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Clicker vs Whistle

Clicker vs Whistle

Postby JEFFP5217 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:06 pm

Hello all, I just got my first bird dog and he is an 8 week old GSP. As this is my first time training a gun dog, I am curious as to what most people find more useful in training. I have been using a clicker and have had a lot of success so far with it in how fast my pup is picking things up. I am curious though to how it compares to using the whistle. Thoughts, suggestions?
Thanks!
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby polmaise » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:20 pm

Communication is a wondrous thing when communicating in a language that both recipients have two different ways of communicating .
Finding a common one between the two is spellbinding .
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby deseeker » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:51 pm

Which do you think a dog can hear farther away--a whistle or a clicker--I'm betting the whistle's sound will travel A LOT FARTHER than what a clicker's sound will. Unless you are planning on you dog hunting at 25 yards from you I'd switch to the whistle. Good luck with your dog :D
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby Timewise65 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:09 am

I tried starting my dog out on clicker training and quickly went back to the whistle. Distance and getting the dogs attention is some much better with the traditional whistle....
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby JEFFP5217 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:59 am

Awesome thank you all for the input.
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby dsgordon » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:16 pm

Let me say I am just about to start training my first gun dog too. I be new to field training with birds but not dog training.

I always looked at clicker as a way to teach basic obedience and new tricks etc. Clicker/Marker word all same. Marker word is not a command.
I will be using a clicker for starting out teaching new behaviors until pup knows the command for intended behavior (Sit, Who, Come, etc.)

I see whistle as totally different concept than a clicker. ts not a marker sound.
Once the dog reliably knows a command (Sit, Whoa, Come) I plan is to transition and add the whistle command.
Its just another sound that means same as word command it already knows.
Once the dog understand whistle is same as the word command it can be used at distance.
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby Chukar12 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:58 am

Used traditionally a clicker and a whistle are two different tools. A clicker simply marks a desired behavior, notification if you will that something has been done properly to be followed by a reward. A whistle is generally a cue or command. It is actually notifying the dog to perform a behavior. For sporting dog purposes the best references for clicker work are George Hickox or Gary Wilkes. They both have much in print and can be found on-line easily.
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby mountaindogs » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:01 pm

I use both. They are ar enot either or type tools for me. A clicker says "what you just did is exactly what I wanted and you earned a reward" and a whistle says "here" or "over there" or "stop"
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby ezzy333 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:01 pm

What Chukar told you, they are different tools for different purposes, and in my opinion at least the Clicker is very limited in bird dog training though it works well in Obedience.

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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby greg jacobs » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:20 pm

I use a type of clicker training and part of their food along with walks in the field changing directions and keeping my mouth closed. I find this is a nice way to create a relationship with a new pup and build a lot of confidence. But don't really use it past 2 1/2 or 3 months old.
Like said above 2 unrelated tools.
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby Steve007 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:33 am

For close-in reinforcement, a clicker has merit, but no more merit than does your voice. It was originally developed for animals that don't respond well to the human voice. Try retraining your dog by saying "yes!" where you might use a clicker. You'll get the same results, it will improve your overall relationship and you'll both be happier. Dogs are not dolphins..and don't need to be trained like them.
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Re: Clicker vs Whistle

Postby tekoa » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:04 pm

Clickers are great for yard training, but can't be heard in the field and weren't intended to be.

I used a whistle and hand signs on my first 5 dogs and it always worked out very well; but I never liked to make noise in the field, never used beepers or bells. Then came GPS and collars that have tone. My last couple of setters have lived so long they became deaf to the whistle but could still hear tones. I trained them at age 11 to tone commands and all was quiet in the field except for grass rustling and Roosters cackling.

I have also introduced vibration commands to my current pups for those occasions when my dogs pretend to be deaf, and for the eventuality of their actually being deaf. All methods have worked well, and I swear the dogs actually prefer the tone. It is especially useful when hunting with several dogs in the field and four hunters blowing whistles.

My dad hunted over Setters for 65 years; he always taught his dogs hand signals and used one blast on the whistle which meant "stop what you are doing and check in"' when the dogs appeared (usually on the horizon) he'd redirect them with hand signs and go back to hunting quietly.

I don't think hunts tests and field trails allow anything but whistle and hand commands. So if you are going to campaign your dog a whistle is the only choice.
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