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.



If you are interested in trying out a dog whistle to help with your dog training please check out our dog training manual and dog whistle now available on


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