More stop whistle training

Elsa & Diesel practicing the stop whistle
Elsa & Diesel practicing the stop whistle

Stop whistle training is always something that we get lot of questions about and therefore I will showyou  a short video of a smart stop whistle exercise I learned in Wales last summer. It’s easy to get stuck on an exercise and always (or several times) unconsciously doing the same thing. With the help of some cones (or other markers) it becomes very clear what distances I have trained on and also what distances work.

The video shows how I train the stop whistle when the dog is coming towards me. Before doing this I’ve taught the dog to stop near me when it’s not so busy. So the dog just about knows what the stop whistle means. After that I vary the distance between me and the stopping point, the distance the dog gets to run before stopping and the distractions.

3 thoughts on “More stop whistle training”

  1. Thank you for this. I have one question though – My dogs are trained to a whistle recall, 2 short blasts on the whistle. Will it be confusing to them to use a single one for a stop?

    1. Hi
      Thanks for your comment, we’re glad that you enjoyed the text!

      Initially it might of course be a bit confusing, but soon the dog will learn the difference. Start teaching the dog at a close distance (wait for it to sit down voluntary, click and treat, make the dog stand up, wait for it to sit, click and treat. When the dog sits down as fast as possible (just after standing up), start adding the cue. First you blow it when the dog sits down (not to make the dog sit), click and treat. Repeat that a couple of times. Then give the cue just before the dog sits down, click and treat (at this stage it will look as if the dog sits when hearing the whistle but it doesn’t, it just sits because it’s been rewarded several times for sitting). Then you gradually give the cue earlier and earlier before the dog has started to sit down. If the dog doesn’t sit when you blow the whistle, go back to getting the dog to offer sit voluntary and then add the cue again. You also need to make sure that the dog can offer a sit without being lured by a treat, or when you’re standing very close to it – move around gradually, raise your hands, lower them, stand on one leg etc – and make sure that the dog still can offer a sit. If it gets to difficult – make it easier again by standing still.

      Many spaniel trainers use one short blast for “turn”, one long for stop and several short for recall. I use one short for stop and several short for recall (or two short, short pause, two short).

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Elsa & Diesel practicing the stop whistle