As we saw in our article on the best dog clickers, a clicker is an excellent “event marker” tool for training your dog. These clickers work perfectly for short distances.
But what if you are looking to command train your dog or provide a cue against an undesirable behavior over a distance? Surely you could shout out or use hand signals.
The most effective way is to use a dog training whistle – a tool that has been a popular traditional communication system for dogs for centuries.
But which are the best dog whistles for training and recall?
In this article, we will look at some of the best dog whistles for recall and training. We will look at both ultrasonic whistles – the silent dog whistles as they are often called and traditional sonic dog training whistles. We will also list some of the factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog training whistle for your Fido and share our top picks.
Read on to find out which are the best dog whistles for training and recall!
Best dog whistle listSome of best dog whistles and silent dog whistles for training and recall are listed below:
|Acme Silent Dog Whistle||Material: Nickel-plated brass whistle and cover. Wrist lanyard chain.|
Range: 400-800+ yards.
|Ortz Ultrasonic Dog Whistle||Material: Stainless-steel whistle, plastic swap cover and Nylon neck lanyard.|
Range: 250-350 yards.
|forepets WhistCall Silent Dog Whistle||Material: Stainless-steel whistle, plastic cover and Nylon neck lanyard.|
Range: 250-300 yards.
|Logan A1 Sheep Dog Whistle||Material: Anodized aluminum whistle with fabric drawstring carrying pouch, No lanyard.|
Range: 700-800+ yards.
|Acme Dog Whistle 210.5||Material: ABS Plastic pea-less whistle, no lanyard.|
Range: 250-300 yards.
|Acme Working Dog Double Dog Whistle||Material: ABS Plastic pea-less whistle on one side and pea-type trill whistle on the other, no lanyard.|
Range: 300-400 yards.
|SportDOG Roy Gonia Commander Dog Whistle||Material: Plastic whistle with rubber mouthpiece, pea or pea-less options, no lanyard.|
Range: 300-400 yards.
|Acme Thunderer Whistle||Material: Chrome-plated brass whistle with a cork pea, no lanyard.|
Range: 350-450 yards.
|Fox 40 Classic Cushioned Whistle||Material: ABS plastic pea-less whistle with thermos-plastic Cushioned Mouth Grip (CMG), no lanyard.|
Range: 1000+ yards.
What is a dog training whistle and is it effective for training?
A dog whistle is a useful training and daily-use tool that can be used to get the dog’s attention over a long distance. Dog training whistles work almost the same way as they do for humans – they act as an irritant for the canine and get its attention, even if the owner is far away.
Whistling using the mouth or through a dog whistle has long been an established communication mechanism for training and recall, right from the early days of shepherding and hunting. Modern dog whistles make this task or creating unique sounds a lot easier and these whistles are quite popular for training normal as well has hunting gun dogs.
Dog training whistles are different from other training tools such as dog clickers in that they are primarily “command cues” as opposed to “event markers”. Whistling is primarily meant for getting the attention of the dog over a long distance to not do something or return back to the owner.
The major advantage of using a dog whistle instead of hand signals or shouting is that a whistle can produce a consistent sound, again and again, reinforcing the command in the dog’s brain. Moreover, dog whistles work well even in windy weather or with a lot of background noise and once properly tuned, they can quickly get the pet’s attention.
There are two common types of dog whistles in the market:
- Standard dog whistles: Standard dog whistles are like everyday sonic whistles – they produce a loud piercing sound that can be heard over a long distance. Such whistles come with or without the pea (pea is the round ball in the whistles). Pea-less whistles are better because they can work well even in cold weather when the pea becomes non-functional because of the frozen saliva.
- Ultrasonic or Silent dog whistles: Ultrasonic dog whistles, Galton’s whistle or silent dog whistles as they are commonly known as, are not really “silent”. In fact, they produce a high-pitched sound in a frequency range that is non-audible to humans but can be heard by the dogs (35000 Hz. – see below). Silent dog whistles, if properly tuned to the specific dog – they have multiple frequency settings, can be an excellent tool for command training and can also work well for aversive instructions – such as to stop barking (though pet correctors work better). They also work very well while training a dog that is deaf or low on hearing or for teaching recall to hunting dogs.
The major pros and cons associated with using a dog training whistle for training and recall are summarized below:
From the above discussion, it is evident that dog training whistles can play a major role in command training the dog. And if used in moderation, they can be a useful tool to prevent unwanted behavior in canines.
In the next sections, we will look at some of the best dog whistles for recall and training and discuss the major factors to keep in mind before picking the best dog training whistle for your needs. We will also list our favorite picks for both the best silent dog whistle and the best standard dog whistle.
