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I should have asked this a long time ago and stopped myself from going crazy, but I kept thinking it would sort itself out, and it hasn't.

Basically, the Kikopup method for stay is that all poses (sit, down, stand) also mean stay and that you always have to release your dog. Well the issue is that I did "7 days to a perfect puppy" method which taught a default sit when Perrin was only 8 weeks old, so she always breaks her poses to sit. I have been trying for months and I can't get her to stay in a stand or down at all!

Should I give up on the kikopup method and just do "sit stay" instead of "sit"? how did you all teach stays?
 

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I wouldn't stress about it and do whatever works for you and your pup, unless you have aspirations of higher level obedience and whatnot.
This^^^

I taught my dog "stay" as a separate cue partly because I had no idea what I was doing (and it wasn't taught as a "sit until released" in our puppy class) and partly because I was lazy and in most instances I don't care if she actually holds the sit.

You'll find that most trainers have their own style, methods, and cues. Find what works for you and your dog and go with it. Training should be fun, not frustrating. :)
 

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I use "Stay" for sit and down where I do not want the dogs to come at me on command. With a stay, I always come back to the dog and release them with both a hand touch on their shoulder and a verbal "Okay." I use "Wait" for a temporary stay where I will be calling the dog to me or they will be moving again soon after the command....like going through a door.

I think this is one of the bigger issues I have of people using videos on You Tube alone for training their dogs...confusion or expecting too much from the dog too soon. When training dogs and especially if someone is new to training dogs, having someone watch what you are doing with your training will help things become much more black and white for the owner. There are so many things we do or don't that will screw our dogs up in the learning phase...bad reward placement, unclear commands/cues, bad reward timing. So many times I see in the classes I teach that people are the reason their dogs can't do a command correctly...and then they get frustrated with the dog. I strongly recommend getting a puppy or dog into training classes so someone can see what you're doing and not doing.

I go to drop in run thru classes all the time with my dogs...so I can have someone watch me and what I'm doing as a handler so I can improve my part of the team. Even though most people don't do obedience for competition, having a trainer watch your interactions with you dog while training can really help move through issues you might be having.
 

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I don't force my dogs to stay in a sit for an extended period of time because I feel it is uncomfortable for them. Maybe I am too soft on them or maybe it is because I am used to Freyja who always "slips" into a down. I did the Kikopup method of "stay" where they hold each pose until you release but wound up only teaching the down that way because Freyja would not hold her sit, she drops every time, usually in under 10 seconds. I decided I didn't care enough to fight with her, what was the point of us both being frustrated? I have my dogs "wait" in sit just a little looser and less formal than the stay. Ultimately whatever works best for you and your pup is fine unless you are needing something very specific.
 

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I don't force my dogs to stay in a sit for an extended period of time because I feel it is uncomfortable for them. Maybe I am too soft on them or maybe it is because I am used to Freyja who always "slips" into a down. I did the Kikopup method of "stay" where they hold each pose until you release but wound up only teaching the down that way because Freyja would not hold her sit, she drops every time, usually in under 10 seconds. I decided I didn't care enough to fight with her, what was the point of us both being frustrated? I have my dogs "wait" in sit just a little looser and less formal than the stay. Ultimately whatever works best for you and your pup is fine unless you are needing something very specific.
So, your dog holds a sit stay for 10 seconds at that's it?? Yes, that is too soft on your dog...they are not holding a stay if they drop into a down. Lars happily did a 3 minute sit stay with me out of sight last night in class. I feel a dog should be able to hold a sit stay for a minute without breaking...that is the basic sit stay in novice obedience.
 

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I agree that attending a class has great benefits, but I've been just as confused by different instructors as the OP is by books and videos. One instructor uses "touch" for a nose target, another uses "target." In other classes, some behaviors are put on stimulus control; in others, those same behaviors are taught as automatic behaviors. For more experienced dog people, those difference may seem insignificant, but for novices they can be confusing.

I don't force my dogs to stay in a sit for an extended period of time because I feel it is uncomfortable for them. Maybe I am too soft on them or maybe it is because I am used to Freyja who always "slips" into a down. I did the Kikopup method of "stay" where they hold each pose until you release but wound up only teaching the down that way because Freyja would not hold her sit, she drops every time, usually in under 10 seconds. I decided I didn't care enough to fight with her, what was the point of us both being frustrated? I have my dogs "wait" in sit just a little looser and less formal than the stay. Ultimately whatever works best for you and your pup is fine unless you are needing something very specific.
For some reason, Katie almost always slides on the mats at our training center. Oddly, she's fine on the hardwood floors at home, but the rubber mats make her slide into a down.
 

