Help Needed With Self Stacking, pleeeeeease…

I have been watching a few American dogs shows, primarily Westminster, and I have decided to try to teach Ochre, to self stack :)…

I have noticed that almost all of the Basenjis that I have seen in the American shows, come back to the judge, generally turn side on , then stack themselves automatically. I think it looks very professional, and it certainly leaves the judge the best final impression of your dog :).

I am not sure how to start this training, where to begin etc, etc, and I was hoping that some of you might be able to help me, with tips etc :D...

I will add that both my ACD's, which are shown by my hubby, do tend to self stack. (This is not a breed that is known for self stacking, either !!!) Richard has not trained either of them to do this. The older dog, Clancy, just did it one day, and now if Richard tries to place his feet, he loses the plot, and behaves like a twit ;). Nosh is only 6 months old, and he has actually done it from the first time we started to stack him :). He too, will be an idiot, wiggling all over the place, so Richard has just left him to do it, on his own. He hasnt quite got it looking as good as Clancy, but, he is well on his way :D.

Any tips, thoughts ???

I believe it just takes time and patience. Lots of "ah-ah" and praise when the do it right.

In my show classes, there was a lady with a couple shelties that she could tell which leg to fix, and they would fix that leg.

One thing that helps a lot is to get one of those Happy Legs or other contraptions that have stilts that the dog stands on. You put them in the desired position and they learn to stand there so they don't fall off the stilts. If you don't want to spend tons of money you can simulate the same thing at home with some small bricks or soup/food cans. Stand in front of them with the lead on like you're at a show and give them lots of treats and add a command word to it.

Otherwise, what I do is first do lots of gaiting down and back, trying to get the dog to stop at the end with it's back feet somewhat together, or square. Then I start teaching them to walk the front feet forward until they are in a full stretched out position and the back feet are now out from underneath them and the hocks are parellel to the ground. To do this I pull the lead off to the side and pull them off balance just enough so that they move just one foot hopefully, and then continue to pull slightly more until the other front foot comes forward and evens up. Lots of treats and again start using a command word for this behavior. If they move too much and move the back feet too I walk towards them and ask them to back up a couple steps. Pretty soon they learn to just move a little at a time. If you pull them straight forward towards you, they tend to move too many feet. Pulling to the side works better, at least until they know the command well. And I don't worry about the back feet being even too much, as long as they don't look like a Shepherd, once they learn to stop and then walk the front feet forward they usually start adjusting the back feet on their own to be even too.

etzbseder,
Its funny that you mentioned that, cos it reminded me of a friend of mine, who had a ACD bitch, who would set her hinds legs up perfectly, but always buggered up her front feet. The owner used to say to her, "Fix your feet", and she used to do a little dance, till they were also in the right place :). It was so funny to watch her, and she used to give quite a few judges a smile too :D.

Her owner thought that she was doing it on purpose too :p. She would furiously wag her tail while she was "dancing", then it was down to business, after her feet were in the correct position !!! So funny to watch her :D.

Wow Kiroja, that is exactly what I was hoping someone would write :). I dont have those stilt thingys, and Im not even sure if they are available in Australia either ??? The soup cans/bricks sound just the thing to start her off on. Wonderful tip, thank you…

I think the second part of the training sounds like it might be a bit more work, but, the end result is worth it, for sure :D. I will start her training today, and hopefully she will nearly be there for her next shows on the 18th and 19th April...

Thanks again :).

I think Happy Legs will ship overseas, you'd have to check with them.

http://happylegs.com/

There's also a couple others on the market now that aren't quite so pricey.

http://www.staxrite.com/

Also check on Ebay, you might be able to find a used one on there somewhere?

Thanks r those links. It certainly seems as if 1 of the products is preferred over the other :).

My hubby is very handy with carpentry jobs. I think he might have a new job to do this weekend :D… They look quits easy to put together. Thanks for the links though, it gives us a good look at how they were made...

Yes, if you have someone mechanically inclined, it would be much cheaper to make your own! lol

Hubby just looked at them, and he says he can probably make them, for a fraction of the charges, especially as we need to get them sent to Aus as well :).

Suggested to him that he could make them, take them to shows, sell them for a motza, and retire from his day job ;).

Ochre has just had her first lesson, doing exactly what you said Kiroja, and Im sure if I can get my hands to work properly, we will have this done in no time :D. I think its my clumsiness that will hold her back… Trying to hold the lead, pull the lead out, side to side, watching where her feet were going, etc, etc..........................Oh dear........ I never was blessed with great co-ordination skills ⭕o:o... Im just hope that she can see what Im trying to do, and catch on quickly !!! One can only hope !!!

Im just teaching Maya this at the moment. My two other breeds (pugs and labs) both are "free standing" dogs when shown over here so you dont touch their legs at all. They must be taught to stack themselves on command. I actually have never had too much trouble teaching it. I just say whatever word i want to be the stacking command (i just use "stand") as i place their feet where i want them, and then lots of praise and a treat and pretty soon they will do it on command without me placing them at all. What takes the time is getting them to stand 4-square on command, but that is just practice 🙂

Maya is picking it up pretty quickly. She will stand still when i tell her to, im just now starting to get her to stretch herself out and stand 4-square when i tell her to stand. I wouldnt expect a puppy to have perfected that by the time they are in the ring (6 months here), but by the time they are about 12 months they seem to have it down pretty well 😃

@saba:

Hubby just looked at them, and he says he can probably make them, for a fraction of the charges, especially as we need to get them sent to Aus as well :).

