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Whistle training is usually only done by hunters or herders to control their dog while out in the field. But using a silent whistle to give your dog commands has its advantages. One reason to consider using a silent dog whistle is when you learn that your Siberian Husky or (insert any breed here) is an escape artist. Instead of having to walk the neighborhood yelling you could simply blow on the whistle and they’ll hear it better than your voice. Training your dog to respond to a silent dog whistle is just like teaching them to come to you when you call them using a voice command. It’s easy to do, as long as you are consistent, patient and have plenty of treats and praise for your dog.
A silent dog whistle makes little to no sound that humans can hear, but dogs and even cats hear it loud and clear. The only thing we hear is our breath as it goes through the whistle. You may hear a whistle depending on how you have the pitch set. But it isn’t very loud to us because the sound the dog whistle emits is up in the higher range we can’t pick up.
Depending on where you buy your whistle, the price can be anywhere from $1.50 up to $50.00. You don’t need an expensive whistle, and the ones under $10.00 are just fine. In fact this might be one of the best training tool investment you’ll make.
The first thing you need to do is decide which commands you want your pet to learn. The whistle works well for calling your dog if you’re hiking and he’s off leash, if he’s a country dog that’s wandered down to the back forty or if he has become lost. You can use the whistle inside the home as well and train your dog to come, sit or stay by using long and short whistles.
There is no wrong way to do it. Start by getting your dog accustomed to the sound of the silent dog whistle. If your dog is out of the room when you blow it and responds to the sound, give him a treat and praise.
Once you have his attention, pick one series of whistles for the command you want him to respond to. For instance, use two short whistles for “come.” If you want your dog to sit or stay, you will need different whistles for those basic commands. Each time your dog does what the whistle asks, give him a treat and lots of praise.
Using a silent dog whistle is just like using your voice. Be patient and only use the series of whistles meant for each command. When your dog is in the same room with you, it’s best not to use the whistle and a voice command is more appropriate.
If you are blowing the dog whistle and your dog pays no attention to it, adjust the pitch on the whistle and keep testing it until you see your dog’s ears move. That’s an indication he does hear it. It’s very important to keep the whistle tuned to that particular pitch and frequency, because just like the sound of your voice when you speak a command, your dog will learn what that sound means and respond accordingly. Like any training session, make it a game and have plenty of treats around to reward him.
For this writer one of the worst feelings I ever had was the first time my Husky pulled out of her collar and took off. That was when I began checking into silent dog whistles and started using it around the dogs to get them use to the sound. The only command I’ve taught the dogs is to come when I blow the dog whistle. Hopefully, if one decides to roam, the silent dog whistle can help them find their way home without me yelling and disturbing the neighbors.
There are several reasons to teach a dog hand signals. One is that dogs learn hand signals faster and easier than verbal commands. Dogs speak to each other with body language and so learning hand signals and reading your body language is like second nature to your dog.
Our dogs often learn to ignore us and our commands. How often do you “talk” or “chatter” to your dog with no meaning? We talk to them and tell them how pretty they are, how much we love them, and how proud of them we are and sometimes we even tell them we are disappointed in them. There is nothing wrong with this constant talking, but since most of it has little to no meaning for your dog he begins to “tune you out” to some degree.
He listens to your tone, and reads your body language but then begins to pay attention to other things in his environment. Hand signals are often harder for your dog to ignore because dogs communicate with each other using body language
It also helps when you don’t have to yell commands at your dog when on the phone or immersed in conversation with another person. One can quickly issue a hand signal and tell your dog to lay down or stay in one quick movement without skipping a beat.
And, hand signals are crucial if you ever take your dog off leash and he is an extended distance away. At such an expanse he might not be able to hear a verbal command so a hand signal can be imperative.
When a puppy is tiny give them hand signals at the same time you issue a verbal command. Often the hand signal is learned quicker than the verbal command. If your dog already knows his verbal commands you may simply begin giving him a clear hand signal at the same time you give the verbal command. If he is learning both; just pair the two together by saying the command and using the same hand signal as he is doing it.
Once you have started teaching your dog hand signals and you think he understands it is time to drop your verbal command and see if he understands the meaning of the hand signal.
Just give a signal and wait to see if your dog comprehends, be patient and wait several seconds. If he does not, go back to teaching mode be pairing the verbal and hand signal together with treats. If he complies you know that he understands your signal!
Now vary your commands, sometimes only use hand signals, sometimes only verbal commands and sometimes both to keep your obedience and hand signals strong!
It does not matter what hand signal you use as long as you are consistent and your dog can see the signal from a distance!
October 1, 2016