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Two dogs, one whistle

I am looking at getting a second lab. My present lab is 14 months old male who hunts close points often and retrieves well. He has been trained to do his hunting by whistle and hand signals. My problem is how do I hunt two dogs at one time. I do not use many verbal commands but suppose I could use them before the whistle, but how do I keep both dogs from reacting to each command?

I had a good idea from your description of using whistles and not using many verbal commands in your question that your dog had been trained using the Richard Wolters method. I commend you for doing such a good job with your dog. I recommend Gun Dog or Water Dog books written by Wolters as an excellent source for new owners of my puppies to us to train their labs. It is a fine program starting at 7 weeks and taking the pup step by step through the training progress. The only change I tell people to make is instead of using whistles to send there dog on marks they should use the dog's name. Releasing the dog for all marks assures that only the dog with that name should go for the mark. I use the command of back for all blind retrieves. If I am hunting ducks and am using two dogs I say the dog's name then command back on a blind retrieve. The second dog sits quietly because he name was not said, and he was not release. What you have to have when working two dogs is positive control of both dogs. You can only achieve this through solid training. I would teach the second lab to retrieve on his name. You will need to do a lot of honoring in your yard on ponds etc. throwing bumpers and birds with both dogs on sit stays and releasing them one by one on their name. To retrieve. The dogs MUST be steady. The dogs are taught that they cannot go unless you release them.

You want to teach your new dog to be a flusher and use your older dog as a pointer. This is not an easy training task I teach our dogs to sit after the bird has been flushed till the bird is shot then to retrieve it. Of course the retriever I train our not pointers. You might want to contact a good bird dog trainer who can help you more here. Many trainers for a reasonable fee will work with you and your dogs one on one. Good luck.

Kim Moses
Hunters Marsh Kennels

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