sit stay problem I encountered with Mitsu prompted the
idea for this article. When I started training Reo, my
second obedience dog, Mitsu was very upset and started
breaking her sit stays. I guess what was going through
Mitsuís mind was, "itís bad enough she brings
home this dog, now I have to share everything with
it." Although I continued to work with Mitsu and give
her lots of attention, she became insecure.
was doing a beautiful job with all of the open exercises,
and then she would lie down on her sit stay.
corrected her for breaking the sit, and this made the
problem even worse--she would do down as soon as I was out
put it down to insecurity but Iím not so sure Mitsu
wasnít saying, "itís payback time, I just blew
that high in trial. Thatís what she gets for bringing
another dog home."
am I going to do? Out of sight stays are hard to fix.
Mitsu at this time was only 5 years old, and enjoyed
working. I racked my brain, and talked to trainers. Lucky
for me positive reinforcement was a training technique
fast becoming popular.
this time Reo could do a sit stay. By gosh, I think we
have a game plan here. Put the two dogs in a sit stay,
leave the room for 10 seconds, come back, feed and use
quiet verbal praise "good sit". Repeat the
exercise, and gradually start to build time. Do this
exercise once or twice a day, 4 to 5 times a week. This
method proved to be successful for Mitsu. After about 3 to
4 weeks she had a nice solid sit stay.
time this takes depends on the dogs progress. Anywhere
from a few weeks to months. Strive for a successful stay,
not a long one! A one minute successful stay is better
than a three minute broken stay. Once we have a good solid
sit stay at hoe, we are ready to repeat this whole
procedure in a class situation. Just because we are up to
a successful three minute out of sight stay in the quiet
of our home, doesnít mean the dog can do it with class
distractions. So start right back to 10 seconds and build
up the time.
of sight stays are hard to fix, and lots of dogs get
separation anxiety. By returning often and praising or
feeding, the dogs soon learn we will come back to them.
reinforcement can be used on just about any exercise. Use
voice, gentle touching or food.
of us are guilty of not giving our dogs enough praise. If
they are doing a good job we take it for granted, but we
are quick to correct, and let them know when they are
still believe we must use corrections in dog obedience,
but not until the dog understands the exercise fully, and
not when signs of stress are present. We must learn to
take away the stress so that they in turn can learn. This
takes a lot of patience and understanding by the owner.
your training sessions remember to take a few minutes to
play with your dogs. This will make the training session
much more enjoyable for the dogs.
SURE TO LET YOUR DOG KNOW WHEN HE OR SHE IS DOING A GOOD