How to Use a Dog Whistle and When You Need It
A dog whistle is a useful tool for dog training. Thanks to its loud piercing sound, it is indispensable when you need to draw the dog’s attention from a long distance or in a noisy situation. Also, it helps to train stubborn dogs that tend to ignore commands. Dog whistles come in a variety of forms and sound frequencies.
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Do I Really Need a Dog Whistle and How to Choose It?
You may need a whistle if your canine is disobedient or tends to ignore your commands. A whistling sound is more prominent and sharp if compared to the human voice. Once a dog began to associate it with training, it will respond to it in any situation, unlike voice commands.
How It Works
While dogs are smart enough to remember and understand commands, some pups misinterpret (or pretend they misinterpret) them. Thus, your pup may know the command “Sit!” perfectly well. During training, it obeys you totally. Later on, it hears the word “sit” in your speech in another context, where it is not meant to be a command. The smart pet quickly realizes that there are some situations when it doesn’t need to respond to this word and takes advantage of this.
Well, what does a dog whistle do? Basically, it performs the same function as voice commands, but it is usually associated only with training. Therefore, when the dog hears it, it has nothing to do but obey.
How to Choose a Dog Whistle
Most dog whistles look almost identical – you may think that they differ only in their color and design. In fact, there is one important difference, which is called whistle frequency. It doesn’t matter much what frequency you opt for – just choose the one that sounds less irritating to your ears. However, it’s important to remember what you have bought. If you happen to lose your whistle one day, try to buy a new one with the same frequency. This is not crucial, but it can help your dog to distinguish your whistle during a group training.
There are ultrasonic (silent) whistles available. You won’t hear their sound while your dog will. However, we do recommend to opt for a whistle with an audible sound. It will let you know whether the sound is strong enough.
Where to Buy a Dog Whistle
Dog whistles are inexpensive; you can find a good selection of them at your local pet shop. Also, you can order them online. It’s a good idea to purchase several similar whistles, just for a case.
Training a Dog with a Whistle: How to Do It Correctly
Usually, dogs understand whistle commands pretty well, so training is not too difficult if you do everything correctly. However, you need to have some patience and be consistent. The regularity of training is also important. Learn how to use a dog whistle correctly.
Develop Unique Whistle Commands
You may use a whistle for making a dog follow more than one command. The problem is that your pup should know how to distinguish one command from another. Thus, usually, one sort whistle is used for the commands “Sit” or “Stop”. One long whistle or three short blasts can mean “Come here”. You may develop your own whistle “language”; however, keep in mind that the commands must be plain and short.
Learn How to Blow the Whistle
Though it may sound weird, make sure how to blow a whistle before you start training. For example, if you want to produce a series of several short blasts, you need to close the hole with your tongue during blowing the whistle. Just try it a couple of times.
Replace Voice Commands by Whistle Commands
If your pup already knows some basic commands, such as “Stop” and “Sit”, it’s easy to retrain it. Blow a whistle and then immediately say the command, for example, “Sit”. Repeat this exercise several times until your dog starts to associate the whistle sound with the command. After that, gradually begin to increase the time between blowing the whistle and the voice command. Make sure your pup has a proper reaction to whistling. Finally, stop using voice commands. Act in the same way to learn other commands.
Learn Whistle Commands with an Untrained Dog
If your pup doesn’t know any commands, you can start with whistle-training. Usually, it makes no problem, as dogs are smart enough to understand the signals.
To learn the “Sit” command take a treat in your hand, show it to your pup, and raise the hand above the pet’s head slowly, making it sit down. Once the dog has touched the ground with its bottom, blow a whistle. Then praise the pup and reward it with a treat.
Also, you can learn the “Recall” command, using a whistle and a long leash. Let your dog walk at a distance, then lure it with a treat. As soon as it comes to you, blow a whistle and reward the pet. Repeat the exercise until the pup begins to associate the whistle sound with the need of approaching you. After that, you’ll be able to use a dog whistle instead of voice commands.