If you own a dog, chances are you’ve considered investing time and money into training your furry friend. After all, a little training goes a long way when it comes to cutting down on those mischievous puppy antics. A tried-and-true solution, the dog whistle, is the perfect tool to help with your pup’s obedience journey.
Dog whistles can be used to teach your dog basic commands, like “sit” and “stay,” or can be used for more advanced techniques, like long-distance recall. They are unique in the fact that they can issue signals over long distances and be manipulated to produce a variety of sounds that correlate with different commands.
Additionally, whistle training works with virtually any dog of any age. Even if you think you’ve left it a little late to start teaching your pup some manners, it’s never too late to start whistle training!
It can be overwhelming to start the search for a dog whistle yourself, and that’s why we’re here to help. We’ve gathered a list of the best dog whistles around so you have all the information you need to make your decision easier. In this list, we’ll break down the different types of dog whistles and what features you want to consider when buying one.
- What to Consider When Buying a Dog Whistle
- Top 8 Best Dog Whistles to Buy in 2023
- 1. Best Overall Dog Whistle: Acme 210
- 2. Best Premium Dog Whistle: MODUS Ultrasonic
- 3. Best Budget Dog Whistle: HEHUI Dog Whistle
- 4. Best Advanced Dog Whistle: Acme Shepherd Mouth Whistle
- 5. Easiest to Use: SportDOG Roy Gonia Whistle
- 6. Best for Hunting: Acme Silent Dog Whistle
- 7. Loudest Dog Whistle: Michael Josh Outdoor Whistle
- 8. Sleekest Design: Ortz Dog Whistle
- Guide to Training With a Dog Whistle
- Final Thoughts
What to Consider When Buying a Dog Whistle
When choosing a dog whistle, the type of whistle, frequency, and build quality should all play an important part in your decision-making process. Additionally, you may want to consider any special features that come with the whistle, such as training booklets or a lanyard. We have factored these things into our reviews.
Type of Whistle
The way you’re going to use your dog whistle has a major impact on the type of whistle you should be and the features you’ll need.
Dog whistles can be made either with or without a ‘pea’ (sometimes called a pearl). The pea is a floating piece of cork within the whistle that moves when air is blown through. This causes variations in the pitch and creates a trilling sound.
A pea whistle is better if you are working within a closer range to your dog, or if you want to produce a greater variety of sounds.
On the other hand, a pealess whistle produces a sharper, louder sound that typically crosses a greater distance. A pealess whistle is also ideal for use in extreme cold weather; the pea in a whistle can freeze as saliva touches it in cold temperatures.
Some dog whistles are ultrasonic. Ultrasonic whistles are typically electronic and controlled via a button. They produce a sound only dogs can hear. These are best used around the house as you won’t upset your neighbors with a loud noise when using it. Ultrasonic whistles are not safe for use with hard of hearing dogs or dogs younger than 6 months as it can damage their developing hearing.
Most dog whistles are made with either a simple plastic or metal, though there are some more advanced types that include electronic components and LED lights.
If you plan on taking your dog camping in the wilderness or on other outdoor adventures, a metal whistle might be better to consider. Metal whistles tend to be more durable and can survive easily in extreme temperatures.
A plastic whistle is better suited for training where you don’t anticipate being in rough terrain. An added bonus for plastic whistles is that they don’t reflect the outdoor temperature like a metal one would. If you go hunting with a plastic whistle, it will still be comfortable to put your mouth on hours later.
A dog’s hearing ranges between the frequency of 67-65,000 Hz. They can hear higher-pitched sounds compared to a human’s hearing frequency of 20-20,000 Hz.
Most humans hear best in the range of 1,000-5,000 Hz, as this is the range where human speech is centered. Almost every dog whistle will be at, or above, the 5,000 Hz frequency.
That being said, frequency is very important when deciding what kind of whistle to buy. Whistles closer to 5,000 Hz will be more audible to the human ear, while whistles above that frequency will be practically silent.
