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Thread: How do YOU teach stand for exam?

  1. #1

    Default How do YOU teach stand for exam?

    Currently this is the hardest thing for us, due to her tendency to back away and/or bark(or growl) at strangers approaching. It is progress, considering she is a former bolter at even a light breeze. This is for us to just move to the advanced class in our obedience class, it's currently holding us back.
    While I don't ever intend to compete with her formally (I've thought about rally-o), I would really like to pass the lifetime membership test at this school which i believe has similar strict requirements.

    She mostly knows the command. I can get her into a stand from either a sit or drop and also while heeling I can put her into a stand provided I move a little bit slowly while she obeys. *I* can feel her all over (teeth, ears etc) and gently push or throw toys/treats/do jumping jacks around her and she'll stay in position. I've been doing things like sweeping around her and touching her with odd objects. I'm hoping to set up old coke cans hanging from string from the garage roof for more distraction work (sit, heel, stand, drop...anything really. I am attempting to teach her to be mostly bomb proof to surprise movement and sound).

    All of this goes out the window when a person (without a dog) is walking directly (or she perceives as directly) towards us outdoors. She'll hold it maybe 90% of the time with a drop, 70% with a sit and probably like 25% with a stand. I say outdoors because in the pet store we practice at she is more likely to hold her position and pretend like the person is not there. Same with the vet, where her stand is more 100%!. Which I reward heavily and she slowly relaxes when nothing "happens".

    Currently at end of classes I ask either the trainer or the trainee trainers if they can do a couple of rounds of walking by her increasingly closely in various positions. They do similar in class but not as close. It's not something I can really practice outside of obedience since i think it'd be a bit of a liability.

    So guess I am at a loss, to keep practising in our weekly class (when public holidays are not in the way...) and proofing with odd objects at home or if there is something else I can help her to "switch off" and not over think her fears.

  2. #2
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    This is part of the temperament testing of dogs, that show/compete. Your dog, fails this test. Harsh n simple. It prevents these dogs winning, and going on to be bred from. So its kinda useful, unless you are the one with the tetchy dog. and ive had a few in my time too. weak nerved dogs, that are great and will allow me to do anything, but a judge? a stranger? Nope!

    It sounds like you've got your head on, and have been counter training, feeding whilst being touched.
    Repetition, repetition and some more, you guessed it, reps. Is where i would go with this.
    AND

    when a person walks directly to a dog, and not coming in from the side, it is perceived as a threat. Arches, are a dog gait/body language that is a calming signal. Not just by your dog, but by dogs in general. Its rude!
    then most folks will touch the head and stroke along the back. Dogs perceive a touch over the shoulder area, as a dominant behaviour, another threat.
    So take it back to beginning, and build a more solid foundation, by having dog approached, from angles gradually increasing to 45 degrees, gradually build up to a direct front approach. Like right back to the beginning, and retrain, sounds like you've missed some steps? Because the dog is so advanced in understanding your communication by now, going back and starting again progression is not as slow as first time around. So not as much effort/time as it sounds in my experience.

    A dog holding a stand 90% of the time, is fantastic training outcome for this particular dog. You should pat yourself on the back first.
    Then, perhaps this dog needs the anti upping. Its stuck perhaps. Because you are.
    So what are the consequences for not obeying stand?
    what are the consequences for obeying the stand?

    How does the dog respond to correction? does it collapse n go all silly? Or does it step up to the plate? even temporarily?
    are you willing to apply correction? at the right level for your dog of course.

    Dogs are very individual. and solutions are equally so i think.

    Re: not something i can practice outside of obedience. What about walking dog in high traffic (pedestrians) times of day at local park. And train there? At bus and train stations? People coming from footpaths, so always, direct front on approach, unless you move off trail, to 45 degree angle to walkers, and then gradually build to sitting on path, facing on comer.

    Pet stores you can take your dog to, will often willing help with people training. Be your helper. Train in store.
    Providing your dog is not going to bite/attack/threaten, and just simply 'move a bit', its easy to consent to.

    Sounds like your trainers at club, are willing to help.
    Get any relatives you can round up, to practice with, have them over and touch dog, visit with dog their house, and have them repeat
    take dog to a cafe, people just love to pet dogs at cafe's
    grooming palour, they are generally great with these dogs. Start with home groomer, ie. 1 person, low stimulus environ. Then palour, a few people and dogs, and noisy high stimulus environment
    Plenty of other places to train this, just need to get asky and creative

  3. #3
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    If she's good in the pet store, could you get her closer and closer to the door and then start opening the door eventually? Not sure where to go from there, but it may be a first step to get over that indoor/outdoor barrier?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    This is part of the temperament testing of dogs, that show/compete. Your dog, fails this test. Harsh n simple. It prevents these dogs winning, and going on to be bred from. So its kinda useful, unless you are the one with the tetchy dog. and ive had a few in my time too. weak nerved dogs, that are great and will allow me to do anything, but a judge? a stranger? Nope!
    I like it as a temperament test! She is neither show or competing, simply a pet who lives in the city so even with her genes or upbringing going against her I want to set her up to be as top to the game as we can be. Even if it means reinforcing it for the rest of her life.

