Traditional Modelling

These are the methods of old, The methods that Most Training Clubs with a bit of history started with.

Chalfield started this way, but has changed to a Force Free, Positive Reward based system. However, I have included the section as information.
Modelling is a way of building muscle memory, in both the dogs and the handlers. In short the dogs are physically shown what is required, for example, a sit at the side of the handler.

The Dog is gently encouraged into the correct sitting position, by raising the lead to bring the point of balance upward, and 'scooping' the back end of the dog, using a cupped hand, into the sit position.

The word 'sit' is given as a command at the same time, and then when the dog has been put into the correct position, the dog is praised 'Good Dog, Good Sit'.

The idea then, is that this behaviour is repeated, many times, and eventually the dog makes the connection parrot fashion, and learns what a sit is.

Do I think that this is the way to go? - Yes and No:

No - in that these days there are much faster, kinder, enjoyable, fun ways for a dog to learn, and these are covered in the other training sections,

But Yes - In that Competitive People have to learn the footwork disciplines, and this can help there, with People !

A big part of Modelling Dogs was the use of the check collar. (For Info - NOT a Recommendation)

A check collar is a chain link collar that tightens as the lead is pulled, but loosens as it is released - There also was the restrainer collar, or half check collar, which has a material strip, like a normal collar, fitted with a chain link section.

Years ago, these collars were used to 'administer corrections' that is the neck was jerked with the collar to prevent the dog from, say, lunging at another dog, or going wide on its turns etc.

These days, this is very much frowned on, unless in extreme circumstances, for example to stop a dog from biting another member or dog

Modelling the Stays.

Although there are better ways of teaching a stay as a behaviour, the old modelling method is ok as a start provided the dog it treated with kindness and respect. I refer to the words of 'instruction' given to the dog as commands, there is a reason why I dont like this association, but most people have heard the term and I will stick with it here, there is further information re this point in the clicker training section

Put the dog into a sit at the handlers side, on lead, give the command 'Sit Stay' and a take a small step, away, sideways from the dog.

This first step lasts for the count of 1, ie no time at all.

If the dog moves from its position, we gently put him back, and start again.

If the dog simply will not let you leave him - Firstly, Do NOT get mad, DO NOT shout at or Scold the Dog, Just think how wonderful is that, this marvellous creature just wants to be with you.

Reassure the dog, then gently, tell him to 'Sit Stay' (Don't forget that in the beginning the words sit stay mean nothing to him, the dog will understand what a sit is once that behaviour is taught) and try again, if still no good them just straighten up, don't take a step, get the tiny-ist bit of a stay then back to him, pause a second, and give megga praise and treat him to bits.
Why the pause - most important that you do not go straight back and praise the dog, as this will teach them to come and meet you.
Then its a question of very gradually increasing the time away from the dog, and very gradually increasing the distance.
These two things should be done separately, start with 1 step, build up the time element, say to a count of 10, then increase the distance to two steps, but go back to a count of 1, and build up slowly.

Do NOT Rush this process - it is easy to find the point at which the dog will break its stay - just go far enough, or wait long enough, and there it is.
So with a little patience (Patience is essential in dog training) you have taught the sit stay.
Please Note: Dogs do not generalise behaviour, which means that a sit stay taught in your living room, does not translate to a sit stay in the kitchen, or on grass, or when there's another dog around, or when done with someone else, or when done at night, or in the rain... Get the idea - How many people have I heard say - well he does it ok at home, which will be true, but we need to generalise the behaviour for them, that is to re teach it in all situations we can think of.  It will become quicker the more we do it of course.
Does this 'Generalising the behaviour' apply to anything else - Yes - all of it - well no one said dog training is easy - but the more we understand the nature of dogs, the easier it is.
And what about proofing? - What's Proofing??
That's protecting the behaviour (Sit Stay in this instance) from outside influences - eg people walking past, or dogs playing in the vicinity, the rustle of a crisp packet nearby etc.
This is done by, firstly getting a reliable sit stay, and introducing distractions, gently, slowly, at a distance etc, for a small amount of time, and gradually increasing making sure the dog learns to ignore it.

So What happens when it all goes wrong?
We have learned the behaviour and now suddenly its gone to pot
There can be 101 reasons for this, and the simplest thing to do is go back to the beginning and start again.
If you can identify the cause, well and good, that will help you plan a training strategy to - Not avoid this in the future, but to include it in the generalisation, and proofing process