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'stay' Training Questions


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I have been practicing stay/come training with Boo inside the house. I usually keep a few treats in my hand, and start on one side of the room. Then I hold up a 'stay' hand signal, and slowly back away while saying stay. Sometimes (rarely) I can even leave the room before he moves. Once he 'stays', I take a few steps back, then I call him to me by name and 'come' and offer lots of treats and praise.

The issue is when he gets it wrong. I have done this training a couple of times a day for the last three months, however, sometimes while I am delivering the hand signal and saying stay, he will start walking to me anyways. I don't treat him when this happens and I just start over at the other end of the room. But when he gets it wrong a couple of times in a row (he usually only lasts 3-4 times, even when he is doing it well and getting treats), he gets bored and starts ignoring me.

After 2 or 3 times of not 'staying' and not getting treats, no amount of showing him the treats or squeaky mama voice will get him to pay attention to me. I can't figure out how to properly train anything when he loses all food and mama interest as soon as he doesn't get an immediate reward.

Does anyone have tips or advice?

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Bri and Mike with Boo Radley (Williejohnwalker), Bubba (Carlos Danger), and the feline friends foes, Loois and Amir

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When we go over Stays in my training class, they impress upon us that we need to work on duration first, then distance. Also, they frown on food-refusal stays, so we start off by working right next to the dog, asking them to hold a stay for 3-5 seconds while we reinforce them for staying in position. Gradually build up the time, and then start varying the reinforcement rate. THEN you start adding distance, and increase the reinforcement rate. The most important part of the stay is the release cue, so you want to be sure that you are not asking the dog to stay longer than he is capable of. Better to have him consistently holding a stay for 3 seconds than to ask for 5 seconds and have him break at 4.

 

And finally, stay is not an exciting command, and I, personally, would not ask my dog to do it repeatedly in a row. Maybe a couple of times, interspersed with doing a lot of other things, so that he stays engaged and motivated to work. It's not the easiest thing to train, and takes some time with short intervals to get right. Hope something in this was helpful!

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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Guest DragonflyDM

When your dog doesn’t stay…just ignore him and start over. Be very unemotional when things dont work and very happy when thing do.

 

Yes…do time before distance. And don’t reward when he anticipates that you were going to stay come….

 

I can get boomer to stay for a minute if I am within 10 feet --- and after a year, I still can’t get him to stay 3 seconds if I am 20 feet away

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http://neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com/

 

Lots of good tips and videos here.

Today's post includes a video (scroll down) of teaching sit-stay and down-stay to a 10 week old greyhound puppy.

Pam

GPA-Tallahassee/Southeastern Greyhound Adoption

"Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance." Pearl S. Buck

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Hahahahahahahahahaha.

 

Good luck. I gave up. Love my Georgie, but he is NOT interested in being trained! I figure he's handsome, he was fast, and you can't have it all! He walks nicely on a leash, and that's the most important thing to me at this time in my life.

 

If I hadn't given up, what I've always done when they get up and move is very CALMLY walk them back to where they're supposed to be, make them lay down again, and start over. I do not make them lay down where they moved to--to me that says, "OK, I didn't really mean it."


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Greyhounds tend to be "very uninterested" in training and get bored easily. Keep the sessions as short as possible.

 

Most people do stay by moving away from the front of the dog and the dog is in the sitting position. Try doing the stay while the dog is laying down and rather than moving out in front -- slowly move around to the back and then to the front (circle the dog). Do it slower each time and go further away. My dogs seem to tolerate this one much better and once they have that down - move out from the front. Trainers will say moving away from the front is easier with the stay than moving out around the back but, with greyhounds it might be the reverse.

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I taught both dogs by making it a game. Started out in the crate. They had to wait with the door open. Half of the fun was the happy release word and cookies !

Start out short periods and vary how many steps away you make. If your dog gets it wrong or becomes bored, you did too much at once. You want to leave them wanting more. Also vary what you do. Don't always start out short and work up to long and hard. Do short, long, far, short semi short long short, etc. That way it's not all the hard stuff at once.

Training should be easy and fun! So the more you can set your pup up for success the more treats he will get and the more excited about training.

------

 

Jessica

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Excellent advice so far.

 

Wanted to add: If something is going wrong, think about exactly what you're rewarding. My personal mantra is that, If something is going awry, it's because I'm rewarding something incorrectly or I'm not rewarding the correct behaviors. Think about your progression of behaviors. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like this:

1) Dog lays in a Down 2) You say "Stay" and back up 3) You release the dog, and THEN you reward him.

 

To the dog, what he got rewarded for was the release. If he receives little to no rewards for the act of staying in a Down, he will not increase that behavior. What WILL increase is the behavior of getting up and following you. So, you've trained a great "Come", but not really a great "Down" ;) My suggestion is the same as everyone else's. If you want Down-Stay to increase, you must reward for longer durations of Down-Stay first. (Edit: That sounds confusing. Basically, reward the dog frequently while he is in the position of Down. Then, slowly increase the time intervals between each treat. You're aiming for longer durations of staying in a down position. Then, you can add distance.)

