Saturday, February 2, 2008
Jack, the Border Collie, lives on lots of land. On that land are many distractions. Not surprisingly, Jack's recall (come when called) is like a lot of dogs. In Jack's world "come" means "I'll be there in a minute". For his safety and his owner's peace of mind we need a recall that means "I'm coming as fast as I can". Toward that end, I recommended that Jack learn an emergency recall (one that works every single time). One option for an emergency recall is a training whistle. The emergency recall must be taught slowly and carefully, following very specific step-by-step instructions. Otherwise, it becomes just another cue for "I'll be there in a minute". When I spoke to Jack's mom after two weeks of working with the training whistle, she was very pleased with the results. Working short distances to start with, Jack has come every time when called with the whistle. That's the key to success: the dog must succeed 100% of the time. Jack is at 100%. Several students in my group class are also working with a training whistle for the first time. Across the board they have all reported success with the whistle recall.