One might think a dog stands of his own, then what is the necessity of teaching him to stand on command! Well in one of the initial blogs, ‘Garbage in garbage out’ I had compared dogs to computers. As long as it is a pleasant experience they learn whatever is taught. Also dogs are no linguists, yet understand your tone and pick through your training about what you want them to do. Therefore as far as a dog is concerned he is not going to ask ‘Why this training?’ But for a dog owner my answer is that Stand is sort of a link between many actions.
There are many occasions when you need to make your dog stand and stay. The two most common places are when a dog is taken for veterinary examination and the other when the dog is participating in a dog show. In both situations either the Vet or the judge wants to examine the dog. Their job is facilitated if the dog remains standing still. The majority of dog owners teach their dog to sit, because both the owner and the dog find it easy to do so. Teaching a dog to sit is okay, but one should not encourage a dog, specially a show dog to sit. Whatever is taught to the dog he performs to please you. Therefore at times he sits at most inappropriate times and look at you for a reward! In the show rings I have often found such mishaps. It is too embarrassing for the owner to realise that as the judge wants to go over the dog his dog sits. Mind you during a show a judge has barely few seconds to decide about a dog and in those precious seconds if the dog is found sitting and the handler slack dog loses points unnecessarily.
In the order of training a dog having learnt to Come and Stay in Sit position it is time for the dog to learn to Stand and Stay. This training is useful for a family or show or even a guard dog as well. Sitting position is one of the comfortable positions for a dog. In order to break his lethargy it is good to teach him to Stand.
Word of Command: Stand
· During the initial phase of this training you will need a piece of chalk.
· Take the dog to the room in the usual manner.
· Draw a circle on the floor with chalk, large enough to accommodate the dog.
· Attach the leash and choke collar to the dog.
· Stand near the circle/square and ask the dog to Come.
· Make him Sit inside the circle demarcated.
· Go near the dog, hold the end of the choke collar with the right hand and give a gentle upwards tug on his belly. Issue the command Stand as you tug.
· All the chances are that he will stand. As soon as he does so, praise him a lot.
· Repeat the procedure three to four times, and praise him each time he obeys.
· Since you have been training the dog continuously for the last few days, he is in a sort of ‘Training mode’. He will understand the command without much difficulty.
· After a few repetitions you will find that the dog does not require to be nudged at the belly to stand. At that stage back up two steps after he stands.
· Now raise your palm and like a traffic cop ask him to Stay.
· Then with your palm facing the ground ask him to Sit, while signaling him with the palm to do so.
· He will sit happily. Make him Stay for a moment and then ask him to Stand again with your verbal command and hand signal both.
· The moment he stands on all fours make him Stay.
· Almost all dogs at this juncture note the happy expression on your face, because you can not hide it easily and they tend to move towards you. In such a situation again like a traffic cop halt the dog within the circle and make him Stay with a long drawn voice command.
· Remember to reward him with praise immediately on compliance of the command.
· Never call him to you from this position, always go to him to reward or correct him.
· Once you are convinced that the dog has picked the word of command, you can make him Stand and Stay and then change your position by moving right or left within his view.
· Gradually increase the duration of his stay and gradually try to go behind the dog ensuring that he does not change his position.
· The day you will be able to encircle the dog after issuing the command of Stand and Stay and yet the dog remains standing like a statue, you can presume that it is time to change the venue of training.
· By 15th day your dog should be comfortably standing on command in one position.
It is always useful to finish the lesson with an Okay and a pat on the chest. This has the same impact like the bell at the end of school has an impact on the children. They feel kind of freedom from the tight discipline of the classroom.
Thus let your dog be free now and let him play as he wishes. During play do not bother him with commands or ‘Nos’. Let him enjoy the freedom till his next session.