Edited by Giselle
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Excellent advice so far.

 

Wanted to add: If something is going wrong, think about exactly what you're rewarding. My personal mantra is that, If something is going awry, it's because I'm rewarding something incorrectly or I'm not rewarding the correct behaviors. Think about your progression of behaviors. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like this:

1) Dog lays in a Down 2) You say "Stay" and back up 3) You release the dog, and THEN you reward him.

 

To the dog, what he got rewarded for was the release. If he receives little to no rewards for the act of staying in a Down, he will not increase that behavior. What WILL increase is the behavior of getting up and following you. So, you've trained a great "Come", but not really a great "Down" ;) My suggestion is the same as everyone else's. If you want Down-Stay to increase, you must reward for longer durations of Down-Stay first. (Edit: That sounds confusing. Basically, reward the dog frequently while he is in the position of Down. Then, slowly increase the time intervals between each treat. You're aiming for longer durations of staying in a down position. Then, you can add distance.)

 

This. Reward stay by you coming to him, not him to you.

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Some dogs are easier to train than others. I use the same basic principles as Jen (Never Say Never Greyhounds). I have amazed people at my frisbee games when after the game I've been chatting with people. I raise my left hand and half a field away Summit lays down. I then give him the "stay" hand signal and he lays there and waits for 5 minutes while I finish my conversation. Then I'll release him and call him to me. But that took an incredible amount of training all working in tiny baby steps to reach that end point. Is it worth it? Hell yes. Especially when people say something like "Greyhounds are such great dogs but not very smart". :)

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest starbuck

This is something we're still working on with Starbuck, and one of the mistakes we made right away was repeating the command word for emphasis. While this initially seemed to work and she stayed in place longer than anticipated, as soon as we stopped repeating the word, she decided to release herself and come looking for a treat. We've backtracked a little bit, and now we're giving one very firm command (from a Sit/Down/Wait) and then releasing. Seems to work so far, and she's doing a lot better with the quiet spaces between "Wait" and "Okay."

 

We also found that making her Sit/Wait for her food was exceptionally helpful. She is more than willing to do ANYTHING we ask when she sees a full bowl of food in front of her.

 

Edit: We also found it impossible to train her to do this before we trained "Sit" and "Down." She still has trouble staying in a "Sit" position for very long, so we have the best success with this from a "Down" position. You can also practice on walks when you're about to cross the street.

Edited by starbuck
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Whoa, how did it not dawn on me that I was rewarding him for 'come', not for 'stay? :riphair

That makes so much sense. And I thought by training distance, that just meant my 'stay' was more effective... although I can see how it isn't. When it comes down to it, the stay command is important to me for backup that he won't jump out of the car, dash out the door, etc. Therefore, rewarding stay as it's own behaviour, seperate from come, makes such sense.

Thanks for the great advice!

siggie_zpse3afb243.jpg

 

Bri and Mike with Boo Radley (Williejohnwalker), Bubba (Carlos Danger), and the feline friends foes, Loois and Amir

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Guest Wasserbuffel
And I thought by training distance, that just meant my 'stay' was more effective... although I can see how it isn't. When it comes down to it, the stay command is important to me for backup that he won't jump out of the car, dash out the door, etc. Therefore, rewarding stay as it's own behaviour, seperate from come, makes such sense.

 

For things like doors, I prefer "Wait" instead of stay. Here's a good blog post about the differences:http://www.thatmutt.com/2010/03/12/teaching-a-dog-to-stay-vs-wait-2/ It does seem a bit nitpicky at first, but it really is useful for your dog to know the difference.

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Whoa, how did it not dawn on me that I was rewarding him for 'come', not for 'stay? :riphair

 

Because, you, like the rest of us are human, and are therefore not always especially intelligent? :rofl Sounds like a lot of training I've done, accidentally reinforcing the behaviour I don't want because, well, I'm human and can therefore reason. Dogs don't reason in the same way, so trying to train them verbally using abstract reasoning and logic has proved to be less than successful. Just a tip.

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:) This is why I love animal behavior! At the core of it, when we develop the right theories and lenses through which to view animal behavior, it suddenly becomes so simple and clear!

 

As for "Wait" and "Stay", the clearer you make the criteria for each behavior, the better. For me, I do like having both commands because "Stay" is one of my "emergency" and more formal behaviors. "Wait" is a behavior that I'm more lenient about. This is how I use the two:

1) Stay - dog is generally in a Down/Sit. To release the dog, I usually walk back to her and release her directly into a "Heel" exercise.

2) Wait - dog is usually standing or sitting. To release, I use the verbal cue "Okay!", and the dog can be released to do whatever (i.e. walk out the door, exit the car, eat her food, etc.). It's much less formal, and I'm a little less strict about 100% compliance.

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