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Woah - how steady?

I am writing because I am whoa training my year old GWP. He has picked up whoa quickly, but while his body remains motionless he still moves his head. Is that acceptable or does he need to remain wholly motionless? Will he quit moving his head when birds are introduced into the whoa training?

Dear Mike:

Whoa is just a command that means stop and not move your feet. It is not a command to point. The point part is all instinct and your Wirehair should have plenty. It sounds like you are doing a good job laying the foundation for whoa. Now when you check cord him up to a planted bird let your pup determine when to point. When he is on point don't say anything unless he starts to move up on the bird. When he moves stop him with your check cord, pick him up and place him back on the spot he first pointed and command Whoa. If you have done enough yard work he should stay. Slowly move ahead of your dog just like your going to flush the bird. If he breaks set him back again. when he holds praise him softly. At this point I like to just pick up the dog and carry him away to work another planted bird. The excitement of a flush will almost always cause a young dog to break and you don't want your pup to think the flush is a release command. Once he will stay on point reliably as you walk around trying to flush a bird. You can start to steady him to flush. I hope this answers your question. Good Luck Joe Riches

For more information on Whoa Training, try:
Woah training early?
Unsteady in the field
Woah training
Woah Training II
Breaking after the fall
Steady to wing
Barrel training

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