Which are the best dog whistles for training and recall?
- Material: Nickel-plated brass whistle and whistle cover. Wrist lanyard chain.
- Range: 400-800+ yards.
- Silent dog whistle with a wrist chain and whistle cover.
- Instruction guide.
- High-quality, popular silent dog whistle with a nickel-plated brass body. Made in England.
- Precision engineering produces a high-pitch ultrasonic sound in range of 5400 – 12,800 Hz.
- Four-frequency settings to adjust according to the pet. Long range of over 800 yards.
- Comes with a metal whistle cover attached to a wrist chain. Instruction guide is also included.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty by the manufacturer.
Acme has been on the forefront of whistle designs for over 150 years and the original inventor of the silent dog whistles, so it is obvious that the Acme silent dog whistle would appear on the top of the list. This Acme silent dog whistle offers an excellent combination of functionality, durability and performance.
The Acme Silent Dog Whistle (model 535) has a solid brass construction with a nickel-plating to give it a silver look. Like all other Acme whistles, this whistle is precision engineered in England. It comes with an all-metal wrist chain with a metal cover to keep the whistle safe and secure. The whistle is about four inches long with a thin oblong shape to produce an effective sound chamber.
The Acme silent dog whistle has a four-way frequency adjustment with a sound frequency ranging from 5,400 to 12,800 Hz. The dog whistle is not totally “silent” for humans and the sound you hear would vary from person to person. But for a canine, this whistle produces a strong, piercing sound that can be heard well over a mile. Most dogs would respond to the call up to 800-900 yards.
Each Acme Silent dog whistle is individually tested and is backed by a lifetime warranty on workmanship – a testament to the great quality this product offers.
- Material: BPA and latex-free ABS Plastic pea-less whistle.
- Range: 250-300 yards.
Content: 1 dog whistle with a lanyard split ring. No lanyard.
- Best-selling standard dog whistle with high-quality construction and performance. Made in England.
- Features a BPA and latex-free ABS plastic construction with a pea-less design.
- Designed to produce a loud audible sound at 5900 Hz, that is still light on human ears.
- Best suited for close-range obedience training and works for all dog breeds.
- Comes with a split ring to attach the lanyard but no lanyard.
- Available in over six vibrant colors and backed by a limited lifetime warranty on workmanship.
The Acme 210.5 Dog Training Whistle is the best short-distance, command training whistle in the market. As discussed above, the UK-based Acme is the worldwide leader in whistle designs – both silent dog whistles and standard dog whistles and the Acme 210.5 is their flagship product for dog whistles.
The Acme 210.5 dog whistle features a single-mold, high-impact Symonite plastic body. This ABS plastic frame is shatterproof and bite-resistant and fully safe for humans with no BPA or latex. The whistle is pea-less so you can use this whistle well even in cold weather and rain.
The biggest selling point of the Acme 210.5 dog whistle is its uniform high-pitch sound. The whistle produces a single frequency (5900 Hz.) piercing sound that is very audible for dogs up to a distance of 250-300 yards. This frequency also works well with dogs which are somewhat hard on hearing. The whistle’s oblong shape means that it is not too hard on the human ears, though over a prolonged use, you may experience some ringing in the ears.
The Acme whistle comes with a split ring to attach the whistle to a lanyard, but a lanyard is not included and must be purchased separately.
The Acme 210.5 dog whistle is available in over six vibrant colors and backed by a lifetime warranty on workmanship.
- Material: Stainless-steel whistle, plastic swap cover and Nylon neck lanyard.
- Range: 250-350 yards.
- Stainless-steel silent dog whistle.
- Plastic snap-on cover.
- Nylon lanyard strap.
- Popular silent dog whistle with a decent quality stainless-steel whistle.
- Designed to produce a high-pitch ultrasonic sound. Adjustable frequencies to tune to the dog.
- Works for almost all dog breeds, including hunting and bird dogs. Also works for birds and other pets.
- Comes with a plastic snap-on cover and a Nylon strap lanyard with a carabiner.
- Backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer.
- Material: Stainless-steel whistle, plastic cover and Nylon neck lanyard.
- Range: 250-300 yards.
- Stainless-steel silent dog whistle.
- Plastic snap-on cover.
- Nylon lanyard strap.
- Budget silent dog whistle with a professional stainless-steel construction.
- Adjustable ultrasonic frequencies for tuning to specific pet.
- Features a plastic snap-on cover with a special locking nut to prevent whistle getting lost.
