How to use a dog whistle
Dog whistles sometimes get a bad rap from owners around the world. While a lot of research has gone into whether negative or positive reinforcement is more effective, the fact is that many dogs respond quite well to averse stimuli (like the sharp blast of a whistle).
If used properly, owners can even use the whistle to stop bad behaviors on top of regular obedience training.
For example, owners who want to teach their dog how to sit can use treats and a whistle together to condition it to respond to the sound of the whistle. This can help you communicate with your dog at great distances that your voice just can’t reach, all while not bothering you or your neighbors!
Which dog whistle to buy?
While they may all seem similar, there are a ton of different whistles in different shapes and sizes to suit varied needs and owners.
We’ve carefully researched and selected our top five picks in this category so that after reading this article, you’ll be able to just pick one and buy without giving it a second thought.
#1 – ACME Silent Dog Whistle
When you’re buying anything for your dog, you know that you need durability and reliability, and whistles are no different. With over 100 years of experience in the field, ACME delivers a high-quality, sturdy whistle made of brass that feels heavy and robust in the hand, which is great for absorbing those nasty shocks and falls when your puppy starts to get rambunctious.
With its adjustable frequency, you can tweak and tinker to your heart’s content to help you find the ideal pitch to suit your dog. With this whistle, you’ll never have to worry about annoying them ever again.
- Heavy and durable
- Large range up to 400 yards
- Larger than other whistles
Most customers who try the whistle rave about the versatility it offers thanks to its adjustable frequency. After a few attempts at fine-tuning the sound, the whistle becomes almost inaudible to human ears while proving very effective with breeds of all shapes and sizes.
With diligent training, even the noisiest of dogs begin to respond to the whistle to help cut unwanted barking, snarling, or growling. However, some reviewers have noted that while effective, some dogs take an extremely long time to respond to the whistle.
Therefore, it’s not ideal for intermittent training or older dogs who don’t respond well to new methods.
#2 – Airsspu Dog Whistle
One of the best blends of price and performance, the Airsspu whistle shares the design and construction process as most of the whistles on this list but adds some nice value by coating the body in a premium finish that’s as eye-catching as it is effective.
It holds up well to rigorous outdoor training despite the weather and displays some solid tonal range for this price point to make it recognizable to as many different dogs as possible. It’s slightly heavier than some other entries on this list which gives it a solid heft, which is itself a good indicator of quality.
- Premium fit and finish
- Not actually ultrasonic as advertised
Customers are in almost unanimous agreement that the Airsspu dog whistle is one of the finest options around. In almost all cases the spectrum of frequencies has worked to eliminate unwanted barking, and even to teach dogs simple commands which makes it one of the most effective training whistles on this list.
While there are still some negative reviews commenting on how their dog doesn’t care, they’re few and far between and expected when dealing with the behavior of any animal. Also, despite the marketing claims the whistle isn’t ultrasonic, which means that people will still hear it each time you blow.
#3 – forepets Professional Dog Whistle
If you’re completely new to dog training, you’re going to want something that’s user-friendly and effective, and thankfully forepets has you covered.
This model features the best implementation of the frequency adjusting system. By using a locking adjustor rod, trainers and owners alike can test out the various pitches before locking it into place for long-term use.
This means you don’t have to try over and over again each time you set the whistle down with makes training more efficient and effective for your dog. This whistle also comes with some great instructions providing training tips and more, which is some appreciated added value for those shopping for their first dog whistle.
- Locking frequency makes training simple and quick
- Range discernable to humans is relatively quiet
- Non-returnable, so buyer beware if you have a particularly stubborn dog
For customers who started training early and often with their dog, this did perform wonderfully throughout. A wide variety of breeds, sizes, and ages all responded positively to the whistle for prolonged periods of time.
Customers also appreciated that even when used frequently throughout the day, the noise output of the whistle for humans was not annoying within the house, and inaudible to neighbors. However, some users question the quality of the materials, as some report that the whistle and locking nut quickly fall apart after a few uses.
In these cases, users would rather pay more for a premium product than buy another of the same model at risk of it breaking.
#4 – SportDOG Roy Gonia Special Whistle
The cheapest model on this list punched above our expectations by providing pedigree and quality to the masses. SportDOG claims that their whistle trains “more field champions” than any other, and that might just be right thanks to its low frequency that’s adjusted within the chamber itself thanks to the pea.
As the ball moves around, the pitch and frequency are adjusted, giving trainers a ton of versatility into a tiny form factor that can slide easily into your pocket. If you’re prone to losing things you may prefer a slightly more robust model, but for those who like to take their whistles out with them on a day-to-day basis, this is a great option that doesn’t occupy too much space in your pocket.
- Effective at long ranges
- Extremely small
- Hard to lock into one pitch
A clear majority of customers rave about the power this little whistle carries. It blows its competitors out of the water when it comes to sound, which is easily audible even to human ears. Due to this, it’s an impractical choice for dense city living and is more suited to those living in the country so they don’t annoy their neighbors and families.
However, despite its optimal use case out in the fields, the cork pea is reported to not trill properly when wet which affects its performance, and many customers complain that the pea itself is too large, which makes it difficult to hone in on one sound in particular.
#5 – IMK9 Dog Training Whistle
Last, but certainly not least, IMK9’s dog training whistle wraps some of the best features we already looked at into a package that’s almost too good to be true.
The frequency adjuster, locking nut, and lanyard attachment are all here and accounted for, and the sound that the whistle emits is one of the most powerful to boot. One standout feature of this model, however, is the lifetime replacement guarantee that indicates that IMK9 stands behind their product, and for good reason.
Made of a sturdy metal and weighing just .6 ounces, this feature-laden whistle also comes with a handy e-book to accelerate the training process!
- Included eBook is detailed and thorough, making training a breeze
- Durable, yet lightweight
- Have to disassemble the whistle to adjust frequencies
Overall, the feedback for IMK9 has been quite positive. Reviewers love the fact that it’s durable and lightweight, and the range of frequencies is comprehensive enough to command the attention of many different dogs.
Moreover, this whistle has been proven to not bother other animals, such as cats which makes it a great choice for multi-pet households. However, some reviewers demonstrate concern that IMK9 is slow to respond to queries, which causes some concern that the lifetime warranty won’t be honored if this whistle breaks.
Despite that though, customers agree that there is a ton of value on offer here, provided the owner is willing to put in the effort to properly train their dogs.
A dog whistle can be one the wisest purchases you can make. Whether you’re training a young puppy or trying to get your grumpy old canine to stop barking at the mailman, a whistle is a cruelty-free training method that has been proven to be effective for decades.
But which dog training whistle to use?
With this article, you’re well-equipped with the information you need to choose the whistle that’s right for you. Be diligent with your training, and in no time, you’ll have a brand-new layer of communication and trust with your dog.