Stay and leave it

So, I've been working on training Anne recently. Getting her basic manners in check and getting her comfortable with the basic commands.

She's very smart! She'll sit, lay down, go back up to sit, crawl (that one kind of happened on its own and I assigned a command to it :P) come (sometimes, if she's not distracted doing something else), heel, jump, up (for getting in the car or on the couch), off (she's not as keen on doing this one all the time, but she understands it well enough). Not bad at all for one and a half week of training!

However… I've ran into a huge road block! Anything patience related is proving to be quite hard to instill into little impatient Anne. I've been reading books and websites on dog training like crazy, but they don't tackle how to deal with dogs who don't much care to hold still or show much self-restraint.

She understands leave it... to an extent. She'll stop chasing the cat if I call out "Leave it" and she'll sit down and wait for me to say something else. She'll even ignore a barking dog when we're on a walk if I call leave it... but if there's something on the ground that she's interested in she won't stop at anything till it is sufficiently smelled and chewed.

Likewise, if I'm practicing leave it with her with treats (placing one, having her leave it, then giving her a bigger treat for compliance) she'll only do it once or twice max. Then she gets up and walks away to look for crumbs that were dropped by the table or to retrieve a treat she had hid somewhere in the house previously (she'll refuse to come at this time as well). Almost as if she remembered there were easier ways to get treats then practicing such an awful thing as restraint.

On a similar note, if I am training Anne to stay she'll lose interest the moment I take a step backwards then she will turn around and go do something else. It seems as though she gets bored and loses interest with anything that isn't constant commands and rewards or praise.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get Anne to practice some restraint despite her short attention span. I really need her to learn stay or leave it so I can keep her from bothering other people or following anything that moves, hahah.

You need to teach a stay very gradually. I am having trouble with Chance not doing a stay and have had to go back to basics.
I would start with him in a sit beside you, tell him to sit and count to 5 under your breath, then reward him for sitting still. This will teach him he has to wait for his reward. Do this for a while and gradually increase the time you leave him in the sit but stay beside him. Then you can gradually introduce taking a step or two away from him. This again has to be done gradually ie back to 5 seconds at a time. You may not want to use the word 'stay' but rather keep using the word 'sit'. Each dog (and person) is different.
It takes a lot of patience. Also, if your B is not in the mood for doing a 'stay' then don't try to train him on it. Leave that command and do something he is good at. Always finish your training session on a highnote.

@RokixSlugg:

She understands leave it… to an extent. She'll stop chasing the cat if I call out "Leave it" and she'll sit down and wait for me to say something else. She'll even ignore a barking dog when we're on a walk if I call leave it... but if there's something on the ground that she's interested in she won't stop at anything till it is sufficiently smelled and chewed.

Likewise, if I'm practicing leave it with her with treats (placing one, having her leave it, then giving her a bigger treat for compliance) she'll only do it once or twice max. Then she gets up and walks away to look for crumbs that were dropped by the table or to retrieve a treat she had hid somewhere in the house previously (she'll refuse to come at this time as well). Almost as if she remembered there were easier ways to get treats then practicing such an awful thing as restraint.

Here are some tips I wrote for another forum, I'll quote and then help fine tune for you, below, I'm highlighting some important part for training "Leave It", if you train that way, please ignore it 😉 (but it can help others)

#2 LEAVE IT - you're taking Fido for a walk and finds a tasty dead animal and reaches for it. With a solid "leave it" command Fido, even though tempted should ignore the deceased critter. How do you teach it, simple: Take two DIFFERENT treats and but one in each hand and cup them (to avoid stealing) and hold them out in front of you. What ever hand she goes to (lets say left) first tell her "leave it" if she goes back to the same hand say it again. When she moves to the right hand immediately say "take it" at the same time giving up the treat. Repeat several times using the left hand as the "leave it" and the right as the "take it" then break for a bit and switch hands. Its a great mental simulation for the dogs and can be done anywhere and time, and its best to do in 5-10 minute intervals. The reason for two different treats is so they don't smell the same and confuse the dog. Also the command of "leave it" means the dog CANNOT have what you tell them to "leave", under no circumstances should they take what you tell them to leave. Of course in the beginning they will, but it's one of the most important commands to teach your pet because you never know what they will want to put in their mouth.

