Sunday, August 8, 2010

Training Challenge - Sit/Stay

Dog Blog Post #100: Can you put your dogs in a stay and call just one?

That was the gist of the training challenge posted by Jenny in the Trick Dog Yahoo! group. Never one to pass up a chance to not work on Fronts and Finishes (or, looked at another way, the week was already shot, what did I have to loose) so I decided to give it a try.

The image up top was after I called Zachary. The image to the right is after I called Beau.


We obviously needed a bit of work, here!

First, the rule of the game: Only reward the dog you actually called. Beau was not impressed with this rule, but as I held the treats and he has yet to figure out how to open zip-top bags, he was out of luck.

(Zachary didn't seem to notice he didn't get treats. Why am I not surprised?)

After that, it was simply a matter of being generous to the dog called, and ignoring any other dogs who happened to show up. If the "staying" dog showed any sign of even thinking about staying, I quickly tossed treats in their direction.

Surprisingly, it only took a few such efforts to reap huge rewards.

Fifteen minutes from my first effort, I videoed both dogs performing the challenge as I understood it (see BZ - Quick Flick: Stay/Come).

Overall, I enjoyed this challenge, as it was quick, light-hearted, and the dogs seem to quickly figure out what was going on.

The other two challenges mentioned were:

  1. Two dogs sitting, ask one to down
  2. Two dogs sitting, ask one to down and the other to stand

I gave both a quick try and it was dismal, which is why I focused on #3...

... but perhaps I'll feel braver next week.

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