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I taught stay as a separate command so that no matter what he's doing (sitting, standing, down) he won't move until released. I did this because he used to bolt to the door and sitting AT the door was too exciting for him. So stay as it's own command has been helpful for me. I started teaching while he was in sit because he's always happy to sit and as I extended the time away and he got better, I moved him on to down and stay and started over. With stand I basically just told him to stay when I knew he wouldn't be going anywhere, and gradually he learned that stay=don't move until I say okay. Now when he's doing something independently and I tell him to stay, he does it no problem :)
 

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Ocean will slide down from a sit into a down about 30 to 45 seconds into his minute sit/stay in class...it's because stays are last and he's probably tired. Too bad...I go in and place him back into a sit and remind him that stay means stay no matter how tired you are.

Stay is a command that I am a stickler on because someday, you might really need your dog to stay put because something is unsafe. If stay means...eh, I don't think so because I don't have to and no one ever enforces my stay...you might have dog who enters that unsafe issue. I have used STAY!...if something glass breaks in the kitchen and there is shards of glass all over the floor and around where my dog is sitting. I can't pick up my 75 and 87 pound dogs...so a stay until I clean it up is not an option.
 

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I am HUGE on stay. It's one of the most important (to me) commands I teach.

I do not give a crap what position they stay in. My dogs freeze in place in whatever position and all but Molly will hold it indefinitely, but I really fail to see a situation where a sit-stay is safe and a down-stay would be dangerous. You might not LIKE IT and that's fine. You may not accept it - also well and good. But I'd hazard that 99.99999% of the time safety relies on staying in place - not staying in position. A dog who slides down because it thinks down is the position to stay in (or defaults to sit when told to say) is not magically in enormous amounts of danger from not staying.

That said, if it bothers you or you want to go on to higher level obedience, the answer really is just putting them back into position. Nope them out (no reward marker), try again and make your criteria shorter and build slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wouldn't stress about it and do whatever works for you and your pup, unless you have aspirations of higher level obedience and whatnot.
So are you staying that the stay in position default (as in "sit" means "sit stay") is necessary for higher level? I think I do want to do higher level obedience. She is a really smart dog and I have a background in animal behavior, so it is kindof an eventual hope. I just want to get the right foundation, and I'm not sure what is "the best way". Obviously I know there is no one best way, but I am pissed off I did default sit, because that is clearly not the best way for anything other than just a good dog who sits and doesn't do other commands.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use "Stay" for sit and down where I do not want the dogs to come at me on command. With a stay, I always come back to the dog and release them with both a hand touch on their shoulder and a verbal "Okay." I use "Wait" for a temporary stay where I will be calling the dog to me or they will be moving again soon after the command....like going through a door.

I think this is one of the bigger issues I have of people using videos on You Tube alone for training their dogs...confusion or expecting too much from the dog too soon. When training dogs and especially if someone is new to training dogs, having someone watch what you are doing with your training will help things become much more black and white for the owner. There are so many things we do or don't that will screw our dogs up in the learning phase...bad reward placement, unclear commands/cues, bad reward timing. So many times I see in the classes I teach that people are the reason their dogs can't do a command correctly...and then they get frustrated with the dog. I strongly recommend getting a puppy or dog into training classes so someone can see what you're doing and not doing.

I go to drop in run thru classes all the time with my dogs...so I can have someone watch me and what I'm doing as a handler so I can improve my part of the team. Even though most people don't do obedience for competition, having a trainer watch your interactions with you dog while training can really help move through issues you might be having.

I agree, I know that it is my problem, not my dog's problem. But part of the reason why it is my problem is that there are too many ways to train and I want to just stick with one thing. So I decided to stick with the Kikopup way, but that goes against what she learned at 8 weeks, which is "sit to say please."

I always have my boyfriend watch me train and even videotape it to make sure I am doing it right. I know I'm not perfect, but I don't think I need to go to a class. I can analyze my own behavior better one-on-one with a video. I have a degree in animal behavior so I know all about conditioning and cues. I know I don't always get my timing perfect, but I don't need to pay a trainer to tell me that. Unless it was Kikopup or Ian Dunbar or Karen Pryor or something like that, then I would obviously pay because they would have insight I don't. The trainers in my area are barely professionals.
 

