Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big dog whistle test 2021. Here we present all the dog whistles we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best dog whistle for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a dog whistle.




Summary

  • Dog whistles are an excellent tool for conditioning dogs. They are an excellent way to train commands such as recall.
  • High-frequency dog whistles can only be heard by dogs, not by humans.
  • A distinction is made between trill and galton dog whistles.

The Best Dog Whistle: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a dog whistle

What is a dog whistle and how does it work?

Dog whistles are used by humans to give acoustic signals to dogs. Most dog whistles work by blowing into it to condition the dog to the signal.

Dogs need to learn the signal and be conditioned to the required behaviour. The most common behaviour to train with a dog whistle is recall.

Because a high-quality dog whistle always emits the same tone, the behaviour request is not distorted. A human, on the other hand, varies in voice pitch and pronunciation, which can lead to misunderstandings between dog and human.

By varying the pitch of the voice, emotions such as fear are transmitted, which can lead to problems in the human-animal relationship. In addition, not every human has a loud voice that can be heard over a long distance. Thus, the dog whistle is a suitable medium to give undistorted and far-reaching signals to the dog.

To make your dog aware of you even over long distances, a dog whistle can be just the right tool. (Image source: pixabay.com / LaBruixa)

Since there are also dog whistles that can emit two different sounds and those that can transmit different sounds over different frequencies, different commands can also be demanded with a whistle.

If a dog whistle is used, a precise command can be conveyed to the dog and more precise commands can be demanded.

It is important that the frequency of the whistle for a command always remains the same. This way, the dog relates a sound to a specific command and performs the behaviour correctly.

What are the applications for dog whistles?

Several areas of application result from the function of a dog whistle:

  • Training commands such as recall
  • Getting dogs out of the habit of barking
  • As a signal for hearing impaired dogs
  • As an instrument for hunting with hounds
  • To scare away dogs, cats and birds

The main field of application of dog whistles is the signalling and rehearsal of commands. The most important command to be transmitted by the dog whistle is the recall.

Due to the long range and the constant, unmistakable tone, dogs hear the signal of the dog whistle even at great distances and, if successfully conditioned, return immediately from great distances.

Another field of application for dog whistles is the fight against barking. The sound of the dog whistle can provide an unpleasant surprise for the barking dog so that it really stops barking the first few times.

However, you must not forget that barking and other aggressive behaviour indicate deeper problems. That is why we advise you to treat the causes of barking instead of suppressing the symptoms with a dog whistle.

Some dogs hear less and less from birth or in the course of their life due to age. As a result, they perceive called signals and commands less and less well or not at all. A dog whistle is particularly suitable here.

A dog whistle with high-pitched tones can be heard by hearing-impaired dogs even at greater distances. If your dog no longer has functional hearing due to a disability or in the course of life, we advise you to use a vibration collar.

In hunting, the dog whistle is a widely used instrument. Most hunters own dogs to drive the prey. However, if the drive has to be stopped and the dog has to be called back, a dog whistle is excellent because of its unmistakable sound at long distances.

Another field of application for dog whistles is scaring dogs, cats and birds. Especially high-frequency whistles make animals feel uncomfortable. As a result, some dealers recommend their products to keep dogs, cats and birds away from the user's environment.

How to get the dog used to the dog whistle?

The use of a dog whistle is based on conditioning. The dog is taught that a certain behaviour is required and followed by a reward when the sound is heard.

For example, if the dog is to come back on the whistle, the dog must be made to understand that a positive experience (reward) will follow if it performs the desired behaviour (coming back) after the sound of the dog whistle.

The best treat in the country, a phenomenally tasty sausage or the world's best toy can serve as a reward. It is important, however, that this reward is used exclusively for the recall command with the whistle.

Can a dog whistle also be used for cats?

In principle, there is nothing that speaks against the use of a dog whistle for cats. Dog whistles can also be heard by cats without any problems - even over a certain distance.

Especially if the cat is used to clicker training, learning commands with a dog whistle should work without any problems.

In the end, however, it depends on how motivated the cat is and how much it wants to obey the commands of a dog whistle.

Dog whistles can also be used for cats. (Image source: unsplash.com / Luis Mezquita)

Can dog whistles be harmful?

Sounds of a dog whistle are sometimes quite unpleasant for the dog. Even high-frequency dog whistles, which we humans do not hear, are not pleasant for the dog.

This principle is used with dogs that are to be weaned off barking. As soon as the dog starts barking, a high-frequency dog whistle is used. If the dog stops barking, the annoying whistle also stops.

