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Old 03-04-2013, 08:35 AM
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Cali Mae Cali Mae is offline
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Default Help training release cue/staying down until release cue is said

So I was watching some of the Kikopup videos, on how to train a good stay... and I tried it with Cali, with not too much success.

Cali was super giddy, and refuses to stay in the down position... as soon as I reward her for staying down during distractions, she pops up. It's frustrating to say the very least so I just stopped working on that and came on here in hope of getting some advice on it.

So, how do I get her to realize that until I say "free", she has to stay in the down position?
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:52 AM
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A) Reward in position. Use several treats one after the other to encourage staying in the position. If she pops up, rewards go away.

B) Use your release cue for everything. Sits need releases, downs, stands, crates, etc. She'll get used to waiting for your say-so eventually.

C) Increase difficulty very gradually. Only work on one of the three "D"s at a time (duration, distance, distraction). If you run into 3 failures in a row, go back a step where she can be successful.

D) Consider using a mat to help her visualize maintaining a position on a specific area, plus it may make it more comfortable for her.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:58 AM
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Thanks! The mat is actually my big issue so I tried removing it today, she likes scratching at it and she usually gets even more excited when on it... but there didn't seem to be an improvement without it.

I'll definitely try what you mentioned, one of the only cons of owning a small dog are the treats. Today, I ended up just taking a bit of cheese and cutting it into incredibly tiny pieces so that they'd last awhile. She didn't mind the size at all though, or so it didn't seem that way.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:06 AM
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I also did the rewarding in position method. Don't worry about distance at first, just work on duration. Machine-gun treats at first for staying in position, short durations at first, and give your release cue and stop giving treats. Gradually slow down the frequency of the treats. When you get a good duration, then add distance - start with just a quick step away and back and baby step your way to moving farther away, then to moving farther away + adding duration.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:04 AM
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I loooove Susan Garrett's Crate Games for teaching the concept of stays and release words. The reason why it works so well is because there is an actual consequence to breaking the stay, the door shuts. It really makes the concept black and white for the dogs.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:58 AM
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Thanks everyone!

I think Cali had a light bulb moment when I tried it again. This time, I put the mat back out (which I think she now associates with training because she runs right onto it and starts getting excited) and used little pieces of hot dog. I'll be buying better training treats this weekend hopefully.

She actually started to stay down even after I gave her the treat, hallelujah! Her release cue is "free" so I was saying things like "me" or "wee!" or things like "oh my goodness, Cali! Who is that?! Go say hi!" to get her excited. We probably had about an 85% success rate with her staying down as I waved hot dog pieces in her face and tried getting her excited.

Her only confusion was surrounding the release cue which I know she'll likely get better with. At one point, after I had offered her the treat but saying things like "apple" or "papaya"... she basically refused to get up when I finally said her release word. So, I think once she learns to associate the word with getting up, things will be smooth sailing.

All in all, I was pretty pleased with our second training session and I could really see the gears moving in her head whenever I said something. She was incredibly focused on me and whenever she started getting impatient with herself, I'd just shorten the time. But usually, it was only five seconds between each reward. I focused more on the distractions today instead of the duration.
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