There is an electronic device that can save many dogs from the shelters and animal rescue homes than all the fenced yards in the world. Some pet parents believe that the said device is inhuman. Yet it is not; it is just the opposite. The device that we refer to is the anti-bark collar. This electronic device shocks a dog every time he barks. But worry not – they are not inhumane. The shock is just a light zap similar to the one you’d feel when you insert your finger in the light socket. Let us find out whether anti-bark collars are effective in getting your pet to stop its chronic barking along with some frequently asked questions about them. We will also study top bark collar reviews to help you make an informed choice.
Differences between training collars and anti-bark collars
Anti-bark devices are a form of positive punishment. Dogs that indulge in certain kinds of repetitive barking do well with anti-bark collars. These collars intend to disrupt barking through aversive stimulus such as a loud noise, a small electronic shock, a spray of noxious fluid (citronella), etc. Some devices are designed to be mounted on the walls or counters and can be used on dogs who bark at specific areas in your house.
Other devices are mounted on the dog’s collar itself and they are activated by the very action they are designed to suppress: barking. Both citronella bark collars and electronic shocking anti-bark collars have received positive reviews from pet parents and they have effectively stopped annoying barking. Shock collars are sensitive to the vibrations inside your dog’s throat and they help deliver a shock of adjustable intensity. Citronella anti-bark collars, on the other hand, come with a microphone. When the dog barks, a signal activates the citronella spray which temporarily stuns the dog.
Training collars or shock collars
Training collars, also called shock collars, are only designed to be used on the dog during training. They help deliver a slight electronic shock when the dog does not show wanted or positive behavior during training. You must remove the training collar when you cannot supervise your pet and when you aren’t training him. Training collars help you guide your dog or check his behavior. For some owners, they are an essential part of the dog training kit. However, training collars are pretty controversial and many dog lovers believe them to be inhumane. Most believe that they must never be used on small puppies during training. A well behaved dog may never need a training collar all his life if effective and positive training is used from the start. Read more about dog training collars in our guide here.
Are anti-bark collars effective?
Anti-bark collars can come in very handy under certain circumstances:
- It is 2 am. Your new puppy is barking. Your neighbor threatens to call his lawyer. What can you do? Use an anti-bark device. Many a pup has been put to sleep or sent to the shelter due to excess barking.
- When your dog has undergone treatment for heartworms and the vet has asked you to keep him calm for a few weeks. An anti-bark collar will keep him calm and quiet and contribute to his convalescence.
- When you travel with your pet and hotels have strict rules against barking dogs. Anti-bark collars can be very effective during this time.
- If you keep several dogs then you need anti-bark collars to keep your neighbors happy.
- Remote-controlled anti-bark collars can save dogs as well as the wild animals (like deer) they chase.
- Anti-bark collars that are controlled remotely can also deter car chasing.
Many experts believe that anti-bark collars have saved many a dog from ending up in the gas pound.
How do anti-bark collars work?
Occasional barking is acceptable and even welcome. But excessive barking is a nuisance to all. Thankfully, there is a solution that is effective beyond belief: anti-bark collars. These collars pick up the sound of the bark and at the precise moment create a sensation on the pet that is akin to a small shock. Your chronic barker learns by association. Remote-controlled anti-bark collars also cure car chasing. When your pet starts chasing a car, you can activate the collar remotely to keep your pet safe. Citronella collars release a scent when your dog barks. The strong aroma of citronella is very offensive to pets.
How long can you leave a bark collar on your dog?
It is best to only use the collar on the dog at the time s/he is most likely to bark. Most dogs have specific barking periods. Some dogs, for example, jump and bark when you return home from work. They may even tear your blinds and curtains in the process. In such cases, it is recommended that you place the collar around your pet’s neck before leaving for work. This will also keep him calm throughout the day and you will have fewer complaints from neighbors. You can remove the collar once you are home, for the evening. You are the best judge as to how much time to keep the collar on. In many cases, dogs learn not to bark within two weeks of using the collar as they learn to associate the unpleasant scent/sensation/sound with their barking. Many dogs have not required the anti-bark collar again after 2-3 weeks of use.
Which is better: citronella or electronic shock anti-bark collars?
Ask pet parents and most would reply that both types of anti-bark devices are equally effective. However, many pet parents prefer citronella based devices as they are less aversive and more acceptable than shock bark collars. Naturally, dog parents cannot say for sure whether the strong scent of citronella is equally aversive if not more, to their beloved pet. Also, some studies have shown that most dogs are more likely to get used the citronella scent after a few days than they would to other aversive methods like shock collars.
A study was conducted on citronella anti-bark collars. The collars were tested out on dogs that had been examined and found to not have any fears or anxiety. Most of these dogs would bark at traffic near their yard or during car rides. The study showed that barking frequency reduced within a week of using the citronella collar. However, over the 3-week study period, the barking frequency again rose, indicating possible habituation to the citronella scent.
Contraindications to use of anti-bark devices
If your pet’s barking is due to anxiety or fear, you must not use these devices, irrespective of its type. Also, if your dog tends to get more aggressive due to the use of such methods, then it is best not to use these collars. There is a lot of potential for misuse of anti-bark collars. So parents must always monitor their kids and prohibit them from hurting the dog unnecessarily.
Best anti-bark collars in the market
1. Pet Yeah Anti Bark Collar, Rainproof/Reflective/Rechargeable/Adjustable Intensity and Sensitivity
- Pet Yeah collar is adjustable to fit dogs between 6lbs to 150 lbs.
- You get to decide whether the device shocks the pet or not; simply set it to vibration or beeping and sound mode.
- The intelligent and sensitive sensor will prevent false triggers or accidental shocks.
- Thousands of happy pet parents have been satisfied with this product.
- If your dog’s incessant barking is causing threats from neighbors, then the Pet Yeah collar is for you.
2. TBI Pro Anti Bark Collar Beep/Bark/Shock
- This is a high tech bark collar with an intelligent microprocessor controlled design, digital display, and best rechargeable battery.
- TBI Pro can fit dogs varying from 7lbs to 120 lbs.
- Triggering device activates only when your pet barks and not due to other dogs barking etc.
- Charge lasts up to 14 days. You can charge the TBI Pro from any USB device/computer/power bank or wall charger.
- More than 3000+ customers have given this anti-bark device a 5-star review.
Anti-bark collars can be useful provided they are used under supervision and not as a tool to harm the dog. Talk to your vet or a dog trainer whether anti-bark collars are right for your pet.