Higher-toned whistles may also work for dogs that are losing their hearing; some will be able to hear these higher sounds better than lower ones.
Every dog’s hearing is unique, and some respond to training better at different frequencies. If desired, you can purchase a whistle with an adjustable frequency and take the time to figure out which one your dog works best with.
Price and Features
Price is worth considering when it comes to investing in a dog whistle. It may be tempting to spend lots of money on something advertised as top of the line, but there are many mid-range and budget options out there that will be able to suit your dog’s training needs just as well.
It is also helpful to look at any extra features that might be sold with the whistle. This includes other training tools like a whistle training guide to help you get started or a lanyard to help you keep track of the whistle.
Now that you know exactly what to look for in a dog whistle, let’s dive into the best dog whistles on the market today.
Top 8 Best Dog Whistles to Buy in 2023
1. Best Overall Dog Whistle: Acme 210
Type of Whistle
The Acme 210 is a pea whistle. It supports a solid pea that allows the user to trill the whistle and train their dog with distinctive sounds.
This whistle is made out of a durable plastic and the pea inside is waterproof. It is not the best whistle for extreme temperatures if you plan on taking your dog into the wilderness; the pea is likely to freeze in the cold.
The Acme 210 is a high-toned whistle that comes in at a frequency of 5,900 Hz. This is a range that many dogs respond to, and is especially helpful when training dogs that are hard of hearing.
This means no more yelling to get your dog’s attention! Simply blow into the whistle and watch their ears perk up.
You can fluctuate the frequency by 750 Hz in either direction by making use of the pea in the whistle.
Price and Features: This whistle is a fairly budget option, and comes with a keyring attached to it, making it easier to attach the whistle to keys or a lanyard. It’s easy to use and makes for a great beginner training whistle.
- High-toned frequency suits hard of hearing dogs
- Pea allows trilling and sound differentiation
- Great for beginners
- Not the best for extreme temperatures
Type of Whistle
The MODUS is an ultrasonic whistle. It emits a sound on a frequency only dogs can hear without disturbing any surrounding humans. This is great if you want to train your dog at home without bothering your neighbors.
This whistle is made out of plastic and features LED indicator lights. There is no need to blow into this whistle; instead, it is controlled by a button.
It does need batteries to operate, which could be a drawback if you are planning on being outside a lot with your dog. It’s no fun to carry around spare batteries every time you leave the house!
The MODUS has a frequency of 25,000 Hz and is soundless to human ears. The sound has a long-travel distance, reaching up to 16.4 feet away.
This kind of electronic ultrasonic sound cannot be used with hard of hearing dogs or dogs younger than 6 months without risking damage to their hearing.
Price and Features
This is one of the more expensive whistles on the market due to the fact it is electronic, controlled using a button instead of blowing, and features LED indicator lights. It does come with an adjustable wrist strap and access to 24/7 customer support to help you make the most out of your training tool.
- Completely inaudible to humans
- 16.4ft sound distance
- Customer support if you need help setting up the device
- Cannot be used with hard of hearing dogs or young puppies
- Batteries needed
3. Best Budget Dog Whistle: HEHUI Dog Whistle
Type of Whistle
This is a pealess whistle. It will produce a sharper, louder sound that your dog can hear, but you will not have the ability to trill.
The loudness of the sound will always be consistent with this whistle, which makes it a good choice if you are just introducing your dog to whistle training or are training a puppy. Consistency is the key to a good training session!
The HEHUI is made out of stainless steel with a textured screw on one end to help you adjust the frequency. It is rust-resistant and weatherproof, so it will perform well in extreme temperatures and the outdoors.
This whistle has an adjustable frequency. It ranges between the low and high end of the register, so all you need to do is twist the adjustable screw on the end of the whistle before blowing into it to select a frequency. You can repeat this until you find the sound that works best for your dog.
Price and Features
Despite its low cost, there are several features offered with the HEHUI whistle. The whistle itself comes with a dust cover to protect the metal. There is also a keyring on the whistle so you can attach it to your keys or to the lanyard that is included with your purchase.
