Introducing a whistle at 7 months..... too late???

(24 Posts)
cansleepanywhere Tue 15-Oct-13 19:02:22

In the words of my trainer my dog's brains 'have fallen out of her a*se'.

She's hit the teens and I REALLY need to go back to basics and make things fun again. I'm worried that my voice doesn't carry far enough when she shoots off after something that interests her to snap her out of it. I've tried taking a squeaky toy but it doesn't seem load enough.

Is it too late to introduce a whistle??

If not then how do you use it?? Ideally I'd like a 'come back' and 'stop dead' as a starter. So one blip (?) for stop and three short one's for come back or something like that??? I'm a total novice when it comes to a whistle but I'm making myself hoarse.

FlopemOut Tue 15-Oct-13 19:11:15

I'm no expert but am training my working cocker puppy at the moment to some whistle commands. One long blast to return to me and a short pip for sit. I believe that it's up to you - as long as you are consistent is the main thing. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon!

Mynewmoniker Tue 15-Oct-13 19:14:20

Whistle and one word command to begin with. Tasty reward for compliance if dog food orientated otherwise loads of fuss.

Then try just whistle.

Dog no where near too old! smile

Whoknowswhocares Tue 15-Oct-13 19:19:17

Deffo not too late.
Our trainer has introduced it to the whole class recently and they are all older than your pup. Can't comment personally though as mine was the one dog who already knew whistle recall. They were taught initially by two people with a whistle each (same pitch) take it in turns to whistle....3 short pips for recall...and then call pups name.....treat profusely on e they come, then switch to 'ignore status' when the other person whistles. After a few goes they start to turn and run on hearing the whistle and not waiting for their name. Then you know they understand.

Love that expression! Sadly am at the stage where I'm waiting nervously for the onslaught of the teen phase. shock

WiddleAndPuke Tue 15-Oct-13 19:27:50

Never too late.

Just make sure you NEVER use the whistle unless you're utterly sure your dog will comply, otherwise you'll be back to square one and in the same position as you are now. A whistle doesn't have magical powers; dogs can still ignore it.

moosemama Tue 15-Oct-13 20:38:28

Fantastic book for teaching either pups or adults to recall to a whistle. It has easy to follow, step-by-step plans for use with either adults or pups.

I didn't think I'd be able to get my Lurcher recalling to a whistle once he was an adult, but it worked for him.

We had a bit of naughtiness with his recall when we brought our new rescue pup home, but I went back to the book and he was back on track in no-time.

I've used the puppy plan with my new pup as well and he has an excellent whistle recall ... at present. <<waits for adolescence to kick in and make a liar of me>> grin

Lifeisontheup Tue 15-Oct-13 20:53:36

It has taken me all of 30 seconds to buy that book, moose I hold you entirely responsible for my spending. smile
Really looking forward to putting it into practice, I think good recall is the most important thing I can teach my puppy, that and a 'down' at a distance. My first Border Collie would drop like a stone when I shouted down regardless of distractions and I would like this one to be the same but my trainer, who trained me through two dogs, has had the temerity to retire and I'm a bit scared of starting with a new one.

I got a whistle for Berthadog when I realised she came instantly when my friend whistled for her dog. Had to get the same frequency whistle and do the same two blasts as she does though. She was about a year old at the time. So, she was trained by another dog rather than me smile

moosemama Tue 15-Oct-13 21:20:19

grin Lifeis - sorry ... but it is a great book and so worth it when you're not having to fret if your dog is going to come back every time you let them off-lead.

Agree entirely about the most important things you can teach. Imo, they're 'leave', 'drop', recall and the instant down/emergency stop.

Lifeisontheup Tue 15-Oct-13 21:23:18

Please also everyone read my post on the New Puppy thread- I'm sure no one will be as utterly stupid and negligent as I was all those years ago but if it saves one dog....

cansleepanywhere Wed 16-Oct-13 09:34:46

Thank you for all your comments, the book is firmly on my list!

I never let her off where I can't see everything or anywhere near a road. We're lucky to live rurally.

She has started to drift though or come back only when she's finished sniffing or playing for a bit longer. I'd like to 'grow up' to be one of those owners who can trot through a busy park with a dog that's attentive to them and not have to be on red alert all the time.

I'm up for using the whistle, it's new to her and might just help to start making things fun again. She's not fussed about toys.

(I know it won't be a magical whistle..... can't help wishing there was one though!).

