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Help!!!! Frustrated Beginner Obedience

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Hi, I am very new to this website. I am also on the young side(under 16.)I live on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and have a BC named Sadie. Sadie has very strong chase instincts and is EXTREMELY smart. Sadie will be a year old on June 1st. We started our pre-novis A class throught the 4-H

Dog project 3-4 weeks ago. I try to practice every night for 10-15 min.(along with walking my fair calf and finishing homework.) Sadie was taught to sit at 5 weeks of age and does her dowm, come, sit and stay very well. She is (from being the only dog on our farm) very shy towards other dogs but loves people. My Problem is the stand. I am told to put my right hand under her neck in the slip collar and my left to lift her up. Well when I put my hand under her belly she either snaps at me (but never bites) or rolls onto her back. What should I do?

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Hi Sadie Baby -


I have been an assistant instructor for over 3 years at our local obedience club. While I work mostly with the puppies I've also trained novice - open.


Does she show any pain when you do this? When she nips at you? That would be my first concern. If you rule out pain, then does she at other times, show any "hand shy" disposition? In other words, will she lay calmly on her back and allow you to rub her tummy, go through her fur, cut out burs or tangles, pick at scabs, etc.? Does she allow you to run your hands all over her? Under her tail, around her tummy and back legs?


If no, then you may want to try something we teach in puppy class called "Food is great and hands are too!" If you pup is food motivated, get a super high value treat...one the pup can "work at" while you keep hold of it. Show the treat to the pup and hold in close to your chest up high while sitting on the floor. You want the pup to put it's paws on your chest and work on the food. With your other hand, rub her all over. Start with the spots she's ok with and gradually move to her tummy, tail or "shy spots." If she pulls away, keep her attention on the food and let her lick and try to eat it...allow her to get pieces of it. Only use your hands to touch her when she is happily chowing on the treat. Do this 3 or 4 times a day for a week before you go back to trying to touch her "shy parts" without food around.


If she's not hand-shy, then you can try to give the "stand command" another way.


Stand with her in heal position and put her in a sit. Make it so that her left side is along a wall or fence. Some barrier so she can only go forward or back.


Make your leash tight so she can't go forward or back, but not too tight so it's pulling on her.


With your left foot, keep the ball of your foot on the ground, bring your heel up and rotate it out to the left so it touches your pup. She will probably jump up - startled that something touched her or moved! If she stands up - PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE TREAT TREAT TREAT!!!


Remember the foot is just there to motivate her to stand up. Not to push her or kick her.


See if that works. Do it only 2 or 3 times at first...then do something else...see if that helps! Don't forget to stand up straight and look forward!



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From sitting position...lure dog forward with a treat in front of it's nose ... most likely dog will stand. If your dog is having issues with being touched, try to use methods that don't involve touching your dog for training. Separate from that, work on getting your dog used to be handled all over in a positive, gentle manner.

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