Oh my my my. Life has a way of being so interesting. Last night Willie boy reminded me of the joys of a well-trained dog. I am still full of relief and pride that he was such a good boy.
Here’s what happened: Willie and Hope and I were outside right before dark, enjoying the perfect evening (most appreciated after a week of hatefully hot and humid weather). We tend to stay behind or beside the house, because of the road that runs by the farm in the front of the yard. We are situated at the bottom of a steep, curvy hill in one direction, and a blind curve coming the other way. There aren’t a lot of cars on the road, but when they go by, they go by very, very fast, and most of them couldn’t stop if they wanted to.
Needless to say, if I’m going to have dogs loose outside in the yard they need to be 110% reliable on 1) stopping on cue, no matter what and 2) never, ever going anywhere near the road. (I never walk the dogs down the road, even though it would be a lovely way to get exercise. I strongly suggest that if you live near a road and can manage it–many people can’t, I know–do all you can to avoid walking on the road itself). I work on it obsessively, and can tell Will to lie down and stay and I can walk across the road for any reason and trust that he’ll stay in place on the other side. However, I don’t do it often, and if I do, I never take my eyes off of him. Why risk it, right?
While the 3 of us were outside basking in the glow of evening, I saw a disturbance in the brush across the road. I was worried the pup might see it and take off after it, even though it was a good 75 yards away, so I ran him inside, and told Will to “Lie Down and Stay” on the front lawn while I went to investigate.
Short Story: While leaning over the brush to get a better peak, I ended up in a free fall of about 3 feet, landing on my knee on a sharp rock in a drainage ditch. Full disclosure: I am a five-year old when it comes to injuries. I would love to tell you that I’m a hardy, strong warrior woman, but the fact is that I scream like a victim in a horror movie when I’m hurt. There are a few things I’m pretty good at, but being stoic is not one of them. So I’m lying in this muddy, deep ditch, shrieking like a banshee for heaven only knows how long. I eventually hauled myself out, crying like the total baby-wuss that I am, crawled across the road and looked up to find . . .Will, big-eyed, mouth closed, and in the exact same position I had put him.
Be still my heart, Willie boy, I am SO proud. I’d had already started the pup on “puppy pauses’ beforehand–what a great reminder of the importance of a great stay. I’ll bet some of you have your own stories of “The World’s Greatest Stay.” I’d love to hear them. I’m hoping to get a video of how I’m working with the pup soon, just in case you are interested.
Meanwhile, back on the farm: (Well, I guess we didn’t leave it.). First and most important: Will and Hope have ups and downs, but things are definitely going in the right direction. Yeah! ….. when it’s good it’s SO great to watch. Will was getting very relaxed until last night, now he’s all worried and doesn’t want to play (because of me… he can’t bear loud noises.. and this time I was the one making them). Their play styles are very different, but they’ve been doing some mouth fencing/wrestle play in the house that makes me smile big time.
Jim has his new brace on after surgery.. turns out it’s worse than the hard cast. Poor guy, he looks like something out of Iron Man, it’s a huge black thing that is heavy and unwieldy. Six weeks of that and then he’s free! My knee will be fine, nothing to worry about I’m sure.
Here’s Will and Hope running together in the yard:
And here’s the trail behind the hill last evening…. ummmmmmm. (But the gorgeous flowers are an alien, invasive species, so I am slowly trying to get rid of them, but they are sooooo pretty now, hey? (Having a little trouble with photo sizing with updated version of the blog… sorry! will get fixed soon).
This has nothing to do with dogs et al, but I can’t help but comment…
Willie and Hope and I were outside right before dark, enjoying the perfect evening (most appreciated after a week of hatefully hot and humid weather).
I thought the weather you refer to was awesome, and I’m born & raised in WI. Interesting story anyway but what was the disturbance you went to check on?
I do hope your knee gets better as quickly as you hope – you need one of you to be able to drive! So glad to hear Will and Hope are getting on, and building a solid relationship. What a very impressive Stay, especially as he was obviously anxious about the noises you were making. I must concentrate on a really reliable recall – we two have a road from the ungated estate, and a drive that occasional visitors whizz around far too fast. Children and dogs are taught never to go through the gateway, but Sophy has been known to forget all that when her hormones are on full alert …
When I first got my Bernese puppy, we (Bernese puppy, 2 year old Golden, and myself) would go outside and work on the boundaries of the yard (I live on the edge of town). After a while she was so great at coming whenever called and staying that I decided she was mature enough to be off leash when we were outside. I would always scour the surrounding area and make sure that there weren’t any children playing outside or joggers because I feared the temptation would be too much. Mostly I let her be off leash in the yard only very early in the morning when the neighborhood was very quiet.
Well, one morning, after a rainy night we all went outside so that the dogs could go potty. Down the road an old man carrying a cane and a shovel was shuffling along the collecting night crawlers out of a farm field. Well, that was too much for the puppy and she took off to investigate and I took off after her. My golden was in tow so as I reached the edge of my yard I just yelled “STAY!” and kept running after the puppy. I caught up to the puppy, leashed her, and brought her back to the yard only to find my golden at the edge of the lawn frozen in a perfect stay…she didn’t move a muscle. I learned many lessons that morning and still remain thankful that nothing happened to my puppy and that my golden is such a good girl. The puppy hasn’t been off leash in the yard since…it scared me enough to know better (I should have known better in the first place). Thank goodness for my golden girl.
Anne J says
Willie and Hope look very happy together there. I’m glad things are going better for them.
My stay story:
This was Sprite, who at the time was 6 months old and very interested in wandering, chasing and generally escaping from the yard. I was just going toward the gate to close it after getting home and Sprite was standing in the driveway ahead of me looking down toward the road when a bunch of bicycles went past. She started to run after them and I said “No! Stay!” and she stopped and stayed. Yeah Spritey! Now that she’s 18 months old she has very little interest in bicycles but for the time I remember it as a great victory.
The flowers look like Flox. Don’t get rid of them. The bees need them.
Mary Beth says
Awesome! I live out in the country on a road where vehicles also race past. I make sure that the front yard is always as uninteresting as possible. All play and good things come in the back yard. I do do a couple of things in the front yard. One is to work the dogs on leash, intense focus, on obedience. They are not allowed to leave my side even a step out front. It becomes a conditioned response. Second is that I occasionally leave my gate open and go get the mail. That way I am between the dogs and the road and can body block any dogs who make the error of stepping out the gate. And my dogs get to practice repeatedly to never ever run through a gate without permission even when its open. When they get good at it, we’ll play ball. I’ll throw it into the back yard and they get to race after it. Then I’ll throw it in the front yard and they have to “leave it”. Great proofing exercise. That game we only play when there’s multiple people and one person’s job is to watch the road like a hawk so that if a dog makes an error, it won’t be a bad one! A third exercise I work on is the command “house”. It means race as fast as you can to the closest door of the house. The dog that gets there first gets lots and lots of cookies. Its much more fun than “stay” or “come” and it makes the dogs become focused on getting to the house rather than the stray dog or critter that has wandered by.
Oh boy is it funny to look at Willie as the older dog in your photos! He was the youngster of the pack for so long!
Yah for Will!!! And yah for you having taught him such a reliable stay. Ranger has a good stay but I doubt it would work in such circumstances. I can’t imagine him staying if he heard me screaming in pain but I can imagine him carefully checking for traffic before coming to me. Living in the suburbs without much choice but to walk him along the streets (no sidewalks) we spend a lot of time working on car smarts. When a car is coming we immediately move onto the grass even though it means trespassing on the edge of someone’s yard. And we very seldom walk in the street we almost always walk on the shoulder. I think Ranger has a pretty good grasp of car danger as one night he was walking next to me and suddenly slammed on the brakes jerking me to a halt just as a car came shooting out of an overgrown driveway. In another couple of feet I would have seen the tail lights and stopped but his senses are better than mine.
Ranger’s good dog moment came as a result of someone failing to properly secure our gate. The latch is tricky and someone didn’t get it latched. It blew open when no one was around and Ranger was loose in the yard. My heart stopped when I saw the open gate but when I called Ranger calmly trotted around the corner of the house. All those hours of requiring that he not go through the gate without permission paid off!
Wow! What a stay! Otis has a good stay, though it is something we only seldom work on, but I can’t imagine him ever holding a stay in those particular circumstances. Otis has always had a pretty steady stay and a pretty decent recall, so his huge training triumphs have been about chase-breaking.
In the park where we walk off-leash, there are several good, safe places to chase squirrels. Otis loves this enough that he has even figured out how to catch the them (you can’t run for the squirrel, you have to run for the tree). Needless to say, this process involves a very big, focused dog, moving very, very fast-but on the one day that he started after a squirrel in the direction of the road, I snapped out a ‘STOP!’ and he actually froze mid-bound, broke off and trotted back to me. It doesn’t sound very impressive in the retelling, but for an independent-minded, prey-driven dog, this was HUGE. Having the ability to ask Otis to freeze in place (his command for ordinary situations is ‘wait’, which means stay-there-until-I-release-you) no matter where he is has been absolutely life-changing for him because it means that he can go places off-leash and do things that he otherwise could not.
We’re working hard on recalls. Miss Lovin’ ‘s sit /stays are pretty strong (even in the front yard), but she has wanderlust in her heart. Last week we had several really good recalls from very tempting situations. She thought hard about coming, but did. It’s a process, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. I am very proud of Summer Lovin’. (And no, we did not name her; she came to us with that name from the foster organization we work with. I always feel bad for the dogs that get their names changed 5 or 6 times–it’s got to be confusing for them, so we just kept it. We call her Miss Lovin’ for short or Summer. OTOH, she does have some great songs that go with her name.)
I also wanted to say that Will and Hope are looking great together! I know that it’s been a bit rocky so far, but I’m impressed that Will wants to play with the pup at all. Otis is very dog-friendly, and very playful with adult dogs. He likes puppies, but he does not play with them. He’s not uncomfortable with pups-he’s quite paternal,(or at least avuncular) if anything. He’ll lick small pups’ bellies, tolerate their silliness, generally look out for them-but he does not play. I don’t know if it’s just a size thing (though it doesn’t seem connected to the breed or size of the pup. A beefy five-month-old Leonberger gets the same treatment as a Jack Russell of the same age). I don’t know if this is learned behavior (Otis is also extremely deferential when it comes to puppies-he’ll drop his toys for them, step back and allow them to push in front if treats are being handed out, etc.) or if it’s instinctive. Some of the other big male dogs at the park display similar behaviors, though Otis is the most extreme. If puppies try to initiate play, Otis and his buddies simply ignore them. If pressed, they will move away. Puppies have carte blanche, but the big boys simply will not play with them. I would love to know what is going on there.
Wild Dingo says
owwie! so sorry to hear about your knee. happy about Will and Hope.
My “stay” story isn’t an all time greatest, but it is impressive. I was enrolled in school with both my two rescue dogs last year. they had been doing obedience for about 6 months. We practice all sorts of real life stays, even in dog parks with dogs teasing them in their downs and in down town areas where we have help if we need to go out of sight (someone stays there to be sure dogs are safe). I also practice a LOT of stays around my house for practical reasons, such as making dinner so they aren’t underfoot, eating dinner so they aren’t annoying any guests, doing chores, moving furniture, etc. so my story isn’t nearly as impressive but endearing none-the-less.
I was washing our hardwood floors one summer day and put the dogs outside. They have a dog door that they use through the mud room. the mud room has no door on it between itself and the rest of the house. Just an open door way. As I was mopping the floors, I heard my GSD mix male enter (I could tell it was him by the way he enters versus the siberian who is much softer on her feet). I couldn’t see him, as I was 2 rooms away. I didn’t want him stepping on my wet floors so I told him from 2 rooms away “stay!” Just one word. No harsh tone, just matter of fact voice because honestly i didn’t expect him to do it since he was mid walk through the dog door. and all of his stays have usually been 90% in down and 10% in sit. Minutes passed and the floors dried. It must have been at least 5 minutes. I walked into the mud room and there he was, in a perfect frozen stand position, awaiting his release. my heart totally melted and he receive much praise and a reward. I not only told him to stay 2 rooms away, but i told him mid trot through the dog door w/o ever practicing a stand-stay.
today, i can sit, down or stand stay him anywhere and I love it.
