The whistle is a very useful tool when training any gundog and introducing your dog to the whistle as early as possible will pay dividends as its training advances.
You will find, as your dog improves and gets the hang of what it is supposed to be doing, that you will be asking it to complete tasks over much longer distances. The whistle sounds over these greater distances much better than your voice and can be a lot less annoying to others as well!!
There are many different styles but most people chose a simple single tone whistle, a different tone for each dog if you are training more than one. Some people also use a Tunderer or Blaster referee type whistle and train the dog to this as an emergency stop and sit.
There are two signals you need to master to begin with, these are the sit which is normally one reasonably long sound, say about one second, and the recall which would usually be a series of three or four short peeps.
If you chose to use a Blaster type whistle, popular with spaniels, then one long blast with one of these will normally make any dog take notice and await instructions.
To begin introducing your dog to its whistle is easy: When walking on the lead tell it to sit and give the sit whistle command, when it sits as instructed give lots of praise. After practising this a few times try just the whistle, again, if it sits lots of praise. Your dog will quickly learn that whistle-sit means praise. Once this works reliably start to add distance, a bit at a time, until whenever it hears its whistle its reaction is to sit and look to you for its next command.
The same process can be used with the recall: voice command to come accompanied by whistle signal, gradually reduce voice and increase distance. Don't forget to always give lots of praise when your dog comes back to you, even if it has been a little slow.
As you progress you can develop signals to go right or left and to seek.
Lin always has a good stock of whistles and lanyards and will be pleased to help you choose the right one for you.