Freshly cooked dog food. Delivered.

Dog whistle training

Dog whistle training

Training your dog to respond to you when they’re off leash can be a frustrating task. It seems like once they’re free, some dogs think you’re no better than chopped liver. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to train a dog off leash. Dog whistle training is one tool in your dog training arsenal to take advantage of to perfect your pup’s recall.

Afterall, having your dog under control and responsive when it’s off leash is not only for their safety but the safety of the other people and animals around you.

Puppy training A man training a energetic Labrador Retriever puppy.  Good behavior and correcting bad behaviour. dog whistle stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Here are a few steps to help get your dog to be the perfect off leash companion:

  1. Start by finding what your dog is motivated by. Some common rewards are food/treats, toys and affection. A good way to think about it is if you were doing the task. Would you go to work at your job if you weren’t getting paid? Probably not. Your dog views doing tricks and training in the same way. Think of the motivator as your dog's paycheck for the work they’re doing.
  2. Begin working on recall by using your dog whistle in your home or yard. This limits distractions like new dogs, smells and animals and allows your dog to only focus on you and your commands. With dogs repetition is key. Use the whistle and every time they come to you, reward them with their motivator and give them praise. This way your dog will learn that everytime they hear the whistle and come to you, they will be rewarded with their favorite thing. Therefore, listening to you trumps any other distractions that may be out there..
  3. Once you feel confident in your dog’s recall skills in your own home, you can begin to venture out into public off leash areas. It is recommended to start in a quieter park with few other distractions. For the first few visits, have them on a long lead. Let them venture out and every minute, use the whistle to draw them back and reward them. Eventually, you can start working up in time. Recall them with the whistle every minute and then work up to every 2 minutes and then every 3 minutes and so on. This may take several visits, especially at a park with lots of distractions.
  4. After you get them reliably recalling to the dog whistle on lead, you can attempt to let them off in a controlled area. Do not let them venture further than a 6 foot radius around you. As soon as your dog reaches that 6 foot mark, recall and reward them. 
  5. Some additional steps you can take is to train a release word. First train them with a “wait”, “heal” or “hold “ command. When you’ve deduced that there is no threat or that your dog will not bolt off, release them with a command like “ok” or “go”.

During the early stages of whistle training, your dog will not be absolutely perfect with its recall. The best thing to do is to be patient and stick with the training!

Woman whistle training her lab in a field
Woman whistle training her lab in a field

View Sources

Try Kabo

Freshly cooked dog food. Delivered.

Now serving Ontario, British Columbia, Montréal, Winnipeg, and Calgary.
Formulated by expert nutritionists.
Free delivery!
Learn More
Days 1 & 2
75% old food
25% Kabo (cooked, kibble, or both)
Days 3 & 4
50% old food
50% Kabo
Days 5 & 6
25% old food
75% Kabo
Days 7+
100% fresh, human-grade Kabo!
Try Kabo

Freshly cooked dog food. Delivered.

Nutritious, human-grade, Canadian food customized for your dog.
Developed by nutritional experts & Vet recommended.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Get Fresh - 40% OFF

More from our blog

February 20, 2024
5 minutes
Want more healthy tips for your dog?

Subscribe to our newsletter

* Add a notice about your Privacy Policy here.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
River Park
Bowmont Park
Sue Higgins Park
Nose Hill Park
Tom Campbell's Hill