The K9 Companion class began as an entry level training course for dogs that are 6 months or older. The concepts, however, can be used for all ages of dogs including puppies. The class introduces you to reward-based training techniques that will help you communicate to your dog a basic vocabulary of commands and will strengthen the bond you have with your dog to help make him or her a better house companion. Please review all the weeks because information in latter weeks make be useful immediately. Certainly there are various sequences in which the exercises may be taught and you should do what works best for you and your K9 Companion.

Teaching the dog to STAND

  • Sit the dog with his front toes on the edge of the place board. By now he knows that he doesn't want to step off the place board by going forward, so now it's up to you to teach him how to back his hind feet into the stand.

  • With a treat in your closed right hand, step in to your dog, starting with the treat at his nose and bring it down and into his chest. This movement will lower his head and make his back legs pop back up into a standing position.

  • When your dog’s butt goes up, mark with a YES and treat and give him lots of praise.

  • Be patient with this exercise and keep teaching it if your dog doesn't understand it at first.

  • Use a slight belly tap with your left hand from your dog’s side or a tap with your toe under the belly from the front to help your dog into a stand position if needed.

  • Open the hand with the treat in as he moves his hind feet back. When he does it faster wait until he is into the stand before marking and rewarding.

(Please be aware that a treat in your hand over his head will tend to rock his weight back into a sit, and a treat in your hand between his front feet will tend to elicit a down.)

To add the command:

When you consistently get 5 out of 5 reps in 4 out of 5 sessions add the word STAND immediately before (not during or after) you put the lure in front of your dog’s nose. Keep your luring hand still until you’ve said the word and use the lure if you need to. When your dog’s butt pops up immediately say YES and treat. Make sure you are quick with the YES so he knows that standing is what he did correctly. Practice this a few times a day with no more than 3-5 stands per session. When your dog does this reliably, extend the time he must stand before the YES and the reward. Use GOOD to tell him he’s correct. Vary the time he must stand before you mark it and he gets the reward by alternating between a range of 3-10 seconds of maintaining the stand.