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Good Dog Gear: The Roy Gonia Special and/or the Acme Thunderer

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May 27, 2011

Good Dog Gear: The Roy Gonia Special and/or the Acme Thunderer

By Chad Love

You can (and many do) spend thousands of dollars on wingers, bumper launchers, e-collars, training programs, birds and every other training aid known to man, but the one training item you'll use more than anything else, the one you will never, ever be without, costs about five bucks.

It's a whistle, of course, and for many of us it's our primary means of non-verbal communication with our dogs. It's also perhaps the most individualistic training item. Everyone has a favorite whistle, whether it's hand-carved from a bit of antler, an old heirloom brass athletic whistle or a modern plastic whistle specifically designed for dog work. They all work, but some are more popular than others.

Go to a field trial and you'll see a dizzying variety of whistles on the handlers' lanyards, with names like "Green Monster" or "Mega-Earsplitter" (OK, so I just made that last one up...) but chances are a big chunk of the whistles will be one of two rather ordinary looking specimens, the Roy Gonia Special and the Acme Thunderer.

Between them, they've probably trained more gundogs than any other whistles out there. I have either a Gonia or a Thunderer on every lanyard I own. I personally can't tell a decibel's worth of difference between the two, and my dogs don't seem to care. I've tried any number of whistles, and I keep coming back to these two, because they're cheap and they work, and for someone of my limited means those two words go together like chocolate and peanut butter...

So that's my choice of whistle. What's yours?

Comments (8)

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from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

I have used an Acme Thunderer with all my dogs. I was given it in 1980 or there abouts.

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from PipersDad06 wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

I use a Roy Gonia Special Mega whistle. It projects the sound out to my dog and protects my ears and everyone else's around. I also carry a backup Gonia special just in case.

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from Nathan Ross wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

I use a Fox-40

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

i only have experience with the thunderer, but i guess i should try some of the others as well.

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

A whistle is a whistle, right? Maybe, but the Acme Thunderer is my choice but I also have a Roy Gonia Mega Whistle on the lanyard for longer cast on windy days.

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from spentcartridge wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

Got 'em both. The Roy Gonia seems a little kinder on my ears.

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from -Bob wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

Perhaps a bit off-topic, but...I spent six years as a lifeguard. The Acme Thunderer was the hands-down choice among those of us who swung a whistle for a living.

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from birds4cooper wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

For those bone chilling hunts in Dec and Jan, I like the Fox 40...no pea in the middle so it doesn't freeze up.

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from Coachcl wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I use the Roy Gonia to train my dogs. I also coach basketball, whenever I forget my old black whistle I bust this out and it has the desired effect. Everything hears it.

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from Nathan Ross wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

I use a Fox-40

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

I have used an Acme Thunderer with all my dogs. I was given it in 1980 or there abouts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from PipersDad06 wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

I use a Roy Gonia Special Mega whistle. It projects the sound out to my dog and protects my ears and everyone else's around. I also carry a backup Gonia special just in case.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

i only have experience with the thunderer, but i guess i should try some of the others as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

A whistle is a whistle, right? Maybe, but the Acme Thunderer is my choice but I also have a Roy Gonia Mega Whistle on the lanyard for longer cast on windy days.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from spentcartridge wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

Got 'em both. The Roy Gonia seems a little kinder on my ears.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from -Bob wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

Perhaps a bit off-topic, but...I spent six years as a lifeguard. The Acme Thunderer was the hands-down choice among those of us who swung a whistle for a living.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from birds4cooper wrote 2 years 46 weeks ago

For those bone chilling hunts in Dec and Jan, I like the Fox 40...no pea in the middle so it doesn't freeze up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Coachcl wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I use the Roy Gonia to train my dogs. I also coach basketball, whenever I forget my old black whistle I bust this out and it has the desired effect. Everything hears it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment