Let’s clean the dust from 1876’s old Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development, just to thank Francis Galton for this curious invention! In sum, the book talks about the tests Francis Galton performed using the dog whistle he invented. He concluded that its ultrasounds were not audible to people, and yet… his domestic cat had some reactions to the quiet hissing sound! So, you might be wondering about a lot of topics: do you need a dog whistle? How can you use it for dog training? And are its sounds harmful to dogs in any way? Well, come and take the tour!
👉 What about some nerd facts first? Check the ultrasound range (in kilohertz) in which people and animals can hear:
- Middle-aged adults: between 15-17 kHz frequencies.
- Children: up to 20 kHz.
- Cats: up to 64 kHz.
- Dogs: up to 45 kHz.
- Dog whistle: between 23-54 kHz frequencies, although some may be adjusted to our hearing range.
Choosing The Best Dog Whistle
Do I need a dog whistle?
Let’s be honest: dog whistles can be fun, in a way – who doesn’t find it funny when your dog’s ears are up and they start turning their neck searching for the origin of the sound? 😄 However, they’re not a primary necessity for most pet parents, unless they just cannot stand the annoying sound of the common whistle! On the other hand, if you live in a farm, you can train your shepherd dog and teach them some herding maneuvers through different “whistle codes”.
This was mainly why the dog whistle was invented! Long before Galton’s idea, shepherds whistled to their fluffy sheepdogs using their hands (or just their mouths). Nowadays, in some rural European areas, they use a flat metal whistle, which emits a distinctive sound – the “modern” dog whistle.
Last but not least, some electronic whistles are also used to determine the hearing range for people, as well as for physical demonstrations. Are you Heinrich Hertz? 🤓
What features does the “purrfect” dog whistle include?
Alright, alright! If you still have the dog whistle in your mind, here’s what you should look for:
- Easily replaceable – be sure you’re able to buy a second whistle with the exact same sound – otherwise, your dog won’t be used to the sound of the new one in case you lose the first.
- Consistent sound – if you blow the whistle a couple of times, the sound should always be the same.
- Volume range – the whistle should be dog-audible within a 200-yards range.
- Sturdy material – as they’re meant to be used outdoors, be sure they won’t break if they fall to the ground.
- Washable – remember you’ll regularly put your mouth on it!
Pros & Cons of Dog Whistles
Still undecided about whether or not you should buy a dog whistle? Maybe it’s better if you analyze the pros and cons before you make your final decision! In any case, don’t forget that dog whistles should be used with moderation, as you may conclude by reading the bullets below.
- Dog whistle training is pretty effective, especially to teach our buddies to be obedient – “oh, my parent has blown the whistle so I must stop”!
- Due to its characteristic sound, dog whistles can also be used to call your dog back when they’re too far away… especially if you don’t have a GPS pet tracker to locate them!
- As the sound is distinctive, only your dog will react to the whistle.
- The dog whistle sound is “weatherproof”, while human voice is not… Ready to call your pooch in a snowy Winter evening?
- Obviously, dog whistles are very useful in dog training classes, as dogs have the ability to associate specific sound codes to the parent’s desired commands.
- You’ve blown the whistle, but your dog did not react? That’s not a very weird situation, as the effectiveness varies from dog to dog. Anyway, try the whistle with other dogs, just to be sure the problem doesn’t come from it.
- An abusive usage of the dog whistle will obviously make it lose effectiveness over time.
- If your dog is fearful and they start to associate the whistle sound to a strict command, they’ll be even more afraid of it. This may result in traumas, also known as “poisoned commands”.
- Most dog whistles are not harmful, but don’t forget your four-legged friend has a much more sensitive and powerful hearing than you. If you “overblow” the whistle, you can be inflicting them some discomfort.
How To Train Your Pooch Using A Dog Whistle
As you can see, dog whistle training has much to do with sound codes and the corresponding command! Just like dog treats, whistles can have a Pavlovian effect on your buddy, showing them what’s good and bad behavior. (Try to) listen to some dog whistle sounds with your dog nearby and check if there’s any effect on them! 🔉
PS: don’t forget your computer / smart device may not process all the sounds properly…
Dog whistle frequency
First things first: listen to eight different frequencies of dog whistle sounds.
Loud dog whistle
Please do not abuse this one, or you may be inflicting your dog some pain! Anyway, see if they react to the sound.
“Stop barking” sound
Wondering if dog whistles make dogs stop barking? Well, they’ll at least stop “barking out loud” when they hear this sound! 🤫
If a dog whistle isn’t particularly effective with your buddy, a GPS pet tracker like Findster Duo+ will help you keep tabs on them! How has your dog reacted to these dog whistle sounds? Share your experience in the comments! 💭