Wow, that IS an impressive stay! It makes me smile to see that lovely picture of Will and Hope running together. I am glad they are doing better. Izzy and Copper had their ups and downs while Copper was growing up, too, but now they are buddies even if they do have extremely different personalities.
I don’t have a “best stay ever story,” but I do have a “best disobedience ever” story. Several years ago, before we had Copper, my husband was walking Izzy on leash on the sidewalk. She suddenly lunged and practically dragged him across the street, whining the whole time. After checking for cars, my husband left himself be pulled to see what had her so upset… it turned out to be a neighbor’s dog from about half a mile away who had been hit by a car and then wedged himself deep inside a drainage culvert across the road. When we got him out, we saw that his leg was broken and he was in rough shape. He hadn’t made a sound and surely would have died in that culvert if Izzy hadn’t smelled him and alerted my husband, but instead this story has a happy ending and that dog is still alive and well.
really good Will! I have 2 friends who lost dogs in car accidents because they weren’t 100000% attentive, and the dogs.. being dogs.. did something they had never done before (sneak out the gate). One of my nightmares! So glad your accident had a happy ending, dogwise anyway!
kimberly wang says
first: this blog has become my favorite afternoon break…always an opportunity to smile and learn something new! so many thanks to patricia and all the contributors.
reading all the comments about stay/oncoming cars/staying in the yard leads me to ask: does anyone have a method for teaching dogs to WATCH for traffic as seeing eye dogs are trained to do? i’ve just ordered a book that i hope will help with this but am wondering what tips folks may have to share. my conundrum is this: we live on quite a large property in vermont..but a road with erratic (and sometimes speedy) traffic runs past the front and side of the property. on one side, the road is forty feet from the road. on the other the road is 1/4 of a mile from the house. we have no fences or other terrain markers. so, i do worry about my border collie mix accidentally stepping out into the road at the wrong time. his recall is good and we are consistently working on his ‘stop’ command (he’s getting good) and i never let him out unsupervised. but nevertheless, i would love to train him to recognize the boundaries of the property if this is possible. we do take runs together on that road, and i know he does not understand the difference between its being OK to run on leash with me but not be out in the road on his own. back in the city, the dog does such a great job of stopping at every corner and waiting to cross. but it’s so much easier to train him in the city as the curb creates such an obvious terrain change. so i’m just curious: how does one train seeing eye dogs to ‘watch’ for cars? and, also: has anyone managed to train their country dogs to stay out of the road and recognize the terrain change/ the limits of property between field and road? is there a method for this? thanks everyone!
Reminds me of the time that my middle girl slipped her collar while approaching a crosswalk… that said stop. We stopped, she kept right on going – in fact, in the second that I was breathing in to bellow “come!” she was bracing to bolt across the road. Not to escape, just to lead the way.
Thankfully, she only got about six feet into the road before I got the word out, and before I could even blink she had pulled a complete 180 and came to an abrupt stop in front just as a city bus whizzed by at full speed.
The whole thing maybe took seven or eight seconds, but it’s like slow motion in my mind…
To another commenter: those are not phlox, they are the alien, very invasive Hesperis matronalis (aka Dame’s rocket). Good for Trisha for eliminating them. They smell lovely now, but displace good native species. Hope you don’t have garlic mustard as well, it is much worse.
I have a “down” story as opposed to a stay story. My first BC (working) was of course, one in a million and very sadly began to lose his sight at about age 5 and it rapidly declined. By seven he was effectively blind but still tore around everywhere because the rest of his body was still young. Unfortunately he ran into a lot of things because nothing is stable on a farm. About this time we had our house moved (literally) into the back yard so we could pour a new foundation. One day Kerry was loose outside and my daughter saw him headed at a dead run toward the newly concrete house foundation. She yelled “DOWN” and he hit the dirt from a dead run…with his front legs dangling over the edge. Another quarter step and he would have had a good 10 or 12 foot drop onto concrete with all the weight of his speed behind him. I was rather proud of my daughter too!
