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Sooo...Bones is getting the hang of wait quite well. She'll wait (without me asking) while I open the door to enter and exit, when I put her food down, when I take the baby gate down. Our release word is okay.

We haven't touched stay yet, but is this something that is needed? Will she understand a difference between wait (as in, be patient and whatever you want will come to you) and stay (as in, keep your butt glued to the ground indefinitely)? Or could I just continue to use wait and just begin to broaden its uses? Do any of you use both cues for different situations? And if I do teach her stay, should I use a different release for the different cue?

One more thing: We've been working on 'go to your place.' I work in a barn, and eventually, I'd like to be able to give the cue from anywhere in the barn and have her run to her bed and lie down, mostly for safety reasons. Right now, she'll run to her bed and lie down, then I click and treat. But it occurred to me today -should I be incorporating a release? Like, she runs to her bed, I give her the release word, then click and treat?
 

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I'd teach the release word at her "place" separately. I taught my girl both 'stay' and 'wait' and nowadays use them interchangeable, lol, so I wouldn't bother with teaching 'stay' if I were you. I would, however, pick another release word ... I have used 'okay' as a release word too and it's not at all good. I don't know how many times I've had Mandy on a down or sit while I talk to someone and casually use 'okay' in my conversation and suddenly have a dog jump up to meet and great. Not cool, and entirely my fault.
 

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My release word is also "okay," but when I'm talking to my dogs, I say it entirely different than when I'm talking to people. When I release them, it's an excited, high-pitched "okay!" whereas during normal conversation, it's used in a much quieter, calmer tone. Plus I use "alright" a lot more often than "okay when I'm talking to people." Maybe it depends on the dog though.
 

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I've taught my dogs that sit/down etc mean sit/down until released. They're already sitting, so I saw no point in introducing another cue that means "keep doing what you're doing". I also didn't know how to make them associate the word 'stay' with anything when they were already sitting, so it was easier to just stick with the cues they already knew.

I use the same release word for all formal commands, but I also have a few others that I use, like "go sniff" on walks, or "let's go" at crossings. But they're not needed. I know some people who have one release word that means "end of this particular exercise, but I haven't finished with you, so stick around" and another that means "end of everything, go do whatever you want".

For going to the bed, if you introduce a release word you have to be prepared to enforce it every time you tell her to go to her bed. I wouldn't use a clicker. I only use a clicker for new behaviours, if the dog knows what 'go to your bed' means, I won't say anything, or I will wait a while and say "good" or "yes". Then the reward is to either be released, or to receive a treat. A treat doesn't give them permission to get up, so I don't use a clicker, I just very calmly put a treat in front of them.

I wouldn't use a clicker after the release word either, because the release in itself is a reward. You also want to build value for being on the bed, so you'll want to reward while the dog is on the bed, and not reward after the dog gets up.
 

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I use both. Wait-you can get up when I say the release word and Stay-Sit there till I get back to you and release you. That's how I use it in my training.
If we are at the door or we are feeding I use wait then then use the release word to let them go. If we are say at a friends house who doesn't like dogs on their furniture or what ever they stay until I get back to them and release them.
 

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Whether stay is important or not depends on what you want. I probably wouldn't click & treat the release unless that is the behavior you want to reinforce. Instead I would gradually increase duration before the click. In fact, on "go to bed" once she has the concept, I would probably just use a word marker and place a treat between front paws. Clicks generally mean the behavior is over. For my dogs who have done obedience, stay means stay where you are until I come back and release you (because they have to stay in a sit for 3 min with me out of sight and down for 5 minutes, same. Wait means stay there until I ask for something else.
 

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I use wait in a very different way then stay. Wait is a "I don't care what you do but don't enter/exit this room/house/hallway etc." Stay means wait in that specific spot with out moving from your post at all.

Examples:

Wait -I'm walking out of the house to get the mail and leave the door open, telling Jetta to "wait". I don't care what she does INSIDE the house so long as she doesn't step foot out of the house. I either reward with a petting/treat after I get inside and don't let her out. Or I let her out as a reward.


Stay -I have to help a customer at work so tell jetta to down, settle and stay in a specific spot. She can't be wondering around the store with out me so she is required to stay in that specific location until I release her.



On another note, Jetta is fully aware when I am talking to her and when I am not.
 

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I use wait when I'm not releasing her ... and stay means 'stop dead in your track right there and STAND until told otherwise' (like in a moving stand for example, stand means to get up to standing position from a sit or a down). I don't use stay when she sits or lays down, then she already got something to do and is supposed to keep doing it until told otherwise.

This thread did get me to realize, though, that I've used 'wait' around the house some lately but it started as a command that told her to stay put 'for a while' but I wouldn't release her because I wouldn't be right there to release.
 

