A Whistle Stop Tour of Dog Training - Your First Puppy Steps

Everyone dreams of the moment they can bring their first puppy home. It’s such an exciting step to take and a milestone moment that you are guaranteed to remember for the rest of your life. Although, you want to make sure you remember it for the right reasons, and not because your little bundle of furry joy has caused havoc...again! 

You're not alone, as thousands of families are increasing by one every day yet don’t have a clue where to start on training. Luckily, all of your puppy prayers have been answered as we’ve teamed up with Jason Mayhew, a world champion gundog trainer. His expertise in training, alongside our insider knowledge will tell you everything you need to know about how to set your dog on the path to obedience and control.

Why You Should Use a Whistle to Train Your Dog

You may be thinking:why use a whistle to train my dog? There are many reasons why whistles are more beneficial than voice commands for dog training, with a consistent command being one of them. For many pro dog trainers a whistle is seen as their most important tool, and if you want a well-trained dog it’s important for you to view a whistle in the same way. 

The dog whistle was first invented by ACME Whistles back in 1935, to allow owners to communicate with and control their dogs over large distances. Today, the dog whistle is still the most effective way for an owner to train their dog off the lead. 

Whether you choose a silent dog whistle or a whistle which you can hear toot, a whistle will work wonders to your training routine. They are designed to deliver a clear message in a frequency that will travel, ensuring your dog can hear your command no matter what. This is something that a simple voice command can not ensure, as environmental factors can (and will) distort your command creating a loss of communication between you and your dog. 

Whether you’re training a gundog or a family pet, developing a clear communication between owner and dog is vital, and dog whistles have been designed to do just that. Ultimately, both the owner and dog will reap the benefits of good whistle training - as long as it is used consistently and correctly!

When To Start and How?

Now you know why whistle training your new puppy will be beneficial, your thoughts have probably moved onto when, and more importantly, how?! 

Too often you hear of stories of fellow dog owners starting training too late and now their dog (and owner) suffers the consequences. It is crucial to start training as early as possible to instill good habits in your pooch before they are stuck in their bad ones. 

We would recommend starting from as early as 8-weeks-old to get them used to the sound of the whistle. During this time it is a good idea to teach them basic commands, such as come. 

Expert trainer, Jason Mayhew, recommends introducing the whistle during a canines favourite time - dinner. “The first thing we’d do is put food down and use a couple of pips on the whistle to announce food”. This allows for the dog to have positive connotation with the sound of the whistle, making them want to obey it in the future for the possibility of a reward. 

To further this training, you can start to teach your dog to come to the sound of the whistle. Jason advises “You can extend this training, by getting someone else to hold the pup 3-4 meters away and repeating the exercise. Use the whistle to send the pips and release the puppy. Try it again from the next room, and then again from outside”. 

As with all training, consistency is key! Ensuring you keep up with the training will not only result in a well-trained dog, but will help to create a bond between you and your most beloved companion. A lot of praise (and treats) go a long way for dogs, and this will keep them motivated to please you and excel at training.

What Whistle Should I Use?

When it comes to choosing your whistle, you want the advice from the experts and that’s where our team at ACME Whistles comes in. There are three dog whistles which are most popular amongst trainers, these are: the 210.5, the 211.5, and the 212. Each model differs slightly, with different breeds and environments preferring one over the others. 

Smaller breed owners such as spaniels tend to prefer the 210.5, which is best for use in close proximity. Whereas the 211.5 and 212 both work best in long distance.

The 211.5 is commonly used for Retrievers and Labradors over a much longer distance than the 210.5. Finally the smaller 212 is designed to cut through the environment, so no matter the weather your dog will be able to hear your command loud and clear. 

For a more in-depth look into what whistle would suit you and your dog, we have developed a guide for owners starting out here:https://www.acmewhistles.co.uk/stories/choosing-the-right-dog-whistle