Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Focus on Long Stays

Luna staying!

Duration behaviors are my least favorite to train. I like precision! And that's just not part of long stays.

In an effort to prepare Griffin for obedience, we've been focusing on long stays. Here are a few of the things we've been doing:

1. Distance stays. Bounce between a small number of steps and higher number of steps away. Maximum number of steps this week is 52
2. Out of sight stays. I circled trees/cars and after a few reps I remain behind the object. Sometimes a little longer, sometimes shorter. Max duration right now is about 20 seconds.
3. Relaxing in position. With a chew or toy, letting Griffin hang out while I do stuff in that room. And then go to the other room and come back. And then stay away longer. Today he was there for about 20 minutes. It was not "good training" it was "I forgot I left him loose with no gates up." He didn't budge. Even with pasta on the floor in front of him*.
4. Distraction stays. Because obviously, this is the part I'd rather train. We're working this week specifically on items being set/dropped while he's still. He finds this hard.
5. Others feeding. I've started experimenting with having other people feed him during long stays. We did this once or twice at home and once at camp. I don't know if it will help but I suppose it won't hurt.

Keep in mind, from early on we've established a rule during stays that I always bring the food to him, he is not to get up. If we are using a clicker (in the above listing, only for distraction stays), and he gets up after the click, I'll feed the treat where I had wanted his head. We also have a rule for stays that I always feed the treat under his chin. So he's not even to be reaching for it beforehand. It's a nice rule structure and makes training new types of stays easy.

*It may have been 95* out. And it may have been pasta I tried to feed him and he didn't want to eat and I didn't want to clean up.

1 comment:

katie said...

Maizey is working on this too. She is up to 25' with distance, and 30 seconds of duration before she eats.

These are great ideas and we are going to use them!