Stand and Down - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Stand and Down

Lexi is now just over 10 weeks old.

She is doing very good and is incredibly smart.

This will be the first dog I have ever trained using positive methods and luring and shaping, etc. Last dog I trained was 15 years ago and I took her to an obedience school that used a lot more of the yank and pull methods.

I have been basing a lot of my training on what I have been able to read about from Michael Ellis and from the videos on Leerburg. So far I really like his system, it seems to fit very naturally into how we want to raise / train her anyways and feels like a training method I feel comfortable with and will be likely to stick with.

My big problem is with her stand and down. While I have not decided 100%, there is a chance I might want to do some sort of competition, like Rally or something like that with her in the future, so I would like to train her in a way that works with competition and we won't have to retrain.

Here is a video where you can see how he teaches this if unfamiliar:

For this purpose Michael Ellis seems to teach down first from a stand. He does this so that they learn to go down by folding their legs in and basically going straight down without creeping down, which makes sense to me. Lexi follows my lure around in my hand well, but when I take the lure to the floor she just puts her nose to the ground and doesn't put her body down to the ground at all. I am thinking this is because she is still so small and close to the ground and thus she can reach the floor (where the treat is) without going down. So does this mean that I should just wait to teach this until she is larger and has to go to the ground to follow the lure?


Then for standing I push the treat into her, as per the video, taking advantage of spacial pressure and she doesn't care. If I push into her low (like below mouth height) she will stay seated until the treat is pushed all the way into her chest and even then just remains seated and puts her head down to try and get the treat.

If I go above her mouth and head, she will just reach up for it and follow back with her head, leading to her toppling over. No matter what treat placement I have tried (and have tried everywhere in between the two mentioned above) I get one of those two behaviors. Never once has she actually stood up when doing this.

Any ideas?

First time GSD owner with a brand new puppy - Lexi
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 01:15 AM
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I guess I'm old fashioned because I teach the stand from a sit. I have to say none of my dogs ever took a bunch of steps to get into a stand, but I didn't hold the reward so far in front of them that they needed to. I also teach down from a sit, and my dogs never did the sit and then down as a two step, they dropped. And they never had any points taken off in obedience for either. So all I can say is do what works for you.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 01:18 AM
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Stonnie Dennis has some excellent videos on luring and shaping very young puppies(in case the link doesn't work)
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 01:31 AM
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Well, since your pup is just over ten weeks old, I am glad you are using positive techniques and not yanking and cranking.

Play with your puppy. Play, play, play with your puppy. It's a baby. Nothing wrong with making a game of some obedience, but keep it light and fun. Talk to your puppy. When you see your puppy laying down, tell him, Good Down. As for the stand, I think it makes more sense to teach your dog to pay attention to your face, with a look or watch command, using treats. And when the dog makes eye contact, give the treat. Then start building some length to that. Slowly, and not just longer and longer, but this time, give it to the pup immediately, the next time wait three seconds, then give immediately, then wait 4 seconds, then wait two seconds. Build the attention span, and when you give it to him, always say, "OK, good WATCH (or LOOK)." What you are doing is teaching the release word, OK, as well as building that attention.

When you start teaching other commands, lots of people like the dog to maintain a position until released without a STAY command added. You told the dog to SIT. It should SIT until you tell him to do something else, or until you release him. Others use SIT and add STAY, and give an OK if the dog is to be released from the STAY command. What is important is consistency. Whichever. But if you teach the dog to maintain a position until released with an OK, then when you manage the STAND position, you can then use the attention command, LOOK, or WATCH to keep him standing and paying attention to you, like if the vet/groomer is going over him -- only practical reason for the STAND command. But the LOOK or WATCH, can be given to the pup when you think the pup is about to break the position, and it can give you a little more time (usually to give your release word, before you would otherwise have to correct).

