Find more games like this in my Play-N-Train Recall DVD. $25 and you can buy it on my website. http://www.pamsdogtraining.com
The Whistle recall is a game to play with your dog, but it has serious meaning behind it. It is so important to be able to get your dog to come to you in any situation, especially a dangerous situation. The point is to teach a solid recall one that does not have any baggage or what clicker trainers call “poisoned cues”. A poisoned cue can happen due to many reasons.
Reasons a cue gets poisoned:
1. The dog associates the cue with something bad happening.
For example: An owner calls their dog to come and then you give him a bath. The owner calls the dog to come and then you give him medication. The owner calls the dog to come and then puts him in a crate. The owner calls the dog to come and then does something that the dog feels is a punishment. Now the dog will not want to come because just maybe he will be coming to one of those bad things and in his mind it is better to just keep his distance or keep having fun.
2. The owner had asked for the cue over and over without the dog responding. Pretty soon the cue becomes white noise and the dog will not respond to it.
3. The owner calls the dog to come and the dog does not come, but when the owner does finally get the dog they are so mad at the dog for not coming and they punish him, yell at him, or worse yet beat him. What dog would want to come to a mad mean owner. If the dog thinks they might be punished the chances of them coming are pretty slim.
The recall is not the only cue that can be poisoned. Many dogs that are trained with punishment based training techniques will have a lot of poisoned cues.
If a cue is poisoned, it is best to rename the cue and change the way the dog views the new cue. So, if your dog will not sit, because you have jerked him into a sit or pushed his bottom down into a sit, you will need to rename it something else and make the experience of sitting a positive one. You could name it “squat” and as long as you reward your dog for “squat” he will now have a positive association to the new cue. I used the word “squat” to just show that it could be anything, our dogs do not speak English, Spanish or any other language for that matter. They do not know what the word means other than the fact that they get rewarded for doing the right behavior when their owner asks for it.
Many cross over dogs (dogs that originally learned through punishment based correction based methods) will have negative associations with many cues. When using clicker training to help these dogs change their view of the cues, it is best to not even name the behavior, but rather have the dog practice the behavior over and over and get clicked for it over and over, then put a new cue to it and the dog will soon love that behavior again. It is NEVER TOO LATE to switch over “cross over” to clicker training for either human or dog. It is a very rewarding way to communicate in a positive manner to your dog and the bond that you will create will just amaze you!
If you are still unclear about anything in this video, please feel free to send me a message. I am usually really good at responding with a response.
It is really difficult to explain every aspect of this recall within a few minutes.
Oh, if the dog does not come to the whistle when you take it outside, go back a step and do a bunch of whistles and rewards. Almost as if you are reconditioning it in that environment. Dogs do not generalize well and your dog might not realize that he should come to the whistle in every environment or every situation. It is your job to test him and give him many opportunities to learn it everywhere. If a dog fails, it is never the end of the world, but rather a learning opportunity. If a dog fails, it is information that is valuable to you as his trainer. Go back a step, set your dog up for success and slowly add those distractions. GOOD LUCK!
I wish you the very best of luck with your dog! May you both have a relationship based on trust and respect!
Have a wonderful day!