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22 - Introduce recall with a whistle

22 - Introduce recall with a whistle

Whistle training is excellent if a dog tends to get lost in the exciting scents or sights he finds outside. The noise of a whistle seems to be able to cut through any distraction and gain a dog’s attention. However, your dog needs to strongly associate coming to you when he hears the whistle.

  1. Split your dog’s meal into five or six portions. He should already be with you as he knows it is his supper time. Blow the whistle and give him one portion of food in his bowl. Blow the whistle again and give him the second portion and continue until all the food is given. Repeat this exercise over a few meals.
  2. Your dog should now be strongly associating the whistle with the food and you can start using the whistle to recall him from anywhere in the house and garden. You may notice that on arrival he is already salivating in anticipation of a yummy reward. Blow the whistle and give him some really tasty treats when he comes and practice this exercise on and off throughout the day.
  3. Once the association with the whistle and food has been strongly formed you can try taking the whistle to the park – choose a quiet time when there are few distractions – to build his condence and consistency.

Always reward his responses

When your dog understands recall with a whistle, it is important to give the high value treats only for a high value recall. If he is lazy in his response, thank him for arriving but withhold the food or give a bland food reward. Never tell him off for a slow response or it will put him off coming when called in future.

Naomi blows the whistle and gives Cookie a portion of food

AVOIDING BAD HABITS

If your dog ignores the recall, don’t wait until this becomes a bad habit. Go back a few steps and reinforce your training until you get a solid and consistent response again.

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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