I've been kind of interested in begginning whistle training for Toby. I don't know much about it yet but it seems pretty good for distance training. Does anyone have any experience with this? Regular whistle or dog whistle? Suggestions appreciated!
Others will know more, but I used just a regular whistle, and started it last year when he was about 6 mos. old. Works great....he comes with the whistle. Short quick whistles (2-3) get him coming in quick.
I also did it for water retrieves....a few quick whistles for coming back to me.
Whistle training is a great idea. I use the whistle for field training and that includes recalls. I use an Acme 11 1/2. You want a whistle specifically for dogs --again, I like the Acme range.
How you whistle train will depend on what you want to achieve. If all you want is a solid recall and your dog is food motivated, it is relatively straight forward. Teach the dog to associate the whistle (coming back to you) with a food reward. For example, instead of calling him in for his food, blow the whistle. It won't take him long to figure it out. I find that most gundog breeds like Labs are naturally responsive to the whistle especially if there is a treat or a retrieve in it for them.
Thanks! I'll look into the Acme whistle. What about for other commands like sit and down? Do you know of a good site and/or book that helps with whistle training?
Whistle training is the same as any other training. Use different blasts for different behaviours. Why do you want a whistle sit and down?
They will respond to most any whistle, although one with a pea is best. Just get a ref whistle and that will work fine.
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
I've been thinking about getting him into agility competitions when he gets older. Just doing some research on different methods of training! Also it would be nice to have him sit and lay down if he is far away from me. He listens good at distances but i feel like he might respond better to a sharper signal.
I use a single toot on the whistle for sit
I teach this for field training. Your dog has to know the COME command before you can teach the SIT from a distance.Also it would be nice to have him sit and lay down if he is far away from me
I start by attaching a 6ft leash and putting the dog in a sit stay. I then walk backwards at a fast pace giving three pips on the whistle for COME. At this point, the dog should be following you and facing you as you walk backwards. To teach the distance SIT, as the dog is moving towards you, give one singular LOUD pip on the whistle and pop his collar upwards. He should sit without any verbal promopts. As soon as he sits, praise, and keep moving backwards with the dog coming towards you. Repeat the above until the dog knows that one pip = SIT. Once he understands the command you can work on the distance. Switch from the 6ft leash to a long line and reapeat the above only this time let the dog drag the leash. Put him in a sit stay and walk off FACING THE DOG (do not break eye contact!). Give three pips for COME. As the dog comes towards you, stop him halfway with a single whistle pip. If he sits, job done. Keep working at it until you have perfected it.
Sorry if the above made no sense, I am a little tired and I'm off to bed.*
I've never seen any agility training using a whistle... although the dog does need to work away from you, verbal commands and body language is sufficient (I can't imagine trying to run a course and blow a whistle at the same time).
If you do want to train with a whistle, I would start as you would when teaching a verbal command to replace a hand signal. The new signal, then the old signal, then reward. So if you want one pip for come, you would blow the whistle once, then say "come", etc.
With my beloved Bess (BF, AKC competitive bench line, 55 lbs, 1967-81) this was in pre-internet days and I was unaware of any books on whistle training and those books available on dog training seldom had psychologically sound learning principles.
So we developed our own system.*
Bess was an insatiable retriever and too much was never enough.* Retrieving was so rewarding that anything that led to it was quickly learned.* She quickly learned hand and arm signals (sit, down, stay, go right, left, come, out, etc.).* I didn't use an external whistle, just used my mouth -- 2 short higher pitched whistles meant turn 90° to the right, while a slightly lower pitched longer single note meant turn 90° to the left.
We originally started on land but she ran so fast, she quickly exceeded the distance I could sling our training dummy so we moved to a nearby pond.* Bess quickly learned to be able to chain the whistle commands so I could send her leaping straight into the pond and then give a whistle command to turn 90°right, left, right, etc., then get the dummy I'd throw.
Bess learned all that before she was 2 years old.
Often I'd take her out to the lake where we sailed.* As part of her needed daily exercise, I could direct her to run back from the end of a pier to land, run around the shore as my arms directed, jump in where I asked, swim toward me, make several 90° turns before seizing the dummy I'd then throw and, then as i directed, either return to shore and run back to me at the end of the pier OR swim straight to me where I'd help her vertically climb the side of the floating pier.
Bess was the first dog I'd ever trained and, quite monumentally stupid, I thought and said she was hard to train.* (A correct perception of reality is sometimes very hard to attain.)
My beloved Puff (YF, AKC competitive field line, 63 lbs., DOB: 8-'01) has given me remedial lessons.
Puff learned hand/arm signals about as fast and well as Bess.* But her retrieving drive is less than a tenth the strength of Bess's -- sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse.* We practiced whistle calls for over a year before I began substituting just yelling "LEFT" or "RIGHT" with only slightly better effect.*
I sometimes think that Puff has SO much stronger a "nose" than Bess did that it's extremely hard for her to rely on me rather than what her own senses tell her.* *Also her sense of hearing is amazingly acute.* I drape a towel over her head so she cannot see where the dummy lands when* I sling it.* BUT, unless it's been raining and the ground is VERY soft, she locates by the sound where the dummy has landed and heads to it as if she's laser-guided.
I'm becoming fascinated in how the native strengths and weaknesses of the individual dog can either assist or interfere with the training methods.
We've practiced daily for at least 4 years and turning Left or Right sometimes happens and sometimes not.* I keep hoping for a Helen Keller-Ann Sullivan epiphany.* So far it's been mainly Helen Keller, pre-Ann Sullivan.
We do use a (mouth) whistle call, a quick triplet like, say, a C-F-E, which means "go back and pick up the training dummy I've dropped on the trail 100 - 600 feet back."* *Similar equivalent commands are "Puff, go find" (while pointing back) or just "Puff, (point back)" * That's never a problem.
So, I'm thinking that every Lab is different and there are different ways of getting them to respond.* I'm still trying to learn from Puff how best to teach her.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":