VeganCow Wed 16-Oct-13 18:12:24

Keep whistle on you in the house. Go in different room to dog, blow Randomly at different times.
Make sure treats are REALLY tasty, dried liver cake/sardine cake etc (make your own).

She should soon be recalling to whistle outside as well as inside.

VeganCow Wed 16-Oct-13 18:13:21

Half message deleted for some reason...
treat each and every time she comes in these early days.

daftwit Fri 18-Oct-13 14:27:52

Do you have to use a dog whistle or does an ordinary one work ?

moosemama Fri 18-Oct-13 15:07:21

Any whistle should work if you do the conditioning work, but most people go for an ACME dog whistle, you can buy them in lots of different colours and wear them on a lanyard, which I find really helpful, as I never remember which pocket I've got mine in otherwise.

There's a website somewhere where you can play the different ACME whistle tones and see which one your dog reacts to, but I just went for one of the most common one which is ACME 211.5 and it's fine for both my Lurchers.

Lifeis - I know exactly what you mean about Mooses power to get us to spend money! After a fantastic link to PerfectPetHarness, I went merrily shopping and 1 quick phone call later, was nearly £100 down!

Don't want to talk about you behind your back though Moose! I was delighted when the harness arrived and SO many people have commented on it.

I'm going to buy this book too and those whistles look great! Thanks moose for really helpful links. Any debt counselling advice though?

Oh actually - been meaning to ask you Moose, did you link to a fabulous grass feeder thing that slows down their eating? Can't find it now but was thinking it would be a great puppy Christmas present!

idirdog Fri 18-Oct-13 21:00:14

Just blow the whistle before feeding for a week - you will have a whistle trained dog by the third day smile

moosemama Fri 18-Oct-13 21:14:31

blush Now you know why my dh hides the credit card! grin (I only spent £30 on the harness site though. wink)

green feeder

That's it! Thanks Moose. The viovet website is really good as well as often has reduced prices.

I think it's much better to have bought one really good harness and training lead (and in beautiful purple fleece which on a black and white dog looks lovely!) rather than several not such good quality ones. So I'm happy!

And my DH is very kindly not mentioning the fact that my original puppy budget has gone out the window. I tell myself that I've saved us loads by not buying any dog beds/blankets and just cutting up an old duvet and using old towels/pillowcases instead!

Why do people decide to use a whistle in the first place? Is it better for recall than just calling their name or using a special recall command?

I ask because I don't think any of my local friends use a whistle with their dogs, infact I don't think I've heard anyone whistle in any of our parks or dog walking places. Just wondering what reason I'll give if I start this and someone asks me why I'm using a whistle - will I sound a bit mad if I say I got it from internet chat room?!

moosemama Fri 18-Oct-13 21:39:06

I was tempted by the purple fleece, but went for black in the end as I didn't want it to clash with his eyewateringly expensive new collar. blush Still waiting for the collar. She emailed to say she'd posted it first class on Tuesday and it's still not here. angry

Some people prefer a whistle because it's a completely consistent sound that can't convey anger or frustration and always sends the same message to the dog to elicit a condition response (come back here now). It also carries much better across long distances than the human voice. Personally I also find it helps me to use 'come' as a more relaxed cue around the house and garden, without having to worry whether or not I'm ruining his recall by not demanding 100% from him every single time I say it.

mateysmum Fri 18-Oct-13 21:43:03

I've got that book on my wish list too now. I just got a whistle for my boy who is about 7 yrs old. We recently moved to a rural location with great walks, but also lots of chaseable beasties. I lost him for 15mins in the maize fields last week and was in a complete panic having shouted myself hoarse when he came trotting back looking pleased with himself and all I could do was cuddle him and give him a treat when really I wanted to throttle him.

So I got a whistle so that at least he can here me if he does get a distance away, but he is recalling to it well - provided the distraction isn't too great. Gravy bones are his favourite treat and I save those just for whistle recall. but I'm not sure if it will still work if he has a pheasant or fox in his sights.

So I probably need to get that book.

Lifeis - just re-read this thread to get my head round whistle training and just want to say, I wouldn't have said what happened to your dog was due to any stupidity or negligence on your part. By the sounds of it you really loved that dog, sounds a very special dog and you wouldn't have been negligent. All of us act without thinking and on impulse throughout the day, it's how we get through so many complex tasks. You were really unfortunate on that day with what happened. Really unfortunate. But not negligent.

I must be the only person in the world to fail with that book. It was fine whilst we did the initial few weeks with heaps of hot chicken but the very first time a blew the whistle and gave him his tea he turned on his heel and never lifted a paw for the whistle again sad

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