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Sit-Stay and Down-Stay

June 25th, 2005, 07:57 AM
I have an easy question. When you teach sit-stay and down-stay, how do you say the command to them. Davy knows sit, stay and down for this. So do I say sit stay with very little time between the sit and stay...or do I say Sit THEN say stay after sits? I guess my question is, is he supposed to know the command as a two word command?? Am I making sense?

June 25th, 2005, 08:04 AM
I combine my voice commands with hand signals.... i use both of them for the sit/stay and down/stay
example: Dillin...Sit (hand signal)... Stay (hand signal)
It works good this way and stops me from having to re-teach a new 2 word command all over again.

June 25th, 2005, 08:08 AM
I've been trying to use hand signals. I point to the ground when I say sit. Down, I lift my hand flat, at a 90 degree angle with my arm. For stay I use my palm and touch his nose.

I wonder when I use hand AND voice at the same time, if I am confusing him?

June 25th, 2005, 10:02 AM
They see the hand signal before they hear the words (they are visual more than verbal), they hear the tone of your voice before they hear the word (they are masters at tones & body language).
Both voice commands and hand signals are good to use - sometimes only one is available (i.e. at a party you don't want to speak to your dog from across the room but you can give a hand signal).
Try to not get too caught up in the tiny details. Give the commands - if your dog is confused then break it down. We have a dog that all we say is 'dog' for most of his commands and he knows what we are asking for. That's a whole different level of communication.
Try to get some distance between you and your dog for the signals. You want to be able to instruct him to stay from a long distance - not have to touch his nose each time.

June 25th, 2005, 10:09 AM
I agree 100% with tenderfoot. Don't use the "nose touching", because you want to be able to tell them to stay from a distance - like from across the road if they got away from you and now there's a car coming.

Generally speaking, any command you give should automatically mean "stay as well". Like, if you give the "down" command, the dog should be waiting until you give the release word to get up again. Of course, not many of our dogs are at that level yet, so we still have to give the command separately at this point. I do give them separately still - like "sit" and wait for the sit, then "down" and wait for the down before praising.

June 28th, 2005, 09:05 AM
Now I'm trying to teach him the difference between down and sit. He lays down when I tell him sit now!!! I've been mixing it up during our training sessions to get him to learn it. When he gets it right I give him a treat or praise. Just when I think he's got it, he goes down on sit again. I guess it will just take time.

June 28th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Be aware of the energy you are using when you are instructing him. It might be that you are a bit intense and he is offering you a submissive signal by laying down. Try to lighten your tone a bit and see if that helps.

Sometimes dogs will also use the down as a way to avoid further work thinking you will give up if he looks like he's given up. Let him know that won't work.

You need to practice on leash. When you ask for the sit and he gives you a down then 'pressure' the wrong choice by getting him right back up again and doing a sit. Praise with a happy, soft tone when he sits - back it up with a stay. It will take consistency on your part. It needs to be more bothersome for him to down when you have asked for a sit so that he realizes he needs to pay better attention and it will be easier on him overall to do as he is asked.