Impressive and inspiring story! I’ve gotten lazy with my training and practicing lately but am now inspired to get back at it and make time for it in my routine. And we have a long way to go at my house so thank you for that. Spring is such a busy time of year. It’s difficult to fit it all in. I can’t imagine how you accomplish all that you do. I disagree with Annie. Please do get rid of the non-native and invasive phlox. Replant a native one in it’s place. Wow! It just occurred to me. An incredible dog trainer, behaviorist, writer, and everything else you do and you know about and care about invasive species too! I am impressed and respect you even more than I did (if that’s possible) before this post. I’m hoping some time you’ll get back to the topic of reactions to vaccinations. I’ve been concerned about vaccinations for some time. The more I learn, the more concerned I am and so am interested in your thoughts regarding them.
When my BC was 1 year old and my collie was 4, I walked out the front door with both dogs off leash. (Bad idea, but we do live on a quiet street, decent visibility both directions, occasional cars go about 20 mph). Of course, there was a rabbit, and both dogs took off after it. I called and the collie stopped, the BC kept going. (Some might say that it should have been the other way around, the BC being the “smarter” breed). Never mind the STAY, the BC didn’t even look up as I called his name. (Both the BC and the rabbit escaped harm). We started practicing “lie down” at a distance (a prerequisite to herding), agility classes, and herding lessons. Now 3 years later, I’m 100% comfortable having him go with me off leash to get the mail. I actually feel that he became much more obedient after he turned 2 years old…don’t know if I’m imagining that.
Amanda & the mutts says
My old man has always had a nice stay, but I don’t ever recall it being a life saver. However, his “drop” has saved his rear on more than one occasion. When I got him, he was a terrible runner – to the point that one time a friend dropped his leash and I literally tackled him to the ground before he even had a second to realize he was “free” because if he had, the chase would have been on. (fortunately, we have solved that problem now) When he would get loose, the only way I could stop him was to tell him “platz!”, walk up to about 5 feet away from him, and call him to “fus” and keep him in a tight heel all the way back to the house. Leave it to my dog to be able to do advanced obedience tasks in the ring, but literally jump out the window of the training building while off-leash healing to go for a run. It’s a wonder my hair didn’t turn gray from that boy.
I think the need to have a dog you can really count on to do what you need him to do while working with a new dog is the biggest reason I NEVER recommend people getting two dogs at a time (especially not litter mates). I firmly believe in the “no new dogs until the ones you have are truly reliable” rule, and it’s the only recommendation I think I ever give consistently to anybody and everybody who ever asks me about getting a dog.
Melanie S says
What a hearwarming photo of your duo, and what a variety of heart-swelling stories of clever obedient dogs (and Alex’s clever disobedient dog!).
impressive story! And a beautiful pic of the dogs!
I love this blog. Thank your for sharing your thoughts with us!
Stay vs. stop?
While reading the comments I was thinking about the concepts of stay and stop.
Some comments said that they “stayed” the dog while moving (e.g. calling “stay” when the dog is following bikes or coming to your room). Wouldn’t that be something different then the “stay” if you lay down or sit your dog first?
Probably that’s not important and anyways the dogs in the comments acted great! Hopefully my little RR girl will act in the same way sometime.
Geez, hope your knee heals up quickly!
One day I was playing fetch with Mick at the grounds of the local elementary school (no kids around, obviously). I was mid-throw when another dog owner whom I hadn’t heard coming called out to me. It really startled me, and I let the ball go with way more force than I normally do. It was off heading into the parking lot and towards the road, and so was Mick! I remember he paused briefly to assess jumping over a low barrier (he was over 20 metres from where I was) and I cried out “Mick, DOWN!” He flattened himself to the ground, watching the ball roll further away and whining the whole time (“Mom!! Look, the BALL!! It’s rolling away!!! Noooooo!!!) but he didn’t break it until I had zoomed past him, retrieved the ball (which had stopped before it made it to the road) and came back to release him. He got a big throw (in the opposite direction) with the squeaky tennis ball (in his mind, the ultimate reward) for that!
Just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I am a new reader to your blog (recommended by @DogSpelledFwd). Trying to catch up on some of your past posts and am just observing a great/fun writing style. Have a great Memorial day weekend.
Colleen Pelar says
Wow, great job, Willie! Glad you are okay.