HEHUI offers customer support and will provide you with a free dog whistle training guide upon request. It’s hard to go wrong with a whistle that offers this many features.
- Low cost and comes with several features
- Adjustable frequency
- Durable stainless steel
- Cannot trill or make different sounds
4. Best Advanced Dog Whistle: Acme Shepherd Mouth Whistle
Why we like it: The Shepherd mouth whistle is another Acme classic that allows the user to manipulate the whistle and make a variety of distinctly different sounds. This is great for more advanced dog training.
Type of Whistle
The Shepherd mouth whistle is a unique member of our list. Despite it being a pealess whistle, you are still able to trill and create a variety of sounds with it due to its characteristic curved design.
If you plan on introducing your dog to more advanced training techniques, this whistle is a good choice. It is especially helpful when training a dog in herding (that’s how this whistle got its name- from shepherds!)
This whistle is made out of nickel-plated silver. The metal build allows it to be durable and withstand a variety of temperatures. Since this whistle is meant to be placed completely into the mouth, the metal also ensures it is waterproof and easy to clean.
You should clean this whistle before your first use, or you might be met with the taste of grease- an unwelcome experience for any whistle-user!
The frequency of this whistle hovers around the 5,000 Hz mark, making it high-toned. The user can also fluctuate the frequency of the whistle by using their lips and tongue to create a variety of different sounds and pitches.
Price and Features
For a relatively low cost, this whistle does offer a lot in terms of versatility. However, due to its unique crescent design, this whistle comes with a learning curve.
It may take a few tries to learn how to manipulate the whistle and get the exact tones you want out of it. Once you get the hang of it though, the ability to create many different sounds is a valuable feature.
- Quality nickel-silver build
- Ability to make a variety of sounds
- Great for advanced training
- May be difficult to use
5. Easiest to Use: SportDOG Roy Gonia Whistle
Type of Whistle
The SportDog brand whistle comes in both pealess and pea varieties. The pea variety gives the user the option of trilling, while the pealess variety offers a higher, louder sound.
This whistle has an easy-blow design, notable in its wider mouthpiece. Some users might find this more comfortable when holding the whistle in their mouth.
Like the Acme 210, both versions of this whistle are made out of plastic.
It is not the best material for taking into the wilderness or extreme weather conditions, but it does work well for more casual training and when you are working closely with your dog.
The pealess whistle is high-toned, allowing the sound to be more piercing to your dog. The pea variety of this whistle is low-toned so the sound will travel across a longer distance.
You are able to select which version best suits your needs, but it is important to note that neither frequency is as loud as other whistles are. This makes it harder to use during outdoor training where you are farther from your dog.
Price and Features
This whistle is fairly budget-friendly. It features a keyring for easy attachment to a lanyard.
- Offered with or without a pea
- Easy blow design
- Weatherproof plastic build
- Sound not as loud as other whistles
6. Best for Hunting: Acme Silent Dog Whistle
Why we like it: The Acme silent dog whistle is almost inaudible to humans and can be heard from a distance of 400 yards. This whistle has an adjustable frequency, like the HEHUI whistle, so you can fine-tune it to your dog’s needs.
Type of Whistle
This is a pealess whistle. The design is good for producing a consistent sound that is useful when taking your dog hunting.
Your dog will be able to hear your commands from a long distance, and the whistle is practically silent so you will not disturb game in the area.
The Acme silent dog whistle is made out of nickel-plated brass. It can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
This whistle is high-toned, which is why it is mostly inaudible for humans. The adjustable frequency ranges between 5,400 and 12,800 Hz, making it a good choice if you want to find the frequency your dog works best with.
When using it at the lower registers, this whistle may not be completely silent to humans, depending on the user’s hearing. Despite this, it still makes a good hunting whistle as only the person using the whistle will be able to hear the faint high-pitched whistling sound it produces.
Price and Features
If you are prone to damaging or losing small objects, this might be the whistle for you!
