What are the key steps needed to teach my dog to come to a whistle?

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Training a dog to come to a whistle can be a valuable tool. It’s important that a dog learns to come to you when you either say to “come” or use a whistle instead of a verbal command. It enables you to effectively keep your dog away from danger, control your dog in off-leash situations, and have an overall better relationship with your dog.

The key steps needed to teach a dog to come to a whistle are to start early, and to be consistent with the training. The sooner a dog learns what the sound of the whistle means, the more obedient and responsive he will be to the whistle long term. Start by saying the word “come” and blowing the whistle back to back, all while having a food reward in your hand to entice your dog to come towards you. Reward your dog for coming, and repeat this activity many times. Eventually, blow the whistle without saying the word “come.” Your dog should associate the whistle with the action, even without you using a verbal command.

A whistle is a great tool because it lacks emotion, and can carry farther than a voice. Your dog will learn to respond to the whistle at all times, and know exactly what he needs to do when he hears the whistle. Practice whistle training your dog regularly to keep the behavior up, offering praise and food rewards when he is obedient with the whistle.

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