Whistle: An electronic journal for your dog

One of the best things about Whistle is the unit’s compact design.

As my dog Sailor hits the 14-year mark, she still loves to chase her ball daily, but sadly I see her stamina waning. I find she sleeps longer and when she gets up, often her gait is slow and she appears stiff. She never takes her eyes off me, unless she’s in dreamland. She’s in constant “ready” mode should I decide it’s time to go for a walk or grab the ball. If she could play fetch all day until all she could muster would be akin to an army crawl across a field of active mines…she would still try to keep my hand flinging the magical orb till her last breath. Give her a ball and copious amounts of sand and sea, she is in such bliss no one would ever guess she’s a regal, canine sage.

I’m impressed with Whistle activity monitor and the technology behind it. I like the fact it isn’t a bulky collar with a big black box; rather it’s a sleek, fairly inconspicuous silver disc that attaches easily to any collar and kinda makes her look like a secret agent. (For more, please see the “Whistle Pros & Cons” sidebar to the right.)

Product aesthetics aside, I really like that Whistle helps me to not only track Sailor’s activity by setting goals for the day but in a way, it acts as a journal, where I can document what we did during her active times; post photos from those precious (now fleeting) moments and interact with other users; ask questions; and enjoy their posts and photos as well. As the founder of National Dog Day and National Walk Your Dog Week, I encourage people to get out with their dogs and move. With more and more people becoming sedentary and gaining weight due to a lack of exercise, dogs don’t get the necessary outlet they need to stay physically and mentally healthy.

I feel that part of the overpopulation of dogs in this country is hugely associated with our growing waistlines. Generally, the less a person exercises, the less a dog exercises. Having trained thousands of dogs in the last 20 years, it’s my estimation at least 75 percent of dogs in shelters are there due to a lack of exercise, which has thus resulted in serious behavior issues such as aggression. Whistle can help motivate dog parents when the activity level, or lack thereof, is displayed on a graph right in front of their face.

When you set your daily goal, it psychologically makes you really want to meet it, for your dog’s sake, knowing that they need it…or chance having them stare you down like a lazy loser. In my opinion, nothing is worse: I would rather endure Chinese water torture or be prevented from ever eating another carb again, than suffer the icy sharp searing stare of a black Lab who doesn’t get her daily fetch-and-run fix. Thank you Whistle for keeping me safe!

I’m looking forward to bringing you another review after I’ve had a chance to use the device for a while and learn all the features comfortably. But for now, I’d say…Whistle while you work!