My “stay saves the day” story…
I brought the puppy along to an agility trial not long ago (she was 9 months old). We pulled into the busy parking lot, which was near a 55mph busy road. I opened the back door to my sedan to let the breeze blow in and grabbed my stuff from the trunk, then picked up my older girl’s lead and released her, and headed into the building to set up my stuff.
About ten minutes later I went out to the car to grab my cooler and the puppy…only to realize that foolish me I had left the back door of the car open, so immersed into my agility trial routine that I just went into autopilot, not registering that the pup was still in there when I departed. My heart was in my throat until I saw the puppy sitting calming (but rather impatiently) in the backseat, waiting to be released.
Thank goodness for teaching a solid auto-wait regarding exiting the car (and the house, for that matter).
Great stories…very impressive and excellent motivation to further solidify recall and offleash skills.
Again this just confirms the idea that for dogs (and humans) being off leash is a ‘priviledge not a right’..while it is lovely to let the dog off both for the dog to run and for the human not to be holding the leash the entire time it’s important to put in the work to make sure that offleash skills and recall are 110%.
I have a dog who cannot be offleash..she has excellent recall and her stay is fairly good (or so I thought before reading all these amazing feats!). However, she is unreliable with other dogs so she has lost the priveldge of being offleash in any area frequented by dogs and must be on a leash unless in a fully fenced area with no other unfamiliar dogs.I still work on ‘come’, ‘turn,’ (away from whatever your doing), ‘laydown’ and ‘stay’. You never know when something will happen (open door etc). Last week her leash came undone when we were running and all of a sudden, propelled by momentum, she was sprinting free..with dogs in the distance….I called her name followed by ‘come’ in the happiest, syrupy voice I could muster and she whipped around and sprinted towards me smiling. Gooood doooog.
Hmm, lots of very impressive stay stories. Mine is funny rather than anything else — I was walking my son to preschool with tervuren girl Phoebe escorting. I tied her up to the fence outside and put her in a sitstay. I ended up chatting a bit longer with the preschool teachers than expected but every time I looked out the window, sweet Phoebe was still sitting where I left her. After about 10 minutes I came out to find that she was still right there, but had chewed through her leash!
I’m still not sure if she was a good girl that day or a bad dog…..
Mine is a “come” story. I was visiting my parents and let Casey, my golden mix, off-leash from their front door to my car. Once, he and my parent’s dog ran over to a bush in the yard and were very interested in something they found there which turned out to be a mangy-looking coyote or fox. They chased it out, I yelled Casey, Come! and he actually left the creature and came. I couldn’t believe it as he is usually laser focused on any animals such as a squirrel or rabit. His bad story was once I let him out, same place, but there were deer at the end of the driveway and he took after them like a shot and disappeared. Returned about 5 minutes later. So he’s not to be trusted. And he actually ended up getting the mange from the mangy-looking fox, which took 3 trips to the vet to diagnose — I think he wasn’t expecting my “city” dog to have such a thing.
Love the stories and the proofing exercises suggested by Mary Beth. Would love to hear what others suggest. Have been working on wait, stay, and recalls with my prey-driven scent hound for a year now and still don’t feel we are nearly ready to go off-leash in an unfenced area. And, am still undecided as to whether this is a realistic goal – Trisha’s mention of dogs who live through their noses in the post about what behaviors can be effectively modified through training and which are thoroughly engrained is a good warning.
Since some of the stories above are not strictly about “Stay” successes, I’ll mention a couple of small victories for us in the last couple of months: On a sit-wait in the fenced yard, which we practice every day as I let him off his leash, my dog saw a squirrel and started to bolt, but midway through his take-off, he hesitated, and I said “WAIT!” and he sat down again and waited just a couple feet from where he started. Even though he made a mistake, I was SO impressed that he regained self-control in the face of such a distraction. And just the other day, the gate was open for a bit longer than usual while we were moving some garden tools, and he could easily have sailed out through it, but instead waited calmly.
I haven’t had much time to read comments & post lately, but have followed the saga of the great pup debate and Hope with much interest. I hope your “vacation” week was at least somewhat relaxing and wish you and Jim both a speedy recovery. And Will and Hope make an adorable pair – so glad to hear they are figuring it out!
