Proofing Against Moving During the "Stand"

By Jim & Phyllis Dobbs and Alice Woodyard

Using the Remote Trainer for Proofing "Stand"

Dogs often don't understand that, once on the stand, they shouldn't move their feet. This article will discuss using the Remote Trainer to help the dog understand not to move once he is on a stand-stay.

Moving Feet in the Stand Exercise

The Remote Trainer can be a useful tool to train the dog that the feet must not move once he is in the stand position. The dog should already understand how to "turn off" the collar by performing other commands, such as those taught in the Three-Action Introduction. In other words, the dog must already understand that response to an obedience command turns off stimulation. He must also know the "Stand" exercise, but, of course, does not need to be solid on it yet.

The goal of this lesson is to teach the dog that, once on stand, moving his feet will "turn on" the collar. When teaching this concept, use a very low level plug or contact point in your Remote Trainer, and use "continuous" stimulation.

To introduce this idea, stand near him and tickle one foot with a loop of leash around the foot, or gently touch it with something such as a dowel rod. The moment the dog picks up his foot in response to the touch, press the button on your transmitter as you remind him with the verbal "Stand" command (or "Stay" if you wish). Release the button as he puts his foot back on the ground. Don't worry that the foot is in a different place now; he is learning that lifting it up "turns on" the collar.

Another method is to hold the dog's leg just above the carpal joint, and gently pull up. Every few times that you pull, actually lift the foot off the ground. Press the button as the foot leaves the ground. Then let go of the dog's leg, releasing the button as soon as the dog puts his foot back down. Soon the dog will lean against your upward pull.

Repeat this over a few short sessions, practicing with each foot, until you see him resist moving his foot. Praise him for his correct decision.

Once your dog is familiar with the relationship between moving a foot during the stand, and the correction from the collar, you can use the correction whenever you are practicing the exercise. Press the button the moment the foot moves. It is not necessary to give a command, although you can if you wish----the dog has already learned that it was his motion that turned on the collar.

But your timing needs to be accurate! So if your dog is one that tends to move a foot as you walk away from him (especially likely in the Utility exercises), have a friend operate the transmitter and watch the dog closely as you walk away. This way, you can walk away in a natural manner without peering back over your shoulder. This is the "picture" your dog will see in the ring. Remember, the button should be pressed at the very moment the foot moves, not several seconds later because someone has helpfully informed you "Your dog just moved!"

If you don't have an assistant, you can practice in front of glass patio doors, so you can keep your eye on the dog's reflection as you leave him.

Sitting or lying down on the Stand

If your dog consistently tries to sit or lie down when left on the stand, the collar can be used to break this habit. The precise timing provided by the collar, and the fact that the trainer does not have to get close to the dog to reposition or correct him, makes it much easier for the "soft" dog to learn not to break his stand.

Start by putting the lowest level plug or contact point in the receiver. Place the collar strap around the dog's waist, with the receiver underneath his belly. With large dogs, attach an additional strap to the collar to make it long enough to reach around the dog's waist.

Leave the dog on a stand-stay. The moment he sits or lies down, press the button and repeat your command, "Stand."

Dogs that try to sit or lie down are usually doing it in anticipation of some Utility signal. These dogs need "don't-second-guess-me" training sequences, in addition to a correction for the anticipation. Give the anticipator lots of practice watching as you walk away, then turn to face him as though you were going to signal a drop. Correct him if he breaks, of course, but if he remains standing as he should, do not signal him to drop. Instead, simply stand still for several seconds, praise him for standing, and return to him before you release him.

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