Whistle CommandsI have a 14 week old Chocolate lab who is doing very well and would like to introduce him to whistle commands. Could you please offer some recommendations on possible commands. At minimum I would like to send him right, left, back, sit and come. I have my own ideas but would like some feed back, once I start I will be stuck with these commands for a long time to come. I have seen Boarder Collies train and admire their ability to interpret whistle commands. (sure beats yelling)
You are right, whistle commands are definitely the way to go. At a minimum you should consider teaching the dog to stop and sit to a single whistle blast, and to come to you at the trill of three or four whistles. This starts by training the sit and come without the whistle, using a motivational technique. Later on you add the whistle to the command and then in time drop the use of the command. This is a gross oversimplification of all that is involved but it is not possible to describe the whole process in such a short reply. I describe the techniques in full detail in my eBook "The Ultimate Dog Obedience Book." You can download the eBook, along with others specific to retriever training at my website www.highland-retrievers.com.
As far a s using the whistle to control casting commands like left and right over, that is purely a matter of choice. Some handlers really find it to be helpful when the dog has trouble seeing or understanding the handler's hand signals. In general, handling is a highly technical and difficult skill to teach. Sometimes adding whistles only makes it harder for the dog learn.
Best of luck.
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