Do you have trouble getting your dog to stop when you give the command? Well, you’re not alone! Many dog owners find this difficult. Luckily, there is a way to train your dog to stop on a whistle command. In this podcast, we will talk to LWDG Featured Expert Michelle Oseman, who explains precisely how it’s done.
Whistle Command: Sit/Stop/Look at me. Whistle – one sharp pip
Start by blowing the whistle and reward when the dog looks at you.
Next, walk your dog slowly at heel, blow the whistle, then use a verbal command to sit – sit should be quick, and then reward. Once this is a sharp, snappy sit, blow your stop whistle command before saying sit. Once this is producing a sharp sit, try just using the whistle command. When this is also producing a sharp sit, move to the next stage.
Walk at your dog at heel, blow the whistle, verbal command and when the dog sits, spin around in front of them with your hand high in the air. Walk forward and praise/stroke and reward. Return away from the dog, remind them to sit, and return to the heel position.
Once the dog is comfortable with the sit and you in front, put some distance between you both when stepping away from them, so the dog learns the ‘picture’ of sitting from you at a distance.
Repeat the walking at heel, whistle, sit, spin in front but this time have a tennis ball or dummy in your hand and hold this high in the air. As long as the dog sits quickly and is focused on you, drop the ball/dummy behind you. As you are standing between the dog and the ball/dummy, you can block them from running in to retrieve the ball/dummy if they try to do so. If they stay in the sit position, move one step to the side so they can see the ball/dummy and send them to retrieve the ball.
The next stage is to do all the above but throw the ball/dummy out behind you over your head. A fast thrown ball/dummy is more tempting than one just dropped by your side. If the dog stays sat, they can retrieve it. If they move, you collect the ball/dummy. This stage teaches them that sit at a distance means sit until you tell them anything different.
Whilst the dog is hunting/running around, blow your stop whistle, arm in the air as you back up the whistle with a firm ‘Sit’ command. If the dog sits immediately, throw the ball/dummy out to one side for them to retrieve. Don’t worry if the dog runs in on the ball/dummy initially as it’s the quick sit we’re looking for. In time you can increase the delay between the sit and ball/dummy throwing to get the dog steady to the ball.
Remember when you are looking for the final bit of steadiness to remind the dog to sit between the initial sit to the whistle and you throwing the ball or dummy – always remind the dog of their job before you move or throw.
DO NOT MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STAGE UNTIL YOU HAVE PROOFED THE CURRENT STAGE IN A FEW DIFFERENT LOCATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTS.
We hope you enjoyed this podcast and found it helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We would be more than happy to help. Until next time, happy training!
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