Dogs bark at strangers. It is their generic habit. But what if he starts barking at others too? Have you noticed your pampered pet aggressively barking at the doorbell? Haven’t you seen him howling at your well-known neighbour sometime?
Has it ever happened that your simple car drive or a refreshing slumber turned out into a disaster by your adorable canine’s ceaseless bark?
Well, it is a common problem faced by most dog owners that their cute dogs begin howling and barking without any apparent cause. Though it is usual for a dog to bark, it may snatch your peace of mind easily. So, you must know how to stop him : how to quell his excitement on such moments.
What if you could stop him from barking using a whistle? It’s possible. You can control him in such moments only using a dog whistle. Instead of yelling at the dog, you can simply flow some air and stop his mischievous noise. This article is deemed to help you in dealing with this sort of nuisance.
Why do Dogs Bark at Strangers ?
Barking at strangers is a reflexive behavior in dogs. They do it out of fear, and sometimes out of their genetic strategy of self-imposure. It is regarded as an unremarkable act of response. They do it most of the time sub-consciously or out of certain behavioral impulse. If the dog is doing it very often, it would then be considered as a Compulsive behavior, resulting from psychological or somatoform disorders. You may need to consult an animal behaviorist in such cases.
Though infrequent barking at strangers is regarded as normal, it may be ill-timed. Pets participate with us in social gatherings, and it might become very disgusting if it cannot be controlled. So you need to learn how to control such unwanted responses from your dog.
Can Whistles Work Better than Voice Commands?
This question arises often, as most of the owners are familiar with verbal commands to control their faithful canines. Indeed it is effective and widely used. But in many practical cases, it has proven useless. Many causes, including variation of your tone may confuse the dog. For instance, you have caught a cold and shout at your dog to stop barking, it may not recognise the command. Due to strange cold-stricken intonation, he may misunderstand your warning as something else and resume barking. Thus, it may mess up the whole situation.
On the other hand, by using a dog whistle there is less possibility of falling into that kind of mess. A dog whistle has more or less constant frequency that cannot easily confuse the dog once he is accustomed to it. Moreover, a whistle may work at a long distance for command while your voice has limited distance coverage. But remember, it can work when your mammal is familiar with a dog whistle first. Then how can you train your adorable companion to stop barking at a single blow of whistle? The following simple steps you need to follow to get control over your pet by using a whistle.
Whistles are a part of the positive reinforcement training. Clicker training is also the same. See our post on how to train your dog using a clicker.
Starting to Train with a Dog Whistle
Step 1: Point Out Why and When Your Dog Barks
To solve any problem, it is a prime necessity to find out the root cause of the problem first. Try to determine why your dog barks. Is it any anxiety that is stimulating him to do so? Or is it something silly and simple that causes him to bark? If it is from any grave anxiety or stress you should consult a certified animal behaviorist to resolve the issue. But if your dog barks for the second reason then you can easily solve it using a whistle.
Now you need to find out when your dog usually barks? He may bark when a squirrel sneaks in through the fence hole or when he sees any outsider around or when the doorbell begins to ring. He can also bark while you are just walking with him in the neighborhood. Or he may bark just to get the attention of yours. First, determine the factors or situations that stimulate or excite him to do such frenzied noise. It will help you to initiate the next step.
Step 2: Let The Dog Bark
Once you have determined the cause of barking, then you can follow this measure. Be ready with your whistle and some delicacy favorite to your animal. Take your cute canine into the place where he usually commences the noise. Or make the situation when he begins the unwanted howl. Keep a keen eye on him and wait for the noise to begin.
Step 3: Blow The Dog Whistle
As your dog is in the situation where he commonly barks or howls, most possibly he will bark here. As soon as he starts barking, blow the whistle with a commanding, authoritative high-pitched tone. As you use your voice to warn him for anything wrong, use your whistle to do the same. Blow the whistle only once. Several blows can frighten the dog, and in retaliation, he may bark further. On hearing the sound of the whistle, he will stop barking for a while at least. Use the time to follow the next level.
Step 4: Reward Some Delicacy
If the puppy stops barking, you should immediately offer the dog something favorite to him, be it a delicacy, toy or anything. Most preferably, delicacy should be given since most of the dogs like food above anything else. Your dog will take it as a friendly gesture and eagerly have it without further noise. If this doesn’t work then you need to do something.
Step 5: Blow The Whistle Again If He Doesn’t Stop There
It may happen that your puppy still barks denying the sound of the whistle. But if he does so you need to blow the whistle technically. You should blow the whistle several times in a breath with a high frequency. It certainly will startle the dog for a while and his incessant noise may abruptly come to an end. As he stops, give him some delicious food to eat. He will be busy eating the stuff ; and thus you will successfully divert his attention from the thing or person he dislikes to the thing he loves. Then he will obey you like an obedient child to get his reward.
