At one time a separate exercise this is now incorporated in class C heel work. At sometime during this test, at the discretion of the Judge, the dog shall be required, whilst walking to heel at a normal pace, to be left at the Stand, Sit and Down in coy order ( the order to be the same for each dog) as and when directed by the Judge. The handler shall continue forward alone, without hesitation, and continue as directed by the Judge until he reaches his dog when both shall continue forward together until halted.
Training for this test can with advantage be started long before the dog is ready for class C as it will help to break the monotony of heel work. Having taught the dog the command ‘Stand’ (even if he is not yet perfect at it) start heel work in the normal way. When the dog is nicely in position to give the command ‘Stand’, stop slowly to see that he does it, give an extra command ‘Stay’ and then continue forward.
Remember that he should now sit automatically when you halt suddenly so be sure to give the command ‘Stand’ before stopping. With a fair-sized dog you can bring the left hand down as you stop, run it along his ribs and into his flank. This should prevent him sitting down and obviously must be timed so that the hand reaches the flank before the dog has sat down. If he sits or moves to follow you, don’t just give him another command. Go back to him quietly but quickly, prop him into a standing position and, if necessary, push him back on to the spot where you first gave him the command.
Gradually reduce the time you stop until you merely falter and eventually rely on him to stand on one command without any hesitation on your part. Teach the advanced sit and down in exactly the same way, but don’t always practise them in the same order. We are after an obedient dog which does what you want when you want it, not a circus dog doing a set routine.
Dog to sit, stand and down at a marked place not less than ten paces from handler, in any order on command from Judge to handler. Six instructions to be given in the same order for each dog. Excessive movement (i.e. more than the length of the dog) in any direction by the dog, having regard to its size, will be penalized. The dog shall start the exercise with its front feet behind a designated point. No penalty for excessive movement in a forward direction shall be imposed until the back legs of the dog pass the designated point.
This exercise merely puts into practice three exercises which we have already taught. As in everything else increase the distance gradually until the dog will stand, sit or down at least twenty paces from you. Don’t forget that the rule is `not less than ten paces’.
The commonest difficulty in teaching this exercise is to prevent the dog moving forward, especially when he stands up. The best method I have found is to start the dog on a box, table or any other suitably raised platform. The trouble in check-a dog for moving forward is that he may think you are checking him for getting up, the two factors being closely associated. If you put him on a box you can check him for coming off — quite a different action. If you do this from the start there is every chance he will develop the good habit of standing, sitting and lying in the same spot. And he will do it a lot more pleasantly than if you have to keep scolding him for creeping forward on each command.