Barking Dogs – Do Bark Collars Work?

by Jonni

Barking is a perfectly “normal” behavior in dogs. They communicate with each other, and with us, by barking, howling, grunting, whining, and many noisy combinations of those sounds.

Some dogs are more prone to excessive barking than other breeds, and some dogs have been inadvertently trained to bark. Other dogs are left alone in boring surroundings and their endless barking appears to be annoying only to the neighbors. If a dog’s bark is too screechy or loud, or if the owner (or neighbor) simply can’t get it to stop, the mutt may end up at the local Humane Society. This is unfortunate, because this behavior can be corrected.

Two types of bark collars were designed for just this problem.

I wish this product had been available sooner, because it may have helped correct Heidi’s barking problem. When my mother passed away I inherited Heidi, her gentle, loving miniature Schnauzer. Heidi had been raised in the country with a fenced back yard surrounded by acres of trees. In her first home she barked only when a visitor drove up the driveway. Her barks were actually useful, and caused no problems to my retired parents.

In my home in the city, Heidi “announced” every human, dog, or cat that walked by on the sidewalk. Every fire siren drove her into hysterics. Neighbors taking their garbage out to the alley? Heidi let me know. Her need to bark at all these worrisome strangers was so intense that she continued to make muffled noises even if her muzzle was held shut by her frustrated new owner. She was soon transferred to my brother’s house, in the country. With two other dogs to play with, and no close neighbors, her barking was no longer a problem.

Clearly, environment can matter. Proper training methods can certainly help (I admit that none of my amateur training methods were helpful with Heidi – a professional may have been able to train me to train her to stop barking). It also helps to make sure that the dog has plenty of play time, and is never completely alone. I don’t know if a bark collar would have worked with Heidi, since they are a fairly new invention, but I wish I could buy one for the dog who lives across the street.

There are two types of bark collars.

Bark CollarAn electrical bark collar works by emitting a warning tone or vibration when the dog first begins to bark. If the warning is ignored the collar then gives a correcting shock. The collar can be adjusted to vary the strength of the correction, and you would naturally use the lowest level that works. Some breeds have very high pain tolerance, such as the traditional fighting breeds, and this must be taken into account.

Bark CollarThe other type of bark collar is called the Premier Gentle Spray Bark Control Pet Training System The Gentle Spray collar helps stop excessive barking without a shock, and may work even with dogs who ignore the electric collar. When the dog barks, a burst of all natural citronella spray is emitted from the dog collar. While not harmful, it is a sufficient deterrent to excessive barking. Dogs don’t like the hissing noise that comes from the collar, and they don’t like the smell of the citronella.

Both types of collars need to be used with human supervision, and you will want to make sure that any environmental cause, such as deadly boredom, has been corrected.