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I use the maxi blaster, which is a brass whistle, as seen in the link below.

 

http://bordercollicsanonymous.com/whistles/brasswhistles.html

 

I have also used a plastic whistle - which I didn't like as much. I had a baby blaster which was too small for my mouth and I didn't like the shape either.

 

I have not used an aluminum or stainless steel whistle.... So I'm no help there. Sorry.

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Wildflower, I'm just curious really, I see that in England and America you can get aluminium whistles like the ennes pretty cheap. Here in South Africa Stainless is the only and also the cheapest. You can get it in half round or square and plastic. I have imported myself a A1 and a Turbo Blaster (the two hole whistle) but at the ZAR vs USD exchange rate they are a bit expensive. And Boy! That Turbo takes some blowing. I would love a Maxi Blaster, but budget constraints...

So it kind of got me wondering what kind of whistles people use.

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I use the brass astro blaster ( a1 shaped) or sometimes the lighter aluminum version, but I don't think the aluminum one blasts as loud or carries as much as the much heavier brass one.

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I use an Arnold whistle. Not sure what the metal is (I'm guessing stainless, though it's a dull finish), but it's a half moon with no projections. Dave Arnold doesn't make them any more, so it's more precious than gold to me. Honestly, if I had started with a different type of whistle I might have a different preference now, but it's the style my trainer and other local folks used, so I just got started with it and kept on. At the PA finals, Rob Drummond had some brass whistles made to Arnold's design and I bought one. It's a little thicker than my regular Arnold and probably louder. I don't use it all the time, but keep it in my van so I have one should I forget my daily use one.

 

I've thought about trying other styels, because let's face it, I already lost one of my Arnolds and no one who has one is willing to sell, so if something should happen to my only remaining original, I will be one sad handler....

 

Sorry that's not much help, but I do like the half-moon shape (or kidney bean shape) of the whistle. (And since I hold the whistle with my teeth, I don't think a plastic one would hold up well).

 

Julie

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I use the commander from GB. It is stainless. I also have a corrian one. I like both but the commander gives a much louder and sharper sound. I worked one dog that got too reactive tot he commander and I had to use the corrian one for him.

 

I had an aluminum one and got rid of it because of the taste, didn't like it. I also had the blasters and Montana blue and they didn't work as well as the two I have now. sometimes it takes time to try the various whistles to decide which suites you best.

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I definitely prefer the half moon in general, plastic is just too thick in my mouth, never could get the feel for it. I don't mind the more triangular shapes of the A1 and Turbo, but don't give me square. It's just, I don't know, wrong! My girls aren't up to the point where I can work them with whistles, we're still training, so will have to see what agrees with them better when we get there. Do you guys in general tend to find that sharper whistles tend to make the dog more reactive? Just curious, Jess is easily riled up, so keeping her calm while working is important.

Pam, What's the corrian like? I've heard of them, but here in South Africa they're practically non existent.

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I too, have an Arnold. Love it. Thought I lost it once and was in a panic! Luckily, it was only misplaced.

 

It is stainless steel.

 

I can't use the plastic ones. I have a Montana light, but don't really like it much.

 

I prefer a whistle with some substance, but no flavor. I like stainless because of feel, sturdiness, and I know I can clean it well. I heard somewhere that one shouldn't put brass into your mouth, as there is concern for some bad chemical mojo. Don't recall exactly what the caution was, though. Not sure of the source for that information, either.

 

One of these days I will buy a new whistle, but I will probably always favor my Arnold!

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I kinda gave gave up on shepherd whistles. I have no trouble getting a good sound out of them, but I like my fingerwhistling better. It is louder and you don´t forget your fingers at home.

 

Another factor is that only plastic whistles are available here not too expensive,and I am not that happy with them (the "mouthfull" thing as describes by some earlier posters here (the metal, brass etc are simply too expensive here to buy just for experimentation).

 

I sometimes carry a BB one as a "just in case" but I find I don´t use it on my dogs , do play around with it while driving...Strange thing, no trouble getting good commands whole ppractising, they tend to flake out on me when I try them in training. What i blame is that I possbly want to blow them too loud on the training field.

 

Anyway my bordercollie obsession lead too fantical practising fingerwhistles (I thought I couldn´t whistle that way, but my wife taught me). And that skill is now honed well enough for dog training.

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smalahundur, Just as long as you don't do what one SA farmer did without thinking. He was injecting his sheep with some really nasty stuff. He had spilled some on his fingers in the process, and without thinking stuck his fingers in his mouth to whistle to his dogs. He spent several weeks in hospital after almost dying. If plastic's too much of a mouthful, most of the metal ones are less of a mouthful.

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I've got two that I have used for many years. They are sterling silver, and were custom made (purchased by the guy who was the SO at the time). They were built based on the plastic ones, so have the same half moon shape, with the little projections on each side. But the gal who made these made them MUCH thinner that the plastic. The only problem with that is that they can easily get clogged, hence the need for a handy running order (or dollar bill) in the back pocket to ream them out with. I've used these two for so many years that anything else just feels too thick and clunky in my mouth. But as Laura said, you just have to try some and see what suits you,

A

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smalahundur, Just as long as you don't do what one SA farmer did without thinking. He was injecting his sheep with some really nasty stuff. He had spilled some on his fingers in the process, and without thinking stuck his fingers in his mouth to whistle to his dogs. He spent several weeks in hospital after almost dying. If plastic's too much of a mouthful, most of the metal ones are less of a mouthful.

What on earth was that poor guy injecting his sheep with ? What sheep med can cause a near death experience just by spilling some on your fingers and ingesting it?

 

The only thing I can imagine is that he had a (very) bad allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock can be life threatening).

For instance some people are allergic too pennicilin. In which case he shouldn´t handle that stuff at all(obviously).

 

Anyway, at my place injections are handled by the resident trained professional, my wife.

The nastiest thing I sucked on while fingerwhistling is horse manure (don´t whistle after lifting a dirty hoof...), and I didn´t die from it ;) .

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smalahundur, The guy was treating his sheep for blowfly strike using Dazzle. He got enough in though his fingers to end up in hospital. Maybe it wasn't quite as bad as for some reason I seemed to remember, but still pretty bad.

Round here I try and wait till dad's available, he's a pharmacist, so knows about handling stuff the right way.

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