How to use a dog whistle for training

How to use a dog whistle for training

Feb 22 2021 1 Comment basics step-by-step training whistle

In our previous article, "Whistle Training Basics," we learned that whistles are the perfect tool for getting a dog’s attention as they are great with distance training or noisy surroundings. It can be used for various commands, but we recommend teaching no more than two commands per training session.

Here are some steps that will get you started with the whistle training.

  1. Choosing the correct whistle

While most whistles might work, we recommend getting an audible to the human ear instead of a silent one, which is only audible to the dog. Silent whistles come in a range of frequencies, and you will need to figure out first which frequency is the right one for your pup. With an audible one, it is easy to understand if it works.

  1. Deciding on the whistle cues

This part is unique to all. You will need to figure out the whistling patterns you will want the dog to associate commands with. For example, a short blow can be used to the “sit” command, and a more prolonged can be used with “come.” This is entirely up to you to figure out what works best.

  1. Finding a distraction-free place
petspy whistle training

Once you have the whistle in hand, find a distraction-free place so that the dog’s attention is solely on you. There shouldn’t be other trainers around, too. If possible, use your own yard so that the dog is familiar with its surroundings. Bring along a bag of the favorite treats too. Try to bake your healthy goodies so that your four-legged friend is treated with more nutritious snacks.

For the next part, we are broadly assuming that your dog is not familiar with commands already. Let’s take that you wish to teach the sit command. The dog’s initial position should be standing on all fours. Hold a treat in one of your hands and bring it closer to the puppy’s nose. Use your hand to gesture the dog to sit. You can do so by bringing the treat closer to the ground. As soon as the dog sits down, it would be best to reward them with a treat while you blow on the whistle. Make sure that the blowing pattern is consistent for this command.

Repeat the above multiple times for each training session. We will suggest that you split the training up to spread it across the day to make the process easy and positive. After a couple of days of training, your dog will be able to respond to the “sit” blowing pattern without the lure of the treat.

How about other commands?

To train your dog to respond to the other commands, all you have to do is ensure that the following are met.

  1. Set a fixed blowing pattern for the command;
  2. Place a treat in your hand and show the dog to follow your lead. They can be instructed to move towards you or getting to stop in their tracks;
  3. Once the puppy performs the said command, immediately blow on the whistle to produce the fixed blowing pattern and reward the dog with a treat.

Wrapping things up

As you can see, it is not that difficult to train the dog by using the whistle. With the usage of a unique blowing pattern and treats, you are well equipped for the class. Of course, if your pet already knows the command via your voice, then the whole training session can be made more accessible.


  • We will absolutely try that!

    Sophia & Scott on

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