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Are Dog Whistles Good For Training?

Have you ever seen a whistle that a person blows into, but no sound comes out? That would be a dog whistle. They were used as a traditional communication and training system between dogs and their owners. The canine whistle has been around for quite some time now, dating back to very early agricultural times.

Dog whistles can be good for training. It all depends on the dog. Just like with other dog training techniques, not all dogs will learn a specific command. The same thing goes for dog whistles. Some dogs won’t respond well or at all to a dog whistle.  

That being said, don’t be discouraged from trying to train your dog using a whistle. 

What is a Dog Whistle 

A dog whistle is a whistle that gives off a sound in the ultrasonic range. Humans cannot hear this, but other dogs can, as well as cats, and they are used in training. Francis Galton invented the whistle in 1876. Hence the name Galton’s whistle.  

Dog whistles are in the 23 to 54kHz frequency, so they are above our range of hearing. However, some can be adjusted into our range.

Dog Training With A Whistle

As we know, dog whistles are normally for training dogs. They are usually accompanied with clickers and dog treats, as an indication that they have accomplished their task.

 A dog whistle gets the attention of your dog. Dogs do not, however, react as they do in cartoons, like running around and going nuts.

The most popular types of dog whistles are the actual physical ones. There are digital ones, but the good old fashion way is the way to go when training a dog with a whistle.

As with most forms of training, when training your dog, it may take some time. So be prepared to put in the time and energy. As a result, you may just find the dog whistle is good for training your dog. And possibly the best form of communication between you and your dog for specific tasks. 

Other Uses For The Dog Whistle

A dog whistle is not only good for training. The dog whistle can be used in dog sports and competitions. The whistle is used to tell the dogs when to stop and when to go. This is seen in sheepdog competitions. These whistles can be heard by everyone; however, they still have the same purpose for the most part.

Dog whistles are good for training dogs that work in the field like gun dogs and hunting dogs. Since these types of dogs cover a lot of ground, it is good to have a silent whistle for them that can carry over the same distance as them. 

Do Dog Whistles Hurt?

You might be wondering if a dog whistle can hurt your dog’s ears. Think of it this way, when someone is whistling it gets your attention right? Well what if someone whistles really loud, and for a few minutes. What if someone whistles right in your ear? This will likely hurt your ears. The same thing goes for dogs. As long as you do not blow the whistle directly in your dog’s ears, or let it blast for a while, then it will most likely not harm your dog’s ears. 

It is recommended that you seek a trainer before using any kind of canine-whistle on your dog. You should make sure you know how to use the whistle first in order to avoid any damage or long term injury to your dog. 

Are Dog Whistles Inhumane?

Canine whistles are safe to use if you know how to use one properly. Seek a professional on how to use a dog whistle. A dog whistle should not harm your dog if you:

  • Avoid blowing whistle loudly
  • Don’t blow it for an extended period
  • Don’t blow it right into your dog’s ear

So is the dog whistle inhumane? Well, that depends on how it is used. That is why it is essential to know exactly how to use a dog whistle.

If used properly, dog whistles can be good for training your dog, along with other forms of training. 

Pros and Cons of Dog Whistles 

Although the dog whistle can be good for training, you should look at the pros and cons before buying one.


  • Stops a dog for doing something unwanted by its owner or trainer. Effective with obedience training 
  • Allows for long-distance communication
  • Create a language that only your dog and you understand
  • Customize the whistles so your dog will only answer to your whistle- no one else’s
  • You can combine hand commands with whistle training to produce a very complex language that will be shared between you and your dog only


  • Results depend on the dog. There are dogs that pick up the whistle commands, and there are dogs that don’t. In some cases, it is because the pitch of the whistle may not be tuned with the hearing range of the dog.
  • Whistles can lose its effectiveness. Some dogs just get used to the whistle and don’t bother responding to it after some time.  
  • If a whistle is used as a form of punishment, then the dog will be fearful of the whistle. For example, if you use the whistle on your dog that went through the side door and brought dirt in, then it may be scared to use that door again. 
  • Your dog will associate the whistle with you. So if you use it as a punishment, your dog may not be happy to be around you.
  • Your dog will end up not liking the whistle if it associates the whistle with pain or unpleasantness.

 Baby Steps 

Only use the whistle in moderation if you want the best results. Try the training for 10 minutes a day. Make sure to provide positive rewards and praise during and after your dog whistle training session. You will have a happy and well-trained doggo!


A dog whistle can be good for training your dog. First, you must research and decide what kind of dog-whistle you are going to go with. Either a silent whistle or one that you can hear. It depends on what you want. Second, you have to know how to use the whistle. It is best to seek out a professional dog trainer who can show you how to use a whistle properly. If you do not know how to use one before using it on your dog, you may harm your dog. Make sure never to blast it loud.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do Dog Whistles Hurt Cats?

It is not known if dog whistles hurt cat ears. However, the whistle is used to train dogs, cats, and other animals, according to Wikipedia. So my guess would be no, but I do not know for sure. Cats have better hearing than humans and dogs. So they most likely can hear a dog whistle. The best thing to do is ask your veterinarian if you are concerned about a dog whistle harming your cat. 

If you are using a dog whistle for your dog, make sure to never blow it directly in the dog’s ear, or the cat’s ear. You could cause a lot of damage.  

Until you know for sure if the whistle will hurt your cat, use the whistle outside and away from your cat. 

Do Dog Whistles Stop Dog Barking?

Dog whistles can be used to stop unwanted barking. The silent dog whistle cannot be heard by humans and won’t harm the dog that is barking. However, the high frequency will annoy any nearby dogs.  

The first time you use it, the dog may bark more as it is not used to the high-frequency sound of a dog whistle. But the dog may eventually just stop barking because it won’t want to hear the sound from the whistle anymore.  

If you use a whistle to stop the dog from barking, then you should use it to train the dog for other things. It may confuse the dog.

High-frequency noise emitters are also used to stop a dog from barking. These are left outside near the dog. They give off a whistling sound when a dog barks. These are usually effective; however, all other dogs living in the area will be able to hear the whistle, which really isn’t fair.

If you have a dog that is barking all the time, it is best to seek a professional trainer and go to some obedience classes. This way, no one gets annoyed by sounds.

Can Humans Hear Silent Dog Whistles?

Humans cannot hear a silent dog whistle. We can detect sounds up to 23kHz, while dogs can detect up to 45zHz. 

So when you blow into your dog whistle, you won’t be able to hear it, but your dog sure will. Our ears are just not built to be able to hear a high- pitched dog whistle. I’m not sure I would want to hear it! 


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