Step 6: Repeat The Process And Be Consistent
You should keep in mind that this process will not work just by doing it once. You have to repeat the process a number of times until the dog acclimatizes with the sound of your whistle. With the passage of time, your puppy will recognize the sound of the whistle like he knows your voice. You just need to inculcate this ‘whistle stop game’ by reiterating several times.
Moreover, another thing should be remembered. You need to be constant in your blow. Sometimes a high-pitched tone and other times a fragile, weak sound can create confusion in your dog. So you should maintain the same frequency while blowing the whistle to get the best possible result. To make it happen you can choose from various whistles available in the market according to your requirements.
Which Whistle To Choose?
There are various whistles to choose from. You can try the manual one, the most simple version of this device. It will reach both human and animal ears (make sure, your dog is not deaf). But the problem with this simple whistle is that it’s not constant enough to guide the dog better. It’s frequency may rise and fall and consequently confuse your puppy. Furthermore, if you have an angry neighbor who dislikes any sound made by you, the sound of this whistle will surely be a disturbing experience for him. Or if you have any family member who is highly sound sensitive, then you had better try another option.
The most popular and widely used whistle is, however, the silent dog whistle (also known as Galton’s whistle, named after the man who invented it). The most fascinating feature of this whistle is that its sound is not audible to the human ear. The whistle uses a higher frequency than usual which can distinctly work with other mammals such as dogs, cats ; because their range of hearing is several times higher than ours. So you won’t be able to hear any sound, not even your angry neighbor. But your dog will hear the sound clearly and respond according to the training.
There is another advantage in using this. While your sound may not reach your beloved faithful pooch at a long distance out of hustles, the sound of the whistle will reach the unreachable areas without difficulty. That is why a silent dog whistle is widely popular among researchers, security experts and among common dog owners.
Interestingly, another twist lies ahead. There are automatic battery operated whistles available in the market that can blow itself at the sound of barking. It can give your relief from blowing again and again. Rather you can only set it up at a certain frequency suitable for the dog’s ear and rest elsewhere. While you are out to work and no one here to flow air through the whistle, this whistle can be a splendid option for you.
See our reviews to help you buy the best dog whistles in the market.
DOS AND DON’TS
There are particular things you need to do and avoid at the same time. These are as follows :
★Give your dog a gentle command not a harsh one. Don’t yell at the dog when he barks since yelling won’t help. Your yelling may be misunderstood by the dog that you are also barking at him and cheering him to continue his noise.
★Reward him with something loved by the dog when he obeys your verbal or non-verbal command. Don’t be so hard-hearted to torture your dog physically. Any sort of physical torture will not amend your dogs barking, rather it will aggravate the predicament.
★Don’t rush with supersonic speed. Your dog needs enough training to be familiar with dog whistles. So train him first to learn to react at a single blow, and then you should gradually teach him how and when to react at various blows. And make the training session as short as possible, otherwise it will bore the puppy.
There are several things you need to maintain as precautions. Precautions will help you not to get involved in a mess regarding whistle or dog. First of all, try to keep the whistle out of reach from any mischievous child. The child may whistle without apparent cause, just to play with the dog which can interrupt your training session. Moreover, if you are exposed to incessant noise, you will certainly be irritated. So if the dog is exposed to any unnecessary whistles he will be also either afraid or annoyed. A child may go as long as whistling direct at the ear of the dog. It can be a catastrophe. The normal frequency of a whistle ranges from 23 khz to 54 khz. This high frequency noise can deafen your dog if he is directly hearing the whistle in his ear.
Secondly, if your living area is replete with bitter cold, then the pea inside the whistle may freeze, thus rendering it useless. So keep the whistle in a warm place to protect it from freezing conditions. As a precaution, you can always keep a backup whistle in case of emergency like this one.
A simple dog whistle can render great service to you and your neighbor to get rid of the nuisance of your pet’s howl. It can help you to sleep with a peaceful heart or walk around the neighborhood without anxiety. It has also no side effects that can cause any unwanted disturbance among your family members.
But if you have a hunting dog you need to train him with greater efforts. You should train him for a longer period than usual to accustom him with this device. Young puppies are likely to learn to stop at the sound of a whistle better than a grown up dog. So if your pet is young you should train him as fast as possible. Nevertheless, dogs are quick learners ; so an adult dog can also learn rapidly if the correct methods and techniques are applied.
Therefore, follow the steps above to control your dogs barking. A silent, abiding dog is the most amazing creature that can give you significant pleasure. Only a whistle and some considerable training can help you to relax on a couch and your neighbor to find peace. Hopefully, you can find enormous delight to soothe your barking pet now on. Incessant barking may turn into a friendly gesture. Apart from stopping unexpected noise, you can also give desired command, both simple and complex, by varying the frequency and tone of the whistle. So use a silent dog whistle and be happy with your pet afterwards.