Common Sense Information on The Training and Care of Puppies and Dogs


Below you will find a list of the training terms that I, as well as most of the trainers use. Most of the terms ( some of which are commands ) will be familiar to you. However, some of the terms and commands that we use for field work might be unfamiliar. Obviously, I will not insult your intelligence with the basic commands like, here ( or Come ),heel and sit. So I will focus on terms that you may not have seen before.

If you think I’m missing anything or have any questions please fell free to contact me. You can send me an email from the contact page. And be sure to sign up for The Dogman’s Quick Tips.
  • Your Dog’s Name: In field work the dog’s name is the command you use to release the dog to go make a retrieve. In the Obedience world the judges very much prefer that you use the dogs name before the command. For example – Fido Sit
  • Recall: The recall is just another way of saying that you are going to call your dog to you. You might hear someone say sometime “recall your dog” that just means call your dog. ( Hey I don’t make it up, it just is what it is. )
  • Load: The command “Load” is used when  you want you dog to get up on something. When I want my boy to get in the back of the pick up truck I say load. But I also use it for telling my dog to get up on a table, like a grooming table. Just anything that is up off of the ground.
  • Kennel: This command is used to tell your dog to get in his kennel or crate.
  • Crate: Interchangeable with Kennel, just which ever you prefer. However, you do have to pick one and stick with it.
  • Airing or to Aire: This is just the word I use when I am going take the dog out. I am going to “Aire” the dog.
  • Clean Out: This is what I want the dog to do while I am out airing him. I use it as a command to tell my dog that I want him to go, well, potty.
  • Hold: The command we use to tell the dog to hold something in it’s mouth, like his leash when my hands are full.
  • Fetch: The command to retrieve something. For many dogs it also means to pick something up.
  • To Mark: This describes what the dog should do when watching something ( usually flying through the air ) that it will likely go retrieve.  The dog “Marks” the fall (the location ) of the object. It could be a ball, a stick or maybe a duck. It’s much harder for the dog to do the retrieve if it does not see the fall.
  • The Command “Mark”: This is a command that we use to tell the dog to look out in the field. It’s a cue to let the dog know that there will be something getting tossed for them to retrieve.
  • A Mark: The “Mark” is the object ( or the place of the object ) that is being thrown for the dog to retrieve.
  • Single: This is a single mark
    Double: This is a double mark or two objects thrown for the dog.
    Triple: This would be three objects thrown for the dog to pick up.
  • The Go-To Bird: When we have multiple marks we name the marks. The Go-To Mark is the last mark thrown. Since it is the last one to fall it is normally the first mark that the dog wants to go pick up.
  • The Memory Bird: When we have multiple marks the Memory bird ( or Mark) is the first object that was thrown. So the dog has to use it’s memory to remember where it is while still watching additional marks fall.
  • Blind Retrieve ( Blind ): A blind is a retrieve of an object that the dog did not see fall. The dog is guided to the object using hand and whistle signals.
  • Sight Blind ( Memory Blind ): A
  • Back: “Back” is the command that we use to send the dog away from the handler ( see below ). It is one of the commands used for running blinds.
  • Release: The release can be a couple things. Usually it is the word we use to describe sending the dog to go retrieve, which if you remember from above is the dogs name. It can also just be a general release freeing the dog up from any commands, usually we just use OK.
  • Handle: A handle is a command given with voice, whistle or hand signals, usually in combination to guide a dog on a blind.
  • Handler: The person handling the dog.
  • Handling: The act of handling the dog.
  • Here Whistle: The while is used in handling three “tweets” is the recall command. Every dog I have ever owned has been trying to recall to a whistle. It mostly a practical issue. A dog can hear the whistle much farther than they can hear a voice.
  • Sit Whistle: The sit whistle is similar to the recall except it is one “tweet” Not only is this skill needed to run blinds, it is nice to be able to sit a dog wherever it is with just a “Tweet” of a whistle.
  • Quartering: Quartering is what a dog is supposed to do when upland hunting for birds like Pheasant. It is where the dog is working side to side not far in from of the handler as opposed to working way out in front. We use the whistle for this as well. Two “Tweets” let’s the dog know that you want it to change direction.
  • The line: The line can be two different things. It can be the actual line ie. A to B when getting from the handler to a blind. However, it can also be the interchanged with the term “Point of Origin”. ( See Below)
  • The Point of Origin: This is the spot where the handler stands when working his or her dog.  It is just wha the words mean. The origin where all the work begins.
  • Lining: This is the act of getting the dog pointed in the right direction. This is accomplished by teaching the dog to move to your foot. While you have your dog at heel and sitting, you move just your toe, keeping your heal planted. If you move your toe left the dog should adjust to the left and visa versa.
  • The initial line: This is the beginning direction the dog takes when it leaves the line. This is why we do “lining” drills so that we can get the dog lined up to give it the best start when running a blind.