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Recall or Stay?

When teaching a 'wait' or a 'stay', the most common mistake people make is rewarding the stay by calling their dog over to them once they have been waiting for a short time.

The problem with this is that they are in fact rewarding a recall. If your dog is waiting or staying, you must return to your dog to reinforce them where they are waiting, and not the other way around. By reinforcing them where they are staying, this is teaching them that sitting and waiting is what earns them a reward. By calling them over following the wait, they are learning that waiting, and then returning to their parent is where the reward lies.

It's important to not confuse instructions, and to keep absolute consistency with rewarding and reinforcing. Though there might be a very fine line between some commands, if parents aren't ale to distinguish between them, how can we expect our dogs to!

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