Such a simple thing to teach. Except for me. This week in Molly's class, we were instructed to work on STAY. Molly was even used as a demo dog-and she got it. So I am determined to get a good stay on Molly-my first ever good stay on a dog.
Stay is one of those things that seems simple, but is nuanced ad nauseam. For a dog who is used to offering behaviors until the right one is offered, STAY can be disconcerting-the correct behavior is do nothing-remain in position. It can be either sit or down, but whatever the command was prior to stay, THAT is position that you have to remain in. So, lying down on a sit stay is a no no-even if you don't move forward.
As in life, doing nothing is often harder than doing something-and figuring out the right way to do nothing-well, that takes real effort.
Dear Molly is my practice dog-Moon HAS to have a great stay if he's going to do agility. Both the start and the middle exercise (a sit stay or a down stay) have to be done correctly or the run will not qualify. While Moon learns more quickly than Molly, he is also prone to "learning" something not exactly correct-Molly is more forgiving for trainer error. So, this month Molly will learn to stay, and next month we'll shoot for Moon.