Question: When my gundog has to sit and wait for any length of time, he will begin whining and this seems to be getting worse rather than better. How would you approach this problem and is it resolvable?

Making noise and whining are major eliminating faults at field trails, and just plain annoying at any shoot.

Your dog should have undergone a reasonable amount of patience training, but it is never too late to go back to basics and re-train your dog in this particular area.

You can do this one-on-one, but  it works better in a group.

In a group you would start with the sitting and walking away, always leaving your dog until last, and when the entire group have called their dogs to heel, you must always walk back and collect your dog from the spot you sat him on.




This exercise is the beginning of a long slog of patience training, starting with sessions of two minutes and building up to 10 minutes.

The second exercise would be where the other members of the group walk forward and throw a retrieve for their own dog and once again your dog will have to sit this one out as well.

If at anytime he starts whining squeeze his nose firmly and tell him “no” using a calm but stern voice.

Do not be lazy with these exercises. Timing is important here, you must react as soon as your dog makes a noise so he can relate the discomfort of being told off to the noise he is making and he must learn it is not acceptable.

Some dogs can overcome it and some young dogs can grow out of it, but most of the time it is about the handler learning how to manage the problem and to be consistent with the telling offs.

It can be very frustrating, but stay calm and be consistent.