The best dog whistle for training your pooch

An age-old tool that is key to positive recall training.

dog running towards owner wearing dog whistle in field

by Ruby Barry |

Dogs are one of the most attentive, loveable types of pets out there. But let's face it...once they see a wild animal across the park, or catch a scent out in public, there's little we can do to stop their instincts from getting the better of them. Need we remind you of the infamous dog Fenton? If your pooch is a little like the viral sensation Fenton, then you could be in need of dog whistle training.

Whether you use a dog whistle for recall or obedience training, or use it as a bark deterrent, it's fair to say a whistle device is versatile. It's certainly a worthwhile investment if you're a proud pup owner.

We've got a list of the best dog whistles you can buy online, tackling different breeds and situations. As well as this, we've got tips on how to whistle train with an in-depth how-to video.

Dog whistle: how it works

A dog whistle is...well you guessed it, a whistle! Unlike penny whistles from primary school classrooms, a dog whistle is a specifically designed training tool. When blown into, hits a high frequency that immediately grabs a dog's attention. Some dog whistles are audible, and some hit a high enough decibel that a human ear cannot pick up the sound, but a dog's can, these are called silent dog whistles.

A dog whistle frequency is usually within the range of 23 to 54 kHz: above the range of human hearing. With silent dog whistles, you won't hear anything, but with dog whistles with a slightly lower frequency, you will hear a quiet hissing sound.

Related: How to stop a puppy biting with a training spray

Is a dog whistle effective?

A dog whistle is extremely effective because dogs are much more alert to higher pitch noises. Whereas your voice may not carry so much distance, the frequency of a dog whistle can travel huge lengths. A whistle device is also effective because it gives a strong, clear message. Animals often get confused by our tendency to overexplain or how our tones shift so quickly. However, a whistling sound is straight to the point.

If you are training your dog on its recall when out on a walk, the whistle lets them know it's time to return to your side. Likewise, if you are doing obedience training with your dog, the whistle can be used alongside dog treats to encourage the trick. Finally, if your dog is inappropriately barking, a whistling sound brings them to the present moment and alerts them that this behaviour is not ok. Overall, they can be used for recall, obedience and hunting training.

We recommend starting dog whistle training as young as 8 weeks, as it gets harder to teach them the older they get. Much like people, dogs are inclined to become grumpy with age!

The best dog whistles to buy online 2022

ACME Dog Whistle No. 210.5 with Whistle Strap

The best dog whistle for cocker spaniels (working breeds)
ACME Dog Whistle No. 210.5 with Whistle Strap
Amazon

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Rated Amazon's Choice for Dog Whistle

ACME Whistles invented the dog whistle back in 1935, so it's fair to say they know what they're doing when it comes to whistle devices. The ACME Dog Whistle No.210.5 is recommended for energetic working breed dogs, such as spaniels like the Springer, Cocker, Cavalier or Water Spaniel. The ACME Whistle has a standardised whistle tone that never changes no matter who blows it, so even in 10 years, if you pick up an ACME whistle, your trained dog will recognise the tone. It comes in a variety of colours too, so you can match your outfit to your whistle.

For Retrievers, ACME recommends their ACME 211.5 dog whistle.

Review: "The whistle is an absolute recommendation from me. The sound of the pipe is 100 per cent stable. Unlike other pipes, this also works in the rain and does not change its sound by temperature differences. Five acquaintances have already bought this whistle by my recommendation, they too are satisfied."

ACME Shepherd Whistle No. 576

Best dog whistle for Shepherds or Collies
ACME Shepherd Whistle No. 576
Amazon

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For herding dogs such as a Sheperd or Collie, this Acme whistle is ideal. It's a slightly different style to a traditional dog whistle, with some Amazon customers suggest watching a YouTube tutorial to get the hang of it, but all you need to do is place the tongue on the lower hole to silence the whistle, hold in the mouth in such a way as to create a gap underneath the whistle and it also works either way up.

Review: "Once you get the hang of it this thing can be heard on the moon. I would however urge you to watch a how to film on YouTube or you'll end up like me, going purple in the face as I sprayed spittle all over the shop trying to get my Collies to come back. This is not a reflection on this excellent product but more on my "how hard can it be?" attitude."

Acme Dog Whistle Pro Trialler 212-Black

Best dog whistle for Pointer dogs
Acme Dog Whistle Pro Trialler 212-Black
Amazon

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If you have a Pointer breed, then Acme recommends its Pro Trialler 212 dog whistle. A great everyday dog whistle to use for recall and other commands, and as it only has one tone when your dog is fully trained it will always recognise the tone.

Review: "Excellent for recalling the dogs from a distance - loud & clear, especially for its size."

ACME Plastic Dog Whistles 6 x 211.5

Best dog whistle multi pack
ACME Plastic Dog Whistles (211.5
Amazon

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If you tend to misplace whistles or like to have one in every coat pocket then you'll want to get a pack of ACME whistles. There's a colour for every family member or even if you have a dog training group.

Review: "I’m training my young Labrador, this whistle is perfect. So good the whole family now has one each!"

Dog Whistle to Stop Barking by Simply Natural

The best ultrasonic dog whistle
Dog Whistle to Stop Barking by Simply Natural
Amazon

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Rated 1# best seller for Dog Whistles on Amazon

Simply Natural are so sure that its dog whistle is effective that it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. This dog whistle has an adjustable frequency so you can find the right tone for your breed, and is made with a durable copper core. The copper core allows "a wider frequency range than other whistles, which results in better ultrasonic performance for dogs of all kinds at any age." It also comes with a whistle cover and lanyard for easy transportation. It's cruelty-free, lab-tested and approved by scientists, non-toxic and safety inspected.

