This month we will continue our WHOA training program with Lesson #2 as developed by Paul Long in his book, “Training Pointing Dogs”. If you have not read Lesson # 1, we invite you to go back to March’s Tip of the Month.
The dog should be on a 4 to 6-foot lead. You can use the two-lead hookup as shown in last month’s tip. Start by HEELING and WHOAING your dog every 30 feet for 50 WHOAS. This should only take 5 minutes. Now WHOA your dog and step aside, abreast of the dog, no more than 2 feet. Your dog will start to follow you. Command WHOA again. You would think the dog would stop but he/she will not. Quickly step back to the dog and immediately command HEEL and move on about 30 feet. WHOA the dog again and step aside as before. If the attempts to follow, command WHOA and raise your hand. If the dog does it halfway correctly, give him lots of praise and petting to give him/her confidence in doing the command correctly. Keep repeating this drill until the dog consistently does not move when you step aside. If the dog continues to attempt to follow you can use the following training aid: Cardboard tube wrapped with duct tape. When the dog attempts to follow, bop him on the head and command WHOA. Stand by the dog’s side until he regains his composure. This does not hurt the dog but the sound along with the tube contact will get his attention.
Keep repeating until you can move 10 feet to the side, then 10 feet to the rear of the dog and finally all the way around the dog 10 feet away with the leash hanging on the ground.
This process may take several sessions before the dog masters it. So be patient, for when your dog masters this lesson, you are well on your way to getting your dog WHOA broke.
See you again next month when we will go to Lesson # 3.