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Heel, Whoa, Right  at Cabela's

Heel, Whoa, Right

Author: Dan Mar

A well mannered gun dog is a joy to hunt with. Obedience is an important key. With late summer upon us and the hunting season just around the corner, we need to reinforce or teach the young pup three important commands at almost the same time.

Before you can hunt a dog must understand Whoa.
The first command is "heel" which means your dog should walk quietly on the lead beside you.

The second command is "whoa" which means the dog should stop and stand.

The third command is "all right" which releases the dog from standing still.

Now that you know the commands, the next phase is to teach them to your dog.

Begin by taking your dog for short walks on a choke chain and short lead. If the dog pulls hard as you walk, firmly jerk the lead and say "heel". Keep walking, then stop quickly and give a gentle jerk on the lead while saying "whoa". As you begin walking again, say "all right, heel" and then walk for 20 or 30 steps with the dog at "heel". Then, again, gently jerk the lead and say "whoa". Repeat these steps for 10 or 15 minutes. Always make sure you pet and praise the dog at each of your training sessions. In only 4 or 5 days, you will notice great improvement in your dog's performance. To make sure the dog knows the commands well, it is best to keep doing this exercise for at least 15 days.

Your back yard is a perfect place to start training. After the dog is showing perfection there, take it somewhere else. A school playground is a great place where there is a lot of distraction. In 25 or 30 days, you will start seeing a well mannered pet and companion, but keep working, it often takes longer. When your dog works well anywhere, then he or she graduates to learning to do all these exercises without a lead or checkcord.

Start working without a lead in a fenced yard. That way, your dog can't get away if it disobeys. You don't want to risk your dog running into a street. If you don't have a fenced yard, try the park's tennis court.

To me, the "whoa" command is one of the most important. It is your emergency brake and must work every time. Be patient and don't rush. Spend as much time as needed to make sure the dog really knows it.

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