Training a foot stall: tips and tricks

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Sekah, May 24, 2013.

  1. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    I want to teach Cohen a foot stall and would like some step by step instructions, general pointers and tips & tricks for teaching it.

    The first hurdle I'm running up against is that Cohen weighs almost 40 pounds, and I'm as weak as a kitten. My legs and feet are floating all over the place. Is this something that you just need to, well, muscle through?

    I'm just asking her up on my knees right now, but she doesn't trust me to keep my legs stable, and I don't blame her. I had improved success when I put a dog bed across my shins and cued her up.

    We've had some pretty hilarious moments when I was sure she was about to fall on my face but so far we've been able to avoid it. It probably didn't help her confidence in me.

    Let's hear your ideas and stories. :)
     
  2. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    Funny enough I just asked this on Facebook the other day and no one had responded so I'm interested to hear tips and tricks too. I saw a YouTube video where they started with lying on their back with their knees towards their heads so the dog builds up to standing on their bottom half of their legs first, but cricket seems convinced that means jump over me. So definitely want tips for this one.
     
  3. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    There are two different ways to teach it, I've done both. One requires a friend and is great for unsure dogs, the other you can do alone and requires a confident dog.

    First way:

    Have your friend lay on his/her stomach with their knees bent so their feet point directly to the ceiling. Have them hold a leash around their shins to keep their feet together and more steady. Ask or lure the dog to jump on the person's feet, reward excessively. Call an off and reward the off. Always reward the dog facing the person laying on the ground's head.

    Once the dog is confidently jumping onto the person's feet, repeat with the person laying on their back (still holding a leash to keep feet together). Fade the treat person/leash as the dog gets more confident. Always try to call your dog off before they jump off and reward the off, if you can manage to reward in position that is best as well.

    Second way:

    Teach the dog to jump onto an exercise ball. Lay on your back with exercise ball between your legs and practice cuing your dog to jump onto it from that position. Put your feet directly in front of the ball and ask them to step onto feet. Fade the ball so they are jumping directly from the ground to your feet.


    Extra stuff:

    Both of these ways are best done in super short sessions (ie, 3-4 minutes) as it is very tiring for the handler if you aren't use to holding a dog in there and it's tiring for the dog as well (think exercise ball work x2).

    Be prepared to have face bruises as dogs fall off during this. Not really a good trick for a dog that is going to shut down easily, as they need to have a lot of self-confidence and trust in you.

    I absolutely recommend doing plenty of exercise ball/stand on unsteady things work before doing either method. If your dog has issues standing on something that is moving, they are not going to be ok with this. Think swiveling desk chair, is your dog ok with that? Then they should be fine.

    Collection is a huge issue with this, most dogs go through a phase of doing foot vaults. Do not encourage it as it is dangerous to both dog and handler. Go back to having a helper reward in position or practice so your head is by a wall to help your dog learn to collect (they just can't fly up and over your feet because there's a wall there).

    I like to reward in position at first as I think it helps the dog collect and add value to the behavior. However, it does create a dog that wants to lay down on your feet. Clicking for offered behaviors helps get them out of that and pretty soon they should be offering their normal behaviors or you can cue them without a problem.

    Here is my youtube playlist of the videos that I have of me teaching Zuma and Zinga:
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlO1zJgxsyDxuspovb-Tpxc7HEQMT3uPy
     
  4. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    And then there's this.. When your dog decides that sit pretty is too boring and stands up instead: (sorry for the hugeness, facebook)

    [​IMG]
     

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