A sheepdog 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.
Begin by teaching the dog your most important command - e.g. a whistle tone which you want the dog to associate with Stop, or with coming back to you.
To view our complete range of Logan Sheepdog Whistles and buy our full guide to use thie whistle and creating a set of whistle commands for your own use CLICK HERE.
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 and MP3 sound clips are provided with your purchase.
Below are some sheep dog whistle commands and the associated whistle sounds as used by Allistair Lyttle. We provide a longer MP3 audio clip for our customers describing how to train a dog on whistle commands and some sample whistle commands to use.
Logan Whistle commands are a language which can be used for any outdoor activity - you can build up a language of commands for use in outdoor sports when it is difficult to be heard and understood over noise or distance - such as cycling, sailing, climbing, skiing, fell running...let us know what you use yours for
Action: Lie down.
Action: Stand and walk straight towards livestock. If you want the dog to move faster repeat the whistles faster and louder.
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.
Action: Go anti-clockwise – i.e. arc around the RIGHT side of the sheep.
Action: Slows dog to a steady pace.
Action: Turns dog around to go gather more livestock.
Action: Orders dog to stop working and return to handler.
To view our complete range of Logan Sheepdog Whistles and buy our full guide to creating a set of whistle commands for your own use CLICK HERE.
Do I need a Logan Whistle? Initially and while the dog is working close to you, voice commands can be used very effectively. As the dog begins to work further away the best way to communicate is through whistle commands. Dogs recognise whistle commands quickly – your voice is one type of sound signal, a whistle is another more reassuring one, being more consistent and audible. Whistle commands are not only easier for the dog to hear, they are unambiguous too and less disturbing to livestock (or game if using your dog whistle with gun-dogs). A good whistle doesn’t alter in pitch when you’re tired or have a cold. It is also all too easy to alter a voice command, slightly different words here and there, those variations potentially confusing the dog. Whistle commands are more likely to be consistent, the same cue for a specific action and so a real advantage when training dogs.
"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 & 2016 International Brace National 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 built up from – a single tone, a rising or a falling tone or a combination of falling and rising tones – 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 calmer, 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