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In Daisy's obedience class we began working on stay when in the sit position. The trainer suggested we use a release word other than ok. She suggested "that'll do" for me. But after class, I was thinking that I use "that'll do" when I want Daisy to for example, to take a break and chill out when she is at the park or going to crazy in the house, etc. Do I need to pick another release word when it comes to staying or am I pretty much telling her the same thing in both situations which is "no more, done, relax"?

 

A second question I have is do you use the "stay" command separate from the "sit" command. For example, do you say "sit" then say "stay" OR when you say sit does that mean "sit" and "stay" until I tell you to move? :rolleyes: I am trying to decide which way I want to train Daisy with this and I am not sure if there is an advantage to one way or the other. Any thoughts, what do you do?

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My release word is "free". It sounds like you're using "that'll do" more as a chill or "quit doing that" command. If that is the case, yes, I'd use a different release word

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I use "Be a Dog" as the release to a break.

 

And no, you don't need to teach a separate "stay" cue. You can teach "sit until released".

 

I've found that I prefer to say "stay", but I actually teach a duration sit without the "stay" cue before introducing "stay" to the dog.

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I have two different release words,

the first is okay, and that releases the dog to "do" something like go through a door to the outside, or go get a toy ("okay, get it")

 

I use "break" when I am releasing the dog to come to me (usually for a game of tug), I use break when I put the dog in a wait ( like a start line stay) or to release her from a contact obstacle.

 

When I am releasing from a training session I usually just say "all done" and that means she can do whatever she wants.

 

Oh and I do train sit and wait and stay as a separate commands.

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OK is a terrible word to use for a release. I trained Lucia with this and when I would have at a start line stay and the trainer would give me suggestions, I always said "OK" when I agreed. This would release her over the jump at the wrong time :rolleyes: My trainer uses "Break", I've been using "let's go". I really need to find a better word or phrase. Any word will work. You can have a lot of fun with it. The dog doesn't care what word you use. You could use "moonbeam" for all the dog cares about it :D It sounds like That'll do already has it's place in your training vocabulary, so choose another one.

 

Just IMO, I would use SIT and STAY seperately. It may make it easier down the road for other things. Sometimes you may just want the dog to sit for a treat and not wait for another command. I use wait instead of stay (just my word for it). For my guys it means "FREEZE" regardless of what they are doing. I tell them sit and then wait or if they are running after a squirrel I yell wait, if they are lunging for food dropped on the kitchen floor, they get a "WAIT". It just means don't move in their world. Belive it or not, when I place the dogs on a startline stay, if I don't say wait, they won't. Sit is just a sit without it, down is just a down without it.

 

One thing to keep in mind, don't use "sit down". This drives me crazy to see people yelling this to their dog. Do you want then to sit or to down? They sound as confused as the dog :D

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OK is a terrible word to use for a release. I trained Lucia with this and when I would have at a start line stay and the trainer would give me suggestions, I always said "OK" when I agreed. This would release her over the jump at the wrong time :rolleyes:

 

LOL!! I've done that so many times!!

 

I've managed to train myself to say, "Yes", "Got it", "I see", "All right", "I'll try that", etc. when I'm standing at the start line in training class and the instructor is talking to me.

 

I've used "OK" as a working release for so long now that I don't think I could ever get away from it. At least not without a lot of effort!

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Cressa and Troy both have "BREAK" be their release word. My sister uses "OK". I don't like "ok" seeing how offten you say it. So far my dogs understand what each person means.

 

I also use the SIT or DOWN command as the stay. My understanding was when you say sit the dog should stay seated till you released it. Stay is repeitive and can confuse the dog.

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My release word is "release". Easy to remember and not easily confused with anything else I might say. And it's easy to put an inflection on it to express feeling when I want to do so.

 

While "that'll do" is traditionally a working stockdog term, I also use it to mean that what the dog is doing is a good thing, but enough versus "leave it" which means it's not a good thing and leave it alone (or knock it off). "That'll do" is often combined with "here" to mean "stop, and return to me" versus just stopping what is being done.

