Home' Smart Farmer : May 2011 Contents May 2011
AST month, I outlined the importance
of the instant recall and how you can
teach your new pup without a lead, col-
lar or jerking it about.
In other words, using the natural behaviour
of a dog.
This process of walking with your pup and
'labelling' his natural tendency to return to his
leader should be used each time you take him
for a walk which, by the way, should be at
least twice a day.
During your walks, you can try calling him
when he isn't watching you and see if he turns
and comes back.
Use exactly the same tone, as if you are ask-
ing him to come to you and reward him with
an upward facing palm and a quick touch
under the chin.
A word of warning here. Don't push the
issue and call him to you too often. What you
want is to have him coming -- not turning and
looking at you with a signal that says, 'what do
you want now'.
Always keep in mind that you are dealing
with a young pup who wants to have fun. He
doesn't want to be overly pestered by his
leader. He will resent it and you don't want
Watch closely, and soon you will observe
that he comes more often and with greater joy.
When you get an eight out of 10 result, he
has passed the first exam. Remember how I
mentioned that you must do each stage and
pass the exam? No shortcuts!
Now is the time for you to introduce stage 2.
It builds on what he has just learnt.
Remember, he doesn't know he is being
trained if you continue to make it fun.
IT'S time to introduce the whistle recall and
verbal reward. Why?
Well, when your little pup becomes a grown
working dog, you need to be able call him
back from 3 metres away in the yards and
300m in a paddock. You must be able to do it
without shouting, which introduces a harsh
tone and actually stops him from coming to
You also need to be able to reward him with-
out having to stop what you are doing to pat
him under the chin.
While training and working your dog you
will use two tones. One is called the 'hard'
tone and copies the deep warning growl made
by the bitch to her pups from the time they
were born. It is used for discipline.
The other is what I call the 'soft' tone and
is used for reward. You will need to train
yourself to say, 'that'lldo', as if it is one word.
The reward tone of 'that'lldo' is going to be
used for the rest of your dog's life and means
many things, such as good dog, well done,
that's what I want.
Firstly, make sure you can whistle a 'recall
whistle' that is uncomplicated and can be
reproduced exactly the same every time.
If you can't whistle over a long distance,
that's okay. Lots of people use a dog whistle.
A dog responds very quickly and is easier to
train with a whistle.
It's important that you learn how to blow a
whistle because later you will use it for a
number of commands (or tones). They are
stop, clockwise, anti-clockwise, softly, wait,
speak, reverse and push.
Over the years, I have tried countless
whistles made from all manner of materials.
I wasn't completely happy with any of them
so I decided to design and manufacture my
I MUST admit that I went through about 11
different models until I was satisfied. That
whistle, called the Deefa, is now available from
the Working Dog Centre. If you want some
help, just send an email.
When you are deciding what tone you will
use for the recall, avoid using a straight blast.
May I suggest something like, 'weeu wit'
(say it to yourself).
Practise your recall tone away from your
dog. Practise while you're driving the car, or
sitting on the tractor, or doing other things
until you've got it down pat.
When you've got your 'whistle recall' per-
fected, introduce the 'whistle recall' and the
'reward' to your pup.
So, off you go on your walk and, when your
pup turns to come back to you, call out,
'Andy, here, here', immediately followed by
your whistle, 'weeu wit' with virtually no gap
between the verbal and the whistle.
As he is bounding towards you, use the
whistle a couple more times. When Andy
arrives, bend down (palm upwards) and, as
Perfect recall on
a shrill whistle
If you can't whistle over a long distance, that's okay. Lots of people use a dog whistle. A dog
responds very quickly and is easier to train with a whistle.
with BEN PAGE,
Pages Working Dog Centre
Get an 80pc success with verbal recall
Learn to use a whistle command
Deefa gets out message
you pat him under the chin say, 'Andy, thatll-
do' (like one word). Say it softly with a pleas-
ing tone. It's a reward.
During training vary your commands.
Sometimes use the verbal and the whistle.
Other times use only the whistle and gradual-
ly work towards using the whistle only, fol-
lowed by the soft tone of, 'thatlldo'.
Aim to get an 80pc success rate where you
can call, 'Andy, weeu wit', followed by 'thatll-
do' and he turns and runs back to you.
Next month: Introducing your pup to stock.
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