Our relationships with dogs have evolved dramatically over the last 100 years, and we are now in a time where there has never been more information about how to care for and communicate with them. A company that has been invaluable in helping us to do this is ACME Whistles, and in this feature, we look at its latest innovation called the ALPHA, which has taken them four years to develop.
From gun dogs to family pets and even support animals, the most important aspect of pet keeping is communication, according to Ben Randall, who is a dog training expert. To take communication between pets and owners to the next level, ACME Whistles has developed The ALPHA, the first dog whistle of its kind, which is 8% louder with crisper sound compared with existing models.
Birmingham-based ACME Whistles invented the first dog whistle in 1935, which has been the go-to training tool for owners for decades. Now, ACME has redesigned its original whistle, with a 17% increase in range compared to that original, classic design. Dogs almost half a kilometre away have been able to respond to the whistle’s sound, strengthening the bond between animals and owners, even at long range.
Taking responsibility for our dogs
“Now is the time for dog owners to take responsibility and train their dogs,” says Randall.
The recent rise in fatal dog attacks here in the UK shows that pet keepers cannot always maintain control of their animals.
“While it’s never too late to teach your dogs basic commands, the best time to train them is from young dogs or new puppies,” he explains.
“Many pet owners don’t use a whistle at all, and if they do, it’s likely to be something they just picked up with other paraphernalia that doesn’t work that well and perhaps gets given up on.
“What these owners need is a reliable tool to communicate with their pet and the patience to teach the dog at depth over time.”
The best tool in your arsenal
Confidently communicating with your dog means your pet is kept safe while off the lead, but it’s also important for owners who feel anxious about controlling their dog in public.
All owners have experienced those palm-sweating, throat-drying moments when you’re desperately calling your dog back, but it’s too distracted or excited to listen to you.
Head of marketing of ACME Whistles, Ben McFarlane, explains why the ALPHA whistle is the most powerful communication tool owners can have in their arsenal.
“The frequency of the ALPHA is actually concentrated in the dog’s middle octave hearing range, meaning it hears it more clearly.
“It’s simple to produce a wide variety of sounds and styles that your dog will learn over time, maintaining control and telling your pet firmly, exactly what you need.
“Owners only have to breathe into it for a sound to be made, meaning it’s not only perfect for long range sounds, but precise communication at short range with pets and working dogs.”
Your own fingerprint
Once you have established basic commands, whistle sounds can be tweaked so they’re specific to you. Your dog will be able to pick these sounds out – vital in busy areas where there could even be other whistles sounding.
Those sounds become as unique to you as your own fingerprint, helping your dog connect with you and respond when it matters most.
As well as producing a whistle that cuts through the noise, ACME has created a range of ‘how to’ videos to teach owners exactly how to train their dogs using the ALPHA for a range of basic commands.
A four-year labour
ACME has spent four years developing and tweaking the design of the ALPHA whistle, so you can communicate clearly with your dog in seconds.
Binocular range finders were used to gauge the reactions of different breeds in a wide variety of weather conditions at multiple distances.
Dogs as far as 485 metres away were able to hear and respond to their owner’s commands, making this whistle a game-changer while out on walks.
Randall said, “I’m challenging dogs at distances I’ve not used a whistle at before. Using the ALPHA is a different kettle of fish when compared to older models.”
Internal angles are designed to ‘grab’ extra air, converting it to pure sound, while the new external rubberised sealant prevents air loss.
In wet and cold conditions, this rubberised surface provides a better grip but remains tough enough to endure daily walks in harsh weather.
A more positive, rewarding relationship
With a decorated history working with gun dogs and 135 years of expertise, combined with modern engineering techniques for the crispest possible sound, this is ACME’s most efficient whistle to date.
Training your dog isn’t a “quick fix”, explains Randall. “It requires patience from you and your pet, but over time, you will develop a more positive, rewarding relationship.”
To find out more about the ALPHA and how to use it, visit www.acmewhistles.co.uk.
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