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Thanks for all of the help!

 

I think I will teach the "sit" and the "stay" as separate commands because I have been paying attention today of the different things that we do throughout the day. For example when walking, sitting at every curb. That would mean I would have to use the release word every time if her "sit" was a sit and stay. Or like last night when she vomited on my bed in the middle of the night eww...she was already lying down, but I wanted her to stay on the bed while I got the supplies to clean it up so I would have needed a "stay" from her.

 

Now I need clarification about using the clicker with teaching the stay command. Specifically the order in which things happen....

Is this the correct order?

sit

click

treat

stay (two seconds to start)

click

treat

release word

click

treat

 

Or does the click for the stay happen only after the release word?

sit

click

treat

stay (two seconds to start)

release word

click

treat

 

The first one makes more sense to me because it seems more specific to me as she is really learning two behaviors, but as you can tell, I got confused about this one in obedience class and didn't realize I was confused until after leaving....don't you hate it when that happens?

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If you are teaching a stay I wouldn't reward for the release. The reward should be only for staying so there is more value in staying than releasing. Of course when she release maybe run a bit and say good girl excitedly and give her a pat, as you don't want her to start to ignore her release cue but I would reward with a treat only the stay.

 

Sit and Down should mean don't move until I release you. With my oldest she understands this but I also have a "wait" command which means cease movement and wait, this way I don't care whether she is in a down, sit or stand as long as she stops instantly. My puppy only has the word "stop" which means lie down and don't move. I am slowly introducing a wait command to her as well, but once again for this word I don't require a certain stance just that she ceases movement.

 

As for words my first dogs word is "OK!", I have had no problems with this as it is short and sharp. She doesn't release herself if I say the word in just conversation, she knows when it is directed at her. My puppy I wanted a different release cue incase I wanted to release one but not the other so her word if "Break!". Once again it is short and sharp. I do have a communal release word for when my dogs are both in a stay and I want to release them both which is "Lets Go!" if I can't be bothered to release each one seperately but that is the only time I use that word.

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I'm with Kristine - I've used "OK" so much that I probably cannot be trained otherwise! Of course, that allows me to proof all sorts of things: Ohio, Oklahoma, Okeefenokee, Oreo....which are all just very entertaining for the two-leggeds around. The hardest thing for me with my young dog is JUST saying OK as the release - at first it was a head nod on my part ("OK" came out of my mouth, but my head had to do the slightest up and down movement - just cuz...). THAT was his release for a short time! Then it was the inhalation getting ready to say "OK" followed by whatever we were training (agility obstacles). One day we were working on a particularly difficult exercise, and I KNEW I had to get the "OK", followed by obstacle command, followed by his name for another turn - all very quickly. I took a BIG deep breath - and he broke. So, we had a little inhalation therapy for awhile! LOL. Now I often walk away, turn around to look at him, raise my hand, take a deep breath - and just hold it for awhile. Or release him to a toy BEHIND him. He would anticipate releases without a lot of work (but his start line stay is nearly perfect....so far...knock on wood!).

 

I use "take a break" to mean chill out, quit working, sit in the shade, or just, well, take a break! Its short and sharp, and he knows (now) what it means. I mostly started using it when he was hot or a bit weary - as he was lying down, or getting a drink of water, I said it, and now he pretty much knows it means "we're done [whatever we were doing]" for a short time.

 

I do use "stay" along with sit or down, just as a reinforcer. He knows it means "it might be awhile," I might be working with another dog, or setting obstacles, or whatever. "Wait" is known to be a very temporary "hold position" - in a doorway, while I scoop up whatever I dropped, or even on the agility course, when I need to "regroup" my brain!

 

diane

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If you are teaching a stay I wouldn't reward for the release. The reward should be only for staying so there is more value in staying than releasing.

