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I started with the dog in a sit and use a flat palm of my hand in front of the dog's face as the hand signal. I flash my palm, take a step back, then step forward to the dog again and reward. Seriously, just ONE baby step at a time. If he stays for one step 5 times or so, I'll take TWO steps back. For a really antsy, wiggly dog, I'd even start without taking ANY steps, just marking and rewarding the dog for holding still for 2 seconds.

One important thing is to always go back to the dog to reward, and then release the dog. I don't like teaching stay by stepping back, and then calling the dog to me for the treat. A recall is good too, but you also want a true stay where the dog stays until released. Which brings up another point, make sure you are also training a release word. For Kenya, my release is "ok!" I know she understands it, b/c after a long stay I will say "OK!" and she literally LEAPS out of position into my arms and then runs in circles. Sometimes the release word is better than the treat!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Originally Posted By: RLWolfwhich way were you using?
haveing the dog stand at your side (like in a heal) tell him stay, turn and face him, give him a treat or two, be able to walk around him...now what the **** is that?? it may have worked for other dogs but its not here.

its just flat out disfunctional with us and im laughing right now frustrated just thinking about it
 

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It's something to work up to, but I would not expect being able to walk around a dog that doesn't even know "stay" yet. Some dogs in rally that know stay down cold still mess up if the handler has to walk around them. Once you have a good base stay, you can try walking around (and walking/jumping over).
 

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How old is your dog/pup?

And you have to start this s l o w l y so the dog knows what they are doing to get the reward. It is way better to teach initially with the treats cause a 'stay' is like a 'down' and generally neither are loved by our dogs. But a bunch of treats can make any behavior work better.

I give the command like you did, but initially I don't move. So I am not mucking up the learning with any stimulation of motion. Later, only when my dog will stay when I am not moving, and I am right with the dog, do I move. But teeny movements and close distances.

When I find I have problems in this training it's because I am not doing what my instructors are saying. I don't treat enough initially and am WAY TOO SLOW getting them out!!!!! Tons of teeny treats given out fairly fast. And only slowly increasing the time between the treats AS MY DOG IS GETTING IT. If she gets up, clearly I was treating too slowly and not enough.

I always try to figure out a method to train that sets my pup up to succeed in the training session. So that way she earns treats/praise/and toys. Rather than rushing the training, have them fail and end up with corrections, leash jerking, my frustration, and my pup shutting down and hating the training session. When I suck the fun out of learning then I know I have a big problem.

Good articles to help are:

Ways to Teach a Stay

Teaching a Stay

And remember to always stop a training session BEFORE your dog wants to. They should still be ready and eager and wanting more if you are training properly. So if this means only 30 sec sessions initially (with the pup ALWAYS ending on something they did right) then that's the length of the session.
 

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i taught my boy to stay by having him sit first. then i would take a step or so away from him and say stay at the same time. i would also wave the palm of my hand at him at the same time hoping he'll get the hand signal. i would only take a small step away from him and of course he's going to move the first few times (alot of times) all of the time. i just practiced it over and over. i like to teach in short sessions ending on a positve note. whatever it is i'm teaching i do it 3 or 4 times a day. just spending 10 minutes or so on each session. so far everything i've taught he catches on in short period of time. i mean after 4 days to a week it seems like what ever it is locks in. then i do refresher steps. i practice what we just learned and maybe star something new but always going over stuff we learned before. i teach one thing at a time. once he has it we move on. consistency, consistency and the GF ani do things the same way. when our sitter is here we show her how we do things so she can do them the same way. you have to practice whatever it is you are teaching your dog. now are you sure what your trainer is teaching is stupid or is it your not practicing with your dog?? do other people think your trainers method is stupid?? do they're dogs respond to the method that your trainer is teaching??? if so why??? oh yeah, there's alittle more to the method i teach. once my dog started to stay with the one step away i increased it to two steps and then 4 to 5 feet away. then i started going out sight. even if i had to turn a corner or duck in a door way at home this was to make him sit stay whwn he doesn't see me. then i started to add distractions. i would make him sit and have people call him. when he moved i would just go back to him and put in him reposition him and say "no, stay". i said , "no ,stay" because that was my correction for him moving. so once he got the stay with someone calling him or offerring him treats i moved on. now i would have someone walk up to him, pet him, offer him treats and pick up his leash and give it a pull. we're at this stage now. he's just starting not to move when you pick up his leash. actually tonight he didn't move when my neighbor was pulling on his leash and offering him treats. in another few days he should have it.
 

