Stop Whistle

How to Train Your Bracco: Stop Whistle

Todays training is on the sit/stop. And in our opinion this is more important than the recall.

If your dog is running away from you it is almost impossible to get a decent recall especially if he is chasing something. To get a recall the dog needs to be focused on you. To succeed you need to break the dogs concentration and you do this by having a good STOP command, once you have stopped the dog and got its focus on you, you are back on control and able to choose what happens next, you can either recall the dog or go to it.

So how do we do this, well this is where sit and stop become the same thing, to start with you need to teach the dog to sit on command and eventually to the whistle.

Just another point, I often get people say, when I try and stop my dog at a distance he responds but comes back to me I just can’t get him to sit away from me, sound familiar?.

The reason for this is where you’ve taught the dog to sit in the first place, usually next to you, so thats where the dogs comes to….We teach sit with the dog in front of us facing us, we also use the good old tennis ball, it make sitting at a distance much easier, it will also teach your dog to sit and face you…..

So here we go, following on from the recall as the dog comes into you instead of giving him the ball hold it facing him and push it towards him over his head and say sit as he get better at it you can introduce the sit whistle.

Once he fully understands what you are asking of him you can start the sit at a distance. Now i’ll tell you a funny story, when I first started training stop at a distance we were told to sit the dog 50 yards away from us, do the recall the when the dog was half way towards you and running at full speed blow the stop whistle, if the dog didn’t stop we were told and run at the dog making ourselves big and yell sit……

Thankfully we’ve come a long way since those days…. I digress, so, your dog now comes in and sits nicely in front of you you have eye contact.

Next step is to get you dog to stop 1 or 2 paces in front of you, as above have your ball ready, recall the dog and instead of getting him to come right in, take a step forward and give the sit command pushing the ball towards him, reinforce the command if needed and blow the stop whistle, over a few days he will get the idea and you can start expanding the distance 2 paces 4 paces etc, yet quickly you will have the dog sitting 10, 20, 30 and more paces away from you, you can also introduce the STOP whistle.

HOT TIP when you have stopped the dog ALWAYS go to him and reward, if you recall him he will think what was the point in that and probably break and come to you….

Once you have introduced the whistle you are also teaching the dog to look at you when he hears the stop whistle. You now have your dog stopped away from you and looking at you.

The stop whistle can be incorporated every time the dog is sitting, and a great way to do this is at meal times, starting as soon as you bring the dog home.

I hope this makes sense, this is just the start, I am happy to to make a video of a dog running in the field and stopping if wanted.

Good luck and happy training. Sue Parr