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66 - Consolidate 'stays'using distractions

66 - Consolidate 'stays'using distractions

The icing on the cake is to consolidate your stays by introducing some distractions while your dog is in a stay position. Many owners find that a long-practiced stay tumbles like the proverbial house of cards because their dog is used to doing a stay in one location only, and when everything is still and quiet, too. If asked to stay in a different location where there may be unusual noises, movement and tempting things, your previously impeccably behaved canine may appear to be disobedient when he breaks the stay. In truth, he is doing exactly what you taught him to do, which is to maintain the position in one familiar (unrealistic) environment.

1. Start with your dog on the leash at your side and ask him to 'stay'.

2. Drop a low-value toy or a treat a couple of paces away. If he tries to move forward, half-step in front of him and pick up the toy or treat before he reaches it.

3. Repeat the exercise until he is able to maintain the position for a couple of seconds without moving.

4. Now step forward and pick up the toy or treat and step back to him, give your 'Finish' cue and reward him.

5. Gradually build up the time he is able to stay.

Engage the help of friends or family to create some distractions. Start with small easy steps and gradually increase the level of distraction, making sure that you reward your dog well for resisting temptation. Finally, make sure that you practice all stays, with and without distractions, in several different locations so that your dog can understand and consolidate the sit, down and stand stay.

Extend the exercise by using food. Ensure the leash is loose and that your dog is truly in a 'sit stay'

Ask your dog to sit and stay and throw a toy a short distance away

Marie rewards Maisie by picking up the toy and bringing it back to her

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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