Dwarves not included.
One of the random side discussions we’ve been having during lessons is about whistles. Learning to do them, learning to use them, learning to train them. While whistles are super common in Border Collie land, we don’t see them very much in Aussies. Which doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t or shouldn’t use them. Rather that we have not been working with both the distance and required precision, for the most part.
Whistles can present some interesting opportunities, but have some pitfalls as well. If you happen to have an especially expressive voice…. a whistle can even out your personal tone. I, for instance have a dog that falls into this cycle:
she get fast
i get loud
she gets faster
i get louder
See the problem here? This can also start with me getting loud and then she gets fast. Depends on the day.
I’m starting with my whistle. I think i got it at BorderCollies.com (like 5 years ago).
And this article to make *a sound*. At this point it doesn’t matter what sound. LOL
Eventually, i need to learn to make a handful of particular and consistent sounds. These sounds will eventually become cues or commands.
For instance, this is a snippit of Erin’s whistles at the Ninety Farms Northwest Classic:
StoneVillage has a neat site with recordings and descriptions of all the whistles that *they* use. Different people can use different whistles, just as some folks use different commands. This is make me remember that my super solid recall whistle for both dogs is close to the Look Back whistle many other folks use. Should i get to that point, i’ll need to find a different whistle for Look Back.
We’ll see how this whistle thing goes. I know a lot of people learn to use their whistle during their commute, but i’m fairly certain that the bus driver would kick me off. If i try to use it at home with no live stock Simon spends the next 20 minutes looking for sheep, and Ron. Which is adorable, and makes me feel bad for him. 😉
As a side note, there are website that have SUPER sparkly whistles. Stockdog Gems, for instance has one in Jade that is so pretty!! And then there is lanyard shopping. Which we won’t even tough because i don’t need to do any more shopping, er research. 😀