Has anyone ever had any success teaching dogs to over left and right by whistle commands? I'd like to be able to send my dog left or right by whistle when were hunting in case she is in tall stuff I cant see her in. She sits by whistle and comes to me by whistle so I think its possible. I just need to find whistles that are capable of multiple pitches. Anyone been here before?
Whistle tones and your ability to produce the same sound out of your whistle each and every time really depends on you. Plus terrain and weather factors that will change the tone of your whistle (which will confuse the dog). Practically makes what you wish to achieve very hard. Plus, late season hunts will make your whistles freeze.....unless it's the pealess type but even then the tone is different.
Here we go:
As a side note: I don't typically teach this way, but I have had request for this training occasionally and this is how I handled and trained for it.
For those clients that wanted out of sight casting ability you need to start by using verbal commands instead of whistle. Use the whistle to stop and to call in, but use verbal commands such as "LEFT" "RIGHT" instead of the usual command of "OVER". Teaching this way also allows you to cast your dog without having to use your arms. But of course you start by teaching the cast with your arm signal, but gradually as the dog becomes more confident stop using your arm and just say which direction you want the dog to go.
Ok. Now once your dog is successful at this level now you can start teaching them to count, which is very time consuming, but it can be done. Most folks are happy with verbal "LEFT" "RIGHT" and "BACK" and don't bother with the multiple whistle signals. Whistle commands are single blast to stop, 2 toots left 3 toots right then a quick trailing whistle for come in. Now at this stage you are saying "LEFT" to cast your dog left. Now start blowing "toot--toot" followed by a verbal "LEFT" command as an example. Do the same for the right except it will be 3 toots. Lots of practice makes perfect. Lots of consistency. As the dog becomes confident start removing the verbal command and just use the whistle to cast. Hence ... they are learning to count. YOUR WHISTLE TONES NEED TO BE VERY CLEAR AND DISTINCT. Not all jumbled together. Well spaced. Practice while driving your car or something.
You need to have a dog that will sit on the whistle and turn and face you squarely. If not your dog will cast in the wrong direction. Plus, when your dog is in cover you have no way of seeing if your dog actually stopped (other than no signs of movement) nor know if your dog is sitting squarely facing you. So hopefully in consistent training you and your dog will have worked all these issues out before you try them in the field. So knowing how your hunting partner operates and thinks is as important as being the coach for an athlete.