Whistle for recall?

Fiona

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Me again asking another question after puppy class.

I asked about using a whistle for recall and was told no. Not a 'no we don't need one inside for short distances' but just a straight no.

However my Total Recall book and Ian Dunbar puppy book both recommend a whistle for recall and I had started to introduce one in conjunction with calling her..

Do I keep going with whistle for outside recall training or not?

Fiona
 

NiceNeverNaughty

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it doesn’t matter what you use for recall, name, whistle, rude word, whatever you like... as long as you are absolutely consistent and time rewards well. Do choose one thing and stick with it though, don’t use one thing in conjunction with another.
 

Dry Rot

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The advantages to a whistle are that the tone doesn't vary (so the dog cannot easily 'read' your mood), it can be heard over a long distance, and you can still blow it even if you are out of breath!

I use both the whistle, my voice, and a hand signal, all together, in every day use. So "Peeep" + "Come here" - plus body language to encourage the dog to approach. Chaining commands like this is a really good way of introducing a new 'trigger' or even a new name. Call Fido/Fred and drop the one you don't want and the dog will transfer to the alternative. Shout "Sit!" just as a bird flushes and you will teach your dog to Sit at the flush. To simulate a flush, you can roll a tennis ball. Your world is limited only by your imagination. Once ypou get the idea, dog training is easy.
 

planete

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I am slightly weary of pet owners who use a whistle. Around here there is a joke that whistle=out of control dog. You hear frantic nearly continuous whistling while dog happily careers around totally oblivious. I actually stopped using a whistle as my dogs would look confused when hearing other people's whistles and I was worried they would respond if out of sight. Most pet owners buy one of the acme whistles available and two whistles with the same tone sound exactly the same unlike voices. If you are going to do specialist training like gundog training then you will have to use a whistle but you will probably not be in the same patch as the everyday dog walkers.
 

Dry Rot

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American field trialers (of wide ranging pointers and setters) whistle frequently. That's so their dogs will know where they are and give them the confidence to range wider! If you want your dog to stay in touch, give one peep on the whistle, disappear occasionally, and make them come to look for you! If you follow your whistled signal with a bit of body language (a hand signal?), the dog will just check back with a glance and not be distracted by other people's whistles. Of course, some dogs will just ignore the lot! :)
 

Chiffy

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Both my flatcoats ar whistle trained but the older one did a year of obedience classes before the whistle was introduced. As a puppy I did the whole crouch down, arms wide, call 'come' thing. Then gradually stand and using hands to guide to a sit in front of me. Her recall was established when a whistle was added and then used for gun dog work.
The younger dog learnt whistle recall much earlier copying the older dog.
I don't use the whistle on Pet type dog walks, parks etc with others around but when the dogs are ranging further away or even round a corner out of site. Much better than shouting. 'Come' is 3 short pips, 'sit where you are' (stop whistle) is one long pip.
 

satinbaze

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A whistle can be used for much more than just a recall. With s combination of shirt and long peeps my old FCR did recall, instant sit, instant down, left redirect, right redirect etc. When I bred a litter each puppy went to their new homes with an acme gundog whistle as they all recalled to it. IMHO whistles are brill
 

Thistle

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I use a whistle for the spaniel, actually the pet dogs also respond to a whistle for all the reasons above. I introduce it from day 1. I took spaniel to puppy class in a local village hall as he was scared of new dogs. Whistles weren't allowed. What annoyed me was one man whose iPhone constantly whistled and puppy was trying to work out what his phone was doing.

I use 1 sharp pip to stop, 2 for turn/quarter and 3 or 5 depending on whether I think dog has heard for recall. Spaniels are supposed to work quite close so he is never allowed out of sight.

I also reward any 'checking in' that the dog offers if the dog is bold and wanting to hunt away. With a more clingy dog I wouldn't reward the checking in so much.
 

lindsay1993

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I've never used a whistle. I have 3 dogs, 2 springer spaniels and a springer x border terrier.

I prefer use of the voice as I can call each dog individually and give individual commands at distance. I suppose that could be achieved with a whistle, I just find the voice commands easier??

My 3 respond well to different tones of voice as well as hand signals at distance and close. They are never allowed further from where they can see or hear me. But I imagine a whistle would be better for very long distance recall/commands.
 

Goldenstar

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I have trained my current pup to recall from a whistle ,voice and hand signals.
Just train him with it at home and do what they do at classes .
I took my last dog pup to classes to socialise him away from our pack .
It was a treat based system he quickly learnt he got treats at class not at home it did not harm him at all.
 

Fiona

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Dry rot has summarised why my book says that to use a whistle is best :) Dad and I do a lot of walking in the local forest park, where the dogs can occasionally (now that dad has a new border collie who runs like the wind) be out of sight, and a whistle combined with shouting their names works really well.....

Thanks folks for all your replies, I'll keep going with the whistle outside, and name plus body language for a short distance recall inside.

We don't tend to go to places where there might be multiple whistles being blown, if its that hectic ours will probably be on lead.

