Suka won't stay

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Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 10:03am PST 
Suka is now 9 months old, and we are in a beginner obedience class at our local dog club. Anyways, last week we were assigned to work on our sit stays (one step to the right, left and in front of them). Suka not stay if I move in front of her and sometimes moves I step to the right and left. I've tried the whole collar behind the ears thing and it freaks her out. She jumps up and tried to pull away. Any tips on how to work on her sit stays?

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 10:30am PST 
Don't correct her when you're trying to teach a behavior. She doesn't know how to stay, so it's not fair to correct her when she does not stay. Not only will this NOT help her learn, but she will not look forward to training. Teach her how.

Grab some really yummy treats, take her to a distraction-free environment, and have her sit. Don't move back or to the side, just say "stay" and if she doesn't move, say "yes!" and reward her with yummy food. Do this a couple times so she gets the idea. After a few reps, give her a break then try again later. Try adding a second or so to the "stay", and only reward when she gets it right. Don't punish or anything if she gets it wrong. Have a couple short sessions of this every day. After a few days, providing she gets the idea, you can start adding VERY tiny steps back, left, or right. If she breaks the stay, keep cheerful and just try again. Reward her when she gets it right, and slowly work your way up. You can also add a release cue if you like.

When she has pretty reliable stays in distraction-free environments, you can begin working on it with distractions around. Same process as you started with.

Edited by author Tue Dec 18, '12 10:31am PST


The Monster
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 12:33pm PST 
Will she stay when you're standing beside her in heel position? That's where you start. Stand there, say "stay" and give your hand signal, DON'T GO ANYWHERE, mark with a yes, reward and RELEASE. (People often try to move too fast, and forget to end the exercise with their pup.)

Once you've gotten 3-5 successful repetitions where you say stay without leaving your dog, move on to the next step. Stand there, say "stay" and give your hand signal, point your toe forward then back to where it originally was, mark with a yes, reward then release. If you're successful with that 3-5 times in a row, move to the next step where you place more weight on the foot you're stepping away with, then back, reward and release. Again, once you're successful in that, take a full step forward then back to heel position, mark, reward and release.

If the pup gets up feel free to give a little "whoops" or a "nope" BUT make sure it's cheerful and not intimidating. Place the pup back and start over at a step where you were successful.

Don't overdo stay exercises. Don't work for more than about 1 minute at a time, if possible, especially at this age.

Most people try moving away too soon, too far and too fast. Then when they try to correct it they discourage, demotivate and intimidate their dog. Keep in mind that it's your responsibility to set your pup up for success, and your fault for moving too quickly if you see repeated failures.

Hucky and- Ringo

Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 12:34pm PST 
I agree with Farely,don't move from side to side until she gets what stay means. It was so easy teaching Huck & Ringo. Have treats on hand, make Suka sit, with the palm of your hand in front of her face, tell her to stay. This way she's learning hand signals also. Wait a few seconds, as long as she stays, tell her good girl and give her a treat. Keep doing this and extend the stay time longer and longer. All I have to do with my boys is show them the palm of my hand over their heads and they sit and then move the palm of my hand in front of their face and they stay until they get the release signal. I could leave the room and come back and they'll still be sitting where I left them.

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 1:42pm PST 
Farley's method is exactly how Moose was taught "stay". Baby steps with this and really, there isn't any reason to correct her.

Using the word "yes" seemed to spark Moose's understanding of what I was asking of him.
This last OB class we took, I finally got used to saying "yes" when I was training Moose and man oh man did he catch on. Our "leave it" is incredible right now. Not perfect, but until I captured the behavior I wanted by using "yes" (or a clicker), we weren't making this kind of progress.

Your dog will catch on, but slow down. When teaching Moose "stay" I just stood in front of him without stepping back or to the side and just increased the time, not the distance.

Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 8:22pm PST 
We had a class today and it wa alot better. Her down stays are great just her sit stays. I went to class a few minutes before it began and practiced it. She sits and stays fine in a heel positron but not for a very long time. So I tried just every once in a while if she is sitting nicely and staying, I'll give her a treat and say "yes". And I've been using that word since we started training when I first got her and now she will look back or look at me if I say it for a treat. So she must get what it means for the most part. Her stays by my side is goimg good but slow moving, which is fine. I talked to my instructor and she said I can just work on her staying by my side instead of working on moving around, until she gets it. She expects by the beginning on January, she should be sitting and staying perfectly and I can walk around her.