 

I reward for both. I want the dog to know there is value in staying and there is value in releasing when released. This is key - if I don't release and the dog breaks, I don't reward. That helps the dog to understand, early on in training, that releasing on the release cue is a very good thing, and releasing when not cued does not pay.

 

I really get into this with play training. The dog is in a stay and the reinforcer is seeing the ball about to fly. The dog is released and the ball flies. If the dog releases before the cue, the ball goes behind my back and the opportunity for reinforcement (temporarily) vanishes. This is a very fun game to teach the dog that the stay and the cued release are highly valuable.

 

While I want my dog to hold a start line stay, or an obedience stay, or any stay, I also want the dog to release with enthusiasm.

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Thanks for all of the help!

 

I think I will teach the "sit" and the "stay" as separate commands because I have been paying attention today of the different things that we do throughout the day. For example when walking, sitting at every curb. That would mean I would have to use the release word every time if her "sit" was a sit and stay. Or like last night when she vomited on my bed in the middle of the night eww...she was already lying down, but I wanted her to stay on the bed while I got the supplies to clean it up so I would have needed a "stay" from her.

 

Now I need clarification about using the clicker with teaching the stay command. Specifically the order in which things happen....

Is this the correct order?

sit

click

treat

stay (two seconds to start)

click

treat

release word

click

treat

 

The first one makes more sense to me because it seems more specific to me as she is really learning two behaviors, but as you can tell, I got confused about this one in obedience class and didn't realize I was confused until after leaving....don't you hate it when that happens?

 

I would go with that protocol, with a couple of modifications. (I loooooove making modifications!!)

 

Sit

Click

Treat

(No Delay)

Stay

(Count to two)

Click

Treat

Release

Treat (no click)

 

Over time, I would build the duration in after the stay cue.

 

Actually, when I teach this initially, I don't use the stay cue at all. I build the duration up to about 10 seconds before I add that in.

 

I also add duration with motion (my motion, not the dog's motion)

 

So, it would be:

 

Sit

Click

Treat

Step to the side

Return

Click

Treat

Release

Treat (no click)

 

Over time, the "step to the side" would change to several steps, a step away, a step as if to walk around the dog, a pivot away from the dog, etc.

 

Maaaaaan!! You make me want a new dog! I LOVE teaching this stuff!

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I reward for both. I want the dog to know there is value in staying and there is value in releasing when released. This is key - if I don't release and the dog breaks, I don't reward. That helps the dog to understand, early on in training, that releasing on the release cue is a very good thing, and releasing when not cued does not pay.

 

While I want my dog to hold a start line stay, or an obedience stay, or any stay, I also want the dog to release with enthusiasm.

 

I do the same but I really didn't want to go into explaining. I think I would teach both seperately and for the purpose of training a stay just reward the stay or reward the release when training just that. I was being lazy and couldn't be bothered to explain that not rewarding a release in my case dampened my release so I had to reward the release as well with my older girl but that hasn't happened in my puppy. I mean when teaching a stay you still reward the release so it is not lost but I quite often find that the release is more rewarding than the actual stay which defeats the purpose of trying to train the stay, especially in new handlers. So i reward the release with play (my dogs are more food oriented) and reward the stay with food. Sorry for not explaining, I am feeling extra ordinary today :rolleyes:

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I just wanted to say thank you everyone for all of your help. I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you as I have and still am quite sick with a bad cold. I have not had much of a chance to work on this with Daisy because of being so sick and her class is tonight! My mom will probably have to take her. I could call and set up a one on one class as a make up, but socializing wise, she has made such improvements that even if she is not up to speed there is still a benefit in going.

 

The one problem I am having is when I tell her to stay we get 15/20ish seconds in and she lies down. I am not sure if that is ok or not. Maybe I need to go back to reducing the time a bit.....

 

I thought this video was pretty good (just found it).

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I've used "go on" "okay" "release" and "break" and didn't find one was better than another.

