Feb 22 2021 1 Comment
Our previous article "Whistle Training Basics" learned that whistles are the perfect tool for getting a dog’s attention as they are great for distance training or noisy surroundings. It can be used for various commands, but we recommend teaching no more than two commands per training session.
Here are some steps that will get you started with the whistle training.
- Choosing the correct whistle
While most whistles might work, we recommend getting an audible to the human ear instead of a silent whistle, which is only audible to the dog. Silent whistles come in a range of frequencies, and you will need to figure out first which frequency is the right one for your dog. With an audible whistle, it is easy to understand if it works.
- Deciding on the whistle cues
This is perhaps unique to all dog owners. You will need to figure out the whistling patterns that you will want the dog to associate commands with. For example, a short whistle can be used to get the dog to sit, and a more prolonged whistle can be used to associate the command “come.” This is entirely up to you to figure out what works best.
- Finding a distraction-free place
Once you have the whistle in hand, find a distraction-free place so that the dog’s attention is solely on you. There shouldn’t be other trainers around, too, as it will only serve to confuse your dog. If possible, use your own yard so that the dog is familiar with its surroundings. Bring along a bag of the dog’s favorite treats too. Try to bake your own healthy goodies so that your four-legged friend is treated with more nutritious snacks.
For the next part, we are broadly assuming that your dog is not familiar with commands already. Let’s take that you wish to teach the sit command. For this, the dog’s initial position should be standing on all fours. Hold a treat in one of your hands and bring it closer to the puppy’s nose. Use your hand to gesture the dog to sit. You can do so by bringing the treat closer to the ground. As soon as the dog sits down, it would be best to reward it with a treat while you blow on the whistle. Make sure that the whistleblowing pattern is consistent for this command.
Repeat the above multiple times for each training session. To overwhelm the dog, we will suggest that you split the training up to spread it across the day. After a couple of days of training, your dog will be able to respond to the “sit” blowing pattern in the whistle without the lure of the treat.
How about other commands?
To train your dog to respond to the other commands, all you have to do is ensure that the following are met.
- Set a fixed blowing pattern for the command
- Place a treat in your hand and gesture for the dog to follow your lead. It can be instructing to move towards you or getting the dog to stop in its tracks
- Once the puppy performs the said command, immediately blow on the whistle to produce the fixed blowing pattern and reward the dog with a treat.
Wrapping things up
As you can see, it is not that difficult to train the dog by using the whistle. With the usage of a unique blowing pattern and treats, you are well equipped for the class. Of course, if your dog already knows the command via your voice, then the whole training session can be made more accessible.