Week 4

Sit -- When your dog is sitting reliably for 30 seconds (on-command), up the criteria again: add distance to the equation. With your dog in sit position (in the house, with no distractions), take one step backward. Count five seconds, and c/t. If your dog can’t hold the position for that long, you may need to start with an immediate c/t when your back foot touches the floor (as in a partial step backward), and build from there.

Down -- When your dog is downing reliably for 30 seconds (on-command), up the criteria again: add distance to the equation. With your dog in the down position (in the house, with no distractions), take one step backward. Count five seconds, and c/t. If your dog can’t hold the position for that long, you may need to start with an immediate c/t when your back foot touches the floor, and build from there.

Continue with generalizing “Let’s Go” and “Heel” (if you've chosen to teach it)

Stand -- When you would bet your next paycheck that the dog is going to offer a stand, then start “pairing” the behavior with the cue… when he’s about to change position to the stand, say “stand”, then c/t as he does it. Again, do this over and over, in many locations, with and without distractions, for several days.

Now, up the criteria again: click when the dog has remained in a stand for a full second. After 4-5 stands are offered where the dog will remain in position for the full second, make it 2 seconds… then 3 seconds, then 4. You must use your own judgement on upping the criteria – if your dog can’t remain in position for 6 seconds reliably, then back off to 5 seconds, and do that until he’s reliable. Then, progress.

The purpose of the 'stand' is to allow handling, as in vetting, grooming.  So, make this kind of touching part of the process as he learns.

Brenda Rushman, CCBC

Help!