How Teach Your Dog to Work on Whistle Commands

It's not as difficult as you may think!

Many sheepdog handlers think it's very difficult to teach a dog to work on whistle commands but in fact the tricky part is learning to blow the whistle in the first place!

Once you've mastered the "knack" of blowing the whistle (covered in part one of our sheepdog whistle tutorials) you need to practice a set of distinct commands which your dog will be able to hear at a distance or in a noisy environment such as near a motorway or close to trees where wind is rustling the leaves.

In our latest sheepdog training video, (duration 13.8 minutes) Andy describes how to get started and then he introduces Bronwen to whistle commands while she's working sheep.

You can find out more about our herding sheepdog training tutorials by watching the video below, or SIGN UP for full membership.


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How you can save a sheep’s life

...but it's important to raise the BAA!

Sheep don't sleep on their backs, so if you happen to see one in this position you should move fast. That sheep is close to death.

When you're training a sheepdog you can sometimes be surprised by a sheep's agility, but they aren't designed to lie on their backs, and they're not good at righting themselves.

A sheep with a heavy, possibly wet, fleece, or that is heavily pregnant or fat (resulting in a broad, flat back) is most at risk of becoming stuck if it rolls over.

It may have been resting, or it may have tried to scratch an itch, but it certainly won't have got itself into that position on purpose.

A sheep stuck on its back is vulnerable for a variety of reasons: not only is it easy prey for crows or badgers, but its own biology is against it.

In order to digest grass, sheep (and cows) have a four-chambered stomach. The largest chamber is the rumen, where the fibrous food ferments. Fermentation produces gas, and when the sheep is the wrong way up the gas can't escape.

The gas builds up, and causes pressure on the sheep's lungs until it simply can't breathe anymore.

The scenario of a combination of suffocation and predator attack is pretty grim, but it's easy to avoid. Keep aware for an upturned sheep when you're out and about, and act quickly if you see one. DO leave your dog at a distance from the sheep if you possibly can, and DON'T worry about taking hold of a good handful of fleece to get the sheep turned over. Whatever evolutionary advantages sheep might have, they don't have convenient handles!

Watch the video above, to find out how easy it is to rescue a sheep which is stranded on its back, then share this page so that others will see how to do it too.


  • ONLINE SHEEP AND CATTLE DOG TRAINING TUTORIALS
    Clear, inexpensive, sheep and cattle dog training instruction

    Click icon at bottom-right of viewer for full-screen mode.

    For a very small monthly (or annual) subscription, watch many hours of expertly presented sheepdog training lessons. Not just theory - we show you what should happen, and what to do when things go wrong. Signup now
    You may cancel payments at any time and continue to watch for the period paid for.

    © Images, video, articles and text on this website are protected by copyright laws and must not be reproduced without the owner's written permission.