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The way I teach a stay makes the dog think about what they're doing and what exactly it is that I want.

I take a handful of treats in my right hand. My dog is sitting at my left, with my left hand in his collar. I reach out and put the treats on the floor a foot or two in front of the dog.

Of course, most dogs are going to think "free food!" and they'll try to get up and get to it. I just crouch there quietly, holding his collar so he can't go forward, and gently placing him back into the sit (not saying sit again - I'd already said it initially and I'm not going to teach him sit-sit-sit-sit!).

When struggling to get to the food doesn't work, the dogs stop struggling and they stop and think about what WILL work. At that point the dog usually hesitates in a sitting position for a second, and that's when I say "YES!!!" and I reach forward and quickly bring a treat to the dog's mouth.

If the dog stays in a sit, I'll continue to praise and bring treats to his mouth. If his butt gets up off the ground, I immediately shut up and just hold his collar so he can't move forward. I left him struggle. I let him get frustrated. What I want is for him to THINK that what he's doing isn't working, and when he finally sits back again I immediately mark that with another "YES!!" and reach forward to quickly bring treats to his mouth.

When the treats are gone, you casually say "all done" or "okay" or whatever your release word is, and you let him get up and sniff around for the treats that are now gone. After a few minutes, you take another small handful of treats, have him sit beside you, and put the treats out again. You'll almost always find that the dog is much more responsive to sitting that second time through, and some dogs have their butts so glued to the floor that you end up praising and giving ALL the treats (one by one) because the dog never moved.

This is actually a very fast way to teach a stay, because the dog has to figure out what he needs to do in order to get the treats, and dogs are pretty quick to do that when the reward is something they like. Sitting still is a very easy behavior to have to do for a treat!

On the handler's side, the big responsibility is to never ever EVER let the dog get to the treats you've put on the floor. If you do that - if the dog is able to lunge forward and grab treats - then you're going to have a much harder time getting him to figure out that staying is what's wanted. So you have to be on the ball and paying attention.

Once he will sit solid for the time it takes to feed him several treats from the floor, you can start putting the treats out an additional step, so you have to lean out or step toward the treat before you can give him one. Everything else is the same, though - it's just the distance between dog and treats that has increased. This is where some dogs find they can jump up and get to the treats before you do - so you may have to be prepared to suddenly step on the treats to prevent your dog from getting to them.

There's no scolding or corrections during this training, because the dog is never doing anything wrong. It's simply set up to where the dog only gets the treats when he does the behavior you want, which is staying in one spot.

My three year old chow is now in training for open obedience and is doing three and five minute stays with the handlers all out of sight, and so far she is holding them beautifully. She was taught her stays initially with the food on the floor and had to think and use her mind to understand the concept of "do not move from this position!". It's really a great way to make the dog understand, instead of just waving your hand in front of the dog's face and standing directly in front of them blocking the view. That was the way I used to train and this type of training works much more quickly and with much better results.

