Traditional Sheepdog Whistle Commands


It is worth pointing out that you can train any dog to these commands, it does not have to be a sheepdog. And of course you can make up your own commands, as long as you are consistent!

Here we go:

To stop the dog (Lie Down Command) make one long blast.

In order to bring the dog back to you (Come Here Command) blow Whee Whee Wheet.

In order to move the dog straight towards the livestock (and this can be geese, kids and anything that moves), which is the Walk Up Command, blow two short whistles.

To move the dog around the livestock in a anticlockwise fashion (Come By Command), blow Wheet Wheeeooooo.

To move it in a clockwise fashion, blow Whee Who.

To move the dog away (Get Out Command, also very useful when walking off lead and coming across fox poo!) blow Wheet Wheeo Wheet Wheet.

The Look Back Command, which turns the dog around, is signified through the Who Hee Who sound.

Hee  Hee Hee Hee means to slow to a steady pace (Take Time Command).

That'll Do Command, which orders the dog to quit working, sounds like Hee Hee Hee Hee!

Shepherds spend all day out with their herds (cows, sheep etc), often in inhospitable terrain and rely on good communication with their dogs that will be a long distance away from them - no voice can do this on a daily basis and whistling on dirty fingers in the lambing season or when the sheep get their chemical dips is just not...nice!

If anything, this little insight will make you look at Sheepdog trials, shepherds and their dogs in a different light! Please have a look at this Japanese shepherd: