Stand retraining

I officially decided that I am going to be retraining Zumi's stand at a distance.  Zumi has understood a verbal only stand cue since she was a puppy. 

She actually has 2 cues.  "Stand" which was supposed to mean kick the rear feet out and keep the front feet still.  And "Pop" which means lift the front feet in the air and land in a stand. 

Zumi added the flair of all 4 feet popping up in the air so I never really got to the stage of defining if I wanted her to walk the back feet out behind her when her front feet were lifted (like I traditionally teach the pop) or if I wanted the rear feet still so the front feet would pop forward. 

In heel position, she has a pretty solid verbal discrimination.  In front of me I let the criteria blur.  I didn't want walking, it had to be a true stand with 2 feet completely still.  But I let her kinda blur the style lines.  Zumi started adopting more of her "pop" style with less flair, so only the front feet lifting.  And since I hadn't defined that for her it meant she did it with rear feet still and front feet forward.  An ok style.

But since there never was any real reason to have a stand at a distance for obedience, I again kinda let criteria slide so that sometimes Zumi moved just a few inches with her back feet.  Not bad, but certainly something that would start to break down with the pressure of a trial.

So a few months ago I went about trying to fix that with a rear foot target to isolate her back feet, and/or reward placement with her reward behind her.  But while Zumi was doing very well, I was finding it really hard to see what exactly she was doing.  Did the back feet move a little bit or not?

And that led to me scrapping the whole thing and starting over.  This time I'm going for front feet still, rear feet kick back.  Much easier for me to see at a distance. 

Usually I would go to a front foot target, but that didn't go over very well with Zumi.  She's so used to rear feet criteria that her brain wasn't handling the switch.  Platforms are also just a big rear foot target for her.

A piece of broken pvc from a jump standard was brought into my house a few weeks ago for my jump bar in the TEAM tests.  It made a nice "L" and I adopted it for a very sad looking PVC box. 
My new target.

Here was today's session on using it.  She's had a handful of sessions already with the box to learn that I didn't want her front feet to move forward.  Zumi does make that error x2 here and I have her back into the box to eat her cookie.  I also make the dreaded "just one more" rookie mistake!



In February I am going to be teaching another session of my Stand with Me class at FDSA.  A class 100 % devoted to all things stand from teaching a stand cue to teaching the exam!  This session will be the first time I talk about getting a stand at a distance.  Preparation for the new AKC open exercise command discrimination!

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