Whistle Sits for Hunting Retrievers

Skill Level: Intermediate

Length: 3 Modules

Access Period: Unlimited

Price: $45.00

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This course is offered as an online course and as a pay-for-view video stream. It is designed to take you through the progression of teaching hunting retrievers (or really any dog) to sit to a whistle when out in the field. It's imperative that we maintain control of our dogs when out in the field. Having them sit to the whistle is often the first component to controlling our dogs when they are away from us at a distance.


This course covers teaching dogs to sit to the whistle in a way that is meaningful and fair to the dog. We use various motivational, reward-based methods to teach the various training steps. We also look at how to introduce various tools such as the electronic collar to make the behavior of whistle sitting more durable.


Even if you don't have a hunting retriever and just want to train your dog to sit to a whistle, this course will teach you how to break down various pieces of this exercise for training, and then bring them together for the final behavior of sitting off leash to a whistle. It will give you an idea of how and when we use various rewards to set the dog up for success and how we introduce tools like the leash and electronic collar in a way that is thoughtful, fair, and effective.


Traditionally, many hunting dog trainers rely heavily on the use of pressure and force to teach their dogs various behaviors. Our training video uses a reward-based training system that results in a fast and happy dog that likes to train.


Once our dog understands the behaviors we want, we will layer pressure over those behaviors. You will see that the kind of pressure is age and dog dependent. This simply means that every dog is different and training plans need to be based on the age and temperament of the dog. The goal of our training program is to produce dogs who are eager to work, yet still compliant to our requests without the need of continued use of rewards or aversive tools.


This course was created with hunting retriever trainers in mind, but it is also applicable to those looking for a comprehensive approach to teaching any behavior. The details will differ but the way we break down the behavior and way we progress is consistent for countless behaviors we train our dogs.


The main prerequisite for this course is for you to have a thorough understanding of marker training. If you elect to use an electronic collar to proof the exercise, as covered in Module 3, you will need to understand how to properly use an electronic collar as well.


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Q:   I don't have a hunting retriever, is this course still relevant to me?

A:   Yes. While this course is designed to suit the needs of hunting retriever trainers, the principals covered throughout the course are general dog training principals which could be applied to countless other behaviors. The specific details may be less relevant for you, but if you are able to understand and apply the concepts covered throughout the course, you will be able to apply them to countless other training disciplines. You will also get an understanding of how we break apart a specific exercise to teach the various components of it first, before bringing it all together. This is the same approach we use with nearly every behavior, the details are just different.



Q:   I have a young puppy, at what age should I start this training?

A:   Modules 1 & 2 are perfectly suitable for puppies as young as 8 weeks old. Module 3 starts to incorporate pressure into the training including the electronic collar which I don't recommend until the dog is a little older (10 months +) assuming everything is going well. But for the reward based aspects of this course (Module 2), the earlier the better!



Q:   I see this course uses an electronic collar, will I have to use one?

A:   You certainly don't have to use an electronic collar to teach a dog to sit to the whistle and you will still get a thorough progression of how to teach the behavior. The electronic collar is used to proof the behavior and give us a tool to use out in the field but if you don't understand how to properly use the collar or don't wish to use one, you won't need to use one. The teaching steps in Module 2 will all be just the same.


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