Steadiness Back and Stop Whistle  (new update 8/08)









Dog must walk to heel

Dog must sit on whistle at heel

Dog must stay when commanded

Dog must come on verbal or whistle recall

Dog must be steady to thrown dummy


Phase one


1. From point A walk dog to heel for about 10 yards

2. Stop and within one second sit dog on whistle at your side

3. Tell dog to stay (point B)

4. Walk about 10 yards further on than where you have left the dog

5. Throw dummy straight on about 10 yards further on from this away from you and the dog (Point C).

6. Walk back to dog

7. Turn dog to face whilst he is still at point B and face him in the direction of point A.

8. Tell dog to stay

9. Walk to point A.

10. Recall the dog to you (without him collecting the dummy which is behind him 20 yards at point C) Note to start with the dog may come easier to you with a verbal command rather than the whistle


Phase two

Repeat this exercise until the dog will come to you on the whistle alone.


Phase three

As for phase one but at step 10 above, instead of recalling the dog all the way back stop him on the stop whistle half way back to you.

Pause for 2 or 3 seconds making sure the dog has sat and is looking at you.

Give the back command at the same time as you give the arm signal for back.

The dog should now go back for the dummy at point C.

Recall the dog with the dummy and praise him.


Note.  This exercise is useful for both very keen dogs and not so keen dogs.  Dogs who are very keen to retrieve learn to control their enthusiasm and return to the handler even under temptation.  Not so keen dogs generally seem to build up more enthusiasm to retrieve the dummy because they find it different to be called away from it first.  


Phase four


Once the dog is competent at phase three.   Try throwing two instead of just one dummy at step 5 above.  One will go right handed and one left handed.

After recalling and stopping your dog half way send him for either the left or right handed dummy using the back command and using the back arm signal with the corresponding left or right arm.  Note it will be easier to start with sending him for the last dummy thrown.  Once he is competent at this send him for the first dummy thrown so the last dummy thrown acts as a small distraction.

A further embellishment is to use three dummies.  One straight back, one to the right and one to the left.  Still further make at least one of the dummies an unseen.


Added 8/08

Still further you can throw a dummy behind you prior to sending the dog back to either one or more dummies.  This acts as a distraction forward and also when the dog returns with the dummy.  Once the dog is competent at this start throwing this dummy between you and the dog and then sending him back. Once this is mastered you can they try calling him forward, stopping him and then sending him back.