Although it is on the higher end of the price range, the Acme silent whistle does come with a strong protective cover that is attached by a chain. It also has a keyring on one end so you can attach it to a lanyard or your keys.
All of these features keep the whistle secure and lower the chances of it being damaged or lost.
- Wide range of frequency
- Can be heard from a long distance
- Attached protective cover
- More expensive than other adjustable whistles
- Not completely silent at the lower frequency range
7. Loudest Dog Whistle: Michael Josh Outdoor Whistle
Why we like it: The Michael Josh outdoor whistle is an emergency whistle that is easily used to train dogs. Its double-tubed design amplifies sound and makes it a great choice for long-distance recall.
Type of Whistle
The Michael Josh outdoor whistle is pealess and it has two built-in tubes that amplify sound.
This whistle is built with aluminum alloy. It is lightweight, sturdy, and perfect for use in the outdoors.
The sound is consistent and unwavering, perfect for signaling to your dog at a distance and for cutting across ambient outdoor sounds like waves or wind.
While this whistle works well for dog training, it is not tuned to a dog only frequency; humans can clearly hear the sound of it. It is an emergency whistle and touts a loudness of 150 decibels.
The sound of this whistle is sharp and can be heard from over a mile away. Perfect for long-distance recall, but not as good if you are training your dog near other people or animals. You will very likely make enemies of your neighbors if you use this whistle around your home.
The loudness of this whistle can also startle some dogs when used up-close with them.
Price and Features
This is a good economical pick, as the price isn’t too high, but the whistle comes in a two-pack. Also included are two matching lanyards and carabiner clips, great for attaching this whistle to a belt or a backpack.
- Very loud
- Far carrying sound
- Lightweight, durable aluminum alloy build
- Cannot use in close proximity to other people or animals
- Not good for close-up training or easily startled dogs
8. Sleekest Design: Ortz Dog Whistle
Type of Whistle
This is a pealess whistle that features an easy-blow design, much like the SportDOG Roy Gonia Whistle.
The difference is that the Ortz whistle is thinner. A thinner whistle can be preferred over a wider one if the user plans on wearing the whistle on a lanyard or putting it in their pocket; an overall thin design would make this more comfortable.
This whistle has a stainless-steel body with a lockable plastic dust cover. It is smaller than other whistles on the list, which makes it slightly more portable. On the other hand, it can be easier to use.
The Ortz whistle has a frequency that ranges on the higher end. While it is advertised as silent, when adjusted to certain frequencies, it is audible to humans.
Price and Features
This whistle is shipped with a lanyard and features a keyring holder attached to the dust cover. However, the clip for the lanyard tends to come loose, which could cause you to lose your whistle while outdoors.
The screw to adjust the frequency is less than intuitive to use on this whistle, which could be a deterrent for some. It’s never pleasant to have to spend hours trying to adjust the whistle before even starting to train!
Ortz does offer a replacement guarantee if your whistle breaks or you are otherwise not happy with it. Cost-wise, it is not the cheapest on the list, but it can be a good fit for someone looking for a smaller, basic adjustable whistle.
- Easy to use
- Sleek design
- Replacement guarantee
- Easily breakable lanyard clip
- Frequency can be hard to adjust
Guide to Training With a Dog Whistle
The dog whistle has long been regarded as a valuable training tool. Since its invention in 1876, a range of different dog whistles have been developed for use. Training your dog with a whistle has a number of benefits that other training methods may not have.
Goals of Whistle Training
If you have decided to train your pup, they most likely have stolen one too many socks, or barked at a few too many squirrels. Or maybe you want to be able to trust your dog enough to let them off-leash in a dog park. Either way, it’s time for your furry friend to learn some manners. The goal of whistle training is to gain command over your dog, which in turn will enhance your relationship with them.
Teach Your Dog Life Skills
Whistle training allows you to interact with your dog in a common language and better help your dog to navigate the world with you. It can also increase your bond with your dog.
