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whistle to him means ‘sit by my side’. So be patient and start with short distances, gradually building up as your dog understands and gains confidence.

Retrieving can be used to reinforce much of the distance work. With your dog is running about, call him close to you, blow the sit whistle, move towards him and get him to sit. Take a few steps backwards and, keeping his attention, blow the sit whistle again and throw a retrieve just to the side and slightly behind you. Do make sure that your dog sits, waits and looks at you before sending him for the retrieve. Send your dog not only with a verbal command but also with a hand signal pointing out the direction of the retrieve and where you want the dog to go. Now, all of a sudden, the sit whistle means something pleasurable is going to happen - it is a happy command, positive, and rewarding. Gradually increase the distance at which you sit him and also the distance you throw the dummy. Now you can strengthen your recall in the same way. With your dog running ahead of you, blow the sit whistle, get him to sit and throw the retrieve just in front of you. Make him wait a second or two and then give the recall whistle (multiple double "pips" on the whistle) to bring him in to the retrieve. The recall whistle will now also be positive and the reward for doing it – a retrieve. When your dog has confidence in coming back for a retrieve it has seen you throw, put a dummy out in front of you when he is not looking and then recall him so the retrieve is found when he is returning.

"This is the backbone of the partnership - your dog realising that no matter what the distance, you are still in contact with an invisible ‘leash’ and will follow up."

Occasionally, to get reliability, you will have to correct your dog or put pressure on him to obey. The big problem, as distances increase, is that the time between when the dog disobeys and you arrive panting on the scene, is more than two to three seconds! Research claims that after three seconds a dog does not remember what it did wrong and therefore your punishment will not relate to the mistake. Always keep cool, and if your dog has knowingly disobeyed, show your displeasure with your voice. Then, calmly and quietly either by holding the collar or putting him temporarily on the leash, take your dog to the place where he disobeyed, give the ‘sit’ command, and make him sit, and wait. If it is the sit command that has been disobeyed, keep your dog sitting in the same position, walk away and then around him making him sit there. Keep your eyes on him, make sure he is looking at you by not allowing him to be distracted, and always go back to him. Do not call him up. When you do cast the dog away, again - quickly blow the stop whistle while he is close and reinforce the sit once more. Where it is the recall that has been disobeyed, again, go out to him. Do not chase. If you can create attention when you get closer by growling, or using a rough voice – do so. The moment he looks towards you, change your voice and, backing away, encourage him to come up to you with the recall whistle and command. Keep your cool. When he returns, calmly command him to sit and stay. Keep his eyes focused on you and give yourself time to think. Now take him back to the place where he first disobeyed, make him sit and stay, while you return to the place from where you first called him. Now, call again - encouraging him to come right up to you. Not only will the dog now focus on you more, but he will also learn to read a command and obey at varying distances.

If you are having real problems with the recall, the use of a leash or a long check cord can help. On a long check

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