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I posted thisinfo on another forum but it might help you get started.

I am going to post some info for those who have an interest in learning to stack. I feel it has value not only for the show dog but for the home body as well. Stacking is an exercise about learning to be touched all over and examined so it does have a place outside the show ring. Many times you would just like a really nice pictures of your dog and stacking presents them at their very best PLUS it shows you have worked with them and spent a little time teaching this exercise. It is nice to tell your dog to stand for exam at the vets so it is a useful tool to have in your training box.

I will be posting some videos as I get them done showing the start through finish of stacking. First you have hand stack and then you have a free stack. I teach them both at the same time but in different settings.

Hand stack is when you set the dog up by holding the head up and placing the feet and PLEASE don't forget that darn tail. I use this to teach porper feet placement - For the front feet I use the work STEP and for the back feet I use PLACE. As the dog learns these commands they will sone be self stacking themselves in the free stack - but it does take time.

I start puppies on a table. Cream cheese is an easy treat to use as they usually love it and I can smear it on a small plastic lid to save on the fingers. I have some of the square rubber mats for kids at school and have it cut to fit the table so the puppy does not slip and get frightened. I set them up on the table and use the the cream cheese to entice them to stand. As long as they stand they can lick the cream cheese and I tell them good stand. As they get comfortable with this I then start to place feet - Always start at the front end with the front feet. I hold their little heads and I say step and place a front foot and then the other - if they hold still I treat them and let them lick the cream cheese. If they move a foot I say no and remove the cream cheese and go back to hold the head as I say step and place the front feet again. When both front feet are stacked I say stand and treat and let them lick the cream chesse. If this time they hold it - I slowly and lightly rub one hand down the back to help relax them and say stand good stand - what a pretty puppy as they are licking the cream cheese.

It is important from each step to stop and let the puppy move around a little to relax then come back and do the same thing again.

When I have a very solid front stack I now start to work with the placement of the back feet. I start at the front and set the front feet first. It is very very important to rub your hand down the back to let them know where you are going so it does not surprise them. If you have rubbed down their back from the front stack and got them relaxed they should not be as surprised when you rub on down each back leg and and soft touch back up the tail. As long as they are not moving I let them continue to lick the cream cheese. Do this til they are comfortable with you rubbing all the way down each leg and back up to the tail.

It is very important to do it the exact same way each time. Now you are ready to start with the back legs. Set up the front, rub down the back and down each back leg and set the tail - Then go to one of the back legs and say PLACE and just move it 1/2 inch and say Place and let them lick the cream cheese. Then move to the other leg and say place - Don't worry about getting it far enough back right now. We just want them to get comfortable with you moving it and holding it in place. When you get both front and back legs set I then take hold of the collar and hold up the head a little and say stand to reinforce the not moving and standing in place. Do this two or three times a day til they stand in place as long as you hold the cream cheees for them to lick. Then you can start when you take hold of the collar move the cream cheese out in front of them say STAND and have them hold it then reward.

This starts the hand stack. Now for free stacking.

As a puppy I start with sit down stand and do a sit stand and a down stand. I teach the puppy right away that I want a stand straight up from the down position or sit position and I want a sit or a down complete from the stand position. In other words I do not want the puppy to be standing and say down and have the puppy sit first then go down. I want the puppy to go straight into the down and straight up into the stand and bypass the sit.

This makes it easier then to teach the free stack. At this point I put the puppy on leash and have them down - then ask them to stand with the treat out in front of them to encourage them to move up into the stand. They will want to keep walking to get to the treat but that is not what I want - I want them to stand and not move. So I hold the leash up and taught and say stand - as they walk I say no Stand. They will tend to sit and I just remind them no STAND - and continue to hold the leash up til they don't move then reward. This takes a little time and you will want to be sure you do not pull back on the leash and encourage the sit but hold it straight up and a little forward towards the head to encourage them to hold the stand. Then I build up on the time they stand and watch the treat before treating. This is the very basic starting teaching the stacking.
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