Dog Agility – Training your Dog to Stay at the Start Line

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,033
    Karen VanHoy, owner and trainer at Paws @ Play, shows you how to teach your dog to stay at the start line.

    Hello! I am Karen Van Hoy, the Santa Barbara Flyers captain, and we're speaking about dog agility today. Now we're going to be talking about keeping your dog at the start line in a sit or a down or you could even have a stand if you wish. This also applies to a lot of pet homes to get your dog to sit and wait. And they are released when they are called.

    So I'm going to start off on a little green dog right here. I'm going to bring her; I'm not in front of a jump. I'm going to tell her 'wait'. I'm not telling her 'stay', stay means for a long time. Wait! I'm going to take one step out. Good girl! I'm going to return to her and give her a cookie. Step out again. Good girl! She knows that she's good girl she gets fed in that position. Make sure that you do it on both sides. I'll come to her heel position. Wait! Good girl! Good girl! And come back to the original side. I can lead out a little further. Wait! This time I might put my hand up because I don't want my dog to move on my body language. They're only to move on my verbal. Good girl! Good girl! Wait! This time I'm going to call her. You do need to have your dog have a release word for this. Okay, good girl! Good girl! Nice stay, nice! Yes! Okay, sit. Wait! Okay, good girl, good girl! Nice wait.

    Now what's enticing for an agility dog is the equipment. Once they have gone through the equipment, they know how exciting it can be. Once they're sitting in front of that jump or sitting in front of that tunnel, they don't want to stay. So this is the hard part.

    Now I should probably rephrase that a little bit. I shouldn't say that none of them want to stay. Some of them get -- they get very excited, it's a hard thing for them to do. Wait! I'm going to lead out. In agility, you need to get ahead of your dog. Your hand needs to be out to direct them. Okay, over! Good girl! Here comes the cookie. Good girl! Let's try that one more time. Sit! Wait! Now the only thing that I would improve upon on myself is that the dog waited, but what I want to do is feed the dog by the side of my pants with their head in the position going forward, not with their butt out sideways. Okay, over! Good, good girl! Good girl! It was right on the other side. Oh! She's very excited. Sit! Wait! Wait! I lead out. Now I want the dog at the right side of my pants. Okay, over! Good! Okay, now she's not in position. She came to the cookie but I want to swing her around and get her right next to me, then I give her the cookie. Okay, so the reward needs to come with the dog coming forward. So if you'd like to have fun with your four-legged friend, whether it would be a pure breed or whether a rescue dog, go search on to the Internet and you can find dog agility, you can find agility clubs. Find a trainer and go have some fun with them. You're going to enjoy it too. You get to outdoors; you get to meet a lot of fun new people, and your dog and you will have a great time.