Why Are Dogs Attracted To Whistles?


You ever wondered why you made a whistle at your dog or to yourself and for some reason, your dog just get attracted and walks straight to you.

Well it’s simple, that is because your dog’s instincts tells it to come to you the moment you blow a whistle, as the whistle is a natural command to the dog.

Dogs, however have better hearing, so your whistle is much clear and loud to them than it is to you.

Hearing In Dogs

Dogs can hear higher pitches than we can. In sound, pitch is when we hear it high or low. The pitch of a sound is measured in Hertz (Hz).

Bear in mind that your dog will hear more if he’s close to you, so it may agitate him! You can also try to listen to sounds above what a person can hear, if you are young you may hear more than an older person, as hearing deteriorates with age.

Below are the hearing ranges of a dog:

Dogs: 45 KHz to 60Hz or more

Generally, the frequency of a whistle is on the higher side of the human hearing range and we don’t normally make such high-pitched sounds, so just as something unusual attracts a person’s attention, so an unusual sound attracts a dog’s attention.

Most people whistle to call a dog or to attract his/her attention if he/she is nearby. When a dog first hears the whistle, he will out of curiosity try to find its source and would probably be praised or rewarded for approaching or listening, and would subsequently associate the action with a reaction.

Thus, every time he heard a whistle, he would go to the whistler, just as he had been trained to listen when called by name. It is through good memories of whistling in the past that he behaves pleasantly, expecting the same reward or praise in the present.

As noted earlier, no one whistles because of a bad mood, and because a person’s mood is reflected in a dog, he therefore associates the whistle with anything good that makes him happy: your good mood, your praise, a reward or signal to go out, a call for food and so on.

Thus, dogs act happy rather than friendly when they are whistled at, because of a conditioned reflex they have developed to whistle.

This reflex is related to the expectation of good things that usually follow a whistle. Thus, one can associate the whistle with a certain desired reaction of the dog, and if one starts from the beginning, the dog will show the desired reaction.

For example, if you whistle at your dog and hit him as he comes towards you, how soon do you think the dog will run away when he hears your whistle!

So, the first part is getting the dog’s attention with an unusual high-pitched sound and the second part is the conditioned reflex and all the good memories associated with that sound.

Dogs are made to figure us out. Dogs, as followers, are programmed by nature to unravel their owners, to dissect their owner’s behaviour, and when dogs dissect their owner’s behaviour, they assist their owner in performing that behaviour in support of their role as pack leader. That makes sense. Nature is really smart and effective.

Literally every time you look at your dog, you’re observing a communication from him, be prepared to see it. If not, then you’re not ready – that’s how it works. This is because your dog communicates behaviourally, and because your dog picks up on what you say behaviourally and non-verbally.

However, if your dog is behaviourally communicating something important to you, behaviourally, and you miss it or don’t understand it, it will happen again.

You may well be able to understand it next time, but if your mind, brain, attention, energy and focus is on what he did (that is, the message made to you) yesterday, which you still don’t understand, then you are missing the most important parts of his communication with you, and you don’t even know you are missing them.



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