How to Teach Your Dog to “Stand”

StandYou will not use the stand command as often as some of the other commands that we have gone over already. This command is most often used when giving your dog a bath or at the vet’s office. You may also find it useful if you have a dog who likes to roll around in the dirt or mud.

I find it easiest to teach your dog this command from the sit position first, and then from the down position. When you are ready to begin, load yourself up with treats.

First, command your dog to “sit”.

Next, with a treat in your hand and close to your dogs nose, begin moving your hand away in a horizontal position and parallel to the ground. Once your dog stands, praise him and give him the treat.

If your dog does not stand because of this hand/treat movement, then help your dog by gently guiding him to stand.

Once your dog has mastered being able to stand with a treat as an incentive, you want to begin the same hand movements, but without the treats. If you dog does stand, reward him with a treat from your other hand or from your pocket. You want them to feel that they are being praised, but not that they will only stand with the treat as a lure.

After your dog has been following this command for a few straight days in a row, you will want to eliminate the treat entirely, but you can replace that with a pat on the head or a “good job.”

Now that we have the action of standing down, we are going to begin to associate the command “stand” with the action. Continue to use your hand, without the treat, as a guide for your dog, and say “stand.” Make sure to use your hand signal. You will want to repeat your command and practice many times. This helps to reinforce the action with the command.

As we did with the phasing out of the treat, we are now going to phase out the hand motion. We want your dog to rely on the verbal command “stand’ only. Stand in front of your dog and say “stand”. If he does, praise him. If he does not move or does anything other than stand. go back to using your hand signal without the treat.

Once you have reinforced the hand and verbal command again, remove the hand and try only the verbal. Eventually your dog will get this concept. Once he does, it is time to add some distractions. Try taking him outside to a dog park with other dogs around. Your dog should be able to perform this and all of his commands no matter who is around or where he is.

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