October 14, 2009
Which Gun Dog Command Can You Not Live Without?
By David DiBenedetto
The other day I was talking with a couple of friends about the dog training command we couldn’t live without. All three of my buddies argued you could do nothing if your dog didn’t know SIT. And I agree. You need the dog to SIT for a variety of reasons, including sending it on a blind retrieve. If you can’t get it to SIT then you don’t have much. In fact, you may want to take up competitive bumper pool.
But for me, the most important command isn’t a word at all. It’s a derivation of NO—a guttural noise that can best be described as, “EHH!” (I’ve sometimes heard trainers use AHH!)
This is not the “EHH” the Fonz used to say when he looked in a mirror. (Click here for that classic.) You must say it sharply, quickly, and with authority. It means loosely “Stop what you’re doing instantly, or you’re gonna get a true thrashing.”
When Pritch is not steady before a retrieve…EHH!
When she’s about to jump for the bumper in my hand…EHH!
When she is lunging for a roll on my dinner plate…EHH!
When she decides the couch cover needs a few threads removed...EHH!
The list goes on. And I can’t explain why EHH! works better than NO, but it does. Sometimes, when the sin Pritch is about to commit is mortal, I’ll need to string together a few, rising in volume as they progress…EH! EHH, EHHHH! I realize there are other commands essential to gun-dog training, but on a day-to-day basis I’m darn glad I figured out EHH!
Got a command you can’t live without? Ever user the EHH! or some other derivation? If not, give it a try.