Review: "Arrived on time and great value for money. My staffy dog Archie loves barking at people walking by the window. Whistle worked a treat to stop him: just blow it at him and say bed and he does as you say. Got to the stage where I don’t even have to blow the whistle I just pick it up and he stops. Works when he's in the garden barking at the neighbour's dog too."

Ancol Constant Frequency Dog Whistle

The best budget-friendly dog whistle
Ancol Constant Frequency Dog Whistle
Amazon

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If you're looking for a cheap and cheerful little dog whistle, the Ancol Dog Whistle is for you. It is recommended for short and medium distance use, for things like obedience and recall training, as it is less successful in reaching far distances such as if your dog is lost. This is a great starter dog whistle for anyone who is curious to test out training their dog with a whistle device.

Review: "Works exceptionally well in training my two-year-old beagle to recall. In conjunction with an extremely high value treat - in my case dried sprats - he has come back every time on every walk immediately, including when distracted by other dogs or scents. This is a marked improvement over voice recall where often when distracted he would not come. I was between this and the highly recommended ACME 210.5 whistle, which I've used before, but at a third of the price I decided to try and I am glad I did. Training steps, I have moved through these over the first week. I'd recommend training at least twice a day as part of normal walks.

1) Use the whistle in the house, next to the dog, and give the high-value treat.
2) Repeat, moving further apart in the house/garden blowing the whistle and giving the treat.
3) Move outside to the fields, start close, blow the whistle and give a treat.
4) Start moving further and further away.
5) Introduce distractions, other dogs etc, and start close and use the whistle and gradually get further away.

"Most important is not to start at such a far distance where the dog doesn't come, as this is essentially training them not to come back when they hear the whistle."

VAGAWOOF | Dog Training Kit [5 PCS]

The best dog whistle training kit
VAGAWOOF | Dog Training Kit [5 PCS]
Amazon

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If you're passionate about committing to training your pooch, why not invest in a training kit so you are decked out with all the equipment you'll ever need? This kit, made for any breed or age, includes a training long lead, a chew-proof 10m chain leash that you can attach onto the former, dog clickers and, of course, a dog whistle.

Review: "The first thing to catch my eye was the packaging. Not only is it plastic-free, but it has full branding with a personal touch. It was nice to learn that I was purchasing from a family run business with a pooch called Max! The leash is long and durable, exactly what I was looking for to train my hyperactive pooch with recall and aid distraction prevention. The chain is perfect to add extra length and acts similar to a slip leash if you would choose to use it that way. The clickers are higher quality than we have purchased for pets at home and I’m confident they won’t break as easily as those ones did. And the whistle is extremely high quality, and the dog responds to it immediately. Overall I am extremely pleased with the products I have received and for only £20 for the full kit, there can’t be any complaints. Thank you very much for taking care in your products. Our pooch will be one trained pup."

Company of Animals Dog Whistle

Best dog whistle for obedience training
Company of Animals Dog Whistle

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Company of Animals have been creating and designing dog products for over 40 years and their knowledge and experience really show with the design of their easy walking and training products. This simple steel dog whistle is a good all-round whistle, lightweight and delivers a clear tone to support recall and other obedience training perfect for any dog owner, beginner or advanced and suitable for all dog breeds.

Review: "I am a dog walker and this whistle is perfect for getting my dogs to come back, it's great for teaching recall & has a very nice, sharp and loud sound that dogs respond very well too. I recommend anyone who is looking for something that will help with recall to get this."

Company of Animals Clix Two Tone Dog Whistle

Best dog whistle with two tones
Company of Animals Clix Two Tone Dog Whistle

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If you're looking for a whistle with different tones to train your dog to different responses this traditional two-tone whistle is suitable for all dog training needs. Perhaps for more advanced trainers the different tones can be obtained by using either end of the whistle.

Review: "My three-year-old chocolate Labrador responds very well to this recall whistle, which he seems to prefer to the silent one."

Do dog whistles hurt dogs / are dog whistles cruel?

Dog whistles are perfectly safe to use for dog training as long as they are used properly. Dr Pippa Elliott, writes for Petful, that these "noises to the top of the dog's ability to hear can cause pain if they are loud enough. It's like the difference between a referee blowing a whistle on the football field versus blowing that same whistle directly in your ear."

Therefore, avoid using the whistle next to their head, instead make it a comfortable distance. Also make sure not to blow the whistle at your full lung capacity, as the sound is overwhelming. Moreover, listen to your dog's response. If their response is to whine or appear in pain instead of attention, then it may have been used incorrectly. Finally, if you have a cat, make sure they have the chance to dash before training, as they hear higher-frequency sounds stronger than dogs and will be very moody indeed.

We recommend consulting a professional trainer if you need more help. Reach out to a local trainer if you can. We've also got a how-to video below on how to whistle train your furry friend, step by step.

Dog whistle instructions: training a dog to come to a whistle

If you're looking for a how-to video on how to provide whistle training, specifically recall training; look no further than this video by My Dog Training Spot. This video teaches you the ins and outs of using a whistle. All you need is five to ten minutes a day of training, and you're on your way.

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