OB520: Sensational Stays

Instructor: Hannah Branigan

Course Details

Hold on to your hats for the most exciting stay class you've ever seen!

Deceptively simple, stays are more complex than meets the eye. Stay problems can be career ending for otherwise talented and well-trained dogs.

Teach your dog to stay with proficiency and confidence. We will cover stays from start to finish, including group stays, out-of-sight stays, and honor stays. We will also cover "active" stays as used in exercises like recalls and agility start lines.


There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.

Registration begins at 11:30am PST.

Enrollment limits: Gold: 10 students, Silver: 15 students, Bronze: unlimited. If you are interested in bronze level, you can sign up any time during the registration period.

For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.


Week 1

  • Emotional States in Stays
  • Reward Cues and Event Markers
  • Release Cues
  • Hand Zen
  • Floor Zen

 Week 2

  • Criteria and Shaping for Emotional State
  • The Three D’s
  • Building Duration
  • Dropped Treat Zen
  • Using Opposition Reflex as a Game 

Week 3

  • Handler Motion and Returns
  • Bowl Zen
  • Adding Distance 

Week 4

  • Spatial Pressure
  • Buddy Zen – Make Judges and Stewards Part of the Game
  • Out of Sight – Emphasizing Confidence Building

 Week 5

  • Taking the Show on the Road
  • Ring Routine – Leaving the Ring
  • Combining Games
  • Your First Formal Line Up
  • The Leash 

Week 6

  • In the Ring – Behavior Chain Components for Performance
  • Honor Stays
  • Games for Groups
  • Unexpected Distractions 


  • Sliding Sits
  • (Too) Happy Feet
  • Anything else that comes up!

Prerequisites and Equipment

There are no official prerequisites for this class. However, we will not be teaching *how* to sit, down, or stand. Dogs will be expected to have some experience with the basic positions and at least the beginnings of stimulus control. 

Course Testimonials


I took this class to work o Stays...duh, but it has had an impact on so much more for me and my girl. Not just stays but lots about self control(for her) and reading tells and expressions (for me) . The class work has improved our stays but the work has also had a big impact on lots of other parts of the obedience exercises...the things that get better when there is understanding and self control. I will definitely take this class again when next offered.               

This course revolutionized my thinking about teaching stay. I had "successfully" instilled stay behavior in two other dogs through some traditional and pressure filled methods. Teaching stay as an impulse control behavior was much more positive for both me and my dog. I don't see doing it any other way in the future.             

Sensational!!!! Enjoyed this class very much. Thank you for all the wonderful information!             

Really enjoyed this class. Very helpful, I think I need to spread a LOT more time teaching the stay exercises then I've done in the past. This class taught me how to do that, step by step. Thanks! Becki VW             

Sensational Stays should win the "Best new class" of the semester! With stays being such a hot topic in obedience, this class shows a very systematic way for creating a confident, well trained dog for stays. A must have course for any dog trainer! Julie S        

Hannah has changed my entire outlook on the approach to Stays and given me the tools for us to be successful. She is brilliant at breaking down each piece and providing expert feedback in an encouraging and supportive way. I highly recommend it regardless of where you are in your training! Ana C.             

Sensational Stays is a great class, even for dogs who in theory have been taught to stay. I would love to have taken this course a lifetime of dogs ago: it is a wonderful way to teach the dog self control, keeping their emotional state at a comfortable level, while engaging in a steady progression of fun games! Will certainly start my next puppy off with Hannah's methods! MC PS As I mentioned in my other review, you know you are hooked on Fenzi courses, when you check the forums before email or anything else!           

This was an approach to Stays like I've never seen before, and really helped build a foundation for a solid stay, and taught us how to keep our dogs happy and confident in the activities. Thank you Hannah! - Molly B           

This has been my favorite FDSA course so far. It really broke down every possible components of stays into very manageable parts, and brought up issues I hadn't even thought of. I feel that the material presented in this course will help me in all dog sports as well as making my dog a better overall animal to live with. I can't recommend this course enough to ANYONE who owns a dog!              

My lab Xena got her first open A leg last weekend!! Her problem has always been stays. I can't express in words how happy I am! Hopefully we can get two more legs!!! Thanks Josie