WHISTLE COMMAND SOUNDS AND 'HOW TO USE A SHEEPDOG WHISTLE'
HOW TO USE A LOGAN SHEEP DOG WHISTLE
A sheep dog whistle is held against the tongue in the mouth. The sound is produced by air flowing through the top and bottom holes and then out from the 'sound chamber' which is the slit between the two flat sides of the whistle. Use the whistle tone you want the dog to associate with a specific command and then immediately use the voice command it is already familiar with. After a while you will be able to just use the whistle tone alone allowing you to communicate with the dog at greater distances. Although this type of herding dog whistle has traditionally been used for Border Collie training, Logan whistles are ideal for any dog breed and for puppy training.
Begin by selecting tones for and then teaching your dog important first commands - such as a whistle tone which you want the dog to associate with Stop, or with coming back to you.
Here are some tips on how to use a sheepdog whistle…
1. Hold the whistle by its tab.
2. Place the whistle in the mouth so that the tab/open slot is to the front and the closed end is against NOT ON the tongue. Do not block either of the top or bottom holes. It is the air going through the hole on top and bottom of the whistle and out the slot at the front that creates the noise.
3. Seal the edges of the whistle gently with your lips (but do not block the slot) so the air can only pass through the whistle and out the slot. Your tongue is active in pushing the whistle to the right position so your lips just fall around the edge. The whistle does not sit flat on the tongue (that would block the bottom hole). Your tongue falls down below the whistle so the air can circulate.
4. Now breathe from your chest through the whistle. If you're sure the whistle is positioned correctly air can flow through it and out the slot at the front just relax and breathe.
5. Your tongue on the back of the whistle can then vary the direction of the air to change the tone. Begin by getting a single consistent tone. After a little trial and error you will soon master the art - but then practice and you will be able to play music....
More information is provided with your purchase.
A few hints
Learn how to use the whistle where your dogs can't hear you. Your aim is to get controlled sounds that you can repeat consistently before introducing those sounds as commands
At first it is common to make very shrill sounds. With practice you will be able to play a full octave of tones and lower the pitch of those tones. Breathing down through the whistle creates lower tones than blowing up through the whistle
Soft dulcet tones are all you need for close work. Keep commands as soft as possible and reserve sharp tones and volume for distance and for emphasis.
WHISTLE COMMAND SOUNDS
Below are some sound clips of dog training whistle commands and the associated whistle sounds as used by Allistair Lyttle.
GET UP & WALK ON (WALK UP)
Action: Stand and walk straight towards livestock. If you want the dog to move faster repeat the whistles faster and louder.
COME BYE (LEFT FLANK)
Action: Go Clockwise – i.e. arc around the LEFT side of the sheep – a full long flank is the movement of the dog round the sheep – almost the whole left side of the sheep. If you want to completely circle the sheep repeat the full-long flank command until the dog comes right round. Using the first 'chirp' note of the command, 'Chew' is a 'half-flank' which tells the dog to move just a short distance around the left side of the sheep.
AWAY TO ME (RIGHT FLANK)
Action: Go anti-clockwise – i.e. arc around the RIGHT side of the sheep.
STEADY OR TAKE TIME
Action: Slows dog to a steady pace.
Action: Turns dog around to go gather more livestock.
CALL OFF (THAT'LL DO)
Action: Orders dog to stop working and return to handler.
To view our complete range of Logan Sheepdog Whistles and our full guide to creating a set of whistle commands for your own use please CLICK
But Logan Whistles are not only for Border Collies - they are equally effective for other working dog breeds too - watch Ivy respond to her Logan Whistle
CHOOSING FROM THE RANGE OF LOGAN WHISTLES
Our whistles are ALL
- effective for any breed of dog
- capable of very loud & sharp as well as soft/deep sounds
- suitable for all users – beginner to professional
As all are capable of high performance - soft deep tones to sharp, high pitched, tones - you can use just one design, basing your decision on the material, weight and overall design that you prefer.
But there are of course some performance differences between the whistle designs - so if you want a whistle suited to a particular situation or to use with dogs of differing temperaments then we can help with that too – many of the more experienced users will have more than one Logan Whistle to hand for that very reason.