Suggested to him that he could make them, take them to shows, sell them for a motza, and retire from his day job ;).

Ochre has just had her first lesson, doing exactly what you said Kiroja, and Im sure if I can get my hands to work properly, we will have this done in no time :D. I think its my clumsiness that will hold her back… Trying to hold the lead, pull the lead out, side to side, watching where her feet were going, etc, etc..........................Oh dear........ I never was blessed with great co-ordination skills ⭕o:o... Im just hope that she can see what Im trying to do, and catch on quickly !!! One can only hope !!!

Hey Saba, I just got a set of Happy Legs that a friend of a friend made for me out of cherry wood. The nice thing about your hubby doing it it can be made of really nice wood…and a lot cheaper than anything I could find online! :D:D

Thanks for the reply Maya…

So to teach your guys, Pugs, Labs or B's, do you do what Kiroja does, or something different ??? It makes perfect sense, now it has been explained to me :). Im hoping that by 12 months she would be doing it quite reliably too !!!

I use the word "stand" when I put her on the table, so she knows that I want her to be still and allow me to place her feet. I thought I would use the word "stack", but it sounds too similar to stand, so I will go to bed soon, dreaming of a word to use for her :D. Geez I think I need to get a life !!!

Hey renaultf1, I agree with you. I think Hubby will make me some, done to my specification, to suit the B's and the ACD's, in beautiful Huon Pine, with our prefix on it just like the Staxrite ones are doing now... BEAUTIFUL :).

Well, i personally would never use the stilt things as i dont agree with them. I try to make everything a game for my pups in training and i dont like the idea of them being forced to stand still for fear of falling.

But the second bit about pulling left/right to square them up i do once they are used to what "stand" means. But yeah, just lots of practice. With maya i do it on walks just ask her to stand for a treat, move the treat slightly forward if i want to stretch her out a bit more. It is probably a longer process than the stilts but it's always worked for me 😃

@Maya:

Well, i personally would never use the stilt things as i dont agree with them. I try to make everything a game for my pups in training and i dont like the idea of them being forced to stand still for fear of falling.

But the second bit about pulling left/right to square them up i do once they are used to what "stand" means. But yeah, just lots of practice. With maya i do it on walks just ask her to stand for a treat, move the treat slightly forward if i want to stretch her out a bit more. It is probably a longer process than the stilts but it's always worked for me 😃

Phew I'm glad i am not the only one that doesn't like these contraptions. I do the same as you Jessica yes it does take longer but much kinder on the dog.

@basi:

Phew I'm glad i am not the only one that doesn't like these contraptions. I do the same as you Jessica yes it does take longer but much kinder on the dog.

The way i look at it, i do showing as a hobby for fun, the dogs should find it fun too! Might mean she wont stand perfectly square and perfectly still everytime, but better than than just being programmed to do it like a robot! :rolleyes:

Each to their own and everything and i wouldn't criticise someone for using it, especially as i know its a very common thing in countries like America, but i just prefer to spend a little longer and not have the pup having any fear and stress during training 🙂

@Maya:

The way i look at it, i do showing as a hobby for fun, the dogs should find it fun too! Might mean she wont stand perfectly square and perfectly still everytime, but better than than just being programmed to do it like a robot! :rolleyes:

Each to their own and everything and i wouldn't criticise someone for using it, especially as i know its a very common thing in countries like America, but i just prefer to spend a little longer and not have the pup having any fear and stress during training 🙂

I agree, not having ago at anyone as I know this is a common thing in the states but just not used in the UK, well not by anyone i know.

@basi:

I agree, not having ago at anyone as I know this is a common thing in the states but just not used in the UK, well not by anyone i know.

Oh, it is 😞 More than people know… Its still pretty frowned upon by the majority here so people dont talk about it, but i know of a couple of people in labs who use it, and also other breeds that i dont own.

I have dogs in for training for the ring sometimes and one person asked me to take theirs in and train it on these stilt things and got quite funny with me when i refused. But, its a principle thing, im sure she got someone else to train it quite happily :rolleyes:

@Maya:

Oh, it is 😞 More than people know… Its still pretty frowned upon by the majority here so people dont talk about it, but i know of a couple of people in labs who use it, and also other breeds that i dont own.

I have dogs in for training for the ring sometimes and one person asked me to take theirs in and train it on these stilt things and got quite funny with me when i refused. But, its a principle thing, im sure she got someone else to train it quite happily :rolleyes:

I quite believe it:rolleyes:
It was mentioned it the breed notes once in the dog paper and was not spoke too highly of.

@basi:

Phew I'm glad i am not the only one that doesn't like these contraptions. I do the same as you Jessica yes it does take longer but much kinder on the dog.

  • 1.. I also think this isn't a kind way of learning a dog how to stand. Tillo had some troubles with stretching his hind legs. I learn him to keep them back by putting my feet in front of them and then asking him to walk to my hand. He got it in 2 seconds 🙂

I think the dog's experience really depends on how you use the Happy Legs. I have had my dogs on them and they were rewarded for being on them. They were far more interested in eating cheese then being concerned about being on the stilts. I have never used them for an extended period of time. I also just hand stack and reward their holding the position, which is does the same thing. It can be helpful to start on the Happy Legs so they learn what it feels like to have their feet in that position. If they aren't comfortable on them then I don't use them.

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