The History of Dog Whistles and its Uses

Dog training whistles are intriguing devices that can be used as an effective tool for training your dog to do almost anything you want him to do. The whistle produces high frequency sounds that are inaudible to humans. Dogs, however, have extremely acute hearing and can easily perceive the sound of the whistle even if they are considerably far away from their owner.

This is because dog whistles are made such that they produce sounds typically in range of 16,000 Hertz to 22,000 Hertz. Now, where humans are only capable of perceive sounds between 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hz, dogs can easily hear sounds between 40 Hertz to 60,000 Hertz. To understand more, let’s take a look at a brief history of dog whistles and its uses.

The History of Dog Whistles

Dog whistles (also known as Galton’s whistle and silent whistle) were first devised when it became clear in medical and veterinary science that different animals have a varied range of hearing. Following this discovery, a research was conducted on dogs. This research revealed that dogs have the ability to hear sounds both, above and below the range of human ears. Therefore, the half-cousin of Charles Darwin and the initiator of scientific meteorology, Sir Francis Galton, soon began his tests on differential hearing ability and frequencies.

Francis Galton was also a statistician, psychometrician, proto-geneticist, geographer inventor, tropical explorer, eugenicist, anthropologist, psychologist, sociologist, and polymath. Therefore, he applied his skills from a variety of fields and soon was able to discover that by altering the shape of whistles he could change the frequency produced by whistles. This lead to the invention of the dog whistle in 1876, and much of his research and experiments surrounding the range of frequencies were also mentioned in his book “Inquires into Human Faculty and its Development”.

Fun Fact: The silent dog whistle was first actually tested on humans by Francis Galton. He created a small brass tube with a slide to alter the range of frequency (one of the first Galton whistles). The results of the experiments into differential hearing on humans, led to the curiosity of repeating the same experiments on different animals, hence laying the foundation for dog whistles.

The Uses of Dog Whistles

Dog whistles are used by dog trainers, owners, and veterinary physicians to issue numerous commands. They can be used for training puppies or dogs who don’t respond to hand signals or verbal commands. Not to mention, dog whistles can also be used for teaching your dog numerous tricks and stunts. You can do so by teaching your dog to respond to different sounds produced by the whistle.

For instance, if your dog is in another room and you want to call him for his food, then you can use a string of ‘pips’ in order to get his attention. Similarly, if you want your dog to sit down or lie down, you can consider blowing on the whistle twice or thrice. However, keep in mind that before your dog starts obeying these commands, you need to train him first.

As you can see, dog whistles prove to be incredibly useful. Therefore, if your dog finds it difficult to respond to verbal and hand signals, consider training your dog with a silent whistle.

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Silent Dog Whistle Training – A Few Tips

Training your dog is perhaps the most important aspect of owning a pet and requires considerable time and energy from your end. However, before you actually begin a training regime, it is imperative to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of dog training techniques. Now, you can always go for clicker training or dog whispering, but if you want better results consider silent dog whistle training.

This form of training uses a special type of whistle that is more sensitive to the ears of dogs, but almost inaudible to humans. Not only do these whistles save your voice from screaming in frustration during training, but it also makes it easier to give your dog commands without disturbing people around you. Are you planning to train your dog using a silent whistle as well? If so, then follow these useful tips:

Decide on the Commands

When it comes to silent whistle training, the first thing you need to do is decide on which commands you want your dog to learn. Usually, it is best to start with simple commands like sit, retreat, rollover, and jump and slowly work your way up to more difficult commands or tricks. For instance, the whistle can be used for calling your dog when he’s off leash, if he’s wandering around the neighborhood again, or even when he has become lost.

Adjust the Pitch of the Whistle

Try blowing the dog whistle to see if your dog responds to the sound. If he does, then set the pitch at the same sound. However, if your dog doesn’t then blow the whistle at different pitches and keep testing until you see your dog’s ears move. To ensure there are no mistakes, consider adjusting the pitch of the whistle in a quiet room when your dog is sleeping. If he wakes up by the sound of the whistle, it’s a clear indication he hears it.

Get Your Dog Accustomed to the Sound

Once you have decided on the commands and adjusted the pitch of the whistle, it’s time to finally begin training. Keep in mind there is no wrong way of using a whistle. Therefore, start by getting your dog accustomed to the sound of the whistle. You can do so by sitting in a quiet room with your dog. As soon as his attention shifts elsewhere, blow on the whistle and wait for him to figure out the sound and come to you. If he responds, give him a treat and praise him.

Use Different Whistle Sounds for Commands

So, now that your dog is finally accustomed to the sound of the whistle, it’s time you pick a series of ‘pips’ for the commands you want him to respond to. For instance, for recall you can consider using a string of pips, whereas to command the dog to ‘sit’ use two pips. Therefore, make sure to set different whistle sounds for different commands. Otherwise, you may end up confusing your dog entirely. Additionally, each time your dog responds to what the whistle asks, give him a special treat!

So, if you want to train your dog using a silent whistle too, then consider following the aforementioned tips.

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