But yours is a baby now. The idea of yank and crank with such a baby makes me cringe. I know you aren't but, it suggests you are concerned about getting these obedience/Rally moves down properly and at this age, it is asking a lot. Build the relationship now. He's a baby. Keep it fun.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 12:27 PM
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10 weeks is very young and they're still uncoordinated. With the down, you need to just keep your lure hand closed till they're in the down, mark it and reward. Could take two minutes while they're trying to get to the lure. You can also use some hand guidance on their hind quarters and eventually as they mature they'll repsond better to just the lure. On the stand, with gsd being longer than tall, the luring by pushing down and under the chin can end up with you puppy rolling over backwards. Pretty funny actually, but wait a few weeks and once coordination is better established, the method can work. Another method is have a wall between you and the puppy in a sit, take the lure and to the same down under the chin push. For some puppies, this works. I tried the former and we're close to having thw hind legs kick out with the lure. Im not naming it till i love it...


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
Stonnie Dennis has some excellent videos on luring and shaping very young puppies(in case the link doesn't work)
I didn't read every response and I am also on my phone so can't easily click on Dogma's Stonnie Dennis link, so it may or may not be the one I'm thinking of. A lot of his videos just show him using food to lure the puppy into the correct position, but I saw one where he uses both food and has a collar and leash on the puppy to help guide him/her into position. No yanking or cranking, just using the leash gently to help guide.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cootersotg View Post
Lexi is now just over 10 weeks old.

She is doing very good and is incredibly smart.

This will be the first dog I have ever trained using positive methods and luring and shaping, etc. Last dog I trained was 15 years ago and I took her to an obedience school that used a lot more of the yank and pull methods.

I have been basing a lot of my training on what I have been able to read about from Michael Ellis and from the videos on Leerburg. So far I really like his system, it seems to fit very naturally into how we want to raise / train her anyways and feels like a training method I feel comfortable with and will be likely to stick with.

My big problem is with her stand and down. While I have not decided 100%, there is a chance I might want to do some sort of competition, like Rally or something like that with her in the future, so I would like to train her in a way that works with competition and we won't have to retrain.

Here is a video where you can see how he teaches this if unfamiliar:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQPuJZ4spyQ

For this purpose Michael Ellis seems to teach down first from a stand. He does this so that they learn to go down by folding their legs in and basically going straight down without creeping down, which makes sense to me. Lexi follows my lure around in my hand well, but when I take the lure to the floor she just puts her nose to the ground and doesn't put her body down to the ground at all. I am thinking this is because she is still so small and close to the ground and thus she can reach the floor (where the treat is) without going down. So does this mean that I should just wait to teach this until she is larger and has to go to the ground to follow the lure?


Then for standing I push the treat into her, as per the video, taking advantage of spacial pressure and she doesn't care. If I push into her low (like below mouth height) she will stay seated until the treat is pushed all the way into her chest and even then just remains seated and puts her head down to try and get the treat.

If I go above her mouth and head, she will just reach up for it and follow back with her head, leading to her toppling over. No matter what treat placement I have tried (and have tried everywhere in between the two mentioned above) I get one of those two behaviors. Never once has she actually stood up when doing this.

Any ideas?

It's all about hand placement. I steer the puppy with their nose. My wife and I are each handling a puppy about the same age using similar methods. I'll try and get our obedience sessions video'd today for you. My wife and I use the same methods but our applications are slightly different so you can see how we do it. Oh and I always start my down with motion. I can get into why later.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the replies.

I am definitely not going to start yanking and cranking, on her, I would never do that to a pup. And I am not overly concerned about getting things today or tomorrow, I know she is a baby. But she is also super smart and is eager to learn so I want to take advantage of that. I don't want her to not learn something because of laziness on my part.

We definitely do a ton of play and I am always integrating some sort of training into the play.

I'll watch those Stonie videos and thanks mycobraracr for offering to video your sessions, I look really forward to seeing them!

First time GSD owner with a brand new puppy - Lexi
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 10:09 AM
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I didn't get the videos done. There is a potential flood situation in the towns just south of us and mandatory evacuations. So my wife and I were trying to help our friends get their animals and everything they could out. I'll try later today. Sorry.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mycobraracr View Post
I didn't get the videos done. There is a potential flood situation in the towns just south of us and mandatory evacuations. So my wife and I were trying to help our friends get their animals and everything they could out. I'll try later today. Sorry.
No problem at all, it's great that you are trying to help people...definitely more important then shooting a video

Hope everyone made it through the floods okay.

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