I don't give two cues for stationary cues (sit, down, stand) and stay. If I say "sit" I want the dog to sit until I release him. I don't want my dog to think that sit means "sit until you're tired of sitting and then go do something else." Also, if a dog breaks his sit after you've cued sit AND "stay," he's now broken two totally different sets of criteria with different cues.

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The click ends the behavior. So if you ask the dog to sit, it complies, and you click and treat, that tells the dog the sit is done.

 

For me, sit means sit until you get more input. The input could be a mark/click and reward (effectively releasing the dog), it could be a release word, it could be a cue for a new behavior ("come"), or for a dog whose sit isn't very solid yet I might use "stay" or "wait" as an anti-cue - it tells the dog I am now going to do something different (like walk away, or throw a ball) and it reminds the dog to ignore what I'm doing and continue sitting. In this latter situation I'm more likely to use a body language (e.g. show the dog the flat of my hand) than an actual word.

 

"Wait" to my dogs means freeze, wherever you are, in whatever position you want. Thinking about it, I guess I don't use "stay" much at all.

 

I wouldn't normally click and treat for a sit unless I were in the initial stages of training the sit. Once that's learned, I would normally ask for a sit, then follow that by something else (making the dog's dinner, for instance). If I ask a dog to sit and don't release it, it should be fairly obvious to the dog why they're expected to remain in the sit (dinner is being made, a car is driving past), and they can expect that the end of that event (dinner is done, car is gone) will result in me giving the release cue.

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The one problem I am having is when I tell her to stay we get 15/20ish seconds in and she lies down. I am not sure if that is ok or not. Maybe I need to go back to reducing the time a bit.....

You should be able to tell when she's about to lie down. Go back and reward just before she does.

 

Also, don't keep asking for longer and longer stays. Vary the duration (3 sec, 20 sec, 15 sec 5 sec, 12 sec, etc.).

 

As far as whether it's okay for her to lie down during a stay, that's your decision. In the artificial setting of a competition it may not be, but for practical use that may be fine. Obedience competition doesn't interest me because I don't care to turn my dog into a predictable robot that does the exact same thing every time, but other people really enjoy that challenge. It's all about what you want to do with your dog.

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OK is only a "terrible word" if you make it so. I've used OK for as long as I've been training dogs (somewhere around 13-14 years I think?) and haven't had issues. My dogs understand ok in conversation is not the same as OK! because I've taught them this. OK! will only ever be directed at them by itself or with a dog's name, not surrounded by other words. Dogs are smart, give 'em some credit. ;-)

 

As far as a stay, whether it's position-dependent or not is personal choice. Mine just have to stay put, not assume any position, but then again I don't do obedience either. If I did, I imagine I'd want it to be position-specific. All of my dogs have their fave positions (uhh for stay, get your minds out of the gutter!) and that's the one they''ll assume when I say stay (if they're standing at the time - if they're already in a position, they usually just stay in that).

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The click is what you make it, it does not have to signify the end of a behavior.

 

I use the click as a marker meaning "that's exactly what I want I want you to do, keep doing it until I release you!" I have achieved this by first loading the clicker, teaching simple commands, and then, when I know the dog understands the click, I incorporate stay. So, my stay command is this:

 

"Sit" dog sits, no immediate reward because this behavior has been proofed

"Stay" count to 3-5 seconds, no distance or distractions

*Click* marks the dog frozen in position, if the dog gets up "uh-uh" and repeat sit-stay to click; count another two

"All Done!" dog gets up and comes to me because of the click

*Treat* one or more depending

Repeat

 

I know full well that this method is contradictory to every other method I have heard about when using a clicker, but the pay off has been amazing! I found that the dogs learn the stay faster and progress quicker to longer stays, further distances, and distractions. Further, it eliminates the dog breaking the stay when s/he hears another clicker go off, advances the dog's self control, and IMO creates a more reliable stay.

 

Remember, the click is meant to be used as a secondary reinforcer. It precedes the primary (ie food) and lets the dog know s/he is on the right track. It is not supposed to be a release, that's why we have release words.

