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I Need A Trick


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So I want to teach my dog stay, mostly so I can try to control him if a chicken or squirrel runs by and I don't want him lunging after it. My friend told me "stay" is very simple, just get them to sit and walk away saying "stay" and then tell them to come over to you. Gradually increase the time and distance etc etc

 

The only problem is I haven't trained my dog to Sit or Lay Down. I've tried NeverSayNever's blog, but he just goes to step one of the Lay Down learning method, and then quits when it gets time for him to bend his hips down to the ground. I can't tell if it's stubbornness or his hips.

 

It's not very important that he lay down or sit except it seems to be a gateway trick to him learning other commands.

 

Is there another trick I can teach him that is easier on a greyhounds anatomy?

 

Ellums

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It's not the classic "stay" but you *can* teach it while he is standing. Though most people call this a "wait" cue rather than "stay." This is easiest in a doorway or someplace with a defined threshold. Lead him to an opening, give the verbal cue, then wave your hand with your palm towards his nose across in front of him. Reward immediately after and give a release word like "OK" or "on." Rinse and repeat, lengthening the time you let him wait for the release/reward. You may have to encourage him to move forward after the release until he gets the idea.

 

The other command to teach for those situations is "leave it." I'm not good with this one so hopefully someone can describe it for you! ;) There are also several methods of teaching sit to a greyhound.

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You can teach a stay while standing. My dogs did that often in class. Another way to teach down is capturing it. It will take longer, but it works. Every time you see the dog lay down, click a clicker, and give the dog a treat. After you've done that a bunch, keep a really good treat nearby and hopefully the dog will lay down looking for a treat. Once they do that, add in the word down when he's already on the way down. After he puts the word with the action, you can ask him to down and hopefully he'll do it.

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I usually teach a standing stay first. "Stay"+hand signal, step 12" away (close enough to hold the dog's collar to keep him/her in place) from the front of the dog, count one-one thousand, step back to dog's side, "Good dog!" (or click) + treat. Repeat a lot. When you get to the point where you can let go of the collar and dog remains in place, then you're ready to try 24" away :) . Once you get to 36" (3') reliably and can do it in any direction, you can usually get further away and start extending the time.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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i learned the same method as batmom has described above. with some dogs it's one step away, not even 12" in the begining and returning to the dog. if the dog moves it's paws, stop-reposition them- start the stay all over again. the hand signal is the palm of your hand infront of their head and stay should be said in a completely different tone, a serious deep tone.

 

each command has a differernt tone/sound. do practice in the house first, then when you can get to the end of your leash take it out to the yard, then eventually the driveway and so on. it's a slow process, practice many times a day and have a good quality treat in your pocket. always return to the same position, the side of your dog where you start. also, this might be confusing to you, but not the dog- when you leave a dog- any type of stay- leave on your right foot. when you are walking, heeling, what ever- start on your left foot. dogs pick up on little things like that as well. it can take a while to perfect this. 2 minutes at a time but a total of 6-8 min. of practice daily. it works!

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There's no reason anatomically that you can't teach your grey to sit and lie down although I think for most people it's a bit easier to teach the down than the sit. I would try lure shaping it using a clicker. The idea is that you are going to break down the behavior into smaller steps, lure him to get to each of those steps and then reward him for doing so. This method allows him to continue to be successful and get rewarded so he doesn't get bored or frustrated. I really prefer using the clicker because there will likely be stages where you'll want to reward for smaller movements and the click will allow you to tell him exactly what he's doing right ("marking" the correct behavior). Once he knows the entire behavior and will perform it reliably with the lure, only then will you introduce the cue, "down" and then you can fade out the lure.

 

So first, charge the clicker so he knows what it means (you don't technically have to do this, but it may help). Click, feed, click, feed over and over until when your dog hears the click, his ears shoot up and he looks to you for his treat.

