“Stay” is actually a highly complex skill, that not all pre-k puppies are ready for. Even if your puppy is unable to master this command however, practicing it can help your puppy down the road by strengthening his base commands, teaching him self control, and helping him raise the threshold for his base commands without having to endure a distraction.
Fortunately, Stay is also an easy to skill to begin working. Start with your puppy in which ever pose he is most reliable in. Let’s say “Sit.” As soon as he is in sit, begin popping treats into his mouth one at a time, as fast as you can manage. Many dogs will pop up after the first treat, and that’s okay. Stop feeding as soon as he pops up, put him back in sit, and try again. You may have to do this dozens of times before you are fast enough to get that second treat into his mouth before he pops up.
Once you are able to make that connection with the dog, he’ll frequently realize the longer he stays, the longer he gets fed treats. Treat him for longer and longer duration, and when it is clear he won’t pop up until the treat party is over, you can start naming the command.
To name it, simply tell him “Stay”, and when it is okay for him to move, “Break.” Use the word “Break” Every time, so he eventually learns he must stay until he hears that word.
Don’t get too caught up in making this perfect. Remember this is pre-k!
Until your dog develops more self control, your “Stay” is not going to be a solid command. Just like all commands, stay is a journey you are never truly completely finished with training. Instead, focus on creating a solid foundation for the rest of your dog’s training.