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Labrador Retriever Training- Whistle Training
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When training a Labrador Retriever for many different pursuits, a whistle is used to make the command carry. The whistle penetrates over a variety of sounds and carries well through rain and running water noise. When a Labrador Retriever has been sufficiently conditioned to this sound many behaviors can be trained. When training a dog for hunting, the whistle is used for the come in signal as well as the sit command. A well trained pet dog should also be familiar with a whistle recall. There are many occasions where a whistle can come in handy to get your dog under control. The whistle is very effective at this as the tone of a whistle seems to get extraordinary attention from a Lab.

Whistle training your dog is not a difficult thing to do. There are a couple of things that you need to have before you start. The most important is a whistle. This should be a standard Acme Thunderer. You can buy hunting dog whistles that have a directional cone but this is not necessary, the sound from a standard whistle will carry fine. You also need a treat that the dog can not resist. If you need to fry up some calves liver to get sufficient interest then go right ahead and start frying. Many hunting dogs and field Labrador Retrievers will work well for a toy or squeaky ball as well.

You need to have a reliable recall before you start. If you have a young dog that isn't reliable on the recall and you happen to have another that is, work the two of them together. Both will enjoy the work. If your dog isn't reliable choose a fenced area that will restrain the dog until he gets into the swing of the training. Set up with a helper about 30 feet apart each with a good amount of your reward. Call the dog to you and toot the whistle. When he gets to you, reward him with a treat. Without pausing have your helper call the dog and toot the whistle, reward when the dog reaches your helper. Repeat this until the dog is grabbing the treat and spinning around to race back to you. This should be repeated until the dog is tired. Don't overdo it. This has to be a huge amount of fun. Repeat the training for a week and you will have a reliable recall to the whistle.

When this is working well, repeat whistle training your dog in other environments, dogs are very location specific. If you want this whistle recall to be reliable in any condition then the training needs to be repeated with distractions and varying locations until you are absolutely certain that you are the most irresistible thing that your Labrador Retriever has in its life.


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