Whoa and excitement

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Whoa and excitement

Postby BigK75 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:26 pm

Hey Guys,

I take my dog every Wednesday and Sunday to a NAVDHA training farm. While there I try and work on whoa a lot on a table. He is a 6 month old Brittany and he is so excited while he is there that his head is moving all over the place for side to side. He can whoa (feet not moving) for the most part (only on the table) but he cannot keep his whole body and head still. His head moves from side to side looking for bugs and such. I can't get him to stop this.

Today I could not even get him to keep his feet still. He kept moving those and I kept replacing him. I am not sure what to do curb his excitement.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Claude
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:25 pm

Exercise ,run your pup before you start working it.
I start on a bench then go to a whoa post, they can't move. Forrest
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby orhunter » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:22 pm

Are you training on other days? I work on whoa every day starting as soon as a pup gets comfortable wearing a collar and being on a leash. If they don't get comfortable on a leash, make 'em get comfortable or else. How is he doing with other obedience and commands?

For his age, like Draht says, wear him out before training.

You can do it, just never let the dog win. You're the boss and when you're not happy the pup should know it. When you're happy, the pup should get a treat.

Britts are one reason I now have Griffs.
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:33 pm

Yes Pick your Spots at that age looking for a less than max energy from the pup to work on that. Focus on the feet and do not worry about the head. When the command becomes useful for steadiness work the dog will be focused on the bird that flew away or fell to the shot. Its the feet that matter and the dog will be free to move its head to mark. I use treats/verbal praise and gentle reprimands at that stage/age. I would work the command at home in less exciting distractions than the NAVHDA farm until you have strong compliance at home.
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby bwjohn » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:55 pm

it is a 6 month old puppy! No need to rush the project. Personally I would not even consider breaking a dog until it has had one hunting season, personal dog. I will do what people ask me to do, but my own dogs get a full hunting season before they get broke. IMO, it makes them a better dog in the long run.

Slow down, work at his pace and get him a run in before you try.

good luck brandon
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:19 am

bwjohn wrote:it is a 6 month old puppy! No need to rush the project. Personally I would not even consider breaking a dog until it has had one hunting season, personal dog. I will do what people ask me to do, but my own dogs get a full hunting season before they get broke. IMO, it makes them a better dog in the long run.

Slow down, work at his pace and get him a run in before you try.

good luck brandon


I may be wrong but I assumed he was just teaching Whoa, not breaking the dog on birds at 6 months. Nothing wrong with teaching Whoa at an early age provided it is done right and away from birds.

I too delay breaking a dog on birds until after its first hunting season, but I teach whoa at an early age so that we are ready to hit the ground running on steadiness training after the pup's first hunting season. Provided the command is not used around birds or excessively in the field, teaching Whoa presents no problems. Just another command and restraint the pup learns to comply with.
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby reader4 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:28 am

My less-experienced two cents... all of the above. He's still young so don't expect too much. I think once you have whoa with all four feet still you can work on generalizing. Also work on introducing whoa from verbal, whistle and hand signal commands. Lots of things to introduce at this stage. I'd say the fact that he stays with feet planted while distractions like bugs are flying around is a good sign. If he's not distracted by praise, a little gentle stroke on the chin, back and tail can encourage stillness (just don't expect it yet).

I don't have experience with a barrel, but something I did find useful even with my small pup was a slightly imbalanced place board. We had an archery target laying around. It's just rounded enough on the sides and the right size that the pup could easily jump up but had to work a little bit to maintain balance. That helped it "click" for him that whoa = whole body still. From there I could start adding simple distractions to encourage more stable head/eyes.

One other thing to ask is: does your dog make eye contact throughout training? If not, you might spend some time just encouraging that at the beginning of a session. Simply rewarding eye contact can make other training elements a little easier. If he's focused on you, he's less likely to be distracted by other things. A strategy I've found useful with several dogs is, after letting the dog run off some energy, to start training with a bit of eye contact reward, a few well-known obedience commands, a bit of heeling work. Same process if we are working on obedience, retrieving, field work, etc.
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby orhunter » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:11 am

Reader... Your two cents is worth at least a nickle.

The eye contact thing is interesting. Never really thought about it but you are right. The trainer must position them self correctly when training so the dog sees the trainer's face where communication is with facial expression. I guess that's what I was talking about when I said the dog must know when the trainer isn't happy. The face/eyes say a lot and the dog can read emotion. A little stare down and holding the dogs chin so as to see the seriousness of the situation might help with control. Combine the face thing with tone of voice, the dog will figure it out. Can't be passive.

Don't forget the e-collar. I use the tone feature along with the other stuff so I can eventually work the dog at distance.

Something else. Whoa also means stay and for the dog to move, it must receive a release command.
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:30 am

Yes teaching the Look at me command using treats at an early age yields big dividends. In order to get socialization opportunities I took Spud to a weekly OB class at the nearest Petsmart 1.5 hours away. The most valuable thing I learned was the Look at Me conditioning work we did. I use treats while the pup is heeling when it is focused on me which re-enforces focusing on me...

Good Post reader4.

Perfection Kennel has an approach to teaching Whoa which is absolutely simple. No barrels, no whoa posts, no place boards. They cover it in their Perfect Start DVD but have an enhanced and expanded version titled the Perfect Whoa coming out any moment. I have used it with my last 3 dogs and watched it being taught to several dozen dogs in their clinics. Last clinic there were several Pro Trainers there saying they were going to abandon their previous approach and use this one as it way simpler for handler and dog.
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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby Willie T » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:52 am

Set your pup up to succeed. When you start obedience training it should be daily sessions no longer than 10 minutes. Initially training sessions should be distraction free. Just you and the pup in the yard with no other people, dogs, or birds. Repeat AWAY FROM BIRDS. Be patient and teach one command at a time. Give the command once and ensure compliance. First time every time. Keep your composure and do not raise your voice. When your pup can go three days in a row without making ANY mistakes it knows what you are teaching it. Before that you are teaching without correction. When that milestone is reached, introduce light corrections for noncompliance. During this phase you must learn to read your dog. Corrections should be the lightest correction that is behavior altering. As distractions get stronger they are likely to require stronger correction. Work your way up from light to stronger distractions slowly. The rule of three days without mistake will tell you the when to advance. Set the bar where you want it and be consistent. No free passes. As the command continues to clean up, gradually increase distractions and maintain your consistency. This is referred as proofing your command. Until proofed, do not expect reliability.
Be patient and don’t rush through this. Build a strong foundation. It is that obedience foundation that will allow you to direct your training and hunts productively as the two of you advance. Less is more with most dog training.

Six months is old enough for obedience training.

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Re: Whoa and excitement

Postby orhunter » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:29 am

Willie... "less is more." Yup. It's okay to step away for a week or two if progress isn't being made. Don't let a pup continue to fail.
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