PetGentle is a battery-powered dog whistle and flashlight marketed as a tool you can use to train your dog not to bark in situations in which he or she shouldn’t be barking.
The device leverages your dog’s distaste for high-pitched noises to correct his or her behavior.
As a former dog owner of a particularly loud-mouthed terrier, I can tell you from personal experience that there’s nothing more frustrating than having your pup unleash a powerful burst of barks during nap time when the mailman arrives.
In theory, PetGentle seems like a pretty effective tool. In this review, we’ll analyze how the device actually works, how much it costs and how it compares to other similar dog whistles.
How the PetGentle Works
Dog owners with vocal pups who seem to bark at the wrong time – or anytime – during the day can quickly reach their patience’s breaking point. Mailmen, car doors shutting, cats walking through the front yard – they're all triggers for barking.
To think that a device like PetGentle can be the solution to this problem can be a huge relief. After all, their website claims:
“Unwanted behaviors can be frustrating and even embarrassing … PetGentle handheld dog trainer makes it easy. (It) gives you control of the situation so you can train, treat and repeat your way to a better relationship with your four-legged friend.”
The PetGentle an ultrasonic noise emitter (inaudible to humans) and a flashlight. Their site says you can use both of these to get your dog’s attention amid his or her poor behavior – barking, for example. The flashlight has a continuous beam and a strobe option.
Basically, the site says that when your dog is losing their mind over the mailman knocking at your door, you activate the device’s ultrasonic sound.
Since your dog despises the sound, he or she will stop his behavior (in theory) and focus on the very ultrasonic noise it wants to stop.
Should he or she seem undeterred by the sound, you can push the sound button again and activated the light. This two-sense approach should be enough to distract your dog from barking.
The product’s website says that the sound is “100% harmless to dogs & safe to humans.”
Pro tip: The device ships with a 9-volt battery.
Do Dog Whistle’s Help With Barking?
The big question with this device is whether or not it’s actually effective in training your dog not to bark in situations in which he or she normally barks.
According to dog walking site Wag!, the key to using these devices is to reward your dog as soon as he or she exhibits the behavior you deem positive. So, when your dog stops barking after you activate the PetGentle ultrasonic sound, provide them with a treat.
If your pup doesn’t do what you want when you activate the whistle, do it again and, if need be, use the light in conjunction with sound. Consistency is the key to changing behaviors – go through the same process every time your dog bakers when you don’t want him or her to bark.
“Repeat this procedure every time your dog barks in an unwanted fashion. Remember to be consistent. Eventually, your dog will associate excessive barking with the unpleasant sound of the whistle,” Wag! notes.
Based on what we’ve read on Wag! And what we’ve heard from experts, using a device like PetGentle is a legitimate way to bark train your dog.
PetGentle Pricing and Return Policy
When we wrote this review, PetGentle offered five different prices based on how many devices you wanted to buy:
- One device: $39.95
- Two devices: $69.95
- Three devices: $94.95
- Four devices: $114.95
- Five devices: $119.95
What was interesting is that, while we were on the checkout page, a pop-up window with a Wheel of Fortune-style wheel spun around and stopped on a $10 discount that the site added to our shopping cart. Because of this, our PetGentle cost $29.95 instead of $39.95.
Shipping is between $2.95 and $6.95 depending on how many devices you buy.
The site also advertised a 90-day, money-back guarantee that said you could send your PetGentle back within 90 days to get a full refund. You’ll have to pay the shipping to send it back, though.
We read through the fine print to find more information about the return policy and all we could find was an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We called the customer service line 833-501-3407 and received a message telling us there weren’t any agents available to help us.
Based on this experience, it may take some time for you to get your return process, so keep that in mind.
How the PetGentle Compares to Similar Devices
You have two main choices when it comes to dog whistles: battery-powered and breath-powered. You can either push a button or blow into a whistle.
We went to Amazon to find the top-rated battery-powered and breath-powered whistles and found the following two items:
- MightyPaw Training Whistle: $7.99; 3.9 stars from 54 reviews
- Modus Ultrasonic Dog Trainer: $31.99; 4.4 stars from 79 reviews
Based on our research of dog whistles, we don’t see any performance differences between a mouth whistle and battery whistle. Both seem to serve well the purposes of training your dog not to bark.
That being said, the Modus gets better reviews than the MightyPaw. It’s hard to say what the difference is between the two in terms of performance. Some people may like the ease of the battery-powered device – just click a button and the tone emits.
Whistles require lung power and cleaning, and these things take a bit more effort than the PetGentle, for example.
To us, choosing between a battery-powered whistle training and a breath-powered whistle trainer is a matter of your needs for value and convenience.
If you are on a tight budget, breath-powered whistles offer the best value. If you have $30 or $40 to spend and want convenience, the PetGentle is probably the best choice.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of PetGentle
Typically, when you buy products like this, there are two main questions:
- Is the price competitive?
- Is what it claims to do a legitimate solution for your problem?
We believe that PetGentle offers competitive pricing and is a legitimate solution for the problem of a dog who likes to bark at appropriate and inappropriate times.
There’s enough evidence from dog sites and dog experts to back up the idea that consistent use of a dog whistle along with treats can train your dog only to bark in situations you want him or her to bark.
Now, our claim that the device is competitively priced is based on a comparison to other battery-powered ultrasonic trainers. Breath-powered do whistles are significantly cheaper.
In general, we believe our research and various experts point to the fact that the PetGentle can be a helpful way to bark train your dog.