So glad I have HHO dog peeps to keep me right... :)

Fiona
 

Clodagh

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I find whistle much easier - mainly because, as DR says, if you really want to strangle the little ****** it can't tell if you are whistling! However much you try to sound friendly they can tell if you are stressed or not. I always expect instant recall on a sharp 'pip, pip, pip' and if it is ignored I would not keep calling but would try to sneak up close enough to the dog or hide in order to scare it, whichever was most likely to work.
 

Fiona

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That must have been very annoying Thistle :(

Clodagh - the night she was stood in the middle of the road my voice must have been 100% panicstricken, so thats a good point about whistle..

Fiona
 

Dry Rot

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Don't forget that less is more. Don't whistle too much, keep your dog guessing! Make them find you, not the other way around. A pip on the whistle tells the dog you are going to do something unpredicatble -- like change direction or hide behind a tree -- so they'd better catch up/come back to mum before she disappers!:)
 

PorkChop

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Mine are trained to stop/turn/recall on the whistle, like Dry Rot I use the whistle in conjunction with voice and/or hand signals.

Choose something and stick with it :)
 

Fiona

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Yes just once dry rot... a pip pip pip. They were both fantastic at the forest on Tuesday and turned back towards me as soon as they heard it.

LJR - but its ok to use voice only for short distances at class and at home and whistle for longer distances or at forest? Book seemed to suggest that it was..

Fiona
 

PorkChop

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Once you have trained the commands it matters not a jot how or where you use them as long as you are sure that they will obey them.

Every new command needs to be taught close and then the distances built up.

Sorry if this isn't what you were asking, I am no expert :)
 

Fiona

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Not exactly, but I know what you mean..

I may have taught a decent recall from a moderate distance away but I haven't proofed it with other dogs yet... Thats my next job.

Fiona
 

Snuffles

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I use a whistle, my own lips not a physical whistle ! I cant do the fingers in the mouth whistle though. I do a two tone whistle and then call name at the moment, but will then just whistle, its easier on the voice that shouting !
 

druid

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Mine are all trained to a whistle - gundogs though. I hate hearing lots of shouting and roaring when a soft pip-pip-pip will do. I'd disagree with the person who thinks all acme whistles sound the same. The tone is the same but they whistle the owner gives is very individual....in Spaniel trials we hunt two dogs side by side and each handler is usually using an acme 211.5 and you don't see the dogs responding to the wrong whistle. Same in a beating line!
 

Clodagh

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Mine are all trained to a whistle - gundogs though. I hate hearing lots of shouting and roaring when a soft pip-pip-pip will do. I'd disagree with the person who thinks all acme whistles sound the same. The tone is the same but they whistle the owner gives is very individual....in Spaniel trials we hunt two dogs side by side and each handler is usually using an acme 211.5 and you don't see the dogs responding to the wrong whistle. Same in a beating line!

I had a problem last season, the other picker up has a wild couple of dogs. I sent mine after a runner and she went but other picker up started frantic peeping two fields over, my dog slowed and sat, really having no idea what she had done wrong. It was not a whistle signal I had ever used but she obviously though she must be involved, poor little dog. We had to wait until the end of the drive and go find the bird. I hope as mine was only on her first season's work she will mature and not listen!
 

druid

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I had a problem last season, the other picker up has a wild couple of dogs. I sent mine after a runner and she went but other picker up started frantic peeping two fields over, my dog slowed and sat, really having no idea what she had done wrong. It was not a whistle signal I had ever used but she obviously though she must be involved, poor little dog. We had to wait until the end of the drive and go find the bird. I hope as mine was only on her first season's work she will mature and not listen!

Do you train with others? I only see this an issue where the dog never runs in tests or trials and is trained solo (and fair enough, it's hard to manage anything else sometimes!) - they never hear another whistle so don't discern!
 

Clodagh

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Do you train with others? I only see this an issue where the dog never runs in tests or trials and is trained solo (and fair enough, it's hard to manage anything else sometimes!) - they never hear another whistle so don't discern!

That is probably the problem.
 

Alec Swan

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I had a problem last season, the other picker up has a wild couple of dogs. …….. !

It's certainly true that the truly wild-arsed dogs can be the best game-finders, but the disruptive effect that they will almost always have on dogs which are under control can be irritating, at best. With dogs which are young but under control and at the point of riot, it can be ruining. I won't pick-up where there are others who have dogs which please themselves.

Alec.
 

Clodagh

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It's certainly true that the truly wild-arsed dogs can be the best game-finders, but the disruptive effect that they will almost always have on dogs which are under control can be irritating, at best. With dogs which are young but under control and at the point of riot, it can be ruining. I won't pick-up where there are others who have dogs which please themselves.

Alec.

Thankfully I am never in line of sight. They aren't that bad...they don't run in but when sent for a retrieve are determined to just keep looking.
 

Cinnamontoast

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Saves you losing your voice. My lot are trained to recall on 3 short pips and this got them back when they escaped the garden and went roving round the local park (across a main road) one time and stopped them galloping onto a main road during another escape. So ruddy naughty as youngsters!

A woman I knew used to whistle her horse from the top of the hill, saved her a long walk!
 
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