Great “Stay” Willie!
Trisha, my question to you is… what human rules can/do our puppies learn from our older dogs?
I believe my Border Collie, Bain, may have done more to train my younger Swissy than I did. After many sessions of trying, it was Bain who got the cautious swissy up the stairs (with a little nip on his butt). In that case she encouraged him. In other cases, “lie down”, things proceeded faster when the Bain modeled the behavior. Throughout his life, whenever confused about my requests, he would look to her.
With a new BC puppy on the way I wonder what human rules the pup will learn from the older dog.
Liz M. says
Yay Willie! It is unbelievable that he was able to stay with all that wailing going on. He pays tribute to the wonderful person who cared enough to teach him what he needs to be safe.
I am thrilled that Will and Hope are having more good times than bad. They do look stunning together.
I don’t have a “stay story” but I do have a “wait story”. I am the mother of 3 children, I drive a van and am often doing drop off or pick up duty. I need my dogs to “wait” in the car while the kids are either shuffling out or in, so I begin teaching them “wait” at a very early age. “Wait” means do not cross this boundary, but is not body position specific, they can stand, sit, down or go somewhere else, as long as they do not cross the boundary. I use “wait” at the crate door, car door, yard gate, front door and at the top and bottom of the stairs (I got knocked down once too many while carrying my laundry basket).
Last spring I brought both Tai (4yr old aussie) and Plato (6yr old berner mix) to an agility trial. It was pouring, so there were not many people attending and we got to park very close to agility ring. I brought Tai out of the car to run our course. Before we entered the ring I threw my keys in my bag near the ring gate. As Tai and I were running our course a loose dog ran into the ring, causing a cacophony of barks and commotion. Once the errant dog was back on leash, Tai and I ran the course and qualified. As we were exiting the ring I noticed that my sliding side door was wide open, I must have hit the door open button when I threw my keys down! Plato was happily sitting in the seat just watching the goings on. I did not ask him to “wait”, because I always insist on my dogs waiting before being allowed out, he must have figured he had to. I was so proud of him, that he held a “wait” not only while I ran a course, but while a strange dog was in the ring with us running wild. It would have been disastrous if he had joined us in the ring, as I would of been trying to catch 2 dogs off leash running around in the rain and mud with a strange dog who was obviously a wild man.
To this day I am thankful I taught him to “wait”.
Can’t wait to read your next blog,
My story isn’t a stay story, but more of a oh crap she’s not staying. Last year we adopted a Newfoundland, her stay is good with me. I can put her and my golden in a stay, walk across the road and get the mail. However, with my wife she tends to push her limits a bit more.
Well a car happened to go by while my wife was getting the mail. Our Newf broke her stay and took off chasing the car. My wife doesn’t cope well with panic and starts yelling at her to come back. Our golden senses the panic, breaks her stay. Catches the Newf, rolls the Newf from behind and basically herds her back to the house….good dog, very good dog.
Lauren Mack says
Goooooood boy Will !! Glad your knee will be ok. Sit/Stays are so important. I have never had to use an emergency one like that, but I do practice often with the dogs on it. I make then sit & stay when opening front door, and we will be out playing yard & I will do some ‘stay’ commands. I will make all the dogs sit by the front door and ‘Sit & Stay’ until I say ‘Ok Come!’ from another room, where they cannot see me. Hopefully if I ever need it, my dogs will be as trained as your Will 🙂
I just had a rather similar experience. I was walking my Sheltie, while cutting through the playground at the local Elementary School I let him off leash when he gave chase to a rabbit. The rabbit headed past me, out the fence and across the road. As Austin ran past me I called him by name and said “Stop.” He did and I was so proud. It was early in the morning and there was zero traffic, I could have let him go but decided to stand firm to the established rule that he does not run into the road, for any reason. Its so fun and encouraging when the dogs obey!
Just wondering if you have ever tired a Dog Appeasing Pheromone collar? I think Willie and my boy have a lot in common. My dog is very reactive to noises and the tone of my voice. I am trying the DAP collar along with training to help him. Seeing Willie with hope warms my heat. I hope I can got to that place with my boy soon.