Whistle training
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  • Just thought I would share this. Kipawa is very good on recall with his name and visual come command. We go to an area for running that is enclosed, but large enough that Kipawa can get out of my sight. And I really hate that. It's hard on my nerves! :) So, I bought one of those nice and loud referee-type whistles a couple of days back. We have been training him to come when he hears the whistle, as an addition to coming when we call him. He is doing really well with this. Of course, high value treats are given with this exercise. :) I wonder if anyone else has used a whistle? Positive and negative remarks always welcomed here, as I have never owned a basenji before.

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  • I have a friend with Bs who uses a whistle successfully for recall. I haven't tried it myself yet.

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  • Fran, i have just bought a whistle to try. I find it hard to project my voice loud enough sometimes.

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  • This subject is dear to my heart! I trained our 5-pack to all come to a whistle many years ago, when there were no fenced areas to let them run. The whistle sound carries way further than voice, can be heard at a good distance. High value treats came with each return and they were 100% reliable.
    Current pair are not well trained to it as we are always in fenced areas, but I do think it is a great thing to train. I wish all rescue dogs were whistle trained and the whistle went with the dog to the new home, then those that escape will hear a familiar sound. I used to keep my whistle hanging on the back of the front door, first thing I grabbed with an escape.

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  • i don't think i could do it! i have a hard enough time keeping up with clickers (over the years I've bought around 30 of them; literally bought 25 at one time), i'd for sure loose a whistle and I myself am incapable of whistling. but I actually think it is an excellent idea. you may want to get Leslie Nelson's Really Realiable Recall booklet and pair it with whistle training.

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  • I agree with agile, the approaches in really reliable recall could help enhance the training. With the high value treats, you can do what she calls "fine dining". So don't just give the high value treat but draw it out and break it up into little pieces and feed him one after the other when he comes back. It's like jackpotting.

    You can also use a check cord and work on more intermediate distances to get that really solid.

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  • @Nemo:

    I agree with agile, the approaches in really reliable recall could help enhance the training. With the high value treats, you can do what she calls "fine dining". So don't just give the high value treat but draw it out and break it up into little pieces and feed him one after the other when he comes back. It's like jackpotting.

    for this sort of thing (big value treats over long time period), the best thing i've found to use is frozen liverwurst. i buy it, slice it and put it in a small container (the leftover cream cheese containers work GREAT for this) then put the container in the freezer. the pup gets to lick the frozen stuff for her high value treat - LOTS of treat over a long time, but not lots of calories or lots of treats in the tummy. the dogs at my house swear liverwurst pupcicles are wonderful. sometimes they will try to nibble, but given it's frozen and in a small container, it's hard to get lots of treats.

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  • @agilebasenji:

    for this sort of thing (big value treats over long time period), the best thing i've found to use is frozen liverwurst. i buy it, slice it and put it in a small container (the leftover cream cheese containers work GREAT for this) then put the container in the freezer. the pup gets to lick the frozen stuff for her high value treat - LOTS of treat over a long time, but not lots of calories or lots of treats in the tummy. the dogs at my house swear liverwurst pupcicles are wonderful. sometimes they will try to nibble, but given it's frozen and in a small container, it's hard to get lots of treats.

    I will try this, but I myself love liverwurst. Hopefully I will not eat it all before getting to the park.

    At the park today, I was about 75% successful with the whistle/treat recall. Not bad for the first time out, I think. Especially because there were easily 20 dogs there, and Kipawa is Mr. Social and has to visit with all of them.

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