Instructor: Laura Waudby
There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.
Registration will begin at 12:00 Noon Pacific Time.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Gold Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to post questions and videos to the course forums. Students will receive instructor feedback on written and video assignments.
Silver Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to participate in the discussion forum. Students may ask GENERAL questions about course materials and may submit two, one-minute videos for instructor feedback. Any questions specific to your dog MUST be accompanied by a video.
Bronze Level includes access to all course materials and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forums. Students will not post questions or submit written or video assignments.
For more details, refund policies, and answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
This course will focus on all things related to the stand behavior!!!
Teaching a Stand
What style of stand should you train?! A kickback stand? Rear feet still? A pop up stand?! So many choices! Let's talk about what type of stand you should train for the dog performing it in heel and at a distance! While we're at it, we might as well get a solid stand in motion too!
Here is a quick visual guide as to the different ways a dog can perform a sit to stand!
Is the new AKC command discrimination exercise in open really all that difficult? Let's talk about what parts we should prepare the dog for in gearing up for the formal exercise!
Do you have a wiggle butt dog who can't wait to smother the judge with love? Labradors out there, listen up as I'm talking to you!
Or is your dog a little suspicious of being approached when working? He seems fine around people until he gets in the ring and then whoa who is that person coming up?!
We will discuss laying a foundation through games so your dog has a solid understanding of freezing in the stand position. Much of the foundation work will not require the use of a helper, although one will be needed at the actual exam stage. We will not only build a positive association to being approached but give the dog an opt-out system to let us know if we pushed things a little bit too far with their comfort level.
Note: If your dog is very anxious around people, the Boogeyman course by Amy Cook will be a better fit. This class will assume that your dog is comfortable around people, but just doesn't want to be directly touched. You can still take this class with your "Boogeyman" dog, but will likely work on mastering all the exercises that don't involve helpers.
Most of the lectures will be released in the first 3-4 weeks of class so that we can evaluate what more experienced dogs should be working on. Students are not expected to complete all the lectures each week and it will be impossible for a dog new to stands or exams to be able to work through all the steps. A helper will occasionally be needed in weeks 3-6 (or sooner) for teams who are ready and want to focus on the exam portion.
Here is a rough idea of the topics:
- Teaching a stand: Rear feet still vs front feet still, pop up or not. In heel and in front
- Teaching a moving "stand"- freeze in place!
- Teaching a solid lock in position: doggy zen games, oppositional reflex games, cookie bending fun
- Handler distractions
- Adding excitement
- Teach a consent cue for exams
- Adding in an exam from the handler
- Introducing people and building up to a touching exam
- Building distance of the stand cue for the cue discrimination exercise in open (or TEAM!)
Dogs of all levels are invited to train! Even puppies can get started on learning a solid foundation.
A helper will be needed in later weeks, although much of the initial foundation can be done without. Only a small room needed for space as most exercises will be stationary. Enough room to heel about 15ft will be beneficial for those wanting to work on the moving stand and starting distance work.
Optional equipment: Balance disc, platform (large enough for all 4 feet on), perch (for 2 front feet or 2 rear feet)
Introducing an Approaching Person
I do 100% of my dog’s exams until they are 110% solid. I want my dogs completely bomb proof in their job so that all that is left is adding in one final distraction- another human being. For some dogs that added distraction is no easy thing. The huge butt wiggling happy dogs, and the shy, melting dogs have a lot of prep work to do so. But the good news is that if you have done all the zen work with food and toys, then they already understand the concept.
First, pick your helpers wisely. People love to be “helpful” and can act in some unpredicted ways!!! Give full instructions to your helper before you begin and structure their job for success by providing them with some concrete markers.
You might want to have a line drawn on the floor or use landmarks around your training area to structure exactly where they should stand at the start, where they should walk to, and where they should return to. Give them additional instructions for backing away whenever you say “yes” and for stopping movement whenever the dog does a specific behavior such as come off their platform or I tell the helper to retreat.
For the first lesson, my plan is to work on approach and walk past the dog. My dog will be on a platform or perch the first time I try this to structure my dog for success. My goal is to break it down into super tiny steps so I can reward my dog for maintaining eye contact with me 100% of the time or give only the briefest glance to my distractor. I don’t care if my dog looks at my helper as they approach, but if that glance turns into a stare I always abort and reset. My dog is just letting me know that the distraction is too hard to give me their complete focus.
