Bubba 7mo- Difficulties of a Stand

Bubba turned 7 months old this week!

Most skill work is going fantastic.  Drag this heavy laundry bag- no problem!  Close the drawer- I'll slam it!  He's even managed to learn some more controlled behaviors such as a nice hold of the dumbbell and a decent stay.

But one behavior that has managed to elude us and leave me scratching my head is a verbal kick back stand.  He actually has a decent stand stay where he will even resist movement while a treat goes slowly to his butt and back, but actually purposefully assuming the stand position is a no go.  Since this is not the first time I've taught a verbal only stand this perplexes me.

Lance learned it pretty crappily through a treat lure slowly pulling him forward.  He now has a kick back if he focuses really hard :) but at a distance it's still moving the front feet forward.

Vito I have no idea how I taught it  but he has an awesome verbal stand even at a distance.  I think I still lured but I was able to bring the treat to his chest to get the kick out versus step forward.

Chuck was the first dog I tried using his perch work to capture a stand.  I loved the simple brilliance of it so much that I used it again with Fiona.  Default on the perch is to stand, lure a sit/down and just wait half a second before that butt rises and you can click!  It also sets the criteria from day #1 that the front feet don't move.

At work I've experiment with a high hand touch (made more famous recently by Susan Garrett's video) to get a jumping stand.  It was  super fun for the dogs but I found it harder to transition to a stand at a distance and from all sides of me.  I've continued to use it though for many of the dogs.

I'm sure there are other fun methods out there that I'm not familiar with and I LOVE trying ways of teaching!  With Bubba I've attempted all the ones I know and have apparently failed.  So far the perch work has led to the most success in that there have been many days where he reaches a 80% success rate on all transitions of sit-down-stand.  But then the next day he tries to guess before I even open my mouth and rapidly flings himself through 3 changes before I can stop him.  Needless to say I've dropped the clicker for this exercise and we work on eye contact before each and every treat, working heavily on just being still!  I think the problem is that he's so eager to MOVE that he doesn't care enough whether his guess is wrong.

Having a verbal only stand really doesn't matter for Bubba's training.  Since the liklihood of him being a mobility dog is extremely low, and the chance of him being one for a complete quadriplegic is zero, I'm really just doing it to torture myself.  Ah well, there's a good chance Bubba may be going to prison this Friday for a week or two while we wait for one of the older dogs to come in for final training to take the trip down.    We will see if the prisoners are ready to deal with a crazy bear for a bit!

Amy / Layla the Malamute  – ( August 14, 2012 at 9:39 PM )  

Now that you mention it, I can't remember how I taught Layla the kick back stand either! I'll have to get back to you, but I'm sure it isn't anything you haven't already tried. Isn't it funny how we spend so much time teaching something and the process gets lost under all the rest?

andrea  – ( August 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM )  

I love how individual they all are ... and i have great faith you'll figure it out :)

andrea  – ( August 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM )  

and Amy - i'm missing your blog - hope all is ok in your world!!

Canine Behavior Training  – ( August 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM )  

Try this method from agility guru Susan Garrett. I've used it for those dogs who are sticky with a kick back stand.


Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( August 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM )  

Thanks CBT! That's the method that I was referring to with the high hand touch. I use it quite a bit with dogs at work. I just couldn't get Bubba to land in a stand after it as he would go from "up" to sitting no matter where I placed my hand. He did leave for prison today so when he gets back I might re-experiment with that method :)

Cynthia  – ( January 2, 2013 at 5:11 PM )  

I trained Jet's stand with a stand and a back combined. Taught stand, and also taught back, then put them together in quick succession. He has the CUTEST darn pop-up back stand I've ever seen. I need to post video of it. When he's in a down, he pops all four feet up into a stand and moves just a bit back. I love it!

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( January 2, 2013 at 10:23 PM )  

Cynthia, so how did you get the stand initially? Lure? Or did you mean you taught his stand just by telling him to back up and capturing that first little movement?

I did manage to teach Bubba a verbal only stand but it took several more weeks of torture. Before I sent him away he had great accuracy on all sit-down-stand verbal transitions, but only if I was sitting on the floor... Bubba loved to torture me!

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