The best dog whistle

Training

If your dog is hearing impaired, they may respond to a dog whistle even if they can’t hear your voice commands.

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Best dog whistles

Proper training is vital to responsible dog ownership. It also makes the experience more enjoyable for both you and your furry family member. 

Dog whistles are fantastic tools that can make the training process easier and more effective. They emit a high-frequency sound, which is sometimes inaudible to humans, but that canines can hear clearly for well over 100 yards. This makes them ideal for working with dogs when they are too far away for voice commands.

If you have never used a dog whistle before, you may be wondering why you should use one and which to buy. This helpful guide covers everything you need to know, so you can be sure to choose the right one for you and your four-legged companion. Our top choice, the Acme 575 Shepherds Mouth Whistle, can be used hands-free and allows you to create several tones. 

Advantages of using a dog whistle

Dog whistles offer many advantages over training by voice alone. As mentioned previously, the high-pitched squeal of a whistle carries much further than a human voice. It also allows you to avoid straining your throat by screaming commands to a dog across a field. Additionally, some dogs tend to ignore their owner’s voice at times simply because they hear it so often. 

Another benefit of dog whistles is consistency. A dog whistle sounds the same all the time. It doesn’t get angry or happy or sad, so the tone won’t change based on emotions. This consistency is helpful for a dog trying to understand its owner’s commands.

Types of whistles

Silent whistles: These create ultrasonic tones that are utterly inaudible to most humans. This makes them ideal for training in areas with other people around without disturbing them.

Whistles with a pea: Whistles with a pea have a small ball inside that makes them capable of creating complex combinations of sounds and trills. However, they are not ideal for use in frigid temperatures, as the pea can freeze in place, rendering them useless.

Pealess whistles: Unlike models with a pea, most pealess whistles only create a single tone. This basic but reliable design functions well in all conditions. 

Dual-tone whistles: Essentially two whistles in one, these whistles can create the sounds of both pea and pealess whistles. 

What to consider when buying a dog whistle

Frequency

Dog whistles come in different frequencies. Besides your preference for an audible or inaudible model, no particular frequency is inherently more effective than another. However, some canines will be more responsive to certain tones than others. You may want to buy a model that allows you to adjust the frequency. 

You should note that consistency is often more important than the specific frequency you use to train your canine companion. If possible, once you have started training with a specific tone, avoid switching, as this can be confusing for a dog.

Build

For the most part, dog whistles come in plastic or some kind of metal. Plastic models are more affordable and can be more comfortable to use on freezing days. Metal whistles are more durable and have a more premium look.

Extras

Some whistles may come with handy accessories. Because they are so small, lanyards can be handy for preventing loss. If you have never used a dog whistle before, it can help look for a model that comes with a training guide.

How much can you expect to spend on a dog whistle

Dog whistles are affordable. Both plastic and metal models can be found as low as $5, and they often top out around $20.

Dog whistle FAQs

Do whistles hurt dogs’ ears?

A. Just like with humans and whistles, a dog whistle will not hurt their ears when used correctly. However, if continuously blown loudly right next to a dog’s head, it can potentially cause harm. At the very least, it will be annoying and uncomfortable for them.

How far away can my dog hear the whistle?

A. The distance a dog can hear a whistle depends on both the individual whistle and your dog’s natural hearing abilities. It is safe to assume your companion can clearly hear any whistle 100-150 yards away. Dogs can hear some as far as 400 yards away.

Do you dogs instinctively know what the whistle means?

A. Dogs don’t inherently understand what a whistle means. Like with any form of training, you have to teach your dog what you want them to do when they hear a specific tone.

What is the best dog whistle to buy?

Top dog whistle

Acme 575 Shepherds Mouth Whistle

Acme 575 Shepherds Mouth Whistle

What you need to know: This high-quality nickel-plated whistle allows you to create a wide range of controlled tones by placing your tongue in different positions.

What you’ll love: It is nearly unbreakable, can be used without hands and features a lanyard hole.

What you should consider: Learning to use it correctly can be difficult.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Top dog whistle for the money

Michael Josh Survival Whistle

Michael Josh Survival Whistle

What you need to know: If you want an affordable and audible option, this is one of the best. It comes as a pack of two and can produce a 150-decibel shrill.

What you’ll love: The reliable and straightforward design makes them easy to clean and ensures they last through plenty of use.

What you should consider: The included accessories aren’t very durable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

SportDOG Roy Gonia Special Without Pea

SportDOG Roy Gonia Special Without Pea

What you need to know: The classic design of this whistle makes it easy for anyone to pick up and start using. It is a popular choice for field training and functions reliably in all weather conditions.

What you’ll love: The bright orange color makes it easy to spot if you accidentally drop it in tall grass.

What you should consider: Its plastic construction doesn’t feel very durable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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