STAY! And I MEAN it! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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STAY! And I MEAN it!

Hi all!

Kira's 13 months old now. Beautiful dog weighing in at a steady (for the past month or so) 68.5 lbs. She's pretty good about following most commands and others comment how well-trained she is (even though I think she still has a lot of work to do!). I do have one question:

I'd like Kira to stay next to me on the front porch when people arrive or walk by. She's not on her leash, usually, when we're all out front. I live on a cul-de-sac so no danger of her getting hit by cars and all the neighbors know her and don't fear her (and she, them). However, if a out-of-neighborhood kid comes biking, skating, running down the street and gets too close to our property, Kira will bolt off after the poor child, barking, and scare the snot out of the kid! She means no harm but she definately is letting the stranger know she's here and they'd better be careful! I'll call Kira and she'll come back reluctantly, wanting to finish her "lecture" to the stranger.

Another example occurred yesterday as I sat out on the porch waiting for a friend of mine to drive over to pick me to go out for the evening. Kira was out on the porch with me and when I saw my buddy's truck coming down the street I called Kira and she came and sat by my side. My friend parked in front of my house and got out of the car. I told Kira to "Stay" and she did but you could feel the tension in her as my friend (whom she'd never met) came around the car and started walking up our driveway. He stopped and looked at her, then said, "Come Here!" and she took off after him! Barking right next to his leg and he patted her and she calmed down as I came forward and told her it was alright.

I really want Kira to stay on the porch with me regardless of what is happening out in the street, on the sidewalk or in our driveway. I want her to remain at my side until I say it's ok to go. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

OH......one more thing. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but please don't respond with comments like, "You shouldn't be letting your dog run loose like that" or "You're going to get sued if Kira bites someone". I'm not looking for advice on whether or not I should be letting Kira off-leash in my front yard. I'm looking for pointers on how to get her to "STAY" regardless of distractions. And I don't want the leash to be a "reminder" to obey. I want her to obey because she's been taught to obey and stay put until I say otherwise. Thanks!!
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 06:40 PM
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

You may be expecting WAY too much out of her. You sound like you're adamant on only having it one way, the way you describe, but having her loose just may not be right for her as an individual. I would also love to have my dog stay despite distractions as you post above, but in a regular daily life situation I might as well plant some quarters hoping for a money tree; this would be more likely than expecting my dog to stay within my yard no matter what. It's not a training issue, it's just who he is- a fearful, reactive, highly prey-driven dog. To expect my dog to act the way you describe would be putting my dog and the public in harm's way.

I strongly recommend NOT letting her loose due to what you describe. First off, she is 13 months old, a young teenager, and you know what happens when you expect too much from teenagers- she's going to give you the furry finger. By all means, work with her and train her BUT in the meantime, keep her on a long line so you can enforce your training and keep her (and others) safe.

Quote:
Quote:I want her to obey because she's been taught to obey and stay put until I say otherwise.
That's all sunshine and happiness but remember you are dealing with a dog. The reality is that even the best dog is not 100% reliable. Your dog may never reach anywhere near that. To expect otherwise again may put her and others in harm's way. And honestly, if I walked by your house and your dog charged me, I would be well within my rights to knock her over the head with a stout walking stick, kick her, or even shoot her. Why? Because a 70 pound GSD is charging me barking. Do you think I'm going to wait to see if she's friendly or just bluffing? Heck no! I'm not going to take the chance of an attack. If she charges me, she's going down first and then I'll be asking questions, ESPECIALLY if I am walking my dog. Again, she may mean no harm, as you say, but there is no way I am going to take that risk. Keep this in mind as well as one day she may charge the wrong person and you'll end up with an injured dog or even a dead dog and YOU will be in the legal wrong on all counts if the person was just passing by.

If you're set on training for this, that's perfectly fine as this is a wonderful goal. You may never achieve this goal but you may end up with a very well trained dog. Get some long lines and treats and a clicker, get away from ALL distractions, then set to work teaching focus, a reliable recall, a solid emergency down command (LIFESAVER), and a darn good stay/wait. When she's good in no distractions and with very small distances (just a few feet), slowly up the ante. Don't move too fast! You don't want to move from living room to rush hour Manhattan. A training class will be a big help for this.

