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Discussion Starter #1
The way I trained Joe is to use one command and not add "stay", he holds the position without the second command. So for a down I just say down (platz actually) and that's it. I can walk away get a beer, throw a steak on the grill etc till released he holds the position, same with sit. A lot of trainers insist on using the extra "stay" command and hand signal, what is the rationality of using 2 commands + body language (sit/stay + hand motion, down/stay + hand motion) when 1 verbal command is all that is needed?
 

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The main reason is so the dog knows that he can relax while you are away and he will not have to do anything until you return to heel position. If you don't give the stay command, he will be asked to do something else from that position and needs to continue to pay attention. This is especially important if your dog knows hand signals and doesn't move thinking that twitch you made while scratching your nose wasn't a sit or recall command.
 

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Originally Posted By: ElaineThe main reason is so the dog knows that he can relax while you are away and he will not have to do anything until you return to heel position.
But the same is accomplished without the second (stay) command, we do it every day!
 

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I use it b/c initially I am more concerned with a speedy response to a sit or platz command, and the dog having a correct position, than I am with the dog holding the command for extended periods of time. I use stay and wait, but my adult who I trial with has no problems doing automatic stays with her sit, platz, or halt (my command for a stand out of motion).
 

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That's what's required in SchH, where there is no use of Stay.

I doubt there is any need for stay, if OB is solid enough. AKC OB uses a stay, most pet owners use one, but it's simply not needed if OB is to the point where the dog won't break unless
released.

Hand signals are also not used in SchH, are considered handler help and cost points in trial. While they are useful because dogs read body language better than words, and they provide both a remote and silent command structure, they are not allowed in SchH.

So depending upon what your goals are, use them or not, there is no right or wrong about it, and you can do both. When my pup was young, we did stay & hand signals. After we started up in SchH,
I used German words to help me stop using hand signals and stay. The dog learned the difference, probably quicker than I did!

For consistency sake, had I known we were going to do SchH, I might have done it differently, but I am not sorry he now knows what stay or hand signals mean and yet also knows Sitz and Plotz
means until he hears something else.
 

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Hand signals are also handy if the dog happens to either become "hard of hearing" or totally deaf as it ages. (And I am NOT talking about "selective" hearing loss.
)

Just because the dog LEARNS it, doesn't mean you HAVE to use it in a trial.
 

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The way I taught Cookie, she has to follow me if I start to walk away after I tell her to sit or down or whatever, so I use stay to let her know to stay put.
 

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I used it because the sit is supposed to be automatic at heel and they are supposed to resume heeling when you move. A stay tells the dog it is a different pattern.
 
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