Dogs

Do Dog Whistles Work? What Are They For?

(Image Credit: Getty Images/jarih)

For as many of us who own dogs, few of us have actually used a dog whistle before. What are dog whistles, exactly? What do people use them for? Do they whip dogs into a frenzy like in cartoons?

A dog whistle, known also as a silent or Galton’s whistle–after inventor Francis Galton–is a high-pitched whistle generally used for dog training. The sound it emits comes from what is known as the ultrasonic range, a pitch that is so high humans can’t hear it. Dogs can, however, as well as cats and other animals. Because of this, it’s a favored training tool.

Training With A Dog Whistle

Dog whistles are most commonly used during dog training. You will often see them coupled with clickers and treats to signal to a dog that they have performed a task correctly. The noise they make will likely grab a dog’s attention, but they will not usually make dogs go wild like you may see in cartoons or movies.

The type of dog whistle a person uses doesn’t matter that much. While the most commonly used are physical whistles, you can also use digital ones. I actually have a dog whistle app on my phone!

Training with a dog whistle, like all other forms of dog training, will take time. But it can be one of the most successful forms of communicating with your dog when you want them to perform a certain behavior or task.

Other Purposes For Dog Whistles

farmer with dog and chicken

(Image Credit: Getty Images/urbancow)

While many pet owners enjoy the directness whistle training provides, this method also helps with other dog activities as well. Many canine sporting events and competitions utilize silent whistles to communicate to dogs when to go and when to stop. You will see this a lot in sheepdog competitions where whistle commands instruct the dogs on what to do. These whistles are usually not silent whistles, but their purpose is more or less the same.

The silent whistle is employed with hunting dogs or gun dogs, as well, since the range of frequency that hunting dogs can hear at is higher than many animals.

Do Dog Whistles Work?

This is the most important question. Unfortunately, like with all other training techniques, that answer can only be given as a “maybe.” Every dog is different, and some simply don’t respond to a whistle command the same way another might to voice or treats. It’s best to know your dog when you proceed with this method of training. Don’t dismiss training your dog completely if they don’t take to the whistle.

Do Dog Whistles Hurt Dogs’ Ears?

a woman training her two dogs by using a whistle

(Picture Credit: Peter-verreussel/Getty Images)

Some dog owners might be concerned that the high frequency of a dog whistle might actually hurt or damage their dogs’ ears. It’s best to think of a dog whistle like any other whistle in this regard. When a person blows a normal whistle, it will likely get your attention. However, unless they blow it extremely loudly, or for an extended time, or directly next to your ear, the whistle isn’t likely to hurt you. The same is true of dogs and dog whistles.

So long as you don’t blow a dog whistle very loudly, blast it for a long time, or use it directly next to your dog’s head, it should not hurt or cause damage to the ears. That said, it is best to learn from a professional trainer how to use a dog whistle properly and safely before you start using one during training.

Do you have a whistle-trained dog? Have you used a dog whistle before? Let us know in the comments below!

Related Articles

Can Dogs Eat Peanuts? Are Peanuts Safe For Dogs?

Top 7 Tips To Keep Your Yard Pet-Friendly

DogTime is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

BarkBox Classic vs Super Chewer! The Ultimate Showdown.
Canada’s a Step Closer to Banning Captive Whales and Dolphins
Buildings are killing up to 1bn birds a year in US, scientists estimate
Kitten Who Was Born Very Special, Gets Help Just in Time and is Determined to Live and Thrive
Trump administration sabotages major conservation effort, defying Congress
Outrage over trophy hunter who paid $110,000 to kill rare mountain goat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *