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Stacking is an essential skill to teach your dog if you want to compete in conformation dog shows.
The dogs who are the best at stacking make it look natural and straightforward, so much so that many people are unaware that stacking is a skill that has to be taught. So, how do you teach your American Bully to stack?
Here are the steps you can follow to teach your American Bully to free stack:
1. Click and reward your dog whenever he stands.
2. Teach “Backup.”
3. Teach aligning of front legs with the command “Step.”
4. Teach the command “Stack.”
How to hand stock:
1. Adjust the Positions of your dog’s feet.
2. Teach your pup to maintain a stack position.
In the rest of this article, I will share an easy guide on how to teach your American Bully to stack. Let’s get right into it.
How To Teach Your American Bully to “Free Stack”
When your dog free stacks, he assumes the proper position on command rather than with manual adjustment. It is easy to teach your dog using treats and a clicker.
Here is how you can go about it:
1. Click and Reward Your Dog Whenever He Stands
To begin the training, click and reward your dog every time he stands. Keep rewarding him if he keeps on standing. Treats are part of the positive reinforcement that will motivate and inspire your canine friend to continue the training and master the command being taught. Keep on doing this until the dog offers a standing position instantaneously.
2. Teach “Backup”
After your American Bully can stand instantaneously, the next step is to teach him the “backup” command.
Inch closer to your dog and click and treat any backward movement, contributing to aligning the dog’s back legs. You can redo this process until the dog masters the “backup” command.
When the command, clicking, and rewarding are repeated, your dog quickly learns the correct backing up behavior.
3. Teach Aligning of Front Legs With the Command “Step”
Teach your pooch to align his front legs following the “step” command.
The easiest way to make your dog master this command is by stepping back, then clicking and treating as soon as the dog moves any of his front feet forward.
To find out if your dog has mastered this command, test him by saying “step” before prompting him to do so. If he does not respond positively and promptly, repeat the process until his front feet align on command.
4. Teach the “Stack” Command
Finally, teach your dog the “stack” command.
You can do this by clicking and treating your dog every time he is in a proper position. Redo this whenever he remains in the correct place.
With time, you’ll be able to use the “stack” command alone, without the need for “back up” and “step.”
How To Teach Your American Bully to Hand Stack
Unlike free stacking, where a command is used, hand stacking entails manually positioning each leg while kneeling or standing next to your dog.
You can teach your American Bully how to hand stack using the following steps:
1. Adjust the Positions of Your Dog’s Feet
Before you begin training your American Bully to hand stack, carry a treat in your partially covered right hand. The reason for keeping the hand partially covered is so that the pup can only pick at the treat as you move the position of his feet using your other hand.
First, to begin teaching him to hand stack, adjust your pup’s front legs by moving the legs at the elbow. Next, with your free (left) hand always on the pup, move next to the back legs. Adjust the back legs at the hock.
Avoid stacking by touching your dog’s feet since this may result in him shifting his entire body.
You can repeat these steps until your pooch is at ease with the technique.
2. Teach Your American Bully To Maintain a Stack Position
Lastly, teach your dog how to remain in the stack position. You can do this by pulling food away from the dog for a brief moment and telling him to stay in a stack position. If the result is positive, say “yes!” then offer your dog a bite of the treat. If not, restack your pup and try the process again.
Dog Treats for Teaching Your American Bully to Stack
Before concluding this guide, let’s go through some of the essential factors to consider when selecting a treat to use while teaching your American Bully to stack.
Using an ideal treat will ensure your dog remains motivated and interested all through the training session. Additionally, this will make him easily grasp the stacking technique.
The following are some of the best strategies for selecting dog treats to use when training your pup to stack:
Use Fast-Eating Treats
It is essential to keep your dog interested and motivated during the training session on how to stack. Giving your dog lots of treats within a short period goes a long way in keeping his interest at optimum levels.
When choosing treats to use during the training, settle those that your dog can quickly eat. Treats that your dog can eat faster will make the transition from one lesson to the other much quicker and give room for more practice within a short period.
However, if your dog takes several seconds to eat each treat, you may spend more time transitioning between one repetition to another. The time wasted will result in fewer repetitions per training session, or it may force you to lengthen the time spent on the training session.
Therefore, settle for fast-eating treats to minimize the chances of your American Bully losing focus during training.
Go for Small Treats
Using small dog treats will help to keep the dog attentive in a training session. For my extra-large American Bully, a pea-sized treat works wonders.
Some of the commercially available treats are too large. As such, you will need to search for tiny treats or consider slicing larger ones into little bits before you embark on the training session.
You may feel as though you are cheating on your dog, but as long as you keep giving him something he loves, he won’t be concerned about the size of the treat.
Additionally, keeping treats small would mean your dog will be consuming fewer calories, which helps avoid excessive weight gain, especially if you’ll be training for many days.
Try Stinky and Soft Treats
Soft dog treats are an excellent motivator for training when compared to crunchy ones. The stinky and soft treats are a good choice because they are faster and easier for your pooch to eat.
Avoid using biscuits during a training session since your dog may waste time finding every piece that’s crumbled on the floor.
Change the Treats
If you notice your dog’s enthusiasm is fading, shift to a different reward of greater or equal value. You can also use a variety of treats during a training session, so your dog never knows the type of treatment to expect. Changing goodies will go a long way in sustaining his motivation and interest at an optimum level.
By and large, with the help of this easy guide on how to teach your American Bully to stack, I believe you are now able to prepare your American Bully for the dog show.
You may choose to teach him both the hand stack and free stock in quick succession or give time to master one type of stack first before proceeding to the other. All this is dependent on how fast and willing your dog is to learn the technique.
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