- Comes with a high-quality nylon strap lanyard, and a downloadable instruction booklet.
- Material: Anodized aluminum whistle, fabric drawstring bag.
- Range: 700-800+ yards.
- Sheep-dog whistle
- How-to-use Instructions guide.
- Drawstring carrying pouch.
- High-end professional sheep-dog whistle with an anodized aluminum body. Made in the UK.
- Precision-engineered with a rivet and joint-free design. Produces multiple loud and soft tones that carry over 700 yards. No metal after-taste.
- Features an over-sized lanyard hole for a rope or strap lanyard. Does not come with a lanyard.
- Comes with a fabric drawstring carrying pouch and an instruction manual on how to use the whistle.
- Available in 7 vibrant colors and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
- Material: ABS Plastic pea-less whistle on one side and pea-type trill whistle on the other.
- Range: 300-400 yards.
Content: 1 dual-tone whistle with lanyard hole. No lanyard
- Two-in-one dog whistle with a unique dual tone design. Made in England.
- Features a BPA-free, ABS plastic body with a pea-less whistle on one side and a pea-type trill dog whistle on the other.
- Produces long distance high-pitch sound through the pea-less end and a shrilling loud sound from the trill whistle end.
- Has a lanyard hole in the middle to attach to a string lanyard or strapped carabiner.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty on workmanship by the manufacturer.
- Material: Plastic whistle with a rubber mouthpiece. Available in pea or pea-less options.
- Range: 300-400 yards.
Content: 1 whistle with a split ring. No lanyard.
- Budget dog whistle with a standard design for field training a hunting or bird dog. Available in pea-type and pea-less options.
- BPA and latex-free plastic body with a rubber mouthpiece for better grip in cold weather.
- Easy-to-blow design that produces a high-frequency, lower pitch penetrating sound even in rain, snow, and fog.
- Comes with a split finger-ring but no lanyard.
- Available in three colors and backed by a 90-day warranty.
- Material: Chrome-plated brass whistle with a natural cork pea.
- Range: 350-450 yards.
Content: 1 whistle with a split metal ring. No lanyard.
- The smallest, most popular, all-purpose whistle from Acme, featuring a nickel-plated brass body and a waterproof natural cork pea.
- Same product as used by UK Railways since the early 1900s. Made in England.
- Tapered mouthpiece produces a high-pitch shrilling sound over a long range. Instant response and no metal after taste.
- Comes with a matching finger grip/lanyard ring, but no lanyard.
- Also available in plastic and brass finish and backed by a lifetime warranty.
- Material: ABS plastic whistle with cushioned mouth grip (CMG). Pea-less design.
- Range: 1000+ yards. Close to 1 mile.
Content: 1 whistle with a metal split ring. No lanyard.
- A variant of the all-purpose Fox 40 Classic Whistle. Enhanced with a cushioned mouth grip (CMG) mouthpiece for better grip and teeth protection.
- BPA and latex-free ABS plastic body and mouthpiece. Made in the US and official whistle of many sporting events.
- Features a 3-chamber pea-less design that produces a high-pitched, ultra-shrill tone at up to 115 decibels.
- High range of up to 0.7 – 1 mile. Free from any moving parts to jam or deteriorate the whistle.
- Comes with a finger/lanyard split ring, but no lanyard.
- Available in 10 colors and backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
How to pick the best dog whistle for training and recall?
Just like dog clickers, whistles are very simple devices and not very costly, you can afford to try out a few different models before zeroing in on the best dog training whistle for your pooch. And we recommend getting a couple of them – one silent dog whistle and one standard whistle for both indoor and outdoor use.
In addition to any budget constraints you might have, you should check the following factors before picking the best dog whistle for training and recall:
- Type and purpose
- Material and design
- Range and acoustics
- Additional factors and considerations
Type and purpose
The first major consideration you need to think about is the primary purpose and the type of dog whistle to opt for.
As discussed above, dog whistles are of two broad types – standard dog whistles and silent dog whistles (ultrasonic dog whistles or Galton’s whistle).
Standard dog whistles produce a distinctively loud, piercing sound which is audible to dogs as well as humans. They are available in pea-type trill whistles and pea-less whistles based on the presence or absence of the cork ball in the whistle. Since such whistles are audible to humans, you can adjust the blow-pitch for different commands.
Ultrasonic dog whistles produce a high-pitch/frequency sound which is audible to dogs but only mildly audible (or “silent”) to humans. Such whistles have adjustable frequencies to cater to different dogs and work well for adverse training such as prevent barking, recalls etc. They also work well with dogs who are deaf or have diminished hearing capabilities. But since they are largely non-audible to humans, you would not be able to adjust the blow-pitch effectively and should stick to a single frequency.
