Here's what readers often ask about when they're training their dogs
Q: I will soon be training my first Labrador gundog. What sort of whistle should I use, as I am considering using the silent type.
A: (Peter Blatch replies) There are several different types of dog whistles available and the one I favour for Labradors is the 211.5
I have never used silent whistles on Labs because the other type tends to work best. That said, silent whistles for some reason seem to be favoured more by people training a spaniel.
Regardless of breed I stick to the same whistle because I can hear its tone perfectly and get the commands exactly right every time – the most important ones being a long blast to stop the dog and several sharp pips to come in or, in the case of a spaniel, two quick pips to turn it. The good old 211.5 allows me to do this consistently so there is no confusion in the dog’s mind when he hears the whistle go.
The main disadvantage with a silent whistle is it’s made of metal, which makes it heavy to hold between the teeth and very uncomfortable in cold weather.
The ready availability of the 211.5 is another point in its favour, because if you lose one it can then be quickly replaced, and cheaply.
By all means give a silent whistle a trial, but in my experience when working Labradors at a distance the sound of the 211.5 carries far greater distances than the silent type.