Who said you can't teach old dog new tricks?

We are back from the APDT Conference in Cincinnati. And wow, we learned a lot! Dog whistles were traditionally considered the domain of the gun dog and herding dog handler. They are now becoming increasingly popular with the wider dog training community as well as many pet dog owners who want to achieve better distance control of their dogs. Historically, the reason a whistle became the tool of choice for distance training was the need for minimal verbal noise during hunting or shooting. Nothing is scarier to a wild animal than the sound of a human voice. In addition, dog's ears are more tuned to the higher frequencies of whistles than they are to voices. These frequencies also travel greater distances- hence their benefit in achieving better distance control. There is a huge array of different dog whistles on the market. Some are made from metal, some are plastic and you can even find some made from stag or buffalo horn. There are a large number of dog whistles operating at different frequencies; some are variable frequency, some have peas and some do not, others combine two whistles into one to have dual frequencies. Gundog handlers will often have their own dog whistle preference depending on the breeds they handle or how energetic their dogs are. Dog trainers prefer using a lanyard. These are lengths of chain; leather and/or knotted cord that allow you to hang your dog whistle hang around your neck. These save a lot of scrambling around in pockets or on the floor when you drop it. Commons signals:

Action Required

Verbal Command

Whistle Command

Sitting the dog at a distance


One long whistle blast with your hand raised and open

Calling the dog to you

[dogs name] 'Here'

Multiple whistle pips and arms stretched out to the side.

To redirect your dog in another direction


Two pips on the dog whistle and show the new direction with your hand

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