23 Mar 2010
Dog training whistles have evolved from our need to train dogs and make them listen to our commands. It is not a practical solution to whistle commands to our pets in the mainstream community. Neighbors will eventually complain from annoyance of constant whistling. It is also futile in some areas having high traffic and loud noises. Francis Galton invented the dog whistle in the 1880s. It was named Galton’s whistles considered to be an excellent tool to catch your dog’s attention.
Your choice of dog whistle is a wide array from plastic types to the metal dog whistles. The basis of your dog whistles depends on the breed of your dog and how energetic your dog is. There is a combination type of two whistles into one having dual frequencies. It produces different dog whistles sounds.
For those of you who would like to understand how dog whistles work, take a look at the underlying mechanism on dog training whistles.
How dog whistles work
The concept of dog training whistles is based on the ability of dogs to hear higher frequency of sounds than man can. The optimum frequency range for humans is around 2000 Hz with a maximum frequency of 20,000 Hz. Dogs, on the other hand, can hear frequencies higher than 20,000 Hz. In fact, they can hear a minimum frequency of 8,000 Hz up to 48,000 Hz. Dogs are anatomically gifted than human when it comes to how their inner ear vibrates or resonates to the high frequency sound waves.
A dog whistle frequency is more optimized to produce sounds above 20,000 Hz to be easily heard by dogs even in noisy settings. These silent whistles (to man’s ears) are designed in such a way that when air is forced down the cylinder and out of the hole with the sharp edge in between, a transmission of high frequency sound is produced.
The length of the cylinder greatly affects the pitch of the whistle. The shorter cylinders produce a higher pitch while longer cylinders yield lower pitch. Ideally, most dog whistles are one inch or less.
Training the Dog
We know for a fact that dogs can hear higher frequencies, which make dog, whistles a great tool for training. However, there are no magical spells to lure your dog to respond to whistle commands. Chances are, your dog will ignore the sounds of dog whistles when it is busy roaming the garden or merely not paying attention.
It is generally observed that dogs respond to the voice commands of a dog trainer. It is then easier to train your pet when given verbal commands of a dog trainer. Similar to verbal commands, these whistle commands heavily rely on sound cues to train dogs.
1. Pick up a set of whistle commands as cues.
For example, two short toots means ’stop’ while long toot could be associated with the command ’sit’.
2. Give the verbal command followed by the whistle sound that the dog learns to associate the command with it.
To help the dog learn, pair up the whistle command with a voice command.
The idea is to incorporate it for all the other commands. You should keep it simple to make it easier for the dog to remember all the commands. Additionally, there are many types of whistles that produce various tones associated with a particular command.
The dog whistles have the advantage of providing consistency than human voice commands. Dog whistles are excellent tools for clicker training. The choices of dog whistles are abundant. There are different types of dog whistles are available to suit the deaf and the older dogs with hearing loss. A friendly reminder to all pet owners who plan to use dog whistles. Be careful as how often you blow the dog whistles. These whistles can cause damage to your hearing, which is more adept to lower sound frequencies.
written by: Toni S.