What Are the Whistle Signals for Sheep Dogs?

by Shellie Alyssa
    Sheep dogs are a shepherd's best friend.

    Sheep dogs are a shepherd's best friend.

    Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

    Sheep dogs have a natural instinct to herd and are excellent at being a livestock guardian. Shepherds appreciate the sheep dog's work efforts, due to the fact that they cut the shepherd's work load down, and save time and money. Sheep dogs respond well to whistle command signals from their shepherd.

    Come Here

    A Whee-Whee-Wheet sound made with the shepherd's whistle tells the sheep dog to come to the shepherd. This command is used by the shepherd when he wants the sheep dog to be next to him or to leave the herd of livestock.

    Walk Up

    The shepherd will blow two short whistles to signal the sheep dog to walk straight towards the livestock. The "walk up" command usually is the beginning stage of work. The sheep dog will start walking towards the livestock, in anticipation for the next whistle signal from the shepherd.

    Get Out

    Wheet-Wheeo-Wheet-Wheet sounds from the whistle encourage the sheep dog to go away from the livestock. The "get out" command is used to separate the livestock and the sheep dog for a time frame that is determined by the shepherd.

    Come By

    Wheet-Wheeeo is the whistle sound that signals the sheep dog to circle around the livestock in a clockwise pattern. The "come by" command encourages the sheep dog to herd the livestock closer together and direct them to move into a specific direction.

    Way to Me

    Whee-Whoo signals the sheep dog to run around the livestock in a counterclockwise motion. The "way to me" whistle signal commands the sheep dog to run around the herd of livestock, forcing them to gather and walk towards the desired direction that is determined by the shepherd.

    Take Time

    The whistle sound for the take time command is Pee-Pee Pee-Pee. This signal will slow the sheep dog to a steady pace. At times, the sheep dog may move too fast for the job that must be done. The shepherd will use the "take time" whistle signal to get the sheep dog to calm down and continue working at a slower pace.

    Look Back

    Who-Hee-Who whistle sounds alert the sheep dog to go around and gather more livestock. The "look back" whistle signal allows the shepherd to alert the sheep dog that he must add more livestock to the already existing herd.

    That Will Do

    The whistle signal for this command is Hee-Hee-Hee-Hee. This orders the sheep dog to quit working. The shepherd uses the "that will do" command to stop the dog from working on a specific herd. The sheep dog will stop and wait for the shepherd to whistle the next command.

    Lie Down

    The shepherd will blow one long blast into the whistle. This will signal the sheep dog to lie down. The shepherd uses the "lie down" whistle signal to allow the sheep dog to rest in between commands.

    Photo Credits

    • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Based in Miami, Shellie Alyssa has been writing articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on a variety of popular and informative pet websites including munch.zone. In 2000, she was awarded an editors choice award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry from the International Library of Poetry. She holds a fashion merchandising diploma from Penn Foster College.

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