Mum & I are working on my “stay” at the moment for a couple of reasons. Day to day mum uses stay a lot. If she needs to go into Toddler’s room while Toddler is sleeping and she doesn’t want me to go wake her up (spoil sport) then she tells me to “sit & stay” outside the room while she sneaks in. We also use the sit stay in agility when we line up at the start. But the latest thing we are training for is a proper obedience trial and that means I need to be really good at my stays… hence it is our topic of this week.
For CCD in Obedience I am going to have to “sit stay” for 1 min and “down stay” for 2 mins. How mum does this is by putting me in a “sit” or “drop” first…. depending on which one we are doing. The she puts her open hand in front of my face (making it really obvious for me). She says ‘stay’ and then moves steps away (usually off her right foot…. she uses the left foot when she says “heel” and wants me to follow). To start of with she just goes a little way in front (like just in front of my nose) and only does it for a moment or two. Overtime she has been walking further away and making me stay for longer. She has done this gradually and also mixes it up so sometimes she is closer and sometimes further away.
How she finishes the exercise varies. If we are doing agility (which means sometimes she puts a jump in front of me) then she will say “go” and reward me after the jump but sometimes she doesn’t say “go” and comes back to me and rewards me for “stay” and not jumping (means I don’t just get a reward for jumping… I get it for staying). When we are doing obedience than mum walks back to me, around behind and stands beside me. Then she will say “yes”, give me a treat or pat and then say “ok” for me to get up and play. Doing it different ways means I can’t preempt and instead have to wait for mum to say what’s next… it makes me think!
Not only do we change it up with distance, time and how we finish… we also practice the “stay” in lots of different locations. When we are out and about there are often lots of distractions so I need to concentrate. Or to make it a bit harder at home mum will put me in a “stay” and then walk behind a corner out of sight. She then comes back and I get a treat if I didn’t go and look for her.
“Stay” may sound like a pretty easy one for Training Tip Tuesday but there are plenty of ways to mix it up… just remember little steps at a time… better to set us dogs up for success and get the opportunity to reward us for getting it right. Way more likely to want to do it again!
And hey I need to do my “stays” for mum to take all the photos of me that she does!
To check out more 1st World Dog Training Tip Tuesday ideas check out my Training Tips 1st World Dog Style page.