Silent Dog Whistles – Do they work?

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Jack’s hearing has been declining the last year or so – to the point where if he is more than a few feet away, he really only responds to clapping and if more than a few feet, well forget it. I thought I would buy a dog whistle to see if that helped, or if he could hear it better or at a further distance.
Dog whistles are commonly used with sporting or working dogs as a means to get the dogs attention and direct them when they are in the field. They require lots of training along with hand signals to direct the proper behavior from your dog. I’m not going to be taking Jack hunting any time soon…or ever really, I just want him to know when I’m calling him.
silent dog whistle

A silent dog whistle is the same as a regular dog whistle, just at a higher frequency that only the dog can hear. We wrote about dog’s hearing capabilities before, so we know that dogs hearing is FOUR times better than humans.
First off, the silent dog whistle isn’t really silent, at least the one that I bought – maybe I need a more expensive one, but I wanted a cheap one just to see if it would work at all with Jack. You can adjust the pitch of the whistle and supposedly if you blow into it ‘hard’ it will be silent. Maybe I’m just not enough of a blowhard because I couldn’t make it be totally silent. I could still hear a bit of a whistle.

Secondly, I can’t really tell if Jack hears it or not. He doesn’t seem to respond to it, but I don’t know if it’s not working, or if he just doesn’t hear it. In my opinion, it doesn’t seem to work, but maybe some of you have a different experience – especially those of you with hunting dogs? Am I missing something?


Additional Readings

How Do Dog Whistles Work?

Training Dogs to Respond to a Silent Whistle

Do Dog Whistles Really Work?


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  1. I’ve tried silent whistles before and I’ve never had any luck with them. LOL
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  2. I bought one in a hunting store and sadly it didn’t work… so I use my fingers and call Easy with a loud whistle, like a ragamuffin :o)
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  3. Does a silent whistle work is similar to does a tree falling in the forest make noise? Both are hard to tell. We do know Katie hears high pitched barking small dogs, so high pitch seems to be a key. We have also been told to get a vibration collar for hard of hearing dogs. I think that sounds a bit better than a whistle, but we haven’t tried either. Katie is quite slow, so there is not need usually to get her attention from afar.
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  4. I downloaded a dog whistle app. I couldn’t hear it, but it definitely got the pups’ attention. At first, then I think they just relegated it to background city noise and forgot about it.

  5. We’ve started using a dog whistle on Sam and remarkably he seems to respond much better to it than just a verbal command. It certainly grabs the attention of that dim-wit. 😉

  6. I have an electronic (“e”) collar for Cash. 99% of the time I just beep him and he now knows that “beep, beep, beep” means to come back to mommy. However, he’s young and I have already trained him to do this, so I’m wondering if it would be appropriate for Jack. It also has the shock capacity, and I have used it and quite successfully. Once to stop him from putting his head in puddles when I am driving over them (he has to have fun with the puddles when a vehicle is not driving over it!), to tell him it is not appropriate to run full speed down the driveway to the road (only had to shock him once and he never did it again), and once when the dog who mauled me and attacked him was nearby so he would come back to me and not engage the dog. It was a Sport Dog collar and it can signal him for a mile which I don’t really need, but it gives me peace of mind when I’m running him on the farm. I do not hear it until he gets closer, but he surely does. Perhaps this might be good for him?

  7. I have never tried a silent dog whistle, but I’ve often wondered how they work.
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  8. I’ve always wondered if they worked, because I thought it would be helpful for me and the dogs when we’re out and about or in the woods. I tried an app, but it didn’t work. Now I need a real one. Someone gave me one once, but I left it in my hotel room and I’ve been kicking myself, because (if they work) I need one.

    I have used regular whistle with our dogs with success.
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  9. The E-collar just might be a better fit. It’s a vibration that you can adjust and trust me – it does’t hurt #Iworeone It tickles at low frequency actually. That would definitely get Jacks attention, and you would feel more at ease taking him on walks. He’s such a sweet dude. Give him a hug for us please.

  10. I don’t have one. I am not sure what to do with Miss Cocoa in terms of teaching her to come when called and be ok off leash. I am not sure that is going to be a thing for us.
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  11. I’ve tried silent whistles too and they all had a slight noise to them. Sorry I can’t give you any advice to help with getting Jacks attention. I use e-collars in training and in hunting but I never thought to use it to get their attention from lack of hearing, it would work as too we had a e collar with a beeper on it and I would always be using the beeper to bring them back to me first before the shock. I really didn’t do anything with Norman but smile at him each time we were outside and I would go in a door and come out a different door to find he didn’t hear me and he was still by the first door waiting for me to come back out. Gotta love those seniors.
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  12. I had the exact same experience as you!!! I bought one, I can hear it whistle… and i’m not sure if the dogs hear anything different then the whistle I am hearing!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
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  13. You might be interested in knowing that even with the whistles we use they have different pitches depending on brand and some carry better than others. Most dogs really only respond to the pitch of the whistle they are used to hearing. Most handlers will have extras of the whistle they use with them at all times.

    I once saw a completely deaf senior golden run a stated hunt test. Of course he had been trained to run out and retrieve the bird and come right back.

    As you know we do use ecollar, but if you go that route find a trainer to teach you and Jack how to use it. Many dogs freak out more to the vibration than they do to a regular correction which is why we do not use vibration. Also, you cannot just strap a collar on a dog and expect them to understand that a vibration means come back. (We would never use a collar this way because it is to reinforce an already learned behavior and not as a recall. We call dog, dog comes back, if not there is the collar. Hope that makes sense). Even with our e-fence collars the dogs have been trained so they know the beep of the collar means go no further. They have learned the beep means jump backwards so if you got a beeping collar he could hear you might be able to teach him beep means return.
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