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Training a Dog to the Whistle Come Back

How to train a dog to come back when called and how to train a dog with a whistle, types of dog whistles and where to buy a dog whistle:

Training a Dog to the Whistle Come Back

Puppies and older dogs can learn to obey your whistle commands such as stay, sit, come back etc. Training a dog to the whistle come back has the advantage of carrying the sound to the dog over a greater distance and the even tone will not detect your emotions and pass these onto the dog.

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A sports whistle can be as good as a dog whistle, though these are specially pitched to dogs acute hearing - dogs hear about 16 times better than humans. You should experiment with different whistles and their pitches as each dog will have different hearing levels. An older dog may suffer from a degree of deafness so may need a differently pitched whistle.


  • Food is the great motivator for most dogs - begin by using the whistle to call the puppy or dog to each meal, even if it is eagerly sitting next to you as you pour the food into it's bowl.

  • Progress to calling your dog from a greater distance and when it comes to you reward it with a biscuit or doggie chocolate drop treat. Continue this for a few weeks and you should see a faster recall.

  • This sounds harsh, but will discipline your dog and make it learn faster - withhold the evening meal the day before and breakfast on the day of training. Take it somewhere quiet away from home with no distractions, preferably totally enclosed. Alternatively, you could use a long training lead if you are worried the dog may wander off. Take another person with you - ask them to hold your dog firmly. Show your dog a favourite treat and run away from the dog, only a short distance to begin with. Turn around and whilst stationary blow the whistle. The other person should release the dog. If your dog comes straight to you stop it by holding onto its collar, then give lots of verbal and petting praise and allow the dog to eat the treat. Repeat these actions several times, until your dog perfects the actions.

  • Once your dog has mastered the above actions then do the next stage with just the two of you. Take the dog out again, once more omitting the two meals. Get the dog to sit and stay. Hold onto its collar if necessary. Firmly command the dog to go (or to sit and stay). If the dog goes in one direction, you must walk in the other. Stop, turn to the dog, stay still and use the come back whistle command. When the dog returns reward it with lots of praise, petting and the treats. Repeat the exercise until you are confident in your dog returning to you each time - now you are ready for some long walks together!


    Always use the same whistle signal for each command.

    Try to get a dog whistle with a key ring attachment - then you will always have one with you.

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