Of course, you gradually wean off the food on the floor and use treats from your pockets or a table or chair instead, but you do continue to reward for longer and longer stays. You may add in some correction for a broken stay later down the line, but even that is mild - a simple "eht, that's not it!" while you take them back to their spot. We also do a lot of having others take the dogs back to their spots since the out-of-sight stays means that strangers will be in the ring and if the dogs think that anyone can put them back in position, they're not as likely to break a stay.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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i know your method. i just didn't like the part of not letting them get the treat. i thought it was to much distraction. when i wave my hand at him it's the hand signal to stay. so now i've taught him to stay verbally and the hand signal. so now i can either say sit-stay or i give him the hand signal and he stays and i mean really stays. i have people come up to him with their dogs and he stays. or i have peoople walk up to him and offer him treats and he stays. i think it's pretty solid. the last couple of days i people come up to him and offer him treats to see if he'll move and then pick up his leash and give it a tug and i mean a firm tug. doesn't move. i also don't treat on every move or step of training. i ask him to do something and i verbally praise then throw in the treat every now and then. when i taught him "leave it" i would put down a treat and ask him to get it. then i would have him go to the treat and i would say "leave it". now no matter where we are if he runs across something that he likes i just say "leave it" and so he does. i also use hand signals for sit, lay down and come and so far they work just fine. i think the different in our methods is i'm cutting out some distractions from the begining. i add in the distractions later on. when i step away they are going to follow you. that's distraction enough. oh yeah, when i teach them to stay i lead off with my left for them to follow and i lead off with my right leg for them to stay. so i can step away with my right leg leading and he without any verbal commands. when i lead off with my left leg he follows in a heel position. this is easy to teach. it's all easy with a Shep. you see i don't put the treats in front of them and ask them to stay. you're setting them up for failure. i'm not training him not to go for the treats, i'm training him to stay. so now i've taught him to stay verbally, with a hand signal or with a leg lead. so that's three in one without holding him back fromthe treats. beleive it works or at least it worked on my dog. i can send you a video if you don't beleive. also i never raise my voice or do anything harsh with my hands. it's called soft hands, spoken word. perhaps you're familiar with this method of training. if not once i finish writing the book i'll send you a copy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Originally Posted By: doggiedad now are you sure what your trainer is teaching is stupid or is it your not practicing with your dog?? do other people think your trainers method is stupid?? do they're dogs respond to the method that your trainer is teaching??? if so why???
so far none of the dogs in the class have succeeded with this method. i guess i shouldnt say its stupid, just confuseing and frustrating
 

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today was our 5th class..im walking out with less confidence then i had when i walked in. judgeing by tyson's body language after so long i get the feeling he is bored with it. maybe not i dont know. anyway we only have 3 more classes to go and im not going to drop out. i get this weird uncomfortable feeling when i am there because i know my trainer doesnt like shepherds..i dont know why, i never really asked, but it seems she expects aggression from him or something...really ticks me off to tell u the truth, the funny thinkg is, he is probably the best in the class as far as knowing his commands.. i could go on and on about how she goes about her body language and comments towards him but im not...i also get this vibe that she doesnt like it that i know more about my dogs breed than she does and she's a vet...hehe anyway i think that once our classes are over i may be attempting to join a shutzhund club..tyson's got tons of drive so i would like to put it to some use, i would also like to test his temperment out (he's a BYB, fingers crossed) and just see who he really is..plus its an exciteing sport and i would like to see how he would do, and im sure he would like to be able to bite and not be told "NO BITE!!" lol
 

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Ich2, I LOVE when people think

Quote: but it seems she expects aggression from him or something...really ticks me off to tell u the truth, the funny thinkg is, he is probably the best in the class as far as knowing his commands..
cause those are exactly the people I get a kick out of showing how wrong they are! I socialize and train all my dogs so everyone loves them and they know they are well behaved and trainable! Proving people wrong is a wonderful challenge I look forward to meeting with my GSD's every day.

Many times in class I've found just changing my point of view on the issue makes all the difference in the world. If I like class, want to go to class, am there ready and willing to learn with a great dog, it seems like we have a wonderful time and it all goes well.

That said, not all trainers/classes are the same. So if I do truly have an issue with an method (I no longer am with the 'no treats you will do it cause I tell you) then I know to find out about that and choose another set of classes that fit my needs. But that doesn't mean I never go back to classes, I just shop around to find one my dog and I have fun and learn in.
 

