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!
• Steady to Wing and Shot
• Whoa Broke
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