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So are you staying that the stay in position default (as in "sit" means "sit stay") is necessary for higher level? I think I do want to do higher level obedience. She is a really smart dog and I have a background in animal behavior, so it is kindof an eventual hope. I just want to get the right foundation, and I'm not sure what is "the best way". Obviously I know there is no one best way, but I am pissed off I did default sit, because that is clearly not the best way for anything other than just a good dog who sits and doesn't do other commands.
If you intend to compete, it might be good to find a trainer who competes in your selected sport so s/he will know the rules, expectations, and training foundations you'll need. I don't think you messed up, you may just need to adjust the way you teach various behaviors to account for previous learning.
 

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A dog who slides down because it thinks down is the position to stay in (or defaults to sit when told to say) is not magically in enormous amounts of danger from not staying.
I think that could lead to grey areas in the dog's understanding of stay. Stay means you stay as you are...stand stay, sit stay, down stay. The dog needs to stay as I leave them...if the option is there to break the stay and move into a position that suits them better...your stay will start to erode across the stays (Sit, down, stand) Say the glass is right in front of the dog's feet in a sit or right underneath them if they are standing...they down and then they are in the middle of the glass. For me...when I tell a dog to stay, they must hold that position until I say other wise. If I wanted my dog into a down, I would put them into a down...they don't make that choice on their own.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think that could lead to grey areas in the dog's understanding of stay. Stay means you stay as you are...stand stay, sit stay, down stay. The dog needs to stay as I leave them...if the option is there to break the stay and move into a position that suits them better...your stay will start to erode across the stays (Sit, down, stand) Say the glass is right in front of the dog's feet in a sit or right underneath them if they are standing...they down and then they are in the middle of the glass. For me...when I tell a dog to stay, they must hold that position until I say other wise. If I wanted my dog into a down, I would put them into a down...they don't make that choice on their own.
I don't want her making the choice on her own. Last time I told her to stay in a stand, she sat...wait for it...and smeared green diarrhea all over the carpet!!! I was trying to clean her up, but she wanted to be good so she sat!

I really don't want her switching positions of her own volition. She is very comfortable in a sit, she sits for an hour straight to watch birds of her own choice, with no discomfort.
 

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How old is your dog now??
 

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I am of the Train to the level that is comfortable for you, and works for you on a daily basis (unless you are going to do AKC obedience).
We do Sit stays, or Down stays. The standing STAY is not what we taught. The dogs have a WAIT command, which in our household, means stop in your tracks (usu this is on walks and they have gotten ahead of me and I can see something - like a bike heading towards us, which they will chase) so I shout WAIT and they wait for me to catch up to them. Its a handy command and I use it often. We have a big yard and I use it there too if I need them to stop in their tracks, and they usu throw in a "look at me" too which I like....
 

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If you intend to compete, it might be good to find a trainer who competes in your selected sport so s/he will know the rules, expectations, and training foundations you'll need. I don't think you messed up, you may just need to adjust the way you teach various behaviors to account for previous learning.
Absolutely...if you want to compete, find a good trainer who has competed and has been successful at competing in that sport that interests you. You want to lay a foundation for competitive sports when a dog is young...because you don't want to have to make the dog unlearn something that will have to be rebuilt later for higher level obedience. Heeling to most dog people is a completely different animal to those who are doing higher level obedience.
 

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So are you staying that the stay in position default (as in "sit" means "sit stay") is necessary for higher level? I think I do want to do higher level obedience. She is a really smart dog and I have a background in animal behavior, so it is kindof an eventual hope. I just want to get the right foundation, and I'm not sure what is "the best way". Obviously I know there is no one best way, but I am pissed off I did default sit, because that is clearly not the best way for anything other than just a good dog who sits and doesn't do other commands.
Basically what I meant was what others have said. For day-to-day utility of the command, I don't think it matters much if it's a sitting stay or a down stay or what have you, as long as the dog stays.

If you wanted to compete in obedience, she may be required to specifically do a sit-stay vs a standing-stay vs a down-stay, so in that case you'd want to work on differentiating.
 

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Also my trainer taught our giant schnauzer that SIT means sit til you are released. And so does DOWN. So no real need for the STAY at all...
 
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