Barked: Thu Dec 20, '12 1:36pm PST 
Have you considered clicker training? I think you should look into it it has proven to be an AWESOME training tool when teaching my pit bull all her tricks (shutting doors, getting drinks from fridge, etc) -and I actually used it when teaching her the prolonged sit-stays. It got to the point where I could actually have her sit in front of the open front door, walk down the stairs outside my apartment, across the parking lot, around the corner- then come back and she wouldn'tve budged.

I would go through in detail what clicker training does- but google is your friend and you could get a much better grasp there.
The short and sweet version- its a small metal/plastic handheld square that you press down and it makes a "click" noise.
In the beginning all you do is have him sit in front of you with his focus on the treats, and then you sit there and repeatedly click the clicker and then instantly give him a treat. This is called "Loading" - to make him grasp the concept of the clicking sound)
Once he starts to look at you expectantly when he hears the clicking noise- you know you've gotten the point across.
Then comes the training.
Have him Sit. The second his butt hits the floor click and reward. The thing about clicker training is timing- so make sure you don't click before or after he sits down.
Then give him the Sit-stay command. Click for even one or two seconds of remaining seated and give him a treat. Do this multiple times in a grow, gradually increasing the amount of time between giving the command "stay" and clicking the clicker. If he begins to break his sit-stays too early, you are moving too fast. Some dogs learn slower than others so be patient. What you will find though, is that with the help of the clicker (which is much more precise at marking wanted behaviors from your dogs and getting that concept across to him) he will start to grasp concepts much more quickly.

Like I said, google "clicker training" on google and read a few posts. I am a huge fan of clicker training and think everyone who is working with their dog should consider looking into it.

~Hyper yet as- smart as can be~-
Barked: Sun Dec 23, '12 7:07pm PST 
I taught my dog stay by putting her in a sit or lay down and then backing up a few feet and putting a treat on the ground. If I can stand up and step away from the treat without her moving to get it, I say 'okay.' and let her get the treat.

If she follows me while I'm moving back, I give a firm 'no' and use my body to push her back to her starting place and then tell her to sit/lay down again. I then would repeat until I could get to the point where I put the treat on the ground. This is where it gets tricky. You need to be ready to grab the treat when your dog moves to get it off the ground. The second she moves, grab the treat, say 'no' and push her back to her starting place again and repeat.

Start off slow. Tell her stay, take one step back, and put the treat in front of you. If she moves, start over. Eventually, you should be able to move into another room and return with your dog still right where you left her.

Note: You need to have a release for the stay command. I use 'okay' but you can use anything you'd like. It could be 'chicken!' for all I care. Just make sure you use one so your dog will know when she can get up.

Good luck!
Charlie- Brown Cocoa- Puffs

Barked: Sun Dec 23, '12 7:30pm PST 
so, maybe i've been lucky through the years. what i don't get is why its gonna take so long to teach her to stay. i taught charlie stand and stay, sit and stay and down and stay in about 10 minutes for each time. of course there had to b reminders and more practice. however, its a really simple process. although, applying it is always different with each dog and person. here's an example of what i did with each of those commands. this is of course at the very beginning of training. way b4 any off leash work. i use a 50 ft. leash. i braid the leash so it will come unbraided once charlie is sent out while playing fetch (i don't use retractable leashes and i definately don't advise using those for training). Anyway, after playing and training i have to rebraid the lead. so i would have charlie stay in whatever position i had put him in while i was braiding it. so, in otherwords i gave him a job(holding the other end of the leash) wich helped to keep him focused on the task at hand. clickers can easily be used with this process. except its kinda hard to click while braiding. lol. with most dogs, except for the occasional time u may need to grab the leash there is no reason you should even have to make contact(or push ur dog with your body) then it becomes a dominance struggle where there was none to begin with. although, every dog and every person is different. i just wanted to give you an idea that may help from what i have done that works, sounds like he's doing good in his class. so, good job there !