When your pug has mastered the sit and down commands, you can start working on the stay command. Give the sit or down command. Standing next to or in front of your dog, place your hand palm up, toward his face, and say “Stay,” using a firm, low tone of voice. Back up a few inches. Wait a couple of seconds and say “Good stay!” and give him a treat. Then give a release word, such as “Okay,” meaning that it's all right for him to move. If he moves before you release him, put him back in place and start over.
Practicing the Stay Command
Schedule a training session for the stay command a few times each day. It's a good idea to practice this command when your pug is already tired or calm. Try it after a meal, walk, or playtime.
Pug people joke about how untrainable their dogs are, but in reality your pug is smart and wants to please or at least entertain you. If you base your training techniques on his love of attention and food, you're sure to be successful in teaching him almost anything you want.
Gradually increase the length of time you ask your dog to stay by just a few seconds. Work up to ten seconds, fifteen seconds, thirty seconds, and so on. Start increasing the distance you move away from him as well. Remember, if he breaks the stay, put him back where he was and start over. There's no need to scold him.
Strengthening the Stay Command
When your pug appears to have a good understanding of the stay command, add some distractions to test his mastery of it. Drop your keys, clap your hands, ask someone else to walk by him. Praise him (“Good stay!”) and give a treat whenever he ignores a distraction and remains in place. If he breaks the stay, put him back and start over.
Gradually increase the level of distractions by having someone ring the doorbell or walk another dog nearby. Jump up and down and meow like a cat. Practice indoors and outdoors so he'll encounter different types of distractions that you didn't set up (cars driving by, kids playing next door). Eventually, your pug should remain in position until you release him.
Whatever command you're working on, pay attention to how your dog is progressing. If he doesn't respond or frequently breaks the command, go back a few steps in training to a point where he was successful. Work from there to improve his mastery of the command.
Once you're sure he has a solid stay, see if you can teach him to stay even if you're not in the room. Start leaving the room after giving the command. This works best if you have someone else in the room who can put him back in place if he tries to follow you. Assuming he stays, wait thirty seconds and then go back and praise him. Gradually increase the length of time you're out of the room.