Sunday, May 13, 2012

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Getting Ready for IFT: Sit-Stay and Down

Jam had his birthday a couple of weeks ago and his in for training (IFT) day we estimate is July 21st.  So, after I completed his CBARQ questionnaire, I went looking for the 12-month evaluation form for puppies.  But there wasn't one.  There was one for 14-month old puppies, so I looked at it.  

I noticed that there is a list of commands that all the puppies should know (and this list is up on our pantry).  However, on the 14-month eval, there are some details that the manual doesn't give you, such as time limits for a sit-stay and a down command (see below list). 

Jam, sitting down and looking up at the camera.
Commands Puppy Should Know:
  • Forward (got it covered)
  • Sit (working on his placement)
  • Sit-Stay (3 min. Hmmmm)
  • Down (5 min. Double HMMMMM)
  • Stand (knows it, but doesn't always do it)
  • Come (knows it, but we try only to do it with the leash on)
  • Heel (knows it, but since the new Blue Coat Journal came out, we will be revisiting this)
  • Switch (got it covered!)
Oh my.  A three-minute sit stay?  A five-minute down stay?  We hadn't really been timing them.  It was a good thing I had looked at the evaluation form because we now had our work cut out for us.  I decided we needed to do a baseline test to see what he could do. 

Let's see where we stood for the down command:

About a minute and a half in Jam gets bored and stretches, but doesn't break the down.

Jam finally rests about 3 minutes in.

The beeping of the camera disturbs him and he breaks the down at 3:21.  Over all, though a good down.

Now, for the sit-stay.
Jammy is in the sit position.

Jammy is getting sleepy about 45 seconds in and wants to lie down! No, Jammy!

Jammy is back in a sit, but still wants to lie down.

3:06 seconds.  We made it, but Jam tried to lie down three times.  I think that counts as breaking the sit-stay.  This sit-stay is going to be the hard one.  Jammy is a very lazy boy.
I think the sit-stay is going to be much harder than the down-stay.  Jam loves to lie down.  He isn't much for sitting.  Most of his sits merge into a down.  So, now we have a goal.  A 3-minute sit-stay.

We can practice this when he is in the library by my side at the table.  I'll start timing him.  We have two months. 

Not a problem.

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