The stand command is not very popular, but it has its place in training. It comes helpful at the vet’s office so your veterinarian can carefully examine your dog and it’s a must if you are planning to show your dog or want him to stand still as a statue when he is being groomed. The stand command is also used in advanced obedience such as in Rally-O with the dog being asked to stand while his handler walks around him. Regardless of your goal, the stand command requires a basic knowledge of the stay command because the dog must be able to stand still until he is given a release command.
Step-by-Step: Training a Dog to Stand
In order to train the stand command you will need some tasty treats and a clicker (optional). You will need to start in an area with little distractions going on so your dog can easily pay attention to you. Your dog must be already familiar with the sit and lie down command in order to teach him to stand. In this training method, a food lure is used to guide the dog into the standing position.
- Hold a treat between your index and thumb allowing it to protrude enough so to capture you dog’s interest.
- Ask your dog to sit or lie down in front of you. Allow your dog to sniff the treat and then slowly move the treat straight out from his nose so he’ll have to stand up in order to get it.
- The moment your dog stands, click your clicker or say “yes!” and immediately deliver the treat.
- Repeat several times until your dog gets a hang of it and starts understanding what you are asking him to do.
- As the behavior become more and more fluent, add the verbal command “stand” right before luring him into a stand using the treat. With several repetitions, your dog at some point should stand upon hearing the command. Gradually fade the hand movement at this point until the dog reliably responds to the verbal command alone.
- Repeat the exercise in more and more gradually distracting environments.
- Add duration to the stand command by waiting a bit before delivering the treat. If your dog is familiar with the stay command, you can ask him to stay in the standing position until you give him a release command.
- If your dog is not interested in the treat, try another type or try moving to an area with less distraction. Some dogs may be more interested in toys than food. Try using a toy in the same fashion as you would use a food lure to get him to stand. Give him the toy once he stands up.
- Once your dog gets the idea of standing, remove the treat from out of sight. Keep it in your pocket or in your other closed hand. You want the lure to become a reward, otherwise you’ll be stuck with a dog who only responds if food is in sight. Continue the hand movement, but this time without the food. Most dogs will still follow the empty hand. Once your dog stands, then say “yes!” or click your clicker and give the treat.
As seen, stand is a very handy command to have in your dog’s repertoire of learned behaviors. Use it to your advantage for when you need to bathe your dog or clip his nails. You can also ask for it when you want your dog to stand still such as when he’s being petted, he is having a picture taken or perhaps to simply proudly show you friends what a smart and well trained dog you own.