Monday, October 29, 2012

Whistle while you work...

and drive, and vacuum, and walk, and pretty well any where you go. Apparently that is the key to learning the stockdog whistle. Or so I've been told.

I've been practicing. A Lot! I started out not being able to make any noise. And now I can make lots of different noises. Except that they never sound the same.

And that is the problem. Much like a verbal command it is important that the sound be the same for the dog to learn what it means. And it is way harder than you'd think.

I have have the help of a trusty CD (borrowed from Lisa) that is permanently in my van. I listen to that sucker on every road trip and nearly every morning on my way to work. I can probably recite the damn thing word for word...minus the whistles.

It frustrates me. And makes me try harder. Which probably isn't helping matters much. Before I can teach the whistles to my dog I need to have them consistent. And I'd really like for that to happen.

Because I'd really like to do the "big kids" stuff one day, and whistles are a pretty important part of that!! When your dog is that far away a voice isn't going to carry as well- even mine (and I am a good yeller...)

Speaking of big kids we are hopefully going to do a series of arena trials over the next few months! We will be in the Ranch class- not Open, so it's not quite with the big kids, but at least it's in the same room. ;) I say hopefully because if they don't get enough entries it will be cancelled... I am hoping it isn't cancelled becuase it will be SO MUCH FUN! In the Ranch class you can leave the post once the dog has done the outrun and brought the sheep to you. The outrun is 200 ft- which is bigger than anything we've done so far. So we certainly have some training to do- but it is a good next step and will be a good experience for both of us!!!

So I will continue to whistle every chance I get. I'm hoping to record my instructors again on my phone. I have a Lie Down whistle on my phone, but it's too short. I need like 10 in a row. lol. I think that if I was musically inclined it would be MUCH easier. I don't really have an ear for tones and music... But I'm sure with practice it will come!!!

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