The best type of whistle to stop a dog from barking is an electronic whistle. These whistles typically come with over 30 frequencies. You can test each frequency to see which one works best to stop the barking. The best part is you can download many of these electronic whistles for free on your phone.
Are you at your wit’s end with incessant barking from your dog or a dog in your neighborhood? If so, a dog whistle may be just the solution you’ve been looking for.
A dog whistle can be a great tool to reduce or eliminate bad barking behavior. However, it won’t work in all cases, and some whistles are much better than others.
The biggest determining factor in whether or not the whistle will stop a dog from barking is if the dog can hear the whistle (some dogs don’t hear specific frequencies).
If a dog whistle is a viable option for the dog in question, you have options when it comes to the type of whistle you use.
Once you have your whistle in hand, you’ll want to follow the steps we have outlined to untrain the bad barking behavior you’re looking to curb.
Can The Dog Hear The Whistle?
This is the most critical question when determining if a dog whistle can make a dog stop barking. As long as the dog can hear the whistle, you can use it as a tool to limit or eliminate unwanted barking. If the dog can’t hear the whistle, whistle-induced behavior modification will never happen.
Totally Deaf Dog
Dogs who are entirely deaf are a rarity. Still, some dogs are unable to hear any frequencies at all. If the dog in question falls into this category, a whistle simply won’t do. You’ll need to work on visual or sensory commands to stop a dog who is completely deaf from barking.
Dogs with normal hearing are going to hear–and probably be annoyed by–a dog whistle.
This group of dogs is the easiest to train with a dog whistle, as the full spectrum of frequencies from 23 to 54 kilohertz is available to you.
Consistency is going to be key for using your whistle to change barking behaviors.
Getting a dog to stop barking is not the only use for a dog whistle. With countless electronic frequencies and dozens of traditional whistle frequencies available, dog whistles are a helpful training tool.
Be sure to use different frequencies for different situations: you don’t want to confuse your dog by using similar frequencies in different situations.
Partially Deaf Dog
Dogs with partial hearing loss can often hear some of the high-frequency sounds that dog whistles make. It will take a little more finesse and diligence from you to train a partially deaf dog not to bark by using a dog whistle.
First, you will need to identify which frequencies the dog can hear. This critical step will require time, patience, and observation but will be well worth it in the end.
We recommend testing your dog’s ability to hear various frequencies when he is relaxed. To test frequencies, follow the steps below.
- Select a location out of your dog’s line of sight. If your dog can see you, he may react to a visual stimulus instead of the whistle.
- Use the whistle to make a short burst of high-frequency sound.
- Observe your dog for any reaction. Even a slight head movement could indicate that he heard the whistle.
- Test various frequencies to identify the one(s) your dog responds to most strongly.
Once you have identified which frequencies the dog can hear, you can use a whistle as a training tool to stop barking.
If you want to skip the at-home steps, you can contact your vet to schedule a BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) test to quickly determine what frequencies your dog can hear.
Types of Whistles to Stop Dog Barking
There are two basic categories that dog whistles fall into–electronic and manual. Each of these options has various sub-options that make them ideal for specific scenarios.
Manual Dog Whistles
A manual dog whistle has a look and functionality similar to traditional whistles that people can hear. Rapidly moving air crosses over a surface to create a high frequency that dogs can hear, while humans in the area will only hear a faint hiss of air. This manual contraption is safe and easy for anyone to use.
In addition to ease of use, the most significant benefit of this type of whistle is its compact size. With many key-chain-sized options available, you can always have this whistle within reach and ready to use right when the barking begins.
Electronic Dog Whistles
Electronic dog whistles are wonderful for the range of options they offer. When considering an electronic whistle for training your dog not to bark, you’ll come across two options: app-based and stand-alone emitters. Each of these options has benefits and drawbacks.
If you want access to the most frequencies possible, you can’t beat an app. Free dog whistle applications are available for all smartphones and are easy to use and fine tune.
If it sounds like I’m praising the application-based whistle, I am. But this option has one big drawback: timeliness.
If you don’t have your phone available or the app open when the bad barking behavior is occurring, you won’t be able to react quickly to it.
Timing and consistency are vital for training your dog not to bark at inappropriate times, so this may not be your ideal solution.
Although they offer less flexibility with the range of frequencies they can emit (many anti-barking emitters have only one frequency per device), these are also a great option.
If you can imagine a panic button that goes on a keyring, you will get the basic picture of what many of these devices look like and how they function.
With the simple touch of a button, the tiny electronic device will emit the same frequency every time you push the button. Its convenient size and consistency make this an excellent option for corrective training.
How to Use a Dog Whistle to Stop Barking
Correcting bad barking behavior with a whistle can be as easy as following a simple formula and remaining consistent. A measure of patience will also go a long way.
Choose Your Frequency
Make sure it is one that your dog can hear and consistently gets his attention. Always use this frequency to stop barking.
Whistle for the same duration or in the same pattern every time the barking behavior occurs. If one sharp burst of the whistle is enough to get your dog to stop barking, use this option. You can use patterns or different durations for other training.
Add a Hand Signal (optional)
If you have your dog’s attention when you blow the whistle, make the hand motion concurrently. If you don’t have his attention until after you blow the whistle, make the hand motion immediately upon gaining his attention.
Give Praise and Reward
When your dog stops barking, praise him for correcting his behavior and reward him with a treat, toy, or belly rub.
Remember that you don’t want your dog to think that all barking is bad, just barking at inappropriate times.
Don’t use your whistle if your dog is alerting you to something distressing; only use it to stop unfounded barking that is causing an annoyance or is otherwise inappropriate.
Is a Dog Whistle The Right Tool For You?
Now that you know the basics of how a dog whistle works to correct barking, the types of dogs that can benefit from whistle training, and the fundamentals of how to train with a whistle, you can make a well-informed decision about this type of training.
Always keep in mind that you’re taking on responsibility by training your dog with a whistle: patience and consistency are required of you throughout the entire training process for it to be effective.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.