NAVHDA Whoa TableHi,
I have a 6 month old Weim that I would like to start training on the whoa command. I was wondering how the NAVDA training table is used to teach a dog to whoa. Specifically, do you need to use a bird in a cage to point on the table and then use the whoa command or do you not use a bird or wing and just use the whoa command and have the dog stay standing on the table? Are there better techniques for trainging a young dog the whoa command? I tried the Wolters book technique of calling the dog and then yelling whoa and trying to get him to stop, but he does not understand this concept. Any advice on using the training table and other techniques for teaching the whoa command would be very much appreciated. Thank you. Using the table to teach the whoa command is quite simple. Though I have heard of the technique you have quoted and do use it to some extent, I do not suggest you try to teach a young dog by his method.
Until I send you! Or I tell you!
[pinch collar (otherwise known as a spiked collar - it is not a choke collar, throw these away as they serve no purpose), 6 foot leash, a 20 foot check cord and a training table with ramps on each end, NAVHDA Green Training Book would be most helpful]
1. I like to walk a young dog quickly up and down the ramp teaching the dog the table is not your enemy rather just another obstacle. (Table building directions is in the NAVHDA Green book) I make it fun for the dog and if the dog resists I will quickly run around the table and try a ramp from another end. Coax the dog up on to the table using a happy tone of voice. MAKE IT FUN FOR THE DOG! Praise the dog everytime you see the dog perform well. If the dog still resists then I force the dog up by dragging the dog on a short leash (holding leash at the collar) to force the dog on up to the table surface. Once the dog is up I praise the dog and then work the dog down the other ramp. I will repeat this several times until the dog is comfortable using the table. At all times keep your voice positive and praise the dog for work well-done EVEN IT IF IT IS SLIGHT!
2. Time for Whoa
Work the dog up the table using a short leash. Once the dog is on top of the table snap the leash straight up saying the word "Whoa" but you don't need to shout. Use a calm steady tone of voice. This should stop the dog. If the dog tries to sit-down put you free arm under the dog's belly, while holding the pinch collar leash up and help the dog stay standing. Say "Whoa" again. Keep the pressure on the leash not letting the dog move. If the dog moves a foot put it back saying "Whoa" again. Don't scream or shout at the dog at this point. Use a calm voice! Say the word Whoa in a long drawn out calm voice. Wwwwhhhhooooaaaa. Keep the dog still and once you can relax the leash somewhat wait a short pause and release the dog by using the command heel. If the dog moves use the pinch collar and your free arm under the belly and pick the dog straight up off the table and put it back on the table. This helps teach the dog it can't move. when the dog is holding at the whoa position fairly well then walk the dog off the table. Repeat this step as many times as it takes until you see the dog stopping consistently. now the dog will try to anticipate your command. If you see this walk the dog up and down the table several times. Keep the dog guessing as when the whoa command will be given. Keep your training sessions short and positive. Once you have reached this point quit for a short time or quit and come back to step 1 the next day, next hour, next afternoon. you will get more out of short positive repetitions than you will with long drawn out training sessions.
3. Once you have the dog stopping on top of the table with very little force or use of the pinch collar and stops when you say the command "Whoa" it is time to put on some more pressure. Walk the dog up on to the table use the word "Whoa" and when the dog stops calm the dog. When the dog is in the whoa stance move away from the dog all the time holding the leash. If the dog moves go back tot he dog correct what part of the body has moved on the dog and use the word "Whoa" again to restate what you want out of the dog. Again move away from the dog holding the leash and try to walk all around the dog. If the dog moves correct what is has moved on the dog using the whoa command. You should be able to make it all around the dog. In my training I do not care if the dog turns its head to watch me just as long as the dog's body doesn't move from the place I have commanded whoa. Several good repetitions is great and again short positive training sessions are far better than long drawn out boring sessions. At this point you want to make it as much fun for both you and the dog. So don't kid yourself about the dog's progress. This type of work soon gets boring for both of you. Things you can add is a hand signal and a whistle command. I use one sharp whistle blast for whoa followed by the word. At this point you can holler at the dog if the dog is really disobedient but use you judgement here. Soft commands are better. I reserve the really harsh whoa commands when I really do need the dog to stop and I mean now! In conjunction is the hand command. The hand command should look like what a traffic cop uses when he wants your car to stop. I.E. You put your hand out to command stop of a moving vehicle.
4. Once you have got step 3 down take the leash off and use the check cord. Now what a check cord really is a 20 to 50 foot leash. It gives you 20 to 50 feet of being able to catch the dog once we move to the field. Repeat step 3 using the check cord. At this point you should be able to move 20 to 50 feet out in front of the dog. You should also be able to move 20 to 50 feet all around the dog. If the dog moves reset the dog.
Once you have done all of the above and the dog is doing this religiously, it is time to move to the ground. Repeat all steps.
Now anytime you feel the dog is not doing things correct go back to the table and try to pick up from an area the dog does it correct. Move on from there. Training is a give and take - you give, the dog takes and you both should be happy.
5. If you can get a copy of the NAVHDA green book it will give you a picture when to use a bird. DO NOT MOVE TO THIS STEP UNTIL YOU HAVE COVERED THE TABLE STEPS AND HAVE MOVED TO THE GROUND. THE DOG SHOULD BE PERFORMING AT A GOOD LEVEL OBEDIENCE ON THE GROUND. Hey did you get the idea I was hollering at you. I bet you did not like it. But it is at this area most first time pointing dog owners make the mistake of moving to fast and not being honest with themselves as to where the dog real learning is. It is my opinion that really good professional dog trainers are really dog mechanics who fix other peoples mistakes. Any good professional dog trainer always wants the dog before. Why? Because they can start out on the right foot! Any how so much for my soap box. Confused yet? No? Good! don't cheat on the training,
6. Once the word whoa is learned and the dog performs on the ground at a good pace it is time to work the dog into some birds. by all means let the dog establish a point of the bird on its own. For the first few times I lead the dog in to establish point as natural as possible. Say the word whoa once the dog has pointed. If the dog does not point and tries to take out the bird snap the check cord back hard and say whoa. If you have down your table to ground conversion correct you should not have a problem. Really what whoa is all about is the starting block to the concept "steady to Wing & shot." Trust me you can get there because at one time I was just like you. I had my first pointing dog and wanted to train it myself. (Whoops soap box again).
7. We have another method to help reinforce Whoa which I can send to you later. What I really need from you now is a good understanding of what the principle above is. Try the method and if you have any problem just mention this note and send a response to versatile @versatiledogs.com. I will be happy to talk you through it but you will need a helper and that is where a NAVHDA chapter becomes extremely useful.
8. Join a NAVHDA chapter. This is where I learned and you can learn too. The money is well worth it. To buy a Green book hop on the www.NAVHDA.org web-site. You can get one there or you can get the address to send for one.
9. Other tips: using this word can be done in many other circumstances. I like to use when I feed the dog. I will not let them move until I tap the dog on the head and use my release word. Just another thought.
USING THIS MAY MAKE THE DOG BREAK AND IT IS THE REAL AREA THAT WE ARE TRYING TO TEACH.
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