    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    when a person walks directly to a dog, and not coming in from the side, it is perceived as a threat. Arches, are a dog gait/body language that is a calming signal. Not just by your dog, but by dogs in general. Its rude!
    then most folks will touch the head and stroke along the back. Dogs perceive a touch over the shoulder area, as a dominant behaviour, another threat.
    So take it back to beginning, and build a more solid foundation, by having dog approached, from angles gradually increasing to 45 degrees, gradually build up to a direct front approach. Like right back to the beginning, and retrain, sounds like you've missed some steps? Because the dog is so advanced in understanding your communication by now, going back and starting again progression is not as slow as first time around. So not as much effort/time as it sounds in my experience.
    We might have missed some official steps, as trainers get switched so we don't get too complacent but it does mean sometimes we do things backwards. Also, because of her issues, I suspect we have higher standard to meet to go to the next level versus those with dogs naturally inclined to want to be touched or look forward to an approach. So I'm kind of making it up as I go as technically we don't learn things like stand with distraction until advanced. So I'm going off forum posts and youtube videos the advanced trainer did provide a couple when i asked, which i think is a lot like you said - just walking up and running hand down back. but for exam i would have thought more hands on? confusing wording.

    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Then, perhaps this dog needs the anti upping. Its stuck perhaps. Because you are.
    So what are the consequences for not obeying stand?
    what are the consequences for obeying the stand?
    What is anti-upping?
    The consequences for not obeying a stand is...mostly no treats/no praise and a I don't know how to describe it, it is a "try again/no treat" sound an "ah". Not really a correction, not really a no-reward marker. I guess more of a "don't do what you're doing right now" but who knows how she perceives it. She will also be guided back into position. About 15 seconds later I'll praise her for holding it again.

    Consequences for obeying are verbal praise, attention/pats (from me) or a treat/food. Her toy-drive is so-so when people are about.

    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    How does the dog respond to correction? does it collapse n go all silly? Or does it step up to the plate? even temporarily?
    are you willing to apply correction? at the right level for your dog of course.
    It depends. I am very light and few on my corrections, especially when the cause is a person or dog as I don't want to inadvertently increase her negative associations with them and my timing isn't so great. We do lots of trust building outside of this, with rewards for sniffing people and looking at them. She response pretty promptly to the "ah" noise and I tend to keep the corrections to when she's completely lost the plot (i.e. playing up and wanting to go chase a dog offlead in the distance) versus moving her feet or moving out of position. I could probably count that kind of correction on one hand, it used to be even a stern voice would have her pee everywhere but I practiced random voice levels until she realised it doesn't mean anything bad. I stomp around and stuff like that too, because heavy steps are worrying XD I must look a sight.
    I do not correct at all if she's freaking out/panicking, or reward. Simply remove the cause or ourselves and calm her down with some easy tricks. This doesn't happen so much anymore though.


    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Re: not something i can practice outside of obedience. What about walking dog in high traffic (pedestrians) times of day at local park. And train there? At bus and train stations? People coming from footpaths, so always, direct front on approach, unless you move off trail, to 45 degree angle to walkers, and then gradually build to sitting on path, facing on comer.
    I think we can do this somewhere. There was a monthly petsmarket that opened up here recently that I will be going to often, it was much busier than she is used to so she worried a lot but loosened up towards the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Pet stores you can take your dog to, will often willing help with people training. Be your helper. Train in store.
    Providing your dog is not going to bite/attack/threaten, and just simply 'move a bit', its easy to consent to.
    I have 4 pet stores I rotate inbetween (in order of business: best friends, petbarn, a pet warehouse type and an rspca pet warehouse), with the staff at all of them aware of her. Some are busier than others but she's pretty good in them. Probably because it's where we practice the most. I wouldn't say she's excited but she knows what to do and how to behave.


    Thanks for all the other suggestions too, I will keep trying. I have definitely missed some steps - mostly around having people walk in at an angle then slowly direct on. I am hoping one day, a 90% proofed stand! At a distance! I don't know what the lifetime membership requirements are but it is probably things like that. If she gets her lifetime membership, I get lifetime free training for her including, I think, solo behaviourist in case of the event of another dog attack or disaster that sets her back. And i think she might be a lifetime work in progress!

    I realise my posts make her sound bad, but she is really much better than she was and looks a lot like a normal aloof dog. It is just this sticking point of strangers. A very embedded and habit-type fear for whatever reason.
    Last edited by ThistleTheDog; 03-20-2016 at 07:38 AM.

