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Teaching the Manners of Your Dogs that stay small!

dogs that stay smallTo teach waiting, make your dog sit perpendicular to you. The two methods of teaching dogs that stay small on how to stay are with the use of food bowls and doors.

Using a food bowl:

To gain rapid success, you have to break the training into very small steps. Keep in mind however that if your dog is really fond of her food bowl then you will have to modify its resource guarding behavior. Once your dog is in position, hold the food bowl at the level of your chest and tell your dogs that stay small to wait. Then slowly lower the bowl. If your dog keeps sitting, use a clicker and reward her with a treat. If your dog gets up, lift the bowl to its original place and say oops to show your disappointment. Then repeat the process. This will help you in making the dog realize that getting up will not get the dog a treat. Keep repeating these steps while your dog has mastered this. You can tempt the dog by leaving the bowl longer on the floor etc. The greatest advantage of this exercise is that since you already have to feed your dog twice a day, you can train two your dog two times a day already!

Using the door:

Make your dog sit on your side while you stand at the door and ask your dog to wait. Then inch your hand towards the knob. If it stays at its place, give it a reward and then repeat the exercise each time moving your hand closer and closer or even touching the doorknob. When your dog does not move even if you turn the door handle, then go as far as opening the door and stepping out while you ask your dog to stay. The advantage of this exercise is that dogs generalize this pretty quickly and they can implement this as well when you open your car door and ask them to wait so that they do not jump onto the middle of the road.

Further, after perfecting these two exercises, make your dog practice on a leash. Ask your dog to wait if it moves ahead of you. If that doesn’t work, stop the dog manually. After a few repetitions, your dog will eventually get the hang of it.

How to teach staying:

Teaching in done in three steps; duration (the time your dog has to stay), distraction (your dog has to stay despite the exciting things going around) and distance (your dog has to stay no matter how far you are).

Start with the duration and reach up to a minimum of a minute. You can’t practice distraction until your dog can stay still for at least a minute. Gradually, extend the time. The next step is a distraction since the distractions can happen incidentally when you are far from the dog. Start with small distractions like raising your arm and then go big. The last step is to go away from your dog while asking it to stay. Do this by taking small steps.

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