Staying

As a part of Buddy's education, he has to learn the Sit-Stay in a more formal manner — not just at home, but anywhere. Because he already knows the "Sit" command, teaching the Sit-Stay should go relatively quickly.

How much time you have to spend and how many repetitions it takes for each progression depend on your dog's Personality Profile (see Chapter 5). How much time do you need to spend at any given session? The rule we follow is as long as we and the dog enjoy it. You can also practice several different exercises at the same session — the Sit-Stay, the Down, Walking On Leash without pulling, and the Come. Whatever you do, there's no point advancing to the next progression until Buddy has mastered the previous one.

Here are the steps for mastering the Sit-Stay:

1. With your dog sitting at your left side, both of you facing in the same direction (called Heel position), put the rings of his training collar on top of his neck and attach the leash to the dead ring of the collar.

The Heel position is when the area from the dog's head to his shoulder is in line with your left hip, with both of you facing in the same direction.

2. Put the loop of the leash over the thumb of your left hand and fold the leash accordion-style into your hand with the part of the leash going toward the dog coming out at the bottom of your hand.

Hold your hand as close to the dog's collar as you comfortably can. The farther away from the dog's collar you hold your hand, the less control you have.

3. Apply a little upward tension on the collar — just enough to let him know the tension is there, but not enough to make him uncomfortable.

4. Say "Stay" and give the "Stay" signal — a pendulum motion with the right hand, palm facing the dog, stopping in front of the dog's nose, and then returning to your right side (check out Figure 7-1).

Keep your body as straight as you can, and don't bend over your dog. Before you step away from your dog, make sure your right hand is at your side again.

5. Take a step to the right, keeping the tension on the collar, count to ten, return to your dog's side, release tension, praise him, and release your dog, taking several steps forward.

6. Repeat, only this time step directly in front of your dog, count to ten, step back to Heel position, release tension, praise, and release.

7. With your dog in Heel position, put the rings of the training collar under your dog's chin and attach the leash to the live ring of the collar.

8. Neatly fold your leash accordion-style into your left hand, and place it against your belt buckle, allowing one foot of slack.

9. Say and signal "Stay," and then place yourself one foot in front of your dog, keeping your left hand at your belt buckle and your right hand at your side, palm open, facing your dog.

When you see that your dog's attention is drifting, there's a good chance he's about to move. You can tell your dog is thinking about moving when he starts to look around and begins to focus on something other than you. Any time you see that lack of attention, reinforce the "Stay" command by slapping the leash straight up with your right hand. Don't say anything, but smile at your dog when he's in position. Return your right hand to your side.

If your dog is thinking about moving or actually tries to move, take a step toward your dog with your right foot and, with your right hand, slap the leash straight up to a point directly above his head. Bring back your right foot and right hand to their original positions without repeating the "Stay" command. Count to 30 and pivot back to your dog's right side. Count to five, praise, and release.

Until you discover how to recognize the signs that Buddy is going to move, chances are you'll be too late in reinforcing the Stay, and he'll have moved. When that happens, without saying anything, put him back to the spot where he was supposed to stay, stand in front of him, count to ten, return to heel position, count to five, and release him. Repeat over the course of several training sessions until your dog is steady on this exercise.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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