Should You Use a Dog Training Whistle

When you get a new dog, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of training suggestions you can get. Friends will tell you about crate training, others may try to convince you to buy a clicker.

What is important to remember is that each person and each dog is different. What’s convenient for a friend might not be convenient for you and vice versa.

Should you use a dog training whistle in your training regimen? Today we take a closer look at this technique and how you can incorporate it into your dog training routine.

What is Dog Whistle Training?

The first part to understanding how to train your dog with a whistle is to understand what a dog whistle is. They are sometimes referred to as a silent whistle. This is because as you blow into the whistle, the sound it makes is inaudible to humans.

The upper limit of human hearing is at 20 kilohertz. But dogs can hear frequencies almost double that limit. The dog whistle takes advantage of this. As you blow into a dog whistle, it only sounds like a low hissing to us, but a dog is easily able to hear it. The advantage of this is that you can use a dog whistle in crowded areas and no person will be bothered by the sound it makes.

A dog whistle should not be confused with a shepherd’s whistle. Both tools are used in the training of a dog. The difference between these is that the dog whistle only emits one note. A shepherd’s whistle is put in the mouth and the tongue and mouth can be used to change the tone. While the single tone of a dog whistle is commonly used for one command, a shepherd’s whistle can be used to teach a dog several different commands. The tradeoff though is that people and dogs alike can hear a shepherd’s whistle.

How to Whistle Train Your Dog

As we already stated, a dog whistle is commonly used to teach one command. That command is “come.”

Here’s how to get started:

  • Bring your dog to a room with no distractions. Be sure to keep a high-value treat in your pockets.
  • When your dog is not looking at you, blow the whistle. Just do a quick burst from the whistle. This will get your dog’s attention. Once they come over to you, praise and reward them.
  • Let your dog continue going about their business and repeat the last step. The first session you try training them, repeat this step five times. Each following session only repeat step three times. Also only practice every other day at most.
  • Once you’ve practiced this a few times and your dog seems to get it, try moving to a less confining area. You can also slowly add distractions once your dog gets it.
  • The last step would be to get your dog in multiple different locations so they can generalize that the whistle can be used in many settings.

Should You Use Dog Whistle Training?

Now that we know how to use a dog training whistle, is it for you? Only you can answer that question. While it is a powerful tool, it can be somewhat cumbersome to need a tool for your dog’s training.

If you’re not convinced, here are some of the pros of whistle training:

  • Whistle training can be done by anyone. – No matter who is blowing the whistle, it sounds the same every time. This is a great thing for your dog since they won’t be fighting the distraction of knowing when their attention is being called or not. They will know the instant that whistle goes off what they should do.
  • Whistles do not show emotion. – When we’ve had a bad day, usually our dog is the first one to know it. They can sense it in our posture and hear it in our voice. A dog whistle cannot change pitch. Because of this, your mood or emotion will never get in the way of training.
  • Whistles can carry much farther than your voice. – You may be loud, but a whistle is always going to be louder. A high-pitched whistle is going to carry much farther than your voice would. And it will stop you from looking like a jerk at the dog park when you’re yelling at your dog to come back.
  • Dogs like them. – Despite cartoons showing dogs howling in pain at the sound of a dog whistle, dogs who become whistle trained learn to love it. The sound of a whistle means that a reward is coming!

Should you use a dog training whistle? Only you can answer that question for yourself. What is certain is that whistle training can be an incredible tool to help you and your dog communicate better.

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