Although dog whistles are unpleasant, they are not harmful to the dog. However, care should be taken not to use the whistles directly next to the dog.

It is worth mentioning in this context that any sound or action can have a negative or positive connotation. If you give your dog a treat with every whistle, he will love the dog whistle. Therefore, it cannot be generally assumed that the dog whistle automatically causes pain. It depends on the volume of the whistle and the proximity of the dog.

How much does a dog whistle cost?

If you want to buy a higher quality dog whistle, you can't avoid the ACME brand. These dog whistles are usually available for between 8 and 15 euros. If you want an extravagant dog whistle or a particularly high-quality one, the prices can also be 30 to 50 euros.

Dog whistles can differ in material, functionality and type. You can buy dog whistles made of buffalo horn, deer horn, metal, plastic and (olive) wood.

Furthermore, a distinction can be made between dog whistles that can produce one tone, two tones or several tones, for example, over different frequencies. This distinction is to be made between audible trill dog whistles and Galton dog whistles that are not audible to humans.

The following table gives an overview of the different prices depending on the material of the dog whistle:

Dog whistle material Price
Dog whistle made of plastic 2 to 20 euros
Dog whistle made of stainless steel 3 to 12 euros
Dog whistle made of buffalo horn 4 to 10 euros

What are the alternatives to a dog whistle?

A dog whistle is an instrument to teach the dog desired behaviour, which is to be shown by the whistle of the dog whistle. The dog whistle therefore has a signalling effect.

However, signals cannot only be transmitted through the dog whistle. Many dog owners give commands through certain words such as sit, down or heel. Clicker training is also widespread. For dogs that are hard of hearing or deaf, there are vibration collars.

The common advantage of clicker, dog whistle and vibration collar is the uniformity of the command, which is not distorted by emotions as is the case with voice. The dog whistle has the advantage that different commands can be recalled through different sounds.

The purpose of a clicker is that behaviour shown by the dog is evaluated as positive by the click sound in order to practise commands. It is not suitable as a command itself.

Alternative Advantages Disadvantages
Dog whistle Multiple sounds are possible for different commands at a long distance The number of commands depends on the number of sounds.
Clicker Same tone perfect for quickly signalling desired behaviour Unsuitable for recalling commands. This must be done separately by whistle or statement.
Vibration collar Perfectly suited for hearing impaired and deaf dogs Only one command can be retrieved for the vibration.

Decision: What types of dog whistles are there and which one is right for you?

Dog whistles differ in many ways. One main difference is the pitch or frequency of the dog whistle.

Thus, there are two types of dog whistles:

  • Trill dog whistle
  • Galton dog whistle

To help you find the right whistle for you and your dog, the next sections describe the two types of dog whistles in more detail, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

What are the characteristics of a whistle and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A trill dog whistle emits a sound that can be heard by all. The whistle is easy to use by blowing into it and then a sound is heard.

The tone is standardised, provided it is a good model, and all models will sound the same tone. This is especially important if the dog whistle should get lost for some inexplicable reason and a new one needs to be purchased.

The dog is conditioned to a certain tone and by standardising the pitch, a second whistle of the same model will emit the same tone (and therefore emit the same command).

To ensure that recall works in every situation, a dog whistle can already be used with puppies. (Image source: unsplash.com / Andrew Schultz)

However, whistles can be very loud. Especially if your own dog in the neighbourhood wants to try hunting again and you have to use the whistle early in the morning, some neighbours will not be very pleased.

Thus, trill dog whistles have advantages and disadvantages. Some of the points are listed below:

Advantages
  • Standardised tone
  • Easy to use
  • Replacing the whistle is easy
Disadvantages
  • One whistle only for one dog (and one command)
  • Very loud and sometimes disturbing

What distinguishes a Galton dog whistle and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Galton dog whistle emits a high-frequency sound that cannot be heard by us humans. However, dogs can perceive the sound without any problems.

Neighbours in particular appreciate the use of a dog whistle with high frequency, as they do not notice the use of the whistle at all.

Sophisticated models emit a slight blowing sound to make it clear to the dog owner that the whistle has been blown.

Most Galton dog whistles have a wheel to adjust the frequency and use different frequencies for different commands and dogs.

