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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Stand-Stay Question

I've run into an interesting training problem with my Malinois, Ronja, and was wondering if someone had suggestions or help for us to build a reliable stand-stay command.

I've previously trained Ronja to sit automatically if I stop when we are heeling or when we are loose-leash walking, and she will also sit in front of me on a recall.

I've never trained a stand-stay or a stand from motion and was curious as to what the best way of training this would be? I've tried shaping the behavior using my clicker and rewards, clicking her for keeping her behind up rather than plopping it down automatically, and attempting to put a word to it ("stand") but it feels like she's just not getting that "stand" means keeping her butt off the ground.

I think we have a communications break down somewhere along the line, but I'm not sure how to break it down additionally to get her to understand that stand = butt in the air.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:14 PM
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Does she know "stand" as a change of position command? Can she go from down to stand or sit to stand?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:16 PM
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We spent a brief amount of time on that in obedience class- they had us sit the dog then put a hand underneath just in front of the hip and gently lift the dog up, giving the command with a little tug straight ahead on the leash at the same time, then sit and repeat. Stosh got really good at right away because he saw that it was something other than just standing around, he had to do something to get in that position.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:24 PM
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What helped Lakota "stand/stay" was doing the physical exam part, like a judge would do, our trainer had me touch her along her side/back, she usually automatically goes into sit position but stood for me.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:47 PM
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I trained Nikon a super solid stand stay (out of motion), and he doesn't even understand stand in any other context (won't stand from a sit, etc). Basically, I would heel along slowly and then stop but at the same time put food in his mouth and say "steh" (or whatever your word is) and keep going. Since he was chewing the food he didn't have a chance to sit or try anything else, and then when he was done, I was already 5+ feet away and would walk back and give more treats for staying. When first teaching it, I *always* returned to the dog, gave a final reward, and then gave a release word. Now I alternate going back and releasing and recalling. I was just playing around with this and he learned it in about 5 minutes, I was quite surprised and now he will do it in the SChH routine (even from a running pace) and never moves a foot. The trick was getting him to stop without sitting or trying something else so that's why I tried putting food right in his mouth and it worked. To fade it, I would start giving the command but take another step and reach back to give a treat, or take 3-4 quick steps away and quickly return and treat. Once he figured out not to move it only took a few days to go from nothing to me walking or running 30+ paces away.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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I've tried the method Stosh was taught in obedience class, using my hand to get her to stand up, the click and treat her for standing. She tries to step over my hand and sit back down, or will swing away from me (head where it was, butt goes around). If I keep my hand in place, making contact with her tummy, she will stay standing and I can tell her stay, either as a command or with a hand signal. But ideally I'd like her to stand without me standing her up using my hand.

I've also tried Liesje's method of stopping and immediately giving a treat, but Ronja manages to chew and sit at the same time, little multi-tasker that she is.

I've also tried teaching it as a "changing position" command, starting with her in a sit, then moving a step forward (using a food lure) to get her butt up and clicking her as soon as her back end came up. This has brought about two results - one, instead of lifting her rear end, she scoots forward. I figured I needed to increase the distance. At that point, her butt came up and I clicked, and then it went immediately back to a sit after clicking/rewarding her for standing up unless I followed with a clear stay command and/or stay hand signal.

Once I have her standing, she will stay just fine - it's getting her to stand from motion (such as heeling next to me) that is the issue.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 03:20 PM
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I taught Ike to stand (as a change of position command) using Michael Ellis's method. What you do is instead of luring the dog forward, you push into the dog and make him kick backward into the stand like this:


The nice thing about this is the luring hand gesture (hand towards the dog, right under his chin) is something you can keep and then use again when training the stand out of motion (it almost looks like what most of us do when we tell the dogs to stay, hand out facing the dog) and then gradually fade it out. If you use Michael's method, you should not have a problem with the dog drifting forward.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 03:22 PM
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I always start from a walk, gradually slowing down until the dog is just standing, avoiding any abrupt halts that may cue a sit, with a food lure in front of the nose and my other hand gently applying pressure under the belly. Then move onto having the dog move into a stand from a sit or down in order to clarify what the stand command means.

Have you tried putting your free hand under her belly in the flank area and applying light pressure there to halt her from sitting?

That can really, really help. The pressure on her underside will discourage a sit and more than anything the novelty of that touch just cues the dog that there is something different going on here, pay attention and don't just assume you should sit. Then once she's standing reliably with that, you just gradually fade out the physical touch to just a light cue in the form of hand signal, and then fade it away altogether. The "suitcase" method of wrapping a leash or something else around the belly, right in front of the back legs, and gently pulling upwards to preven a sit can work too. I've seen that done with some dogs who were really hard to break out of the rut of always wanting to sit.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 03:29 PM
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If it were me, I would teach the stand as a butt backing up sort of move. I don't want the dog coming forward on a stand stay. If they are sitting, I have the butt got up while the front legs stay stationary like in the video above. If you are trying a moving stand, go very slowly, don't walk away from the dog but rather be ready to reach under the belly and keep the butt up. Of course, mark and reward the stand.

I really work on the concept of stand quite a bit before doing a moving stand. I even do 'random stands" as I do random sits and downs while the dog is moving around loose during training.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
taught Ike to stand (as a change of position command) using Michael Ellis's method. What you do is instead of luring the dog forward, you push into the dog and make him kick backward into the stand like this.
I have NOT tried this method. I will give that a try when I get home tonight.

Quote:
Have you tried putting your free hand under her belly in the flank area and applying light pressure there to halt her from sitting?
Yes, I did try that. When I attempt that, holding the hand in place, I can sometimes get her to stand and stay standing, and sometimes I get her trying to step over or away from my hand, basically swinging away from the hand while keeping her front in place.

I may also try it with another leash or maybe something different from my hand. (I used to have a dressage whip that I used to direct/align Abby's hind end on some of the things we've worked on, but it's turned up missing in the move and I've not needed another as all my riding now is Western...)

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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