Sunday, January 26, 2014

Whistle While You Work!


I decided that I wanted to learn to use a whistle to direct the dogs in TREIBBALL so I purchased a shepherd’s whistle from Amazon.  I decided to go with the nickel silver one ($10) rather than the cheap plastic one ($4) or the quite expensive Corian one ($35) or the even more expensive Avonite or buffalo one ($45).

So it arrived and I confidently put it in my mouth to blow it and …… nothing… not a sound!  To the internet for instructions!  That’s when I can across this article and had to print a bit and link to the rest because it is SO entertaining!  Apparently I am not the only one that happened to!   SO… 

Whistle While You Work

The best kind of whistle you can use is the kind you are born with. ………  For those of us who can't whistle without help, some devious person, now long dead, designed the shepherd's whistle. This instrument of torture is designed to punish those of us who are already handicapped and can't make proper whistle noises with our mouths. It comes in plastic, acrylic, or metal. The basic shape is generally a half-moon.. They look innocent enough until you stick one in your mouth and blow. Nothing happens! Every whistle I tried at first was broke. Absolutely NO sound came out. This is how they are designed. The inventors figured that if you couldn't whistle without help, you really shouldn't be herding, so they designed this gadget to not work intentionally! On average, unless you really DO know how to whistle without the use of a mechanical whistle, it probably takes about 2 years to get any sound to come out of the shepherd's whistle. I'm not sure, but maybe this is the age the whistle needs to be before it can actually make sounds. I do know that when first bought, most whistles, at least those bought by neophytes to whistledom, do not work. There definitely needs to be a breaking in period.

Got your attention!  A few other gems:

  • The first step in learning how to use a shepherd's whistle is to tie it on a string.
  • The only wrong way to put a shepherds whistle in your mouth is to put the end tied to the string in first. This tastes funny which is why you don't do it.
  • …..if you wear a whistle for looks, be careful because as soon as you do, someone will ask you to demonstrate it

And now, CLICK HERE to read “The Rest of the Story!”

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Update 1/25/2014 – Ahh.. a work-around..  I think we’ll get it!
Update 1/20/2014  - We’re in week #4… why then are we still learning week #2 skills!!  Smile

Update 1/13/2014
Click here for a great video..  no …not Jake..  he’s still learning to stand calmly behind the ball without biting it or jumping on it! 

*******Originally written 12/2013  This is when Jake started lessons with
Lynsie Bernier of Ideal Dog at Go Fetch in Winneconne!

Treibball is a positive-Reinforcement, competitive dog sport which originated in Germany and entered sanctioned competition in 2008. The dog must gather and drive large exercise balls into a soccer goal.

Eight balls of approximately 45–75 cm are set in a triangle formation, similar to billiards, with the point ball farthest from the goal. The object of the game is to get all eight balls into a confined space the size of a soccer goal within a set time period, usually about 15 minutes. The handler may not move outside of an area that contains the left half of and several feet beyond the goal area. The dog works in close cooperation with the handler, who is only allowed to use whistles, verbal or hand signals to direct his dog. No verbal or physical corrections are used in Treibball. The dog and handler must communicate effectively to herd one ball at a time into the goal, in fifteen minutes time. The dog and handler team are scored on cooperation and direction, within that fifteen minute time limit,and can earn extra points or accrue demerits accordingly.

The balls have been referred to as "rolling sheep" in recognition that this sport stems from herding for dogs who do not have access to regular sheep.



Training Videos on YouTube

Basics – Donna Hill (7 min.)
The Whole Intro – Sue Alexander (8:56) Black German Shepherd

Beginning Treibball – Sandi Persinger  (5:53)
Intermediate Treibball – Sandi Persinger (8:34)

Living With Dogs series

The Front Game (2:48)
The Serpentine Maze (:27)
The Platform Game: Training Orientation (2:17)
Teaching Orientation with Ball (:17)
Teaching Targeting to a Mat: Step 1  (:16)
Teaching the Distance Send: Step 2 (2:18)
Teaching Targeting to a Mat: Step 3 (:59)
The Mat Game: Distance Work (5:56)
Sending to a Target, Increasing Distance (:48)
Getting Distance: Luring with a Toy (3:35)
The Barrel Race Game (:29)
The Front Cross Dance (:24)
The Target Stick Game: Training the Push (2:28)
The Bowl Game: The Ball Push (:44)
The Bowl Game: Fun Basics (1:58)
Barrel Rolling Race Game (:32)
The Push Harder Game (:31)
Rainy Day Games: Treibbox (1:06)
Tiny Dogs Can Push Too! (:32)
Barrel Racing Intro (:45)



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