Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

Ditka is doing well with his stay's and had a 2 minute down-stay the other night in class. I get him in his down and then issue the stay command...I repeat this stay command now and then when I think he is kicking around the idea of getting up in his head This is working well but by no means is it perfected and Ill keep working on it but I think now might be the time to build in a small change in how this is done.

Ideally Id like his down-stay and sit-stay to be done just by telling him down or sit...so that those commands you stay there until released and slowly start to remove needing a seperate stay command.

My question is, whats the best way to do this? Just slowly remove the stay command and slowly build a sit/down into meaning stay there by correcting if he moves? So sit....no stay command...treat if he stays sitting and over time make him go longer?

Thanks all, I hope my question makes sense...
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 02:55 PM
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command

Gia is the only one that will do this for me (Tilden takes several 'stay' commands if i expect him to stay longer than 1 minute).

For her I transitioned her into hand signals. so it went from "Gia sit, good girl, Gia stay.... stay" to "Gia sit, good, stay (with clear/correct hand signal)" to "Gia sit (some sort of similar stay hand gesture because i was pretty sure she had it by then)" and now I just give her the command to sit and if she starts to get up I follow up with a "ah ah, stay".

She was much older than your girl when i adopted her and began training, so it may not be as simple. I wasn't doing treat rewards, just ball rewards after a good session. it wasn't until she was about 3 and mature before i felt 100% confident with her sit-stay no matter what was going on around her.

I'm working with Tilden on this now, for him he's better at a down-stay, so I'm using that to help him grasp the concept. No need to set him up to fail when I know he struggles with stay.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 02:56 PM
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

I try really hard not to repeat a command but I am not perfect.

What about giving them the down (or stay) command and use a verbal correction when they THINK about breaking? With Tika eye contact can be detrimental to stays, however, if she starts to break a snap of the fingers is more influential to her and LOOKS like she was harshly corrected physically (which DOES NOT happen). Tika is a very biddable dog AND very handler sensitive.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

Good ideas! Ditka responds well to his negative marker of "ah, ah" and I usually have some of those in there when trying to control a down-stay or a sit stay...I also give the hand marker like a stop motion.

Maybe Ill try making him sit or down and then use the "ah, ah" if he looks to break it combined with the stay hand signal...I think these combined over time will show him what Im looking for. I can always throw a stay out there as a reminder and totally phase it out over time.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:14 PM
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

Brady does it but I also have him trained with hand commands

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:26 PM
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

You don't want to repeat a command as already stated, even with hand commands you don't want to repeat those, a hand command is just a replacement for the verbal command. You want to do a correction when the dog breaks the command. You want to use what works best (IMHO) for you and the dog. I have a variation of things I use depending on the dog. Cheyenne is very much attunded to me, so I can just give her "The Look" or a shake of my head. Some of the other dogs it is a snap of he fingers or AUT! You also need to be on top of the timing, say the dog is in a down, don't wait to give the correction until he is standing, give the command the second he/she starts to move to break the command.

I have informal commands and training/OB commands. Down and plazt are the training/OB command the informal is settle. I give my dogs some relax stuff, settle is in a down, but you can lay on your side, you can lay on you belly with your head between you paws. The down/Platz is an alert down, not ready to take a nap.

The only command I every repeat is the go potty command. With DeeDee it is a matter of wearing her down so to speak, she thinks she doesn't have to go, and I know she does.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:27 PM
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: KC_PikeGood ideas! Ditka responds well to his negative marker of "ah, ah" and I usually have some of those in there when trying to control a down-stay or a sit stay...I also give the hand marker like a stop motion.

Maybe Ill try making him sit or down and then use the "ah, ah" if he looks to break it combined with the stay hand signal...I think these combined over time will show him what Im looking for. I can always throw a stay out there as a reminder and totally phase it out over time.
That would probably work and is basically how I trained Tika.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:45 PM
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

All the commands I teach have an implied stay, meaning that if I give a sit or a down command, the dog is not to to break the command until I give the release word (my choice of phrase is 'ok') or another command. The stay command is only given when the dog is expected to keep that position for longer than 3 minutes. It's basically used to let the dog know that they can get comfortable, they'll be in that position for a while.

As far as teaching your dog an implied stay with commands now, you'll need to give him a 'sit' or 'down' command, and as soon as he starts to move, give him a correction (can be verbal only, or if needed combined verbal & leash/collar correction). You'll want to start out working on this within leash range, then once he demonstrates he understands, you can start to move farther away. Remember to use calm praise when he is staying, so he gets positive feedback for doing the right thing. Practice these steps consistently and your dog should learn implied stay quite quickly.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 04:37 PM
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

I train it the way Rachel does.

And if you're not 100% sure that your dog will remain in position once you get beyond leash length, you can tether your dog to something fixed, like a piece of furniture. If he does try to get up and walk toward you, the tether reminds him "oops! I'm not supposed to do that!"

I don't like doing that (because he's already OUT of position before he's corrected) but it's an option.

Also, one thing I hope you realize is that your eyes will draw your dog toward you like a magnet. One of the biggest errors I see new students and puppy owners make is that they put their pup in a position, and they back up, staring at their dog. The dog can't resist, and comes toward them. Also the motion of backing away indicates to your dog that you're not really confident in his ability to stay in position. That makes him nervous and he's more inclined to move to you.

So, if you're still working on the leash, put him in position, take a few steps back, and look away. Keep an eye on him from your peripheral vision. If he starts to move out of position, and you've caught it fast enough, then give the verbal correction (oops!) or if he's completely disregarded his position and stood up (ah-ah). Or as Val says, the "look" (if you have one) is good too.

But once you get beyond leash length, just give the command briskly, like you KNOW he will comply, and walk away confidently. Glance quickly over your shoulder to make sure he's not getting out of position. But avoid backing up slowly, staring at your dog!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stay in a down or a sit without a stay command?

Even more great tips, this place is so helpful GREAT point about the eye contact...when Ive been backing away Ive been STARING at him...Ill change this right away!

I also realize Ive been pretty awful when it comes to repeating commands so Ill work on that as well.

He has a release word, frei, and knows exactly what it means. His stay is pretty strong for a 5 month old...I hope to keep it as strong and make it stronger with these implied stays on sits and downs. At a Schutzhund club I visited I was amazed when a dog was put in a down with one command and he literally stayed there without moving a muscle for such a long time!

Thanks again everyone, such great answers to my question!
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