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The foundation to any pointing dog's training is the "whoa" command. It tells your pup to stop, stay still, and wait for you, the handler, to release her. It is the one essential command every pointer must understand before she can be handled confidently in the field.

The utility of the whoa command extends beyond pointing dog training to any pup's safety and security: nothing makes a dog owner feel better than knowing that when the pup is commanded to stop, they will. It means that in the face of oncoming traffic and a quick dart by the pup, your voice can work to ensure that pup will be able to avert disaster.

The eventual goal - whether you plan to hunt over pup, have that AKC Master Hunter, or achieve a NAVHDA Prize I - is to have a pup "whoa broke," meaning that the pup will always listen to the whoa command quickly and without question, will hold whoa for extended periods and regardless of the distractions in front of her. These distractions will soon include a rolling ball, that pesky backyard squirrel, and eventually flighted and shot game birds.

How to train your pup to "whoa?" Well, that's a topic that chapters of books are dedicated to addressing. Lucky for you, your friends at Upland Life have a ready made program for teaching "whoa" that begins with the food bowl and ends with your pup being steady to wing and steady to shot. Stay tuned for that!

See Also:
   • Steady to Wing and Shot
   • Whoa Broke

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