Using feedback from experienced users and from field trials – we have created the following indication of features that users say they most value about each whistle – what the whistle does especially well – a good place to start if you have a particular need or are new to our whistles.
Comparisons are based on trials and feedback, but everyone uses the whistles slightly differently - so please accept this illustration as a guide only.
ADVICE FROM HANDLERS
When should I introduce a dog to whistle commands? Initially and while the dog is working close to you, voice commands can be used very effectively. As the dog begins to work further it is best to switch to whistle commands. Dogs recognise whistle commands quickly – your voice is one type of sound signal, a whistle is another more reassuring one. With practice, whistle commands are more likely to be consistent, the same cue for a specific action and so a real advantage when training dogs. A good whistle also allows for expression and added meaning to your commands to quickly convey how you expect the dog to react.
"Once my dogs are solid on voice commands I introduce them to whistle tones. A dog can hear the pitch and tones of a whistle much easier than the voice especially if there is any interference like wind. The voice is ideal close at hand but the energy required to communicate with your dog at a distance would require much more energy and lung capacity to reach the distance required, so I definitely favour the use of the whistle if you want to communicate in a quiet but effective manner." Julie Hill, past ISDS Supreme Champion & 2017 Scottish National Brace Champion
Which whistle? If you've tried to use a sheepdog whistle before and failed - try again with a Logan Whistle. Any of our whistles is suitable for a beginner or a very experienced user. Some, such as the solid brass and stainless steel whistles, are capable of higher performance (greater range of tones and volume) where multiple commands are needed and where you will be working at extreme distances. Brass is capable of mellow as well as very sharp tones. Sound from our stainless steel whistles carries over flat windswept ground particularly well. Delta takes the precision of a metal whistle into a non-metallic material making these perfect in very hot or cold climates. Our two hole Turbo design changes the timbre of the tone in brass, stainless steel and Delrin which is effective when there is competing noise and seems more effective in generating a correct response from less responsive dogs, even at distance. Think about the material you might prefer, the weight of whistle, and the range of commands you're going to need.
"The responses from dogs differ greatly depending on how sensitive to sound they are so the A1, Delta and Logan 304 are ideal for very responsive dogs, where the brass Supreme and the Turbo come in to their own with a less responsive dog. Reaching a great distance in bad conditions will also become easier to communicate with your dog with these two whistles." Julie Hill
Do different dog breeds need a specific frequency of whistle? Frequency is technically the number of sound vibrations per second – a high frequency creates a high pitch or tone. A Logan Whistle can create a range of frequencies and so a range of tones or pitch patterns allowing for multiple, easy to distinguish commands all of which can be repeated, elongated or used softly or loudly to add emphasis and so meaning. If you can hear the whistle then you know what you are trying to communicate to the dog. Commands from Logan Whistles are not distorted as other whistles can be by heat/cold, wind or other atmospheric interference. With more consistent commands, even over extreme distance, your dog will be able to hear you more easily and so be more likely to remain calm, less confused, distracted or alarmed. That's the basic principle of Logan Whistle commands developed for working sheepdogs - often three or more dogs working on different commands at distances of up to two miles - all from the same whistle. There is no reason why it should not apply to other breeds of dog.
On your Logan Turbo, What difference does having two holes make to the sound? Our two hole design changes the timbre of the command tones (timbre being the quality of sound that makes voices or musical instruments sound different from each other even when they are singing or playing the same note/pitch at the same volume). Dogs can continue to react correctly to the commands from the two-hole design when there is a lot of background noise or in very foggy or windy weather, perhaps wind off the sea or on the hills.
Can Logan Whistles be used for training working gundogs for field trials and normal field work - spaniels, labs? Yes, any of our whistles can be used with any breed of dog and can produce a range of clear commands creating a ‘language’ for any activity. They were developed for field work with border collies or other herding dogs, working in all sorts of conditions and for close and distance work (low soft and sharp loud tones) - but the sound quality needed for this type of work makes them equally powerful for other dog training and work - including gundogs and for competition.
Follow the link at the bottom of the page for more advice from well known handlers on training a dog on Whistle Commands & Choosing Whistles
Looking for a Shepherd's Crook? Contact Allistair Lyttle and he may be able to help