James Middleton reveals method for training a dog to 'sit and stay'

‘Dog dad’ James Middleton shares his three-step trick for teaching his beloved golden retriever Mabel to ‘sit and stay’ – using a flattened Amazon box

  • James Middleton shared how to train a dog to ‘sit and stay’ in an Instagram video 
  • The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, 33, demonstrated with his own dog Mabel
  • In the three-step method, Mabel sat on a stool while James slowly moved away
  • The entrepreneur gradually increased the distance while Mabel learnt to stay 

James Middleton has revealed his quick-and-easy method for training dogs to learn the command ‘stay’ – using ‘a flat Amazon box or a car mat’. 

The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, 33, has shared his top tips for teaching a pooch to learn commands as part of a series of training videos for his health and wellbeing company for dogs, Ella and Co.

The entrepreneur – and self-styled ‘dog dad’ – took to Instagram on Saturday to share his ingenious technique with the help of one of his six dogs, golden retriever Mabel.

James, who also has four black Spaniels called Ella, Zulu, Inka and Luna, and puppy Nala, shared episode two of his video series James’ Training Tips, which was on teaching dogs to ‘sit and stay’.

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James Middleton (pictured with dog Mabel) has revealed his easy method for training dogs to learn the command ‘stay’ – using ‘a flat Amazon box or a car mat’

The dog lover told pet owners that they needed a ‘quiet place’ to practice his technique with their own pooch and need something for their dog to ‘sit on’, such as an Amazon box, carpet tile or car mat.

He explained: ‘First off is to find a nice quiet place for you to do this with you dog. And the other thing that is really important is to find something that your dog can sit on.

‘So, for example, an Amazon box, the mat from your car, an old bit of carpet tile, or what Mabel’s sat on is a little stool.’

Demonstrating his three-step technique, James said that owners first need to get their dog comfortable with getting on and off the chosen object so their pet ‘wants to go back on’.

As his obedient pooch Mabel showcased the first step, James continued: ‘She [Mabel] knows this is a good place that she gets lots of attention when she’s on it, and then when she gets off it, she wants to go back on.’

James, who is engaged to Alizee Thevenet, said the owner then needs to gradually increase their distance away from their pet before coming back to praise them, reassuring their dog that they won’t be abandoned. 

The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, 33, shared his top tips for teaching a dog to learn commands as part of a series of training videos for his health company for dogs, Ella and Co

Showing the final step, James explained that owners will then be able to walk away from their dog, who should obediently stay on the step, before calling the pet to join them.

He concluded: ‘I hope that helps. Let me know how you get on and if you’ve got any questions or you’ve got your own videos to show me, please share them. I’d love to see them.’

Alongside the training video, James revealed he had also shared tips on trimming your dog’s nails at home on his Ella and Co Instagram page.

He penned: ‘Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing a range of training tips on how I train my dogs.  

‘The more that training becomes an everyday part of life with your dog, the more you will both benefit – their minds will be stimulated. 

‘Keep thing fun and engaging, rather than thinking of training as something that is taking time away from fun and games with your dog – make it just another way to enjoy spending time together.

The self-styled ‘dog dad’  took to Instagram on Saturday to share his ingenious three-step technique with the help of one of his six dogs, golden retriever Mabel (pictured)

The entrepreneur has six dogs – golden retriever Mabel and four black Spaniels called Ella, Zulu, Inka and Luna plus puppy Nala (all pictured)

James, who was staying with his parents at their Berkshire home during lockdown, launched Ella and Co last summer and said he was ‘extremely proud’ to be starting the business, which he described as his ‘heart and soul’.

His company has since released products including freeze-dried dog food and cold-pressed food and James also uses the platform to share handy dog training tips. 

Revealing his venture last June, James said: ‘I am extremely proud to be launching @ella.co – this is not just a business, this is my heart and soul, I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.’ 

James has been open about how his dogs have helped him overcome mental health struggles, and previously revealed how his pets were his ‘medicine’, having helped him with his therapy.

The businessman appeared on an Instagram Live on dog food Barking Heads’ social media account to talk about the charity Pets As Therapy.

James explained: ‘First and foremost, animals are the unsung heroes in our lives.

‘From my own experiences with suffering with mental health and depression and anxiety, it was over the last three or so years that I’ve really discovered how much animals were actually helping me. I didn’t really immediately realise. 

James, who is engaged to Alizee Thevenet, (pictured) has previously been open about how his dogs have helped him overcome mental health struggles

‘Over time Ella came to all my therapy sessions and various other events and she was that person that actually I could talk to but without being judged. She was a very good listener, she distracted me from various things.

‘And that’s when I thought, actually there’s something here and discovered Pets As Therapy and straight away managed to get an assessment and Ella was signed up not that long after.

He added: ‘And ever since then… I truly believe animals are medicine and they really are incredible for our own wellbeing.’

Earlier this year, James gifted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, who lost their dog Lupo last year, with a cocker spaniel.

He originally bred a litter of puppies from his dog Ella in 2011, keeping one called Luna and giving brother Lupo to Kate, 39, in early 2012 when Prince William, then an RAF search-and-rescue pilot, was deployed to the Falklands.  

Last summer, Mr Middleton, who was staying with his parents at their Berkshire home, bred another litter of six puppies with Luna as their mother. 

It is understood Kate and William had the pick of the litter, helped by Prince George, seven, and Charlotte, five. Two-year-old Louis was probably too young to help.

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