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Have you ever tried to bathe your Bull Terrier and while you were trying to wash off his belly he kept sitting or laying down? As a Bull Terrier, your guy is probably heavy, and a wet, slippy, and heavy dog is not something that you want to be lifting over and over again, especially while you strain over a tub. What about when you brush him or the vet needs to look over him--same problem right? Perhaps your guy or girl is a beautiful show dog and sitting during inspection is just not OK.
Having a dog that knows how to stand when told to can be very helpful and, at times, even essential. Whether your dog is fine with being touched, needs to be lured, or responds best to learning on the go, there are a lot of ways to teach your dog how to do this fairly simple command. Once your dog knows how to stand you can also teach him how to stay in that position, and that can really come in handy.
Being able to tell your dog what position to be in is extremely helpful in many situations. There are times when you need for your dog to 'sit', to 'down', or to 'stand'. Standing is a less popular command than either 'sit' or 'down', but it can be every bit as important. When training your dog how to 'sit' and 'down' you can add 'stand' to your training practice. This will give you three different commands to rotate. Having three different commands to rotate means that you can change the order of your commands so that your dog has to actually listen to the command and learn, rather than just guess that the next command must be the one that he is not currently doing. Practicing all three together helps your dog learn each one best.
The 'stand' command is fairly easy for most dogs to learn. Expect it to take between five and fourteen days for him to learn it. It can take your dog longer to respond to this command around distractions though, so be sure to practice doing this command around different types of distractions often, once he has learned what "stand" means.
There are several ways to teach this. When choosing a method, be sure to keep in mind your particular dog's personality and physique. Does your dog love being touched? Then the 'Lifting' method might be a good way to teach him. Is your dog too heavy to lift or may bite you if you touch him on his stomach? Then choose something that does not require you to touch your dog, like the 'Treat Luring' method. Find what works best for your dog.
To get started, you will need lots of small and tasty treats, or if your dog is not food motivated, something such as a toy to use as a reward instead. If you are using the 'Capture' method and you do not want to get your pockets dirty then you will need a Ziplock bag to place the treats in. If you are using the 'Treat Luring' method then your dog will need to know the 'sit' or 'down' command. Knowing the 'sit' or 'down' command will also make practicing this command easier with all of the methods. Finally, you will need patience and a fun attitude!
The Treat Luring Method
Command 'sit' or 'down'
To begin, tell your dog to 'sit' or to 'down'.
Lure with treat
While your dog is in the 'sit' or 'down' position, place a treat right in front of your dog's nose. While your dog is sniffing or licking the treat, slowly move the treat slightly upwards and horizontal then downwards and horizontal, until your dog stands. This should cause your dog to tilt his head slightly upwards and then to walk forward while looking straight, in order to follow the treat.
As soon as your dog stands, and before he has the chance to take multiple steps, praise him enthusiastically and give him the treat to eat.
If your dog does not stand when you move the treat, spend more time getting your dog interested in the treat before moving it. Let him begin to lick the treat and allow him to sniff the treat for longer before you move it. You may also need to move the treat much slower, so that he is following it very closely. Lastly, make sure that you are causing him to look up and then to look straight while you move the treat away. Picture moving the treat in a slightly arching line. A line that goes up then back down, while moving forward the entire time.
After you have successfully gotten your dog to stand a couple of times using the treat, begin to tell your dog to "stand" while you lure him with the treat. Continue to praise and reward him as soon as he moves into the standing position.
Practice telling your dog to stand while luring him with the treat until he will quickly stand every time.
Phase out the lure
Once your dog will move into the standing position every time, it is time to phase out the treat lure. To do this, first remove the treat from your hand and practice luring your dog with an empty hand. You can place your fingers together, pretending that you still have a treat, while doing this. Reward your dog from your non-luring hand hand when he stands. After your dog has mastered that, begin to space your command and lure out. Tell your dog to "stand" then wait ten seconds before moving your hand in front of him. This will give him time to think about what "stand" means.
Practice telling your dog "stand" then waiting ten seconds before luring him, until your dog will stand before you show him your hand. When he will do this consistently, practice having him stand with only the audible command. Be sure to continue to praise and reward him every time he stands.
Congratulations! Your Bull Terrier has mastered standing. Now practice this command often and increase your dog's responsiveness by practicing this command in a variety of locations with different types of distractions. You can also add a 'stay' to this command to teach your dog to 'stand-stay'.
The Lifting Method
Touch and treat
To begin, touch your dog's abdominal region and give him a treat. Practice this until your dog acts happy every time you touch his abdomen. Only use this method if your dog is comfortable being touched and has never shown any forms of aggression.
Have him sit
When your dog is comfortable with being touched on his abdomen, command him to sit, or wait until he chooses to sit on his own if he does not know the 'sit' command. While he is in the seated position, carefully place your hand onto his abdominal region and gently lift his lower half up. Tell him to "stand" while you are lifting him. Lift him until he is completely in the standing position.
As soon as he is in the standing position, praise him and offer him a treat.
Repeat this process until he begins to stand as soon as your hand touches his abdomen, but before you lift him.
Phase out your hand
When your dog will stand as soon as your hand touches him, begin to phase out your hand. To phase out your hand, command your dog to "stand" then wait ten seconds before moving your hand to his abdomen. This will give him time to think about what he is being told to do. Practice this until he stands without you moving your hand toward him. The first time that he does this, praise him enthusiastically and offer him five treats! One at a time.
Once your dog can stand when told to, continue to practice this command often. Take him to lots of different places and practice this command around a variety of distraction until he is an expert at standing. You can also add a 'stay' command to teach your dog to 'stand-stay'.
The Capture Method
Place treats into your pocket
To begin, you will need to hide several treats in your pocket, if you do not want to get your pocket dirty then you can place the treats into a small Ziplock bag and place the bag into your pocket
Watch for standing
With the treats in your pocket, look for opportunities to catch your dog moving into the standing position. You can also wait until your dog sits or lays down on his own, and then either stand up yourself or make a little bit of noise to encourage him to stand up.
As soon as you see your dog begin to stand up, tell him "stand", praise him enthusiastically and offer him a treat. Then go back to ignoring him so that he will sit or lie back down again.
Repeat telling your dog "stand" every time that he stands, until you can tell your dog "stand" before he initiates it on his own and he will stand in response to your command. When he stands because he was told to, praise him enthusiastically and offer him five treats, one at a time.
Once your dog will stand when told to, continue to practice this command often, in multiple locations, and in the presence of different forms of distractions. You can also add a 'stay' to this to teach 'stand-stay'.
By Caitlin Crittenden
Published: 01/22/2018, edited: 01/08/2021