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From a competition perspective -- 'wait' signifies to remain in position and that a subsequent cue will almost always follow; 'stay' signifies to remain in position until I return to heel position every time without exception. Both require an appropriate release of some sort, whether it is "front!" or "alright!" etc. Some people prefer to just give the stand or sit or down cue and that's all, which is fine I suppose. I prefer to give the dog the extra information that 'I'm LEAVING you now, don't move until further notice', in either case. In a sense, and in my personal opinion, 'wait' becomes an invaluable precursor to an additional action, whereas 'stay' does not and actually predicts 'I will return'.

From a less stringent or everday perspective -- I mostly use 'hang loose' or perhaps an abbreviated 'hang', which means don't cross a particular threshhold or go out the gate etc, but you are otherwise free to move about. No release required.


A clear and CONSISTENT release from the mat is mandatory, of course, unless you are trying to create a pinball dog, LOL. As far as clicking the actual release off the mat, however ... why not ? I say go for it, it's certainly an integral part of the bigger picture.
 

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On the other hand, from a pet dog context, if you're consistent, your dog will figure it out.
1. I do the same a Lil-fuzzy: Sit means Sit-stay, Down means Down-Stay.
2. In context, he reacts to me, so when I want be unambiguous and to emphasize, I'll say Stay.
3. Stop, means (Stand) Stay when he is looking away from me.
4. Interesting - as I was teaching him to walk off leash in the park, He'd go roaming. I'd run up to him and say Sit. He learned. In the park, when he roams, if I say Sit, he comes back to the path :) .... However, if he's on the path or returning, and I say Sit... he does.
If he's sitting and I say Sit!, He sticks his tongue at me :) (Calming Signal).
5. When I was teaching 'release' using OK, I'd mis-fire and say OK in a different context... I finally learned.
 

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Wait and Stay means the same thing to my dog...
She just sits there...
Lets Go and Okay Good Girl..
is when she can act normally...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd teach the release word at her "place" separately. I taught my girl both 'stay' and 'wait' and nowadays use them interchangeable, lol, so I wouldn't bother with teaching 'stay' if I were you. I would, however, pick another release word ... I have used 'okay' as a release word too and it's not at all good. I don't know how many times I've had Mandy on a down or sit while I talk to someone and casually use 'okay' in my conversation and suddenly have a dog jump up to meet and great. Not cool, and entirely my fault.
I had thought about changing the release cue, but she knows it so well...I'll just have to get over it, haha. And completely off topic, and forgive me if it's a stupid question, but your rottie herds?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replies! You've all definitely given me some things to think about.

I think I'll hold off on teaching her stay, at least for now. We'll keep working on the 'place' cue. At this point, I'd like to be able to send her to her bed to chill, mostly because she's either dead asleep, or going a hundred miles an hour! It'd be nice to have her laying quietly on her bed, so we'll work on gradually increasing the time she stays there.

This is probably a stupid question, but if I 'put' her on her bed, I'll need to use the release word every single time, before she gets off, yes? If she goes on it by her own choice, it won't matter if I release her or not, right?
 

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She is herding tested ... with some minor hick-ups by her very astute prey drive.:redface:
After the herding test it felt like she was more 'on' my horses so I decided to keep working on her not herding horses in any situation and skip the herding of sheep ... she'd rather have them as dinner in any case. lol She DID a couple of really nice herding runs though, but that was as a 10 month old so we would have to start all over to try again.
 

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She is herding tested ... with some minor hick-ups by her very astute prey drive.:redface:
After the herding test it felt like she was more 'on' my horses so I decided to keep working on her not herding horses in any situation and skip the herding of sheep ... she'd rather have them as dinner in any case. lol She DID a couple of really nice herding runs though, but that was as a 10 month old so we would have to start all over to try again.
That is amazing! One of the women at the barn has a three year old female, and she is one of the most beautiful, sweet-natured dogs I have ever met. She's my puppy's best friend in the whole world, and I could never imagine her herding anything, lol.
 

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<snip> If she goes on it by her own choice, it won't matter if I release her or not, right?
That concept didn't work very well for me so I never taught my girl "place" ... instead I taught her three different kinds of down. 'Go lay down', in English or Swedish, means find a place to lay down. She can change room or find a soft or shady spot outdoors, it's no rush to get down as long as she's calmly finding her spot. 'Down' means lay down comfortable where you are ... you might be there for quite some time, and 'Platz' means to drop immediately as fast as possible to lay as a sphinx ready to get up on my next command.
 

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No, if she goes to the bed on her own there is no need to release her. Just like you don't release the dog every time she sits or downs on her own.
 
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