You love your dog, but sometimes, they bark at just about anything, and that can get annoying. Teaching your dog not to bark can be an exhausting task and if you work or are out of the house a lot, a barking dog can annoy your neighbors and anyone else in earshot. But what is the solution if you can’t stay home and tell your dog “No!” whenever he or she barks? One solution that many pet owners are opting for is an anti-bark collar. In fact, anti-bark collars have become very popular among both pet owners and professional trainers.
What is a bark collar?
A bark collar is one that detects sound and gives your dog a negative experience whenever it does. Usually, that means that it will go off whenever your dog barks, but in the past, an anti-bark collar could go off when there is no sound and that can be a problem. For example, if your dog is outside and there are nearby dogs barking or children playing, it could trigger stimulus that is supposed to prevent barking. Not only will this confuse your dog, it will punish him (or her) for no reason. But modern bark collars are much more sophisticated and can almost always differentiate between those sounds and your dog actually barking.
How does it work?
A bark collar works by stimulating the dog negatively somehow. For example, some collars deliver an electric shock to the dog whenever he or she barks, using a very small amount of electricity – just enough for the dog to feel it. But there are other collars as well that do not use electricity to keep the dog from barking. Some of them use an annoying sound instead that only the dog can hear. The dog hears it whenever they bark and it is very effective. Another method often used by bark collars is the smell method – where citronella, which dog’s do not like the smell of, is released when they bark.
Does it work for howling or whining?
Although most of the collars are calibrated properly to hear barking from your dog and filter out any other noises, don’t think that it means that it won’t work when they are howling or whining. The system usually determines whether or not to deliver the negative stimuli based upon how close the sound is to the microphone. That means that if you got down and talked loudly or scolded your dog near them, the collar will go off. But it also means that it will go off when they are barking, whining or howling, because the sound is close enough to trigger the collar.
Benefits of Bark Collars
Of course, the main benefit of the bark collar is that it is an effective tool for training your dog not to bark. For people who want their dog to bark but not all the time – only in the case of home defense or another problem for example – may not want to use a bark collar because it will train the dog to stop barking no matter what the situation. But for those who have dogs that constantly bark at everything that happens, and have neighbors that complain, one of the various bark collars out there might be just what they need.
Types of Bark Collars
There are a few different types of bark collars out there. As mentioned, they use different stimuli in order to train the dog not to bark. Each dog is unique and may respond differently to the collar that you use and some may not be effective for that particular dog, and will force you to buy another. Luckily, there are several types to choose from.
Electric Bark Collars
Electric bark collars are those that deliver a shock when the dog barks. Often, they have different levels of shock that you can deliver, such as the SportDOG NoBark listed below. This means that if the lowest level of shock is not effective for your dog, you can increase it.
Citronella Bark Collars
The next type is the Citronella collar, which delivers a whiff of Citronella whenever the dog barks. This is a wonderful training tool because dogs do not like this fragrance and will avoid it. They will eventually associate barking with that smell and then think twice before starting to bark. Studies have also shown that dogs respond best to citronella spray collars than any others.
Ultrasonic Bark Collars
Ultrasonic bark collars are those that use annoying sounds in order to train your dog. When your dog barks, a high-pitched sound emits from the collar, causing them to associate this unpleasant sounds with barking. Your dog will be hurt in any way by the sound – it just annoys them.
What To Look For When Buying a Bark Collar
When it comes to buying a bark collar, there are a few things that you want to look for. First, make sure that it is a high quality collar from a trusted brand that other people are rating high. You also want to make sure that it fits your dog specifically. There are collars out there that are intended for small dogs and may not make much of an impact (or fit on the neck) of a larger dog. Conversely, there are collars that are out there that are strong and intended for larger dogs and might not be safe on a smaller dog. Finally, try to figure out which collar is most effective for your dog – you can test the citronella beforehand for example.