I am trying to take questions in the order received but may skip around a bit, depending on popular demand.
Whistles: Why is blowing the Fortune’s Sheepdog Whistle so difficult?
Because it’s a reed instrument!! It takes proper breath control, tongue dexterity (is this taking my blog to Porno?) and good jaw muscles. It also takes a LOT OF PRACTICE!! Too many people think it’s just another whistle and are surprised when it’s not that easy.
You need to spend the time necessary to conquer this beast because it’s important. Why, you ask?
Whistles provide two assets: clarity and volume. The human voice has a lack in this regard. For volume, the projected human voice acquires almost an ANGRY tone. The louder we get, the more panicked we sound and dogs get worried. We don’t mean to but that is what happens. Especially women. (sorry girls) Men sound dangerously close to caveman- style hunting (sorry Geico cavemen)
The whistle eliminates the emotion and allows the sound to serenely travel a longer distance.
Clarity: Most all owners talk too much to their dogs. We fill our day w/ useless dialogue (see my first blog). I find this can happen during training as well. The need to carry on a conversation while teaching your dog ONE simple command is overwheming to some of you. Instead of saying “go bye” while doing clockwise circles and ONLY saying that, some of you say “good dog,” “great”, “keep going”, “that’s it”, etc. Whistles allow you to ONLY BLOW THE COMMAND and dogs learn it FASTER!. The loose-eyed dogs can especially benefit from this. Distance is not a factor for most of their type of trials. However, when their owner says “GOOD DOG” the poor thing stops the circle to see if a pet or a treat is imminent. So much for the clockwise command.
I dream of putting duct tape across some of my students mouths and slitting it just enough for the whistle to fit. Sigh.
So those of you attempting the arduous task of whistle blowing DO NOT GIVE UP! Put it in your vehicle and practice while driving life’s highways. During time of “road rage” blow a tune and avoid the finger waving, lane blocking, tail gating, etc. Perhaps our freeways will be filled w/ the sounds of music and cars gently flowing down the lanes of life…..
Well, okay that’s stupid but YOUR DOGS WILL BE HAPPIER!!