First going on with the leave it, from your description it sounds like she has the general idea of it down; you two just need to fine tune it. Anne sounds like she has the idea of "what is in it for me? Nothing good, then why play?" With that make it more fun and more interesting. Quickest way is make the treats for "leave it" training better; you don't have to use dog specific treats, use anything cheese, cooked chicken or beef anything that Anne would find SUPER tasty and go bonkers for that is a soft easy to chew treat and then have a average soft tasty treat

Practice the leave it takes it's make sure she's got that good, always treating with the "take it" . Once you are comfortable with that, take those average treats, or even a small dish of food - one leashed Basenji, and those extra tasty treats in treat pouch or pocket (LOL) and in your yard practice walking by that dish, walk calmly and pretend that you don't notice then if she goes towards it tell her in a firm voice "Leave it" and slight leash check watch her for the slightest reaction to look towards you then treat and tell her "take it" and give her the correct treat.

If she still goes for the "bait" tell her "AT AT" slight leash correction "Leave it" again and then continue on without a second treat. Some basenjis take a little longer to get it because they are just more stubborn and want it their way or the highway, but she sounds smart and like you said gets bored easy. So keep it fun. You can even set up different little "bait stations" through out your yard. If you don't have a yard to walk her in then do it around your home still on the leash; it's something different and will challenge her brain.

@RokixSlugg:

On a similar note, if I am training Anne to stay she'll lose interest the moment I take a step backwards then she will turn around and go do something else. It seems as though she gets bored and loses interest with anything that isn't constant commands and rewards or praise.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get Anne to practice some restraint despite her short attention span. I really need her to learn stay or leave it so I can keep her from bothering other people or following anything that moves, hahah.

First, I dito what Benkura said about just holding the sit for a set period of time, that is the basic foundation of the stay and waits. To me these are two completely different commands, and from my same post I talked from a training tip, quoting again 🙂

#4 WAIT - Now we get into where one might confuse their dog and themselves. There is a big difference between wait and stay (IMO) and both are great commands to teach. Both are taught exactly the same but how they end is COMPLETELY different. With the "wait" command the dog is able to be released from it's position (sitting/standing/laying should be taught with all three positions) without you being by its side. Meaning you tell your dog wait and then walk away and then release your dog. Example, you have your dog wait at the front gate while you walk to the house and go in the door and then call your dog.

#5 STAY again similar to the "wait" command, biggest difference is your dog is not to move until you return to standing next to it. The wait command a dog can move no matter where you are, with "stay" the dog must remain where it is until you return to it's side and then give it the release word.

Alright remember that extra super yummy tasty treat you found for the leave it/take it? Pull it out again here, I found my basenji will walk on water for me for beef (I think literally LOL). Just work with holding the sit by her side for a count to 5, then work to 10. Then move to standing directly in front of her.

A great command to keep her still is the "watch me" command hold her "special" treat at the corner of your eye and say her name and watch me that way you keep her attention and then treat. Working with this command and the stay or wait command helps build up her basic manners and patients and holding still.

She'll pick it up quick 😃

@basenji_fan:

Practice the leave it takes it's make sure she's got that good, always treating with the "take it" . Once you are comfortable with that, take those average treats, or even a small dish of food - one leashed Basenji, and those extra tasty treats in treat pouch or pocket (LOL) and in your yard practice walking by that dish, walk calmly and pretend that you don't notice then if she goes towards it tell her in a firm voice "Leave it" and slight leash check watch her for the slightest reaction to look towards you then treat and tell her "take it" and give her the correct treat.

If she still goes for the "bait" tell her "AT AT" slight leash correction "Leave it" again and then continue on without a second treat. Some basenjis take a little longer to get it because they are just more stubborn and want it their way or the highway, but she sounds smart and like you said gets bored easy. So keep it fun. You can even set up different little "bait stations" through out your yard. If you don't have a yard to walk her in then do it around your home still on the leash; it's something different and will challenge her brain.

A great command to keep her still is the "watch me" command hold her "special" treat at the corner of your eye and say her name and watch me that way you keep her attention and then treat. Working with this command and the stay or wait command helps build up her basic manners and patients and holding still.

I couldn't have said it better myself!! I use the 'watch me' command but hold his favourite treat out at arms length in front of me.
I also enphasise to 'students' at training the difference between Wait and Stay and I always make sure I never train the two commands in the same session as this can confuse the dogs (and owners!!)
I also, train 'Leave It' as described above. The 'AT AT' and gentle leash correction have worked wonders with my dogs.
Thanks Basenji_fan for your post, it is very informative, clear & concise.

I have read these posts with great interest and will refer back to them when i get a Pup.
When i got my Basenji, the books i read certainly hadn't prepared me for Benjis behaviour. True he was nearly 3 when i got him and his family rehomed because they couldn't do anything with him.
In retrospect i think i got the idea Basenjis were rather untrainable after speaking to people and probably put up with more than i should have.
Since joining the forum i now realise that they can be trained although i realise that they are harder work than average and of course each dog is individual.
The leave it is an important command. On several occasions Benji got things he realy shouldn't have and we had to practicaly wrestle them off him for his safety. When we managed or should i say if we suceeded he then leapt for us, very scary.
That being said we loved him so much and will have another.

