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Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:05 am
by tta stockdogs
I agree 100% on letting a dog think and work on its own. I give very few commands... most of the time, a flank command to start them out if I want them to go a certain way and a That'll do at the end. But I teach them many commands so if I need them in certain situations, I have them in my "tool bag".

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:59 am
by flyingS
Howdy, are you working herding dogs or heeelers? I just automatically assumed they were border collies or the like.

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:49 am
by Howdy1
I agree with a lot of what you are saying Flying S. It sounds like we do things a lot of the same way. I too only use bye, away, down, stay, etc. I try to keep things simple also. We have alwasy tried to have a border collie/blue heeler cross because my Dad always wanted the dog to drive with him and didn't like a dog bringing cattle to him, they also seemed to have a little more aggression for moving groups of bulls. The dog I have now is predominately BC and has been a real joy in my life. I am going to get another dog that is all BC and I am going to get her from a reputable breeder/handler. I am interested in training stockdogs for trialing. It looks like fun and would maybe give me an interest other than working on the ranch all of my time. Just toying with the idea as don't know much but would like to go to a few clinics and test the water.

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:22 am
by redpale
I know this is a little late but better late then never. Whistles are an important part of working together. They help the hanfler as much as the dog. My dogs don't like to be hollared at no matter how far away they are so the whistle is the ideal way of giving directions.

The best way of becoming proficient with whistle is practice. I use to have one in my mouth anytime I drove anywhere. Drove my wife crazy ... it must have worked now I go where I'm going with just me and the dogs:)

When I am helping folks train their dogs I insist that when first starting out they keep there hands in their pockets. The last thing I want is the dog looking back for instructions. If they are doing that they are not looking at what they are suppose to be doing.

I have been writting a training blog aimed at the working dog rather then the trialling dog. It may have some use to you although I have not tackled whistles yet http://workingstockdog.blogspot.com/

Practice practice practice and oh by the way ... better have a rag with you ... it gets kinda messy at first

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:01 am
by OldDog/NewTricks
Years ago I use to make whistles out of Beer Bottle Caps by
pounding them flat
Folding them in Half
Punch a hole through both sides in the center near the middle
About 1/4" inch up from the fold...