I hope you had a nice break yesterday and had some cuddle time with your dog, did some chore catch-up and did some reading or watched a movie. I know I did!
On Day 8 I challenged you to ask your dog to stay in a Sit for 10 seconds. If you have achieved that your next challenge would be to add DISTANCE. Remember the 3 “D’s”? Duration, Distance and Distraction.
Let’s talk about Distance. Adding distance to a stay is the ability of the dog to stay in the position you have requested while you move away. You are not adding any duration yet so you will immediately return to your dog once you have moved the required distance. The reward will be given to the dog in place on your return. Remember that you are rewarding him for staying in place so only reward him if he is still in the Sit when you return to him. If he stands up as you approach (this is the most common situation) and then you reward him, you stand the risk of reinforcing him for NOT staying.
As with the Duration exercise where you rewarded the stay in progressions of one second, the distance is increased in progressions of one step at a time. You can either start with the dog in a sit in front of you (which is probably his default), or at your side in the “heel” position, or even on a platform. You want to make it as easy as possible for the dog to succeed. If your dog fails at any one of the progressions the only consequence is that he is not rewarded and you need to reassess your criteria.
In this video I’m demonstrating the sit/stay in two positions relative to me. In front and at heel.
I hope you have fun with this one. No intimidation or punishment. Just gradual reinforced progressions towards your goal.