It's been my experience that using compulsion to teach, especially an adult dog, can create a resistance to the position the handler is attempting to get the dog into, e.g., placing a rope or belt under the dogs belly and lifting to teach the stand. I think that may be why so many handlers using this method are having difficulty. Compulsion is good for correcting, e.g., you have your dog in a down, he pops up - best correction is to return and place him in the down position - hands on. Dogs don't like being forced into position, whether it's a sit, a down, or a stand, etc., and they will resist it, AND avoid it when they can. That's why compulsion is good for correction - once they figure out they are going to have a hand's on correction/re-direction for moving out of position, they will learn to stay in position in order to avoid that scenario. That's why, when correcting the dog for moving out of position, and IF the handler is certain that the dog knows the exercise, the handler must return to the dog and use a hands-on compulsory movement to return the dog to the desired position, EVEN IF the dog see's the handler coming, has second thoughts, and corrects itself. For instance, the handler has the dog in a long down, the dog knows the exercise, but decides to defy and pop up, the dog see's the handler approach, and then quickly drops down - TOO LATE! The handler must return to the dog anyway, pull the dog up, force the dog down - not in a mean way, not angrily, but definitely hands-on, nice and firm. Next time the dog has an inclination to pop up when in a down, they will think twice about it. If you let the dog get away with self-correcting, it will play this little game often just to let you know they are in control - not the other way around. So, while compulsion is good for correction in that type of scenario, if you attempt to use a compulsory movement to teach, right there you're creating resistance - and that interferes with learning. By placing the dog into position when teaching, you are doing the work for the dog - not a good teaching tool. Because the dog is not voluntarily making the desired movement, (e.g. in the case of a belt groin lift) many times they don't even make the connection. The dog may eventually learn this (after a few hundred repetitions(!), but you'll end up with a slow, reluctant movement into position. Best to teach a position with a food lure - much more fun for the dog!
Fun = learning! When they are voluntarily moving into the position, they learn much faster. (I've not taught puppies, but I think that some (gentle) compulsion is o.k. as a teaching tool with young puppies because they're wiggly and squiggly, and often don't have good control of their own bodies, but adults and teenagers are different.) I have always taught the stand from a sitting heel position, lure outward and forward in a sweeping motion in straight line over the dog's shoulders/head with yummy treat in left hand, hesitating slightly at the nose to ensure the dog's engagement, then moving slowly outward/forward so nose follows treat, until standing. Be sure to step out while doing this (just one step, so that your feet are no longer together.) If you've taught the glide-sit at heel/halt properly, your feet should always be solidly together for that exercise. That is your dog's signal that you are in a halt and he is to sit, and remain sitting while your feet are together. If you keep your feet together while teaching the stand, your giving a cue that conflicts with your body language. (and BTW, step out with your right foot, not your left - as the left is his cue to move forward into a moving heel). Anyway, take a step forward with your right foot - that's his body-language cue that it's o.k. to stand - lure in sweeping forward, outward movement with left hand - nose follows treat, and voila(!) you've got a standing dog. Your dog will probably take a step or two forward in the process; that's o.k. for now. While you want to extinguish the step(s) forward, eventually, for the finished product, that's easily enough done when polishing up and perfecting the exercise, simply by gently blocking forward movement with your right arm, but don't do this unless necessary, and until after they've solidly learned the stand. You could also use a low board placed in front of your dogs feet when perfecting the exercise, in order to block any forward movement. What you want, initially, is the dog up of its own volition. Make sure you mark immediately (ala' Michael Ellis style) with an enthusiastic "Yes"(!) - or a clicker if that's what you use, the INSTANT the dog is in a standing position (timing is everything) - then have him reach up to go after the treat he's so happily earned. Give lots of enthusiastic pats and pets and tell him how very clever he is. JOB WELL DONE! I wouldn't even name the exercise until the dog has learned from your outward/forward sweeping hand, and your one step out. Once he's automatically popping up 8 out of 10 times, then name the exercise.
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