What is it? 

Your dog already knows these skills at a basic level. In this class, we work on polishing these skills to be under stimulus control.

Why is it an important skill? 

Stimulus control is an advanced training topic that helps us make sure that our dogs do as they are asked, no more, no less. We are looking for promptness, precision and willingness in their behaviors: Without hesitation. Without repetition. Despite distractions.

Remember that your dog can’t give you stimulus control if they don't trust you.

Your criteria (work on one criteria at a time):

  1. You need to cue the dog only once (this is not a test requirement, so we won’t belabor this point too much, but it is a good objective).
  2. Precision: You’re looking for your dog to give you the behavior you’ve asked for i.e. sit means sit, down means down, and stand means stand.
  3. Promptness: You’re looking for a minimum delay between your giving of the cue, and your dog responding to your request.
  4. Speed: You’d like your dog to be snappy in giving you the behaviors you’ve asked for.
  5. Duration: When teaching stays – we build that duration gradually. By the end of 8 weeks your dog should be able to maintain a:
    i) Sit-stay for 2 minutes
    ii) Down-stay for 4 minutes
    iii) Stand-stay for 30 seconds
  6. Distance: When teaching stays, we want to be able to leave our dog in the stay position whilst we move away up to 20 feet. Your dog will be on a long line for his/her safety.
  7. Distractions: When getting our dogs used to distractions, we will build these up gradually so that your dog can accept all manner of distractions e.g. people walking up to talk to you while ignoring your dog, people walking up to pet your dog while ignoring you, crowds, noises, cars, trucks, joggers, cyclists moving by, people shouting, odd things in the environment.

Download Sit / Down / Stand & Stay PDF

Brendan Edmonds