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Teaching Your Puppy "Stand"

When you give a dog any command, you have automatically assumed a dominant role and put the dog into a submissive one. Standing is a somewhat dominant canine posture, whereas the Sit and the Down are submissive canine positions, so it is sometimes difficult to teach a naturally submissive puppy to Stand when told. Given the command "Stand," many dogs will obey, but quickly lower their tails, ears and head - all submissive body language.

 Be gentle and patient. A perfect puppy Stand has four feet on the ground (that's the hard part), but it's also nice to see the head up and the tail wagging. Don't worry if at first your puppy would rather be a clown than stand still. Eventually they all grow up.

Let's say your puppy Rufus is learning the word "Stay" which (fortunately in this case) sounds a little like "Stand." Whenever you catch him standing still, it can work to your advantage. The puppy may pause for a moment to figure out which one you said, giving you the perfect opportunity to reinforce it with a "good stand." However, puppies do not spend much time standing around, so you'll have to teach him, not just rely on trying to catch him in the act. One way is to walk him into a stand.

When he is pretty good at heeling, slow down and as you come to a stop, bring your right hand in front of him (palm side toward his nose) as you say "Stand." Perform this hand signal gently or Rufus will think he is going to be zonked and he'll duck! Practice by taking one or two slow steps (without a "Let's go" command) followed by a "Stand" command.

Getting that head held high and happy and the tail wagging calls for a treat poised for a moment with a "Watch me!" A couple of reasonable or good "stands" are followed by a rousing romp in the early days of training. Standing still is very hard.

Again, take advantage of every possible occasion to ask your puppy to Stand. If you've been asking him to Sit before putting his dinner on the floor, now you can alternate a Sit with a Stand - and offer a treat reward right out of the dinner bowl. Use the Stand command to begin a brushing/grooming session, but release him after a few seconds.

A "perfect stand" is only required of an adult dog for about a minute. Standing is necessary for at least part of his weekly grooming, but not standing at attention. In fact, during every grooming session you can make use Of the Sit, the Stand, and the Down.

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Teaching Your Puppy "Stand"


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