Peace of Mind
When your dog is well-trained, you’re never going to be worried about it running away or dragging you down the street on an exciting walk. Once trained, the dog will always answer to the sound of the whistle and follow your lead.
If your dog is well-trained, they can go to more places and meet more people. They will have the freedom to explore and follow you on adventures because they know how to behave and respond to your commands. Everyone loves to be around a polite dog, and a polite dog loves to meet people.
Every dog, from the smallest to the largest, needs to exercise their mind. While it may not seem like it sometimes, your dog is very smart and thrives when presented with learning challenges.
Whistle training provides an outlet for your dog to learn and work their brain at the same time. It’s a recipe for a very tired pup at the end of the day!
Why Train With a Whistle
Whistle training provides a number of benefits that make it rise to the top in terms of training techniques. Once you start using a whistle to train your dog, you will be able to see for yourself how well it works.
Keep Commands Emotionless
If you are training solely using your voice, the dog can pick up on any emotions you have as you speak. For example, if you are frustrated at them, they will hear this in your commands, which can upset the dog and be a hurdle to training them properly.
Conversely, when you use a whistle to command your dog, all they hear is the sound of the whistle. It is emotionless, and the dog has an easier time understanding what you expect them to do.
Save Your Voice
Instead of spending all day speaking commands to your dog, you can save your voice by using a whistle to train. You will be able to train more frequently without damage to your voice.
If you are a long-distance from your dog, you won’t have to shout to bring them back to you, you can use a whistle, like the Michael Josh Outdoor Whistle or the Acme Silent Whistle, to help you instead.
Dogs Pick Up Training Faster
The sound of a whistle is very different from the sound of a human voice. A dog is more prone to listen to this sound, and will respond well to the consistency of it.
Whistle Sound Carries
The right whistle can be used across rough terrain and in all weather conditions, including high wind. A dog can potentially pick up the sound from as far as a quarter of a mile away. This allows you to communicate across long distances with your dog, something that cannot be done if you train with other methods.
When to Start Whistle Training
While it’s always better to start training early, the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” doesn’t apply here!
Whistle training can be used on any dog, no matter their age or level of previous training.
Puppies especially work well with the close-up training you can offer with a dog whistle (the SportDOG Roy Gonia Whistle or Acme 210 whistle can help with this since they are both great entry-level whistles).
Even dogs who have been previously trained by voice command or an older dog who has had no experience with training before will be able to learn.
Whistle training will also work for most hard of hearing dogs since they will still be able to hear the higher frequencies.
Dog Whistle Training Tips
Many people assume that a dog will automatically know what to do when he hears the sound of a dog whistle. After all, it’s called a dog whistle; it should have some kind of special dog power, right?
Unfortunately, this kind of belief is incorrect, and can lead to many disappointed dog owners. A dog whistle will only work as desired when paired with training.
Following basic training guidelines will set you and your pet up for success during your training sessions.
The Basics of Whistle Training
Before you take your dog anywhere, take time to practice with your whistle and learn how to properly use it. It will only slow your first training session down and confuse your dog if you are trying the whistle for the first time in front of them.
If you have an adjustable whistle, it would be better to work out the frequency in the same room as your dog before your training session. Watch their reaction as you adjust the whistle to see which sound works best for them.
Decide How Your Commands Will Sound
When you start your first day of training, you should have a general idea of what commands you want your dog to learn and how you want them to sound. For instance, you can settle on one short blow for “sit” and two short blows in a row for “stand.”
Preparing ahead of time will allow you to be more organized and consistent with your dog. Make sure to use the same sounds for the same commands in each subsequent training session.
Of course, the variety of whistle sounds are dependent on the type of whistle you purchase. If you plan on teaching an array of commands and what different noises for each, the Shepherd Mouth Whistle is the best option for you.
If you want a more straightforward whistle for making your commands, but still want the versatility, look into an adjustable frequency whistle, like the Ortz Dog Whistle.
Where Should I Train My Dog?
The great thing about whistle training is that you can train your dog anywhere.
