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another whistle question

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My place is small and i have really never needed to use a whistle. Having said that, i decided i would like to try and get my dogs to work with a whistle. What am i doing wrong?


1. i give verbal command first then whistle.

2. i use body language to should dog which way to go.

3. either i am dumb or my dog is.

4. i go over and over one whistle command each time out. it seems the dog does not respond consistently.

5. we have only worked on "come bye" and "walk up."

6. It has been two week (i train every day).


anyone have any suggestions?????????????????????????????





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Please don't take this as insulting, as I don't mean it as such, but ... are you sure your whistles are the same, every time? Lord knows I struggled, when I started learning a whistle, and a friend of mine still has trouble getting her whistles to sound the same, every time.


If the notes and tones of your whistles are not consistent, you might be confusing your dog.


Also, maybe just start with one whistle, and stick with that until you have it down, then go to another.


Best of luck! :)


~ Gloria

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As Gloria suggests, inconsistent whistle commands seem like the most likely cause. Another is that your whistle commands may not be distinct enough for the dog to know which is which.


You mention that you give the voice command first, and then the whistle command. This is the way I do it, and it normally takes about two or (at most) three ten minute lessons for a dog to pick it up.


If the dog doesn't keep going the right way when you give the whistle command, simply repeat the voice command to reassure it.


If this doesn't work, it suggests the dog doesn't fully understand (or obey) its voice commands, There should be no need to use your body position at this stage (unless you're trying to teach the dog on whistle commands alone).


Please provide more information - what exactly goes wrong when you try to give the dog whistle commands?


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When I've put a dog on whistles I've used what we're doing to get the dog to understand what they mean.

If the dog is walking up I will whistle a walk up and then if need be I say the command. If the dog is set to go away then I will whistle that command, that way the dog is already feeling the command and you are just giving it a new name.


My hardest whistle is the stop, I have a hard time with that one! But I have a bit of a time getting a stop on my dogs even with my voice so go figure! ;)


My youngest working dog had no whistle commands taught, she picked them up from her brother while I worked him.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all,


1 thing I would suggest, Bill. Give the whistle command first, then the voice. Reason being, the dog may not know the meaning of the whistle at first, then hears the voice command, understands and complies. Quickly, the dog will hear the whistle command, anticipate the voice coming next, comply with the whistle, and you can reduce use of the voice.


Another tip; reinforce a whistle command taken correctly with another same whistle and/or voice command. In other words, give the dog a come-bye flank whistle, and when the dog takes it correctly, blow your happiest come-by whistle, and/or say come-by as reward and encourgement for taking the initial flank whistle correctly. Same with walk up and any other whistle command.


It is crucial that each whistle command is distinctly different from the others. You must be practiced and consistent when blowing them, and you must blow them clearly. Don't mistake clearly with loudly. I always use the softest whistles possible. Just enough that my dog can hear them, which of course changes with terrain, weather, distance, etc.


Harsh/loud whistles or voice will often times bring out resistance, or push back from the dog. If you must use harsh/strong whistles or voice at some point, then return immediately to your happy place and give soft commands. Or immediately return to soft commands as a reward for acting correctly on the harsh ones. I had to practice that, and now it's automatic for me.


Best wishes with your dog

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