 

Then you can proceed to the down. Have him standing and place the lure (treat) in front of his nose, then slowly lower the treat straight down to the floor. If he'll follow the treat the entire way, then click and give him the treat once his nose is at the floor. If he won't even do that, you'll have to reward him for following the lure part way and gradually extend how far he has to lower his head. Remember that you want him to be successful so use small enough increments that he is getting clicked and rewarded often. Then see if he'll go into more of a playbow position and click and treat for that. These steps are usually fairly easy, it's the transition from the playbow position to the down that can be trickier so what you're going to want to do is click and treat for any movement, particularly back leg or hind end movement. You can encourage this by pushing the lure back while keeping it on the ground. If he shifts his weight at all to move back to follow the treat, click and treat immediately. Repeat this a bunch of times, then you can start to look for more noticeable leg movements, or if you're lucky, he'll just plop his butt down. The biggest mistakes people make here imo are not moving the treat back (they tend to move it forward instead) or not clicking and treating for any movement so again the dog gets confused or frustrated.

 

Once he's going into the down reliably, you can add the cue. The order is:

 

1. Cue "down" (treats are hidden)

2. Pause momentarily

3. Bring out the lure and lure him down

4. Click and treat

 

Do that at least a few times, then when you pause, give him an extra couple of seconds to see if he'll do it on his own. If not, bring out the lure and proceed as usual, do that a few more times, then try a longer pause again. Eventually he'll associate the cue with the lure and start going down on his own. Once he's doing that reliably, fade out the lure by gradually doing less of the luring motion. If you think about the stages in which you progressed, you can sort of reverse them to figure out how to fade out the lure.

 

I'm probably making this sound more complicated than it really is. It's much easier to show someone than tell someone imo :P but if you want to give it a shot and get stuck, feel free to PM me or post here and I can try to help. The beauty of lure shaping is that once you and your dog get the hang of it, it's easy to teach other things the same way (like a sit ;) ).

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Guest lunasmom

To PM you need to have a certain post count, I think 50?

 

As for training, Luna is my first greyhound and I have had her almost 3 months now so there are lots of other people that have more knowledge than me. That said, I can tell you what worked with Luna. She did not always get the first technique I tried, so have patience and if one technique really isn't working then try a different one. You can search this forum or do a regular internet search and you will find lots of different methods to train a dog to lay down, sit, etc.

 

You could also try using a more enticing treat or luring again if he backs up.

 

When I trained Luna to lay down the first couple times took a few minutes for her to actually lay down. (I have not tried clicker traing as others have suggested) I lured her with the treat and her nose followed but she didn't know what I wanted yet. She initially pawed and licked at my hand. It's fun to watch the gears turning as she tried to figure out how to get the treat. Eventually as she pawed at my hand she went into the play bow, held that for a little bit and layed all the way down. With repetitions she got increasingly faster.

 

After she was reliably luring to a lay down, I started training sit (from the down position). I had a hard time luring her to sit with regular treats. I switched to small pieces of cooked chicken and by the end of a single training session I could reliably lure her into a sit. Regular treats worked for future training sessions.

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2) I can get his nose to the ground, but no play plow happens. He just backs up.

Lure him under your leg. That's how I've always started teaching the down. Jen's blog (NeverSayNever) shows it well. I have a video of Kili doing it, but not sure which blog post I have it under.

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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If you want a down, get a couple good treats. Put one in your hand. Clicker in your other hand if you are using a clicker. Now be a turtle -- sit down on the floor with your shins underneath you, put your forearms flat on the floor, and put your head on your arms. And wait. Dog will probably be nosing around your hand but will usually lie down alongside you within a couple minutes. If it doesn't happen this time, put your treat away and try again later.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Lure him under your leg. That's how I've always started teaching the down. Jen's blog (NeverSayNever) shows it well. I have a video of Kili doing it, but not sure which blog post I have it under.

Neither of my dogs would do it this way. They both gave up and went to lay down.

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