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Categories: Basic Obedience

Q. My obedience dog moves his feet and scoots sideways during group sit stays. This started after another dog went after him. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi,

I am having a small problem with my Obedience dog that, I don't want to become a big problem. During sit stays he is moving his front feet to the point that he "ooches" sideways. This is my Novice A dog... presently we are working toward our CDX title. This started after a dog went for him. I have been working with "safe dogs," but still moves. I have been to two seminars with Michael Ellis and bought all of his DVDs and numerous other products from Leerburg. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you in advance

A. How long ago did the dog go after him? You may be wise to simply take a break from training for a while and just do some other activities.

I'd also recommend not doing any group sit stays at all if you are still having the same issue. He's probably nervous and you won't get him over it by continuing to put him in a situation that makes him worried. I might find the distance that he can ignore the other dogs, and place him there for a very short time with lots of rewards in place. I would not be working on duration, distance and close proximity to dogs all at the same time. If this was my dog I'd be practicing all kinds of sit and down stays on his own, far enough away from other dogs that he was not concerned. If he knows touch pads, you may also want to have him place his front feet on a touch pad so you can clearly tell him "touch" if he moves his feet. 

I would not get in a huge hurry because in a trial situation where you are possibly more nervous he is likely to show a much more drastic reaction, he may learn that getting up and leaving is the way to be safe.

Some dogs never get over being attacked or scared by another dog, unfortunately.

Cindy

  Response:

Hi Cindy,

Thank you for responding! 
This was about a year ago that the dog went after him. I agree with you about taking a break... I have been forced to, as I just had a complete knee replacement in November. He has been just a pet dog during my recovery period. I have noticed that during this time it has made our "bond" greater with him being my ever constant companion.

My trainer feels that he should just "get over it" and keep putting him in the sit stay line up... I am going to heed your advice, discontinue group stays and, keep him by himself at a distance that he finds comfortable--starting with short periods of time! I also like the touch pad idea and although I had not trained him to touch pads, I don't see why we couldn't start! 

I am in no hurry to get back into the show ring until I know he is ready. He is a good dog and I don't want to ruin him.

Thank you very much
  
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