until I give you the next command', and stay for don't move...'I'll return to you'.

Personally I use the postion I want the dog to stay in e.g. sit means 'sit' regardless of what will follow.