The Pause Table can be a tough obstacle to teach, especially when you start adding height and speed. The purpose of the obstacle is to show control of the dog in that they will listen to the handler’s request to go from full speed fun to stop. The other aspect that can cause trouble is the position the dog is to take once on the table. Depending on the venue it can be a sit, down, or stand.
When starting your training on the table it is a huge benefit to know which venue you will start in and what they will ask for. Then you can start your training with that position as the automatic position your dog takes when they jump onto the table. Shape the table obstacle with the desired position until your dog considers it all one movement.
At some point you may want to try other venues or be in a venue that doesn’t stick to one position. It can also happen that rule changes in a venue and you find you need to reteach the table position to your dog. It may be challenging to start, but try using a different command for the different positions your dog will be expected to take.
Regardless of these details, you should make the table a fun place to be from the start. It will easily become a bad place for the dog in competition if you fail to make it fun at home. Most dogs do not like the interruption in their game as it is.
You can do this a number of ways, such as keeping it happy, upbeat, and short stays where you reward the table performance as well as the table exit. If your dog has surface sensitivity, make the surface different while keeping sessions short and upbeat. You can put a towel on the table and different door mats, anything that will change the feel of the table. Practice with the table lowered and use lots of praise and treats for any interactions with the new surface.
If the surface of your table needs to be redone or you want to change from sand to a gentler surface, try our Pampered Paws resurfacing kits. Your dog will be loving the table once the surface is kind to their feet!