Feel free to do this work with your dog in a sit or even in a down if their stand is not ready for distraction work.
It will look like this:
- Helper starts off to the side, 10ft behind me and 10 feet to the left or right. I am directly in front of my dog, no more than 3 feet away.
- Helper begins walking parallel to our path (not directly towards the dog!). I mark and reward the dog for keeping eye contact with me or for giving no more than a 1 Mississippi look at the helper. I can reward in place OR release and excitedly take a step or so backwards and encourage the dog to come to me. There is no right or wrong answer how to reward. Keep in mind that rewarding in position will encourage more of a calm demeanor and will keep arousal lower. But it also serves less as a release of pressure. Rewarding while moving relieves the pressure, is more fun, but also adds arousal, and does get the dog anticipating moving versus being still.
- Every time I mark, my helper is instructed to do a U turn and head back to their starting point. The heading back to the start relieves pressure for the dog (yay!) and also sets up for a new repetition. The helper also retreats whenever my dog moves or I instruct them to restart. Usually, I need to verbally tell the helper the instructions of "forward" and "retreat." For minor glances, I might have my helper just pause forward movement or retreat only a step and see if that's enough to help the dog. For longer glances I prefer my helper back up several steps so we can fully restart.
- Continue training by delaying the reward until the helper can walk completely past the dog. Remember this parallel walking, not approaching the dog.
- If you are not releasing the dog forward on the reward, make sure to periodically release them from their stand and play with them! You do not want to work on super long duration, nor do you want pressure to keep building.
- Make sure to practice your helper on both sides of the dog.
If this was easy, great!!! Do not feel pressured to rush this training. We want to set the dog up for success, form a solid foundation, and completely erase any bad habits that may have already formed.
IF the dog had no problem, keep working this exercise until your helper can walk by within 2 feet from the dog. No direct approach yet, just walking by. Reward your dog for sustained eye contact with you or with only a brief break in focus, and have your helper back away anytime your dog moves or loses that focus. Ask your helper to not even look at your dog.
Here is Stella working on her human distraction getting closer and closer to her. This is not her first lesson, we are fairly close distance now. Stella is doing this in a sit position as her stand stay is not ready yet for this level of work:
And finally, your next step is having your helper walk around the dog, forming a U shaped path. You will again back off on distance to 10ft away. Give clear instructions to your helper and consider putting down a small landmark on the floor on both sides of your dog and behind your dog at the distance you want them to maintain around your dog!
Super easy?! Add in increased distractions. The more you proof these early steps the easier the next steps will be. Ideas for your helper include:
- Weird clothing: big hats, carrying an umbrella, a cane, full snowsuit and cold weather get up (think the little kid in A Christmas Story or whatever you can get your helper to actually wear J)
- Weird gaits: Skipping, running, crawling?, hobbling, with a cane
- Weird noises: coughing, mimicking Santa (Ho ho ho!), quacking
Just keep in mind that the goal is to build your dog’s confidence! If your dog is nervous, abort! And at this stage your helper should not be looking at the dog.
A Sampling of what prior students have said about this course ...
This class is a really comprehensive education for both dog and handler on all of the elements that make for a great stand behavior. My dog and I had been stuck in a rut when it came to stand, and not only did we get past that quickly thanks to the course materials, I now have a complete plan for getting this behavior rock-solid and trial ready! --Katherine O.
Stand with Me is an excellent class working on an exercise that can be very stressful for a dog. Laura had great ideas to break down the components to help explain the exercise to the dog and feel confident about it. Ann S.
I loved this course and i love the acadamy set up. This was my first online training course and i wasnt sure how i would go with not only learning online but doing it through mobile data and then a tablet. Very very good.
Laura, I signed up for this class last minute, and almost on a whim. I am *so* glad I did! Kiyo & I both learned a lot & our confidence levels also increased. You are patient, thorough, detailed and kind. Looking forward to taking more classes with you. "Ring confidence" if we can get in it! Nancy Almann
This class was fantastic! We were able to start getting a really nice freeze in stand and my wiggly butt one year old maligator will freeze to let my husband touch him in a stand without moving. I didn't think it was possible for him (we're eyeing Over greeters anonymous he gets so excited)! These are skills we will keep working on but the improvement has been incredible already!!
Thank you! I learned a lot from this class. Lots of good tips for how to train a Stand and my dog's skills improved! Lectures were excellent.
We made huge progress, and my wiggly dog can now actually stand still for the Novice SFE!