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Sounds like you got a bad trainer, I agree a dog should NEVER be called out of a stay or it wont be very effective i use the word Wait with a flat plam wave hand signal when i want them to stay for a min and then let them come with me like when i go through doors, let them out of crate, car ect...
Stay takes a little bit of time to learn when teaching its a great idea to keep it short at first and always increase the time before you increase the distance, another good idea is to not only give a release word but to touch them to release them, my dogs know they can not move untill i touch them and say "free time" which is there release command, saying it alone is not enough it seems to be working out great
my little 3 month GSD has been doing wonderful with his stays hes up to a 2 min stay and i can walk a full circle around him and step over him But hey thats how quick the GSD's can learn what a great breed, Good luck with your stays and Def find a different trainer you should ask for a refund, I cant believe any trainer could dislike one of the most trainable breeds Good luck
 

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Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeIch2, I LOVE when people think

Quote: but it seems she expects aggression from him or something...really ticks me off to tell u the truth, the funny thinkg is, he is probably the best in the class as far as knowing his commands..
I get a kick out of showing how wrong they are! I socialize and train all my dogs so everyone loves them and they know they are well behaved and trainable! Proving people wrong is a wonderful challenge I look forward to meeting with my GSD's every day.
ha me too..i love it when we go to the vet or a pet friendly store. people just kind of stare and become nervous when we pass by. its like they expect the dog to go nuts. the funny thing is, is that its usually there little minny dog that is going nuts. i went to class early yesterday planning on hanging out outside of the facility and let tyson go potty and enjoy the nice weather. we couldnt tho because she had the puppies outside for playtime. we sat in the truck until they left. i walked in and the trainer says "i heard him barking out there"...uh...no. she says "i heard a shepherd bark"...no that was the dog across the street that barks at everyone and everything that goes by. its like she thinks he's aggressive towards everything and he has NEVER barked at another dog unless he was playing with one...
 

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This is a great subject!

I was wondering about the release command. So is it suffice to say that using "come" as a release word is bad because they should only be released after you return to them? That makes sense, but I hadn't thought about it before now.
 

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Originally Posted By: BellababyThis is a great subject!

I was wondering about the release command. So is it suffice to say that using "come" as a release word is bad because they should only be released after you return to them? That makes sense, but I hadn't thought about it before now.
Right - if you use "come" as your release, your dog is anticipating "running" to you as soon as he's released. This makes it harder for the dog to stay and wait. He needs a different release command, and you should walk up to him/her and release him. I use "ok" as a release for everything I ask him to do. (I don't use a separate "stay" command.) If I say "sit", that means sit until I say OK. If I say down, or place (go lay on your bed), that means down or place til I say OK. I hope I'm making sense...

Kodee is 10 mos old, and he does not "sit" or "down" indefinitely at this point. We've built up to about 5-6 minutes of down, and we've been working on this for months. It's a long process, so be patient. His sit isn't as good as his down yet. My fault b/c I figure if I'm gonna have him stay for any length of time, a down is more comfy for him than a sit, and it's easier for him to hold.
 

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What KodeeGirl said. With additional food for thought-what command word do you use (or plan to use) for your recall. I use both come and front for recall depending on the circumstances.

You want your release word to be something you will not use in other situations or normal conversation. I use break for Kayla's release word. Free is another word many folks use for the release.
 

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i have the dog on my left side sittiing. i give the hand signal for stay and i take this long step leading off with my right leg. i'm also holding him back some with my left hand. now i'm saying stay and giving the hand signal all at the same time while leading off with my right leg. i do this over and over maybe 3 or 4 times and that's enough for that session. i keep the sessions short but we do them 3 to 5 times a day. so by saying stay, giving the hand signal and leading off with your right leg you've taught your dog 3 commands for stay. once he or she gets it start adding in the distractions. people calling your dog, have someone walk by with their dog and call your dog, have your dog stay and have someone pick up the leash and give them a little tug. do this with you there and with you not in sight. if you're confident in your trainer find another one. do the other people in your class feel confidant about your trainer??? don't waste time with this trainer. sometime ago didn't you post this same thing???
 
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