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Training recall to whistle

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by PoisonGirl, Jul 8, 2009.


  1. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Neither of my dog's recall is 100%. They won't run off if I shout on them but sometimes just take a bit longer to come back.

    I have just bought a silent whistle on ebay, As I am sure the best way to teach them recall to a whistle is to get them to know the whistle means a really good treat and praise. And that means blowing it lots in the house and treating, and I don't want to annoy my neighbours with a normal whistle!

    How do I do it? What way will they learn the quickest?
    Do I just start off blowing it and treating so they associate the noise with the treat or what?

    x
     
  2. thedogsmother

    thedogsmother PetForums VIP

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    Thats what I would do.
     
  3. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    My oh say I need to hide and blow the whistle will that be good too?

    I love your sig pic Henrick is gorgous! :)

    x
     
  4. kenla210

    kenla210 PetForums Senior

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    That's what I did :)

    Usually I get whistle with my mouth and Daisy comes, but I have a proper whistle which I don't use all the time, but it is my secret weapon for times when her recall may be a bit ropey e.g. when lots of distractions - when I blow that she knows it = good treats and comes like a rocket! :D
     
  5. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Wel we have some smoked ham in the fridge no one likes (bought it by accident it was in with the honey roast) so might use that, and some sausages that are nearing there use by date and cut them up. maybe get some chicken too.

    x
     
  6. kenla210

    kenla210 PetForums Senior

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    Sounds perfect! Good luck :thumbup1:

    The great thing about it is that once you have it down, you can do the whistle thing in the park and get great kudos from all the other dog owners "wow, isn't she obedient/good" LOL if only they knew :lol: :rolleyes:
     
  7. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    You need to use the verbal command as well, you can start off with just the whistle with a pup that has never been taught the verbal commands, but I'd use both with an older dog, and eventually leave out the verbal recall bit, leaving you with just the whistle command. So blow the whistle, however you've decided to use a recall, I use two short pips, followed by the verbal command.

    I still alternate and will use either whistle or verbal commands, its useful just in case you need to shout a command quickly, if your whistle isn't already in your mouth or to hand.
     
  8. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Luckily all 3 dogs are excellent on their recall. I whistle and then give a verbal command. I used sausages in the beginning, but don;t really need to anymore.

    If they are not listening because they have seen something then I clap really loudly to distract them. Then I would whistle and call them.

    I think the important thing to remember is if the dog is not recalling, do not keep on calling them. Otherwise your commands don;t mean anything. Call them twice and if they do not listen then go and get them, or walk away if that is possible x

    Oh yer... I wait until they have run off and then I hide in a tree and whistle. I know I look mad, but it's great when the dog looks back and cannot see you!
     
  9. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    The best way to do it is to condition the dog totally to the whistle. To do this whistle and feed titbit while the dog is beside you in the house. Repeat lots where it cant possibly go wrong. You want the dog to think whistle equals food. Start doing it when the dog is a few feet from you in the house then start doing it outside, again when the dog is on the lead and beside you then increase the distance. It really is a conditioning rather than training exercise if done like this. I have seen a lurcher that was conditioned actually instantly leave a group of playing dogs when it heard the whistle. Well worth trying and something I maybe should consider with my pup though she is not at all food orientated so not quite sure how it would work.
     
  10. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    It is ok if you just have one dog, but what if you only want to call one of the dogs? My 3 all respond to their name as a verbal command. If I call one then I don't expect the others to come. I've trained them to be this way. x
     
  11. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    But then you dont need the whistle do you. It is not something I have ever used and when I had a group of collies and shelties I could drop or call any of them individually. the above advice is for someone who is having problems and wants to be able to get their dog back instantly. As I said though I might try it with my rather stubborn min poodle pup because she just doesnt listen and it might help to attune her a bit. It is something I have suggested to other people and those that can actually be bothered to spend the time involved in conditioning have found it great, those that try and take shortcuts and use it as recall training dont find it quite so good.
     
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    To be honest, I wouldn't use treats with an older dog at all, I'd use one to one training, getting them working with you for a few mins each day. Getting it right for a dog is addictive, they love to do things right and get praise, any reward is secondary. Usually the way I reward mine is with more training, thinly disguised as play ;)

    I think treats are, in a lot of cases, used as more of a short cut than putting the training in, the dog doesn't then want to do it to get it right for the handler, its just after food. If the dog works out there isn't anything in it for it, then it won't respond, much better to make the reward getting whatever it is you're training for right. I'd agree with using treats initially, in the case of pups, or just to get the idea in their head, but phase it out and replace it with just the reward of getting the training exercise right, that's my opinion, for what its worth :D
     
  13. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I absolutely agree and I have never used treats for training and hate to see dogs being given them all the time - but as I said the whistle idea is conditioning not training. There is only any point using it when your training has failed and your dog only recalls when it feels like it. It can then, when used correctly, solve the problem totally.
     
  14. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    If you don;t use treats, what is their motivation for doing what you want? My guys recall without them, but I still use them as an incentive every 2-3 times of them obeying me.
     
  15. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    erm, because they want to please you. I have had working sheepdogs, obedience and agility dogs and nice obedient pets that have never had a titbit in their life. Titbits never used to be used for training, they are a fairly recent innovation, and tbh most dogs were far better trained when they were just expected to do as they were told.
     
  16. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Interesting..... I stand in the middle of it, but I know a lot of people would disagree.
     
  17. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    The "willingness to please" thing is a bit of a myth, according to people who have really studied dog behaviour.

    Dogs don't think like people. They neither realise nor care about what emotion you happen to be feeling. What they DO do is what works.

    "What's in it for me" is a dog's ethos.

    Now, it may well be that a biddable dog works to please you because when you are pleased you are more likely to give pats/cuddles/praise or whatever - but most dogs need more motivation than that.

    It depends on the breed though - of course a shepherd isn't going to be able to go over and treat and pat his Border Collie every time it does the right thing - but what motivates it is the chance to chase and herd. A Springer Spaniel or Lab doesn't need rewarding for bringing you a shoe when you come home; the urge to retrieve is deeply ingrained and is self-rewarding enough to keep it doing it.

    However, try persuading a slightly more independent breed to do something "just to please you" - you won't get far ;)


    And of course then you've got people who tell their dogs off when they DON'T obey - the dog learns to obey to avoid correction and the owner proudly says the dog "loves to please" - no, he's just doing what works...
     
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  18. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Wow, another off topic thread I can contribute towards, sometimes I almost feel like I swing these things! :D

    Ok, here's how I see it, if the dog looks at something from the point of view of 'what's in it for me', then if it gets it right, it gets praise from, hopefully, some one it respects. You can call this a willingness to please or whatever you like, but the thing is, with the right sort of handler this is the case.

    I know from the past when I've handed my dogs over to more experienced handlers, they have them doing as they want within a few seconds/strides, it's not that the 'knowledge' isn't there on the part of the dog, it's just they are that much more 'willing to please' the right person, or type of handler.

    That's why, with every short bit of training I do with my dogs, they are given something they can get right, even with my handling ability ;) Getting it right is the basic building block I use to further *our* training, after all, it is a joint effort.
     
  19. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    But it depends on how you define "to please".... I think they try to do what, in the past, has led to nice things for them and it follows that they soon associate a smile/relaxed body language with getting a fuss or whatever, but how on earth can a dog know or care about our inner emotions??

    In particular, why should they care more about "pleasing" a stranger? I think it's more likely that an experienced handler makes things clearer to the dog so it is more sure of what will earn praise or whatever.
     
  20. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Very well put x
     
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