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The STAY command - by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer & Daycare Supervisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Saturday, 03 September 2011 21:31

What's the difference between Wait and Stay?  Wait is short for wait, and pay attention; I'm going to ask you to do something.  STAY means: “hold your position, but relax, I'll return & tell you when you can move”. WAIT is usually a short duration of time - 2-or3 minutes at most.

The stay command is longer ie. “stand – stay”  5 minutes, “sit – stay” 15 minutes & “down – stay” 30 minutes. With a lot of training your dog should hold a stay even though you are out of their sight.

To teach your dog the stay command, have your dog in heel position (sitting on your left hand side beside you, facing in the same direction you are looking); use your left hand, palm facing the dog’s face, fingers pointed towards the ground, command the dog to “stay”. Step directly in front of the dog, facing him/her; step back to the heel position & if the dog is still sitting & hasn’t moved, say “okay” (the release word that tells your dog it’s okay to move). Take a step backwards as you reward with praise petting or food. The idea is to teach your dog on a “stay” never to move forward. If the dog move’s at any point say “wrong” & replace the dog back in a sit & start over.

Repeat the sit-stay in the same spot 2 or 3 times, then move to a different spot & repeat 2 or 3 times always rewarding each time. The sit-stay should only last 3 to 5 seconds in the beginning, slowly leading up to the goal of 15 minutes.  If you find you're always correcting, you've gone too far/too fast. The dog should be being rewarded more often than not.

As your dog improves at STAYING, slowly start to increase your distance from your dog, a step at a time. Increase the time the dog must hold the stay from 5 to 10 seconds; work slowly adding time and/or distance one at a time.  Once the dog understands the sit-stay you can begin to teach the down-stay; start at the beginning & go slowly as dogs do not generalise well thus making it is a new exercise for them to learn.  Always say the stay command once, don’t keep repeating the command “stay, stay, stay.....!”

The last point to remember, if you left your dog in a sit-stay & the dog lies down, it is NOT okay, it is wrong even if most people are happy with the fact that the dog is at least staying! Tell your dog “wrong” & then reposition the dog back into the sit position, tell him to stay. Good luck and "May your Dog(s) STAY wherever you tell them to!" smiley Jean


Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 11:34
SIGNALS - by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer & Daycare Supervisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Admin   
Sunday, 30 January 2011 17:12

The best way to help your dog(s) understand "HAND SIGNALS", is to lure them into different positions using FOOD.

The sit signal: With food in your right hand, palm facing up, place the food at your dog’s nose level; slowly move your hand up & over your dog’s head, as the nose goes up the back-end should hit the ground in a sit position.

Reward with the food saying “good sit”.  Problems may arise if your dog is jumping up to get at the food, note your hand is too high; remember to keep the food at the dog’s nose level & move your hand slowly.  If the dog keeps jumping backwards, put the dog in a corner & if you have to apply a little pressure to his back-end so he understands better what is being expected.

The down signal: With food in your right hand, palm facing the ground, food at nose level slowly lower your hand straight down to the ground & wait a few seconds; if the dog does not lower itself you may have to help a few times, add a little pressure at the shoulder blades, or maybe gently pull one or both legs to help lower the dog into position. Once the dog is in the down position, reward & say “good down”.

The stand signal: the stand position means “stand up on all fours & do not move”.  With the dog sitting on your left hand side, hold the food in your right hand, palm facing the dog’s face, food at nose level; slowly move your hand away from the dog’s nose so the dog can walk into the stand position. If you use a soft treat the dog can nibble at the treat while you say “good stand”. If you find the dog will not stand, put your left hand under the stomach & gently lift him up until they understand what is expected of them.

The most important reason to teach hand signals?  As dogs age, they generally lose their hearing first.  Also, should you lose your voice for whatever reason  you'll still be able to communicate effectively.   May your dog(s) learn to understand Hand Signals!   smiley Jean

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 11:07
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