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Training Tip: Sitting on the Whistle Command at Any Distance

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August 24, 2009

Training Tip: Sitting on the Whistle Command at Any Distance

By David DiBenedetto

Recently I was having trouble with Pritch sitting on a whistle command (one short blast) at a distance. Pritch was good at sitting when I blew the whistle, but our problem occurred when she was a good distance away from me. In these situations, she would run back to me and then sit. Luckily I had some expert guidance on a simple way to correct the problem. Here’s how we did it:

First I put my longest check cord on Pritch and went to a field with a fence. I looped the cord around a fence post and then backed off (the end of the check cord was still in my hand) until I the dog was at my feet. When I blew the whistle she sat down, and I gave her a treat. Next, I moved farther back from Pritch (lengthening my end of the cord, which shortened the dog’s end) while keeping tension on the leash. I blew the whistle and with no way to run to me Pritch eventually sat. Since I was now at a distance, I just lobbed a treat in her general direction and allowed her to enjoy it. Again I moved farther back and blew the whistle and she sat. After working on this we moved to other drills and started again the following day. After a few days Pritch had it figured out. She knew that one short blast meant to put her fanny down wherever she was in the field.

One problem licked, many more to come.

Comments (13)

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from pinopolis wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

great idea. going to try this with my pup tonight. thanks!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Sometimes these seem so simple that you wonder why it never occured to you before. Having my dog sit at a distance is also a problem, she will generally stay where she's at on command, but this should help reinforce that too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BIGGAMECOCK wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Another pro for collar conditioning. After the dog knows one whistle blast means sit, and after knowing that she can turn off stimulation by obeying the command she already knows, you could be 500 yds away and get the same result (without the 500 yd check cord - which actually would be interesting to see)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've never thought of trying the whistle yet I've still got some time. Dave what to you use for whistle combinations such as maybe one long one for sit or two short whistles to come. Just wondering what you use.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've never thought of trying the whistle yet I've still got some time. Dave what to you use for whistle combinations such as maybe one long one for sit or two short whistles to come. Just wondering what you use.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Reminds me of a funny sight. My dog was thoroughly conditioned to the sit command. He was chasing a kid to play and was about to cross the road. I yelled, "Sit!" He sat in mid-stride and came to a sliding halt. Luckily, he was still in the grass.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from OTMBoykins wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Those are all really good ideas.
Once she knows this, you can reinforce with the ecollar.

I collar conditioned a 6 month old Boykin last week and it made a ton of difference with his response. (and he still loves working)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have GOT to do this with Toby. He has the same problem you described (among others :D )

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I use the same method BIGGAMECOCK explained very good I might add.It works at any distance!But some people dont use the collar until force fetch as not to confuse the dog.I do just the opposite I dont use the collar for force fetch just a little pressure to the ear is enough and only has to be reinforced once in a great while if at all.But feel the collar if used correctly as he said only after the dog knows the command and how to shut it off is a great tool at any distance.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quackwacker wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

sounds like she is coming right along Dave!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tbay_steel wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Great blog going on here David. Just came across it. I like your perspective on training and the fact that your not necessarily a pro. I have a boykin "Lutsen" who is just over a year old and who is still in training as a gun dog and doing fairly well, although i'll admit that he has his weaknesses which are probably partially due to my slacking off since our baby arrived back in june or my inexperience. Hoping that he'll at least flush a few birds and retrieve some ducks this fall. Looking foreward to more good material.
eric

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Muskiemaster-- I use a simple, short blast for the SIT command. To get Pritch to Come I usually blow three short blasts in succession and repeat. For now those are what we use, but variations will come.

Biggamecock and Kelmitch-- I don't disagree about the shock collar. We're just not quite there yet.

tbay_steel-- Welcome aboard and thanks for the kind words. You'll also find the gang here quite helpful and knowledgeable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Glad to hear that you got that problem settled. Seems like a nice little trick to get over a problem like that too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from OTMBoykins wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Those are all really good ideas.
Once she knows this, you can reinforce with the ecollar.

I collar conditioned a 6 month old Boykin last week and it made a ton of difference with his response. (and he still loves working)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I use the same method BIGGAMECOCK explained very good I might add.It works at any distance!But some people dont use the collar until force fetch as not to confuse the dog.I do just the opposite I dont use the collar for force fetch just a little pressure to the ear is enough and only has to be reinforced once in a great while if at all.But feel the collar if used correctly as he said only after the dog knows the command and how to shut it off is a great tool at any distance.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pinopolis wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

great idea. going to try this with my pup tonight. thanks!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Sometimes these seem so simple that you wonder why it never occured to you before. Having my dog sit at a distance is also a problem, she will generally stay where she's at on command, but this should help reinforce that too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BIGGAMECOCK wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Another pro for collar conditioning. After the dog knows one whistle blast means sit, and after knowing that she can turn off stimulation by obeying the command she already knows, you could be 500 yds away and get the same result (without the 500 yd check cord - which actually would be interesting to see)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've never thought of trying the whistle yet I've still got some time. Dave what to you use for whistle combinations such as maybe one long one for sit or two short whistles to come. Just wondering what you use.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I've never thought of trying the whistle yet I've still got some time. Dave what to you use for whistle combinations such as maybe one long one for sit or two short whistles to come. Just wondering what you use.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Reminds me of a funny sight. My dog was thoroughly conditioned to the sit command. He was chasing a kid to play and was about to cross the road. I yelled, "Sit!" He sat in mid-stride and came to a sliding halt. Luckily, he was still in the grass.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I have GOT to do this with Toby. He has the same problem you described (among others :D )

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quackwacker wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

sounds like she is coming right along Dave!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tbay_steel wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Great blog going on here David. Just came across it. I like your perspective on training and the fact that your not necessarily a pro. I have a boykin "Lutsen" who is just over a year old and who is still in training as a gun dog and doing fairly well, although i'll admit that he has his weaknesses which are probably partially due to my slacking off since our baby arrived back in june or my inexperience. Hoping that he'll at least flush a few birds and retrieve some ducks this fall. Looking foreward to more good material.
eric

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Muskiemaster-- I use a simple, short blast for the SIT command. To get Pritch to Come I usually blow three short blasts in succession and repeat. For now those are what we use, but variations will come.

Biggamecock and Kelmitch-- I don't disagree about the shock collar. We're just not quite there yet.

tbay_steel-- Welcome aboard and thanks for the kind words. You'll also find the gang here quite helpful and knowledgeable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Glad to hear that you got that problem settled. Seems like a nice little trick to get over a problem like that too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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