Pros and Cons of Dog Whistle Training

Loacted in The Woodlands, Texas, Puptown Houston offers positive reinforcement training for dogs of all ages.  My teaching dogs to associate praise and correction with certain behaviors, these top-notch professional dog trainers understand that there is only 1.3 second window for a pup to understand desirable versus undesirable behaviors.   These trainers offer group classes, private training, and even doggy “day camp” to teach your puppy or dog how to be a well-mannered caning citizen.

  With the owner’s permission, they will even take your dog out to a variety of real-life places to interact with other people, situations, and animals to prepare dogs for the many situations they will find themselves in over the course of their lifetimes.Woodlands puppy training specialists

These Woodlands puppy training specialists use positive reinforcement methods such as food/treat-based training but another long-used method of training pooches is with a dog whistle.  Dog whistles are certainly nothing new as they have been used going back to shepherding and early agricultural times.  Some rural areas of Europe still rely on a complex whistling language to make sure their dogs can perform complex herding maneuvers.  This whistles are too high-pitched for humans to hear but they are unmistakable to dogs.

Dog Whistle Training

Like treats, a whistle can serve as a Pavlovian enforcer for good or bad behavior.  You can even customize whistle commands into a language that only you and your dog can understand.  This goes back to the whistle being a means of communication between you and your pup.  Whistles are very useful for command training in their effectiveness for conditioning behavior plus dogs can hear your commands from far away.  When developing this “language” with your dog, it means your pooch will react only to your whistle.  Whistles can be combined with hand signals and verbal cues to create an even more intricate and customized language.

Whistles are more effective in a variety of weather conditions than a person’s voice.  This holds especially true for heavy cover, rainy conditions, and during intense winds.  Whistle tones are more consistent than a voice plus can be used by the entire family to avoid creating confusion for your dog.  This is directly related to the consistency feature of whistles.  Since the whistle is so high-pitched, it can be recognized by dogs who have begun to develop hearing problems and/or are in very noisy and distracting environments.  Finally, whistles are a great option when an owner has “poisoned a cue”, meaning a dog associates unpleasant things with a cue or command.  Even if you think you are not demonstrating unhappiness with your dog’s behavior, your pup might “see” things differently.

Your dog picks up on much more than the sound of your voice; they interpret body language, scents, and sounds.  You must remain consistent in your training and be mindful of everything about your demeanor as your dog cannot read your mind but can take even the slightest change of tone as a punishment when you are trying to compliment.  Poisoned commands can be recuperated, but it takes a tremendous amount of work.

Whistle Training Effectiveness

Whistle training does have its cons, primarily that you must have the whistle with you at all times and it must be a conditioned reinforce in order to be effective.  The effectiveness truly depends on the dog.  While people have different ways of learning more effectively, so do dogs.  One breed might take to whistle training beautifully while others have a tougher time with it.  And since all silent whistles are not the same (quality can vary dramatically) they might not be optimally tuned to the hearing range of a particular dog.

Whistles might have adverse effects on a dog, even to the point of causing fear.  If the whistle is too high-pitched, this can be very unpleasant to your dog, even to the point of being painful.  With whistle training a person must use the whistle in moderation and combined with a reward system for positive reinforcement.  A whistle can be very useful for distance command training or in shepherding/agricultural applications but otherwise, using them for training is a very fine balance.  It is for this reason that clickers have become a much more commonplace training tool as they have many of the pros and none of the cone of whistle training.



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