At home, whistle training can be used to help curb barking or to train basic “sit” and “stay” commands. The MODUS Ultrasonic is a good choice for teaching your pup basic commands around the house.
Outside, you can work on more advanced training techniques such as using the whistle to recall your dog or teaching it to leave distractions at your command.
First Training Session
It may be beneficial to start off in an enclosed area with few distractions to let your dog get the hang of whistle training before taking them to a more distraction-filled area. You want to make sure your dog understands how to listen to you no matter how excited or distracted they are.
It is also important to keep in mind what kind of whistle you have before picking a training location. If you have a whistle that tends to be loudly audible to humans, it may be a better idea to do your training outside, away from highly populated areas.
What Should I Bring to Training (Besides the Whistle)?
Dogs are usually very food-oriented animals. When starting whistle training, it is a good idea to bring their favorite snacks with you. It helps even more if these treats aren’t the usual tidbits of kibble and milkbone. High-value rewards such as pieces of chicken, beef, or scrambled eggs will enhance your dog’s response to whistle training.
You won’t need to constantly use food as a reward; eventually when your dog gets the hang of your commands, you can eventually eliminate the treats or substitute them for a trusty belly rub.
Additionally, you should bring a leash for your dog. While it may be safe to let your dog off the leash for training in enclosed areas, you want to always have your dog on a leash when walking to and from these areas. This prevents unfortunate situations like your dog running into the road or towards a less-friendly dog.
Having a leash on hand will also help if you need a guaranteed way to gain control over your dog.
What Commands Can I Teach?
As long as you have the patience, you can teach your dog anything you want. The more popular commands are “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “fetch.”
There are plenty of guides available (like the one that comes with the HEHUI Dog Whistle) that can suggest different commands and the best way to use your whistle in training for them.
General Whistle Training Instructions
These are general guidelines to whistle training that will work with most commands you want to teach. Tailor them for your personal use with specific whistle sounds.
- Take your dog into a room or enclosed outdoor space with few distractions. When the dog is paying no attention to you, blow the whistle command you have settled on for “come”. Wait until the dog comes over to you.
- As soon as the dog comes to investigate, praise him and give a small piece of the high-value treat.
- Repeat this sequence, waiting for the dog to not be paying attention to you before blowing the whistle again.
Eventually, the dog will learn that he will be rewarded for coming to you when he hears the whistle. There is no need to attempt to coax the dog or lure them over with voice commands. Simply use the sound of the whistle and the rewards.
Make sure to repeat this exercise until the dog gives an eager response at the sound of the whistle. This means that they have made the connection and are now expecting the reward.
You can practice this several times per training session and should strive to train your dog at least twice a week to solidify the commands.
Once your dog has mastered this in an enclosed area, you can start introducing distractions and different training spaces.
Taking Care of Your Dog Whistle
Whether your whistle is made out of plastic or metal, it is important to keep it in good shape.
A metal whistle can be cleaned by dropping it into boiling water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda for less than 60 seconds.
You can clean a plastic whistle by soaking it in a small bowl of antiseptic mouthwash for 30 to 60 minutes before rinsing it with cool water and leaving it to fully dry.
Both types of whistles can be cleaned by soaking them in a bowl of lukewarm water mixed with a spoonful of baking soda for 60 mins. Once you are done soaking, you can rinse them with cool water and leave them to dry. This method is best if your whistle has a pea in it, because once cleaned, the pea will give the whistle a louder, fuller sound upon use.
When not using your dog whistle, it is a good idea to store it in the freezer as this will prevent bacteria from building up on it.
The dog whistle has been around for hundreds of years, a testament to its ability to properly train a variety of dogs. It is a fantastic training tool and can be useful for both beginner trainers and professionals.
While picking out a dog whistle is not the easiest task in the world, it is important to keep in mind what will work best for you and your dog. There is a plethora of options out there, all with different features and builds, so you are certain to find one that is well suited to your needs. We hope this list of the best dog whistles around makes your choice easier, and that you now have a better understanding of the best dog whistle for you. Happy training!