It can be very difficult to stop a dog from barking if the habit has already established itself. There are many strategies owners try without success. Recently, bark collars have entered the market as an option, but do bark collars work?
So, do bark collars work? Yes, these products do work but each situation is different and you must consider your dog’s temperament and safety. You must also consider the dog’s size, health and age.
How Does It Work?
Bark collars work by detecting vibrations generated when a dog barks. When the collar detects the vibrations, the mechanism is triggered. For the most common type of collar, it relies on static shocks that are transferred to the the dog’s neck by metal prongs that are attached to the collar of the dog, A small current is applied to it when the dog barks.
Another type of bark collar will spray liquid under the dog’s nose every time it detects barking. The collar will emit a smell that the dog finds unpleasant. An example is the smell of citronella.
Many trainers believe this type of bark collar can be more painful than shock or vibration collars, This is because the majority of pet owners who use these collars, use them when they are out of the house to keep their dog from barking throughout their absence. The dog is unable to escape the smell and may have to endure it for hours if the owner is at work all day.
In essence, bark collars work by doing a bit of conditioning. Each time the dog bark, they know that the behavior will trigger a certain response. Since the response is unpleasant, pups will do their best to keep the barking under control.
A dog’s personality and how long the habit has existed will determine how long it takes until you start seeing an improvement. The collar may need to be worn longer in some cases to accomplish the task.
The Negative Effects
A bark collar will serve the purpose, but several other considerations need to be made as well.
Scientists found that electric shocks used to treat negative behaviors in dogs are often associated with anxiety, stress, and fear. Therefore, the harm caused by training may far outweigh any benefits.
Training professionals argue that the collars lead to unnecessary pain. For that reason, they recommend exploring alternative methods prior to using this sort of product. The use of bark collars should be reserved for the last resort in troublesome cases or when the dog fails to respond to all other methods of training.
Buying the Right Bark Collar
If other methods fail to control barking, a collar will need to be purchased. Not all collars are the same. Quality plays an important role in the outcome of training and determining the safety of the dog.
Based on the temperament of the dog, the right type of stimulus must be chosen – electric shock, scent, or ultrasonic stimulation. Electrical shock is reserved only for the most difficult cases. Collars need to be made from a soft material that is comfortable to wear. Otherwise, dogs will find training painful and frustrating.
Another good strategy is to choose a collar that will acclimate the dog gradually. Always start at the lowest levels and increase the stimulation in very small increments. The collar should also be worn for a few hours every day until the dog is used to it.