A lot of people when they hear a Basenji is hard to train just don't bother trying. The truth is Basenjis can be trained but may take a bit longer and definately need more effort on the owners part. I've been lucky with Chance, he's been eager to please from the day he was born and has taken to training very well. My other Bs have taken quite a bit more!! 🙂

Sorry Thunderbird. Previous reply was not meant to be a dig at you just an observation!! :o

@Benkura:

I couldn't have said it better myself!! I use the 'watch me' command but hold his favourite treat out at arms length in front of me.
I also enphasise to 'students' at training the difference between Wait and Stay and I always make sure I never train the two commands in the same session as this can confuse the dogs (and owners!!)
I also, train 'Leave It' as described above. The 'AT AT' and gentle leash correction have worked wonders with my dogs.
Thanks Basenji_fan for your post, it is very informative, clear & concise.

Great point to train these at separate times for the wait and stays; and I find in training that it is really the OWNERS that have the hardest time understanding it and keeping to it 😉

I like the watch me with the treat right at my face, because then the dog stays direct focus on me. This also helps work on the bond between you and the dog. With basenjis they are often ready to challenge you and eye contact is a good way to do that. Having training to just steady bond and eye contact is not a challenge and dominant behavior between the two of you helps of the focus. Also if you have the dogs that have focus problems you know exactly where they are looking.

@thunderbird8588:

I have read these posts with great interest and will refer back to them when i get a Pup.
When i got my Basenji, the books i read certainly hadn't prepared me for Benjis behaviour. True he was nearly 3 when i got him and his family rehomed because they couldn't do anything with him.
In retrospect i think i got the idea Basenjis were rather untrainable after speaking to people and probably put up with more than i should have.
Since joining the forum i now realise that they can be trained although i realise that they are harder work than average and of course each dog is individual.

@Benkura:

A lot of people when they hear a Basenji is hard to train just don't bother trying. The truth is Basenjis can be trained but may take a bit longer and definately need more effort on the owners part.

I find that I actually love training basenjis; they are fun because they keep you on your toes and challenge you. They make you think as much as you make them think. And the exact same goes for the Basenji; basenjis get bored easy that is why people think they are hard to train you can't keep doing the sit trick 10 times over. You have to train the brain, work that basenji mind. Make it fun and different and then everyone will enjoy it.

What I really enjoy is working the basenji and my other dog together. That is fun because my other dog is really well trained and has his CGC, and training the basenjis is new and he is learning everything fresh but he is so excited to learn but he tries to show up my other dog he doesn't slow down long enough to learn the trick or task at hand LOL

@basenji_fan:

I like the watch me with the treat right at my face, because then the dog stays direct focus on me. This also helps work on the bond between you and the dog. With basenjis they are often ready to challenge you and eye contact is a good way to do that. Having training to just steady bond and eye contact is not a challenge and dominant behavior between the two of you helps of the focus. Also if you have the dogs that have focus problems you know exactly where they are looking.

I find that I actually love training basenjis; they are fun because they keep you on your toes and challenge you. They make you think as much as you make them think. And the exact same goes for the Basenji; basenjis get bored easy that is why people think they are hard to train you can't keep doing the sit trick 10 times over. You have to train the brain, work that basenji mind. Make it fun and different and then everyone will enjoy it.

What I really enjoy is working the basenji and my other dog together. That is fun because my other dog is really well trained and has his CGC, and training the basenjis is new and he is learning everything fresh but he is so excited to learn but he tries to show up my other dog he doesn't slow down long enough to learn the trick or task at hand LOL

The eye contact thing is really interesting as the other person who takes the training classes with me tells the other owners not to look at their dogs when doing a stay. The other dogs are spaniels, labs, collies etc. This may be true for those breeds but I totally agree, if a Basenji is focusing on YOU, then you know what it is thinking. If if it is looking around, it will probably be wondering 'right what mischief can I get up to now?' and boredom quickly sets in.

Chance hasn't managed to pass his GC Bronze yet because he hasn't quite got the full 1 minute stay perfected. He can do all the other exercises perfectly and I was praised for the excellent relationship I have with him.

I also agree about training the Bs with other breeds. I have a BC & a GSD and the Bs are always trying to show off and out do the other dogs. The Bs also learn from watching the other dogs doing the tasks or exercises at training class.

@basenji_fan:

What I really enjoy is working the basenji and my other dog together. That is fun because my other dog is really well trained and has his CGC, and training the basenjis is new and he is learning everything fresh but he is so excited to learn but he tries to show up my other dog he doesn't slow down long enough to learn the trick or task at hand LOL

Just curious, but what breed is your other dog?

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