Teaching the Stand for Exam

Are you embarrassed when you go to the veterinarian because your dog squirms and fights and it takes two people to hold him so the vet can examine him?  Is it impossible to cut your dog’s toenails or pull out a sticker because he won’t be still long enough for you to do so?  Teach your dog the Stand for Exam and these problems will be a thing of the past.

Have your dog sitting quietly on your left side.  Hold a treat in the right hand but do not hold anything in the left hand.

Let your dog sniff the treat and tell him, “Fido, Stand.” Move a step forward to encourage the dog to stand from the sitting position.

When the dog stands, praise him and put your left hand under his belly to keep him from sitting back down.  This also allows you to stop him from moving forward.  Give the dog his treat and praise again.

After your dog has stood still a few seconds, you can give him his release word and let him sit down.  Repeat the exercise five time per session with at least a couple of sessions a day.

When your dog is reliably standing, fade out the use of your left hand under his belly.  Do this by just touching the front of his rear leg as you tell him to stand.  Then gradually touch his leg less and eventually do not touch it at all.

Now that your dog will stand, you need to teach him to stand and stay.  Gradually increase the time you expect your dog to stand from a few seconds to ten or fifteen seconds before you release him.

Now you are ready to introduce distractions.  Tell your dog to stand stay and gently groom him by brushing his coat.  If he sits or moves, give the stand stay command again and finish.

Pick up each paw and hold it for a few seconds before setting it down again.  Be sure and praise the dog for holding the stand stay while you work with him to allow you to groom him and examine his paws.

When your dog is rock solid while you groom him and examine him, examine his teeth.  This is done by simply raising the dog’s lip and looking at the teeth.

When you can do all of these activities, it is time to introduce another person as a distraction.  Have a good friend come over and brush your dog.  Gradually have various people come over and perform each of the distractions for your dog:  brush the coat, raise the paws and examine them, and look at the teeth.

These distractions are important for two reasons.  They are basically what a veterinarian does in her examination of your dog and he should stand there and allow it.  Also, if you ever participate in an obedience competition, the judge will do all of these things to your dog.  Any movement forward or backward will fail the exercise.