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Salsa is getting really good at this. Yes, you get them in position and get them to focus on you for as long as they can. I can set her lead down and make eye contact with her for a really long time. She will just stand there like a statue. I use a treat, believe it or not she LOVES Cheerios. She knows I have the treat somewhere, and she really wants it!! When we first started training her attention was easily diverted so I didn't make her stack for long. I just kept adding a little more time each training session. Now I'm working on walking a circle around her while she free stacks.
 

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Registered
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Cru loves cheerios, too. Or any kind of little cereal.
How do you keep her from turning her head or starting to follow you when you walk around her?
 

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I had missed this earlier and just found it poking around on the Forums. Pam says "watch"--although I don't know why or that it matters. A treat is held in the right hand and the leash in the left. The handler stops all movement and says the command while holding the treat where the dog can see it. If the dog moves, trainer gives disapproving sound and witholds treat. Walk on and stop and try again. The first time the dog stands completely motionless there is praise and the treat given. Motionless is worked on before proper feet placement. Once the dog is standing motionless for longer and longer periods then the feet can be placed and the treat witheld again until motionless with proper feet placement. This takes MANY repititions and usually in the showring a bunch of times before they get it in the ring with all the distractions. Just like any training it's all in the timing.

It's really cool when they do though. Razzle went in the ring probably a half dozen times only wanting to play and never got placed until she finally learned the drill and now is knocking out the points. Razzle freestacks beautifully now. She got a 3 and a 4 point major last weekend. Pam never knelt down with her. It must be sort of intimidating for the others in the ring who look around wondering if they should kneel with their dog or not. Ours usually get it about the time they are finished.

Twinkle had a bit of a problem with it to start with until she and Pam were standing outside the ring one day and someone was working on it with a Standard Poodle right beside Twinkle. Twink looked at the dog, looked at it's handler, and up at Pam. She had it down after that and kicked butt with BOBs to finish.
 
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Tom - you have brought up an interesting point - to kneel or not to kneel. I was taught to kneel, but I notice a few people standing now. Do the Judges care or have a preference?
 

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I certainly don't claim to be an expert but it seems like the judges mainly just want to get finished with their job and don't mind if all are standing in the first lineup before being sent around. It certainly looks impressive when the dog will stand there perfectly presented without hands on and the handler standing relaxed and happy beside the dog. But I really dont' know. It might look weird if only 1 person was standing in the first ring at the National with over a hundred dogs in the ring........but it would be pretty cool to me.
 

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Kimberly
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I use the command "stand", but in the beginning it is hit or miss. We go walking and I tell them to "stand, stay" and I take two extra steps to turn right in front of the dog, facing them straight on with my feet together. Body language is important. Don't bend over the dog. Also, repeat the command. If they happen to be standing correctly, I say "Good stand!" and give them a treat. Reinforce the good a lot. If they have a foot off, then I say, "fix it" and will walk up towards them or give the leash a tug to pull them towards me so they can fix their feet. You may need to physically move a foot in the beginning so they can learn proper placement.

Our trainer is a conformation judge and a junior handling judge. He can't stand hand-stacking (kneeling to stack your dog with your hands), so I have had to learn to freestack them. I did have a dog that needed extra reassurance, so I began to handstack in the ring when needed, but I think it looks better to let a dog freestack themselves.
 

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Yoda
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I just came across this that all does make sense to me let them fix it on the free stand it sure does look like they know what they are doing.I think I will try to teach that to yoda thanks for the good tips susan
 
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