Another type of dog whistle – the sheepdog whistle can produce multiple sounds and hence can be used for more complex training commands.
So, depending upon your requirement and purpose, you can decide between the type of dog whistle – standard dog whistle or a silent dog whistle, that you would like to pick for training your pooch.
Material and design
The manufacturing material and associated design features are also an important factor to consider.
Dog training whistles are made of stainless steel or plastic. Stainless steel dog whistles are more durable, but they sometimes tend to leave a metal after-taste in the mouth. Plastic dog whistles are lighter and some even have a rubberized cushion for comfortable blowing surface. The Acme Dog Whistle 210.5 is one of the most well-built plastic dog whistle and hence our favorite.
Many metal silent dog whistles have a plastic or metal swap cap with an attached lanyard. This arrangement helps in keeping the whistle safe and secure and is worth checking out.
Check the manufacturing material and associated design features before picking the best silent dog whistle or standard dog whistle for your needs.
Range and acoustics
Closely related with the manufacturing material and design of the whistle are the acoustics and range of the whistle.
For ultrasonic dog whistles, acoustics refers to the presence of adjustable frequencies. The best ultrasonic silent dog whistles support 3 or 4 frequencies so you can pick the best combination for your dog through trial and error. The Acme Silent Dog Whistle and Ortz Ultrasonic Dog Whistle are two multi-frequency silent dog whistles.
For standard sonic dog whistles, the presence of the pea/cork is a major design differentiator. Pea-less whistles can produce a high-pitch piercing sound, even in cold weathers, while pea-type dog whistles produce a trill sound that is loud but may not have the same range.
Check the volume and sound pitch of the clicker before picking the most suitable dog whistle for training your pooch. You can generally find this information from the manufacturer videos and Q&A section of the product.
Additional factors and considerations
In addition to the three major factors discussed above, there are a few miscellaneous additional considerations that can make a specific dog training whistle a better choice over others.
One such consideration is the additional accessories, if any, that come with the whistle. You would almost always need a wrist or neck lanyard for your whistle, so an option that comes with one is a major plus. Keep these accessories in mind before picking the best option.
Another additional factor is the color combination in which the dog whistle is available. Bright, reflective colors are fashionable and make the whistle visible, even in low lights. You can also use different color whistles for different dogs. Most plastic dog whistles, including the popular Acme dog whistles and some metallic dog whistles such as the Logan whistles are available in multiple colors, so you can pick the most suitable one for your needs.
Finally, one of the most important additional consideration is the warranty and post-purchase customer service support offered on the clicker by the manufacturer. Acme dog whistles and Logan dog whistles score big in this category with their excellent lifetime warranties and dedicated online customer support service. Just make sure you make your purchase only from direct manufacturers and authorized re-sellers to ensure that you get the genuine product and not a knock-off.
Keep these small considerations in mind as well before picking the best dog training whistle for your needs.
Training Aids and Accessories
Now that we have looked at some of the most popular and effective dog whistles for training and recall, let us look at some training aids and accessories that can you can use with these training tools.
If you are looking for a training guide, check out the Total Recall: Perfect Response Training for Puppies and Adult Dogs by Pippa Mattinson. Published in 2012 and available in Kindle and Paperback, it is probably the best beginner guide on the subject, especially for teaching normal dogs.
Another beginner training guide is the 32-page e-book titled Dog Training – Blow the Whistle by Eric Johnson.
For hunting or gun dog training you can always refer to the popular training guides by Richard A. Wolters.
Another accessory that you might probably need with your dog whistle is a lightweight, comfortable lanyard. Many of the options that we listed come with their own lanyards, but in case you are looking for one, you can check out the best-selling Mendota Products Double Whistle Lanyard.
Finally, if you are a tech-person and do not want to invest in a physical dog whistle, then you can check out some dog whistle apps that actually work.
Final thoughts on the best dog whistle for training and recall
Whistling has been a popular training aid and communication mechanism for dogs for centuries. So, if you are looking to command train your pup, or something to simply prevent unwanted behavior like barking or fighting, you need to get a dog whistle.
In this article, we listed some of the best dog whistles for training and recall. We listed both standard and silent dog whistle options. We also covered the major factors around the effectiveness of these training tools and the considerations to keep in mind before picking the best dog training whistle for training your pet.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best dog whistle for recall or training your pooch. Do let us know your feedback and questions by commenting below. Until next time, have a happy training stint with your Fido!