The most important criteria of a Galton dog whistle are listed below:

Advantages
  • Not annoying as sound is not audible to humans
  • One whistle can be used for different commands and dogs
Disadvantages
  • Sometimes it is not clear whether the whistle has been blown
  • Exact adjustment of the frequency is sometimes difficult and not possible quickly enough

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate dog whistles

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate dog whistles. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular dog whistle is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Frequency
  • Range
  • Tone
  • Material
  • Weight
  • Extras

In the following sections, we will go into more detail about the individual criteria. This will help you find the dog whistle that is right for you and your beloved four-legged friend.

Frequency

As already described in the decision section, dog whistles can have different frequencies. The frequency is the most important criterion for choosing a dog whistle. Here you can decide between a Galton dog whistle and a trill dog whistle.

A dog whistle can also be used to teach a dog to lie down. (Image source: unsplash.com / Luke Stackpoole)

Galton dog whistles generate a sound at such a high frequency that human hearing cannot perceive it. This means that you and your surroundings are not disturbed by the dog whistle. Trill dog whistles generate a sound at a frequency that is perceptible to the human ear.

In some models of Galton dog whistles, the frequency is adjustable by means of a thread. Although this allows only one whistle to be used for several dogs and commands, the frequency for one dog and one command must always remain the same.

The frequency for a particular command must remain unchanged for a dog.

Therefore, in order to find a dog whistle with a suitable frequency and adjustment options, you need to know what you want to use the whistle for.

If you only have one dog and you only want to train "Here", you do not need an adjustable frequency.

If, on the other hand, you want to give several commands with the dog whistle, you are better off with an adjustable frequency. Otherwise you would have to use several whistles for one training session, which is rather tedious.

Range

The range of the whistle varies depending on the dog whistle. Basically, you have to ask yourself how far you want to let your four-legged friend go.

Most dog whistles have a range of 150 to 450 metres. For some, a distance of almost half a kilometre may already seem very far away. However, a few dog whistles can reach up to 2,000 metres.

However, such dog whistles should be used with caution. This is because the sound - whether audible to us or not - is extremely loud for the dog. Thus, this range of dog whistles should only be used for special activities such as hunting.

Sound

Although the tone depends on the frequency, there are dog whistles with a signal tone and those with a double tone.

Dog whistles with a double tone emit two different sounds. This is mainly recommended if a dog is to be taught two different commands or if the whistle is to be used to call two dogs, for example - i.e. one whistle per dog is needed.

If the dog is only to be called back on the whistle, one signal tone per dog whistle is sufficient. (Image source: unsplash.com / Marcus Benedix)

However, if the whistle is to be used for a dog and a command, one dog whistle with one signal tone is sufficient.

Material

Dog whistles are made of different materials such as plastic, stainless steel or horn.

There is not a huge difference in the material. However, the colour and appearance associated with the material is an important factor.

Plastic dog whistles can be bought in the brightest and most garish colours and are always visible. On the other hand, dog whistles made of horn - mostly buffalo horn - are mainly found in a noble black.

Stainless steel dog whistles also look classy with their silver casing. The frequency of stainless steel dog whistles is often adjustable.

Weight

Another difference that also depends on the material is the weight of a dog whistle. Dog whistles should be rather light, as they are always carried around.

Although all dog whistles don't weigh the earth, the lightest whistles are only around 9g. After that, they get steadily heavier from 30 g up to 60 g.

So when choosing the right whistle, you also have to think about how much weight you want to carry around.

Extras

Although it may seem a little minor, the features of a dog whistle also need to be considered. Mainly, dog whistles can be bought with or without a band.

A whistle with a band or at least the possibility of attaching one is recommended. This is because the whistle is always carried around and if it has to be constantly stowed in a jacket or fanny pack, it is relatively tedious.

Facts worth knowing about dog whistles

Can I make a dog whistle myself?

You can make a very simple wooden dog whistle yourself. All you need is a piece of wood and a suitable wooden dowel. You will also need a few tools to make your own wooden dog whistle. So if you enjoy crafting, this is just the thing for you!

How does recall work with a dog whistle?

Before the dog can be called back with a dog whistle, some preliminary work is needed. The dog must first get used to the whistle - conditioning must take place. Only after this step has been taken can the dog slowly begin to call "here".

It is important to adapt the training environment to the level of your dog. We have compiled this in the following table:

Level Environment
Beginner Limited space without disturbing and distracting factors: in the house or on a delimited meadow.
Intermediate Disturbing factors are okay, nevertheless there should not be a danger that the dog can run far away: at best on a wide, clear meadow.
Advanced Practice possible in any environment: for example in the forest or in the presence of other dogs.

Picture source: 123rf.com / Ian Allenden

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