Friday, April 22, 2011

Whistle for Your Dog

Hi Y’all! 
Thanks for all your comments and questions.  Y’all asked me how to get your dog to stop or come to a whistle. 
As I mentioned on Monday, I believe, while visiting 2 Brown Dawgs (here),
my Human mentioned I was no longer responding correctly to the whistle commands.  It was suggested that I go back to square one and retrain.
Okay, you ask how do you train a dog to respond to a whistle? 
24 Paws of Love (here) has been thinking about it.  That’s a LOT of paws to train. 
The Weiners (here) want to use a whistle to get the dogs attention.
Rottover (here) asks me about a link…err…no I don’t have a link…my Human has been working with horses and dogs since she was a little pup, ah, girl. She’s worked with a number of trainers.  The first time she ever saw an e collar used was working with a field trial trainer of Labs. 
My Human said you should NEVER use an e collar if you haven’t been taught by a professional trainer of hunting dogs because your timing must be precise.  The object is to signal your dog even when he is working a distance from you. 
She told me I’m too sensitive for an e collar.  Devil  I do have a collar with audible signals that I often wear, especially when we are in new territory or when we’re hiking in hunting season. 
But now let me get to what y’all want to know!  How do I get my dog to respond to a whistle?
First, your dog needs to be trained in basic obedience.  Does he know how to heel, sit, stay?  Those commands are the very basics.  Your dog must respond to these commands consistently before you start trying to train the whistle. 
If you live in a really cold climate, like Thunder and Storm (here), you probably should select a whistle without a pea so it doesn’t freeze in the winter. 
Start off with your dog walking in heel position without pulling.  Be sure he is paying attention, not sniffin’ or lookin’ around.  This is when my Human likes to use the pier.  It’s narrow, limiting my movements, and there are few distractions, unless the big birds have been poopin’ on the pier. You don’t want your lead too loose.
With your dog walking at heel, stop. If your dog’s been taking obedience class, he’ll sit when you stop so immediately blow the whistle and praise that butt on the ground.  If you have enough hands, yes, you can use your clicker. 
One short blast is usually used for this command. 
If your dog doesn’t do an automatic sit when you stop, you’ll have to sound the whistle, then say “sit”, pulling up with the leash.  If you keep repeating this exercise, after several days, or longer, depending on your dog, he’ll be sitting without the leash pull and verbal.  During my retraining we practice at least twice a day during the cooler mornings and evenings.  My Human likes short sessions, then moves on to something relaxing. 
Got to be off now!  I know, I know…we’ll continue tomorrow, but this is enough for today…you need to be getting your whistle and brushin’ up on basics. 


  1. Sounds like a great start. Thanks for answering our question. So would you use the technique for "come?" And what exactly is an e collar? Do you need one for training with a whistle? OH, and do you use a dog whistle or a regular one? Just curious! Thanks again for the answers!!

  2. Wow - you're really hauling the mail in that last picture!!!

  3. Really interesting! I've often wondered if I could train Bella to do that. However, her basic obedience skills need a tune up before we get to the advanced stuff... :)

  4. Good idea to use the pier as a training area. I bet it is pretty there too. :)

    That is a nice picture of Hawk practicing his sit! What a good boy!

    Seems like that darn pea has been frozen in that darn whistle forever due to our never-ending