Please keep an open mind and don't expect more from your dog than she is capable of giving! You may find her more reliable when she's at least twice her age.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 06:51 PM
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

Then perhaps a response from me is not necessary; albeit it sounds like my dog in some respects.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 07:26 PM
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

since you don't want advice on leashing Kira i'm going to tell you how i taught my dog to stay. note, i'm talking about my dog so when the leashing part comes up don't be upset because i'm talking about my dog.

when i taught my dog to stay i would have him sit in front of me.
i would say stay and give him the hand signal to stay simultaneously. after saying stay i would take one step backwards. i would wait 3 seconds and go back to him and praise and treat.
in the begining when he was learning stay my GF would hold him in place by a leash. we did this same exercise 5 or 7 times a day. why 5 or 7 times a day, i don't know but it worked. each session only lasted 5 minutes or so.

as my dog started learning stay i started making it harder and harder. as he progressed one step backwards became 3 steps backwards, then 5 steps then 10steps and so on. now my GF would unleash him and we didi the same thing. so now he's staying. now i say stay while giving the hand signal stay but i start to move out of his sight. now the easiest way i found to duck out of sight
was to train in the house. i could make him stay in the hallway and walk into the bathroom for a few seconds. or i could have him stay in the kitchen and i walk out the front door. it was easier for me to get out of his view indoors.

outdoors i would tell him to stay and hide behind a tree or a car or whatever. i would take him to a store and place him in a down stay. i would go inside the store and step off to the side so i could watch him. sometimes i would place him next to the wall
of a door store and take his leash and lay it out in front of him.
then when i stepped inside the store i could stand next to the wall he's laying against and i could see the outstretched leash. i watched the leash so i could tell if he was moving.

with all of his stay exercises i slowly increased is stay time from seconds to minutes. he has stayed for 1/2 hour with major distractions. dogs walking by, people pulling on his leash, people calling him he stays. i put my dog in all kinds of stay situations.

to teach my dog to stay on the porch i would put him on the porch and say stay. then i would go inside the house for a few seconds. then i would come out and praise and treat. after a while i would have my dog in a down stay and my neighbors would come out and call him and tempt him with treats to get him to move. my neighbors would call my dog gently in the begining. as we trained they started calling him with gusto and running up and down the driveway. then they would bring their dog over and let the dogs get nose to nose and my dog would hold his down stay.
we slowly added distractions and we slowly increased his stay time.

now i also taught my dog boundaries. with boundaries my dog has the freedom to move around. my neighbors on both sides of my house play with my dog. he knows he can run across the lawns but he doesn't run into the street. sometimes when we're playing ball with my dog the ball will get away and roll into the street. my dog stops on top off the lawn and waits for you to get his ball from the street.

now i'm thinking in your situation you might want to teach your
to stay and then the boundaries. this way your dog can be on the porch and move around but not leave the porch even with distractions.


Quote:
Originally Posted By: discodogOH......one more thing. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but please don't respond with comments like, "You shouldn't be letting your dog run loose like that" or "You're going to get sued if Kira bites someone". I'm not looking for advice on whether or not I should be letting Kira off-leash in my front yard. I'm looking for pointers on how to get her to "STAY" regardless of distractions. And I don't want the leash to be a "reminder" to obey. I want her to obey because she's been taught to obey and stay put until I say otherwise. Thanks!!
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

doggiedad, I think you nailed it! THAT'S what I'm talking about. I don't think I'm being unrealistic with what I expect. A number of months ago I was at the grocery store down the street and there was this big GS in the back of some guy's truck. The dog was obviously older and a "work" dog. But the guy parked his truck, got out, didn't say a word, and went into the store. The dog was untied in the back of the truck. He just sat there, watching the store enterance for the return of his master. Didn't budge. I saw the dog and immediately said "Hi" to him. "How ya doin', big fella? That's a good dog!" Stuff like that. That dog glanced at me and then completely ignored me. Just looked around me at the store's entryway.

