Sheepdog Whistle

Traditional shepherds' lip whistle

Mastering the art of the traditional sheepdog whistle - also known as the shepherds' lip whistle - can allow you the ultimate flexibility when it comes to communicating with you dog.

Sheepdog Whistle


Most whistles fall in to one of two categories - the airfast whistles and the pea whistles. A notable exception would be the sheepdog whistle. Also known as the shepherds’ whistle and sometimes as the lip whistle, it works in a completely unique way. It has been used by shepherds for generations and is prized for its versatile range of sound; it gained popularity following the TV show ‘One Man And His Dog’, and these days it is a widely respected alternative to the more modern dog whistles.


Using this kind of whistle to its full potential requires a deep connection between dog and trainer as both must be completely attuned to the nuanced sounds it is capable of producing. If you have decided to choose a sheepdog whistle in your dog training sessions then it is definitely worth practicing your technique to make sure you are producing consistent commands. Once mastered, you will be able to produce a whole array of commands.


How To Use A Sheepdog Whistle


Using a shepherds’ whistle takes a little time to get right. To begin, place the whistle in your mouth, with the flat edge facing inward. Place your tongue against the flat edge or against the bottom of the whistle, ensuring that the hole in the middle isn’t being covered. This will create an upper and lower chamber inside your mouth, one above and one below the whistle. Once it is in place and feels secure, blow gently. It may take a few tries to get a sound out of your whistle, but have patience and try repositioning the whistle slightly to see what works for you.


These whistles are available in a choice of finishes and materials. The plastic whistles are more lightweight, but they are also available in a nickel finish, or a premium finish such as silver, yellow gold and rose gold. They make wonderful, practical gifts for dog trainers and are also appreciated for their musical applications. If you’d like to find out more about the classic sheepdog whistle, take a look at our how-to guide.