The Use of a Dog Whistle and Its Safety for Your Canine
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The Use of a Dog Whistle and Its Safety for Your Canine

Dog whistles have been used most often for training larger breeds of dogs and hunting type dogs. Some people have wondered about the use of dog whistles on any dog, why to use them and how safe they are. . .

Most pet parents and dog owners do not normally use dog whistles or know much about them. Dog whistles may be used as a good training tool for some breeds of dog. We have often hear about the dog whistle which are known to be heard by the dogs but not humans. However, there is not much else that we are aware of as to the safety of the whistles to the dog and how they actually work. The dog whistle was originally invented in 1883 by Francis Galton who was a cousin of Charles Darwin. The original purpose of the whistle was to test differential hearing ability in dogs.

A dog whistle is a high frequency device which is way out of the range of humans but within the range of a dogs’ hearing frequency. The pitch is way too high for people to hear. This pitch is what makes this whistle different from others. The pitch of the whistle depends upon the length of the “tube” or body of the whistle. The shorter the whistle tube, the higher the pitch. A dog whistle has a tube of approximately one inch in length.

Dog whistles are most often used to effectively train your dog. A dog can hear the sound of the whistle from a larger area as the sound travels further. This gives you more control of your dog during training. Of course, when training your dog, begin with short distances and fewer distractions. This is when you would introduce the use of the whistle to associate it with training and verbal commands. From a distance the dog can hear the whistle whereas they may not hear a verbal command by you. The thing with a dog whistle, just as with any loud noise, is that it can hurt the dog’s ears if used to close to the dog.

Training will start with short distances using a shorter leash, the dog whistle and an associated verbal command such as “come” and “sit”. You can then extend the distance and distractions until your dog responds to the whistle with little trouble. It will take some time and patience. Begin with maybe a six foot leash, gradually adding more distance over time when you notice your dog is progressing.

Not only will you be working on distance with the dog whistle training, distractions are imperative. The objective is to have your dog respond to the whistle when you are calling it, despite the presence other animals, food, people or other distractions. In training your dog to overcome these obstacles, you may need a helper with dogs to come around while you work on keeping your dog’s focus on you. The same with food. Throw some food off to the side while your dog is on the leash and run backwards while excitedly calling its name. As your dog responds to you and ignores the distraction(s), give a lot of praise and a food treat. Once your dog progresses, the process will be carried out while extending the distance. The final objective is to have your dog at a distance, without a leash, and have it respond to the whistle while far away amidst other distractions. This will be the final victory.


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Comments (1)

Have never tried one. It would be interesting to try one.