I was sooooo impressed. THAT'S what I'm talking about. Complete and utter dignity and loyalty. I mean, that's what a GS is all about, right? At least, I think so.

I'm going to take that advice and try it out. I did give it a shot earlier today. I took Kira out to the front of the house, unleashed, and had her sit at one edge of my property. I told her "STAY" once, and walked away. Went down to the other end of my property and turned around. She was still there. Hadn't moved. My neighbors, two doors down, came home and were hopping out of their car: dad and three boys. Boys hollaring and whooping. Kira looked at them, gave a muffled bark, but I told her "nu-uh" and she stopped. Didn't move off her spot. I had her hold it until the kids were in their house and then I said "COME!" and Kira came bolting down the sidewalk at me. Gave her a piece of roast beef that I'd been holding and then praised her like crazy. So, I think it's possible. I've noticed she pays MUCH more attention when I've got a treat and am in "official training mode" than if we are just out pulling weeds in the yard, etc. Anyone else notice that?
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 11:27 PM
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

Just don't discard the leash advice. One thing is to not to need a leash as a goal and a completely different thing is not to use the leash as a training tool in the meantime. Remember, the less opportunities your pup has to make mistakes, the quicker will be the learning. If for one time she discovers that when she doesn't want to complain she can run away from you (and then you have no control over her) then your training will be a lot more difficult and slow. That is the reason of why many of us recommend the long leash, it doesn't mean that you will have to keep her in a line all her life, it just mean that if she breaks the exercise (and eventually she will, because she's learning) you will have the means to correct her and teach her the difference between right and wrong.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 11:50 PM
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

take your time and start slow and start with one thing at a time.
be consistant and do things little by little.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

It's not that I don't want the leash on her (for training or otherwise), it's just that I don't want her to associate the leash with behaving one way and no-leash with behaving another. I've almost gotten into that trouble with the pinch collar (or whatever those things are called). I was using that to train her on the leash for walking (so she wouldn't pull) and she's gotten to a point where if I don't use it (and just use a regular collar) she thinks training is over and she can pull on the leash. And I can't seem to break her of that habit. So, I want to make sure she understands my commands without special training tools. I don't want her to associate good behavior=leash/collar, bad behavior w/o leash/collar. Does that make sense?

And, yes, consistency and doing things little by little is great advice. I'll work with her more today (we're going to Home Depot and PetsMart...so those should be good training opportunities)!
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 03:30 PM
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Re: STAY! And I MEAN it!

Quote:
Originally Posted By: discodogIt's not that I don't want the leash on her (for training or otherwise), it's just that I don't want her to associate the leash with behaving one way and no-leash with behaving another. I've almost gotten into that trouble with the pinch collar
But that is a problem of the training, not of the leash. Your problem with the prong is that she feels she has to obey because she is obligated to by the collar, because it is painful to pull with it, instead of using the collar to teach that after a harp correction extremely good things happens when she behaves and then she WANTING to work by your side. What you describe is how most people use the prong collar and one of the reasons I'm not that a fan of them as many here in the boards, too easy to use it wrong.

When I suggest the long leash I mean the leash hanging to the floor, you are not using it, it is not even in your hands and that is good and on that I agree with you, because it is too easy the we(the human, not the dog) are the ones who quickly become dependant on the leash. You teach everything with the dog as if loose, but when she bolts away, there is no wild freedom for her. If it happens only once you will have ruined all your previous work she will have learned a big lesson that it is good to get treats from dad when I do good, but if I'm bored, or the neighbour cat goes by the street nothing stops me for doing whatever I want. Dad doesn't run that fast.

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Quote:
And, yes, consistency and doing things little by little is great advice. I'll work with her more today (we're going to Home Depot and PetsMart...so those should be good training opportunities)!
Here you contradict yourself. Little by little is REALLY little by little. If you don't have a consistent stay inside the house, and then at the porch you can't take her to HomeDepot and PetsMart. That is the step 20 when you are teaching the step 3.

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