  5. #5
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    I started with a slightly different problem - well two actually.

    1. evil hound likes to greet everyone and would leave the stand to go say hello (without permission), and schmooze whomever was approaching.

    2. difficulty in training helpers to approach towards her shoulder, not directly from the front (or worse - the back) and give her a quick pat.

    I don't think thistledog will have a problem with either of these but the way you fix them is similar...

    there's a threshold distance at which the dog starts to get distracted (either scared or schmooze, doesn't matter a lot when they're supposed to stay still)... pay attention to where this threshold is.

    Have someone come in from the forty five from the front ie not front on but at an angle towards her shoulder... while you feed the best treats as fast as you can (but one tiny bit of chicken or cheese at a time).

    The second she gets distracted - stop feeding but also that's the signal for helper to change direction away from the dog, that's your threshold (for that person - a new person or place or day - the threshold will be different).

    Get helper to repeat a couple more times and turn at the same spot or maybe a step closer or a step further out. On average - you want them to be moving closer... but not every time they approach.

    Then get the helper to move away and sit down maybe, have a break and a play with your dog.

    While they are sitting down, how close can you get with your dog and practice a stand? Move away a bit and get helper to stand up but not approach. And sit down again - will your dog still pay attention or does she get distracted?

    So if you can start with different people she likes to have pat her instead of strangers - she will get the idea of what the task is... ie stand still while someone runs a hand down my back etc... and work with strangers at a greater distance - just to get her used to the idea of that.

    And when it's just you available - no helpers...

    can your dog hold a stand while you run towards her shoulder and give her a pat? - ie this is proofing the stay. Can she hold her stand-stay while you run past from behind (try to get a quick pat in)... while you run past making noise (singing a song?) while you wave a favourite toy, or throw a ball by, or with an open bowl of food (if she holds the stay - she gets some food out of the bowl...).

    So the three things in combination should work to get a very solid stand and then eventually enough tolerance of strangers... to allow a pat.

    Will she take treats from strangers (eventually) cos maybe a treat for holding the stand would be better than a pat - to start with.

    You want to remove the pressure (have the stranger walk away calmly and slowly) way before she gets stressed enough to think about lip lifting, growling or attacking. The key sign of stress / distraction in my dog - is she stops eating the chicken...

  6. #6
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    I solved this problem with my newfie , who was a rescue and very people and dog aggressive.... hers was fear aggression

    Went through all the stuff.... found the solution by allowing people, strangers from the kennel club, to treat her with her fave food. Started with sit exam and just meet and greet and progressed. I would initially stand almost right on top of her feeding her until the person had examined her and after that , release her and allow them to feed her. She has turned into the kennel club social butterfly
    Pets are forever

  7. #7

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    Dunno if this one will ever be a social butterfly but as long as she isn't as worried and is capable of being calm around strangers, I am not fussed. I suspect she's a bit of a "one person" dog, she is pretty aloof even with those she likes. Not that it stops her from hassling them for treats or a pat, but there's a purposeful distance in it.

    We do try to encourage accepting commands from a few poeple. If only because they're the secondary contacts for a disaster :s

  8. #8

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    woops double post
    Last edited by ThistleTheDog; 08-21-2016 at 02:33 PM.

  9. #9

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    Long waited update on this.

    But after much patience, some backwards steps, putting the "can't do that" foot down with some trainers (they rotate around) and listening to others, and practice outside of class with various store members and a whole lot of cheese, and working on her balance and also teaching her to rest her head in my hand*...today...we did a proper Stand for Exam!

    The 'examiner' has been able to touch her awhile now but this was the first full proper stand for exam in a class setting. She also did a SFE last week with a relative stranger (a staff member she up until recently would not go near). I have to say LEAVE IT as the examiner approaches because otherwise...she approaches and noses their hands (which is Thistle-speak for treats-please).

    Pretty chuffed. Hoping she'll keep progressing with it and we can pass to level 4




    *this does make teaching "touch" difficult as I taught the head rest as both a target for Stand and Front, and also to solicit chin scratches from people. If she rests her head on your hand, you get to give her scratches! If she ignores your hand ....better luck next time.

  10. #10
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    *this does make teaching "touch" difficult
    You might have to add cues.

    My dog sometimes does nose to hand when I'm asking for "shake hands", "other hand", "high five" - ie the cues look the same

    She just offers up for chin and butt rubs... no cue required but I might re-inforce the butt rub one (it's a variation of "get on my shoes"). Beware of shaping "get on my shoes" cos that will get shoes shredded. We had it as a class assignment and a lot of people had to get new sneakers... - I tried for get butt on shoes now. She does that for comfort thing now.

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