 

ETA: If I'm next to the dog when I give the release, the god will typically just stand to be treated. I use stay to be position dependent and wait to mean I don't care what position you're in or go to.

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OK is only a "terrible word" if you make it so. I've used OK for as long as I've been training dogs (somewhere around 13-14 years I think?) and haven't had issues. My dogs understand ok in conversation is not the same as OK! because I've taught them this. OK! will only ever be directed at them by itself or with a dog's name, not surrounded by other words. Dogs are smart, give 'em some credit. ;-)

 

100% with you on that.

Dogs understand context - no doubt about that. I use the same verbal cue for different things and my dogs understand which I want depending on circumstances. Humans understand that the same word can have different meanings and so do dogs. I'm not even sure it's a case of teaching them, they just seem to pick it up.

 

Pam

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100% with you on that.

Dogs understand context - no doubt about that. I use the same verbal cue for different things and my dogs understand which I want depending on circumstances. Humans understand that the same word can have different meanings and so do dogs. I'm not even sure it's a case of teaching them, they just seem to pick it up.

 

And, if you accidentally release your dog when you don't intend to, it's an opportunity to share a moment of humor with the dog. :rolleyes:

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I know full well that this method is contradictory to every other method I have heard about when using a clicker, but the pay off has been amazing! I found that the dogs learn the stay faster and progress quicker to longer stays, further distances, and distractions. Further, it eliminates the dog breaking the stay when s/he hears another clicker go off, advances the dog's self control, and IMO creates a more reliable stay.

 

Remember, the click is meant to be used as a secondary reinforcer. It precedes the primary (ie food) and lets the dog know s/he is on the right track. It is not supposed to be a release, that's why we have release words.

 

It's not actually contradictory. This is something that is debated among clicker trainers. Some consider the click the end of the behavior, and some consider it to be a marker only and that the dog should continue the behavior (a "stay", for instance), until the food is delivered and the release is given.

 

Once we have moved beyond the teaching of initial foundation behaviors, I actually don't consider the click the end of the behavior per se, but if the dog should break the stay, or terminate the behavior at hand, upon hearing the click, the dog is not in the wrong in any way. The correct behavior was marked, and the reward is given. I know that sounds contradictory, but like you, I've found that this works in the end. If the dog breaks, or terminates the behavior, I change something about the way I am working with the dog. We might have to back up a few steps or something.

 

I've been using the clicker lately with more focus on behavior chains. So, I might put the dog in a sit-stay, leave the dog, turn and stand there for a moment - click. Then I return around behind the dog, get back into position with the dog in heel, reward, and release. The dog knows that the treat is coming. Some say that things that happen between the click and the treat (like the handler returning to a dog in a stay, the dog orienting to the handler in the Look at That Game, etc.), actually teach the dog a great deal. I've found this to be the case and I'm looking forward to getting this into my training more in the future.

 

One thing to be clear about, though - I build this slowly. Of course a new dog is going to jump up at the sound of the click. I've found that tends to resolve itself, though, if I reward quickly and then build the duration between the click and the reward. After the dog understands that, we can start doing things where there will be a slight delay in between the click and the treat, but the dog should maintain the behavior.

 

One thing, though, is that I don't ask for another distinct behavior between a click and a treat. So, I would never click the stay, and then call the dog before rewarding. I would click, return, reward, move out again, call, click when the dog commits to moving forward, reward when the dog returns to me, cue a sit front, click, treat, cue a finish, click, treat. Of course, over time, I drop out the clicks altogether. I only click every single distinct behavior when we are in the process of putting things together initially.

 

But I will click when the dog is going to maintain a behavior - like a stay, or running toward me in a recall, or as the dog commits to a spin, etc., and expect the dog to continue that behavior until release (ex. a stay) or reward (ex. recall, spin)

 

This tends to be a big handler personal preference thing. Obviously, both ways can work very well. I don't think it's "wrong" for someone to use "the click ends the behavior". But it doesn't have to for every dog and handler.

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