Can Bark Collars Be Efficient?

Bark collars started as an idea, probably by a neighbor of someone whose dog was anxious or neglected, and barked much too often. If you happened to be in a neighborhood that had two or more of these, life was miserable indeed, because they reinforced each other’s behavior.

Initially, only one type of bark collar was invented - the static one. The first versions of static collar came with some complications. The device wasn’t able to tell one dog’s bark from another and it often reacted randomly, even if the dog wearing it wasn’t at fault. Some owners did not supervise their dogs during the first few days of wearing the device and their animals displayed various kinds of trauma.

In the time since they were first introduced, no bark collars have improved dramatically.

They are not intended to cause pain, but startle the dog, which results in a cessation of the offending behavior. (The collars aren’t meant for barking alone; they can be used to correct a wide range of behaviors).

There are three different types of collars available on the market - with citronella, static and sonic. The spray bark collar uses a strong scented fluid, such as citronella; the sonic bark collar uses sound, above the frequency of human hearing but within the dog’s range. Both the sonic and citrus collars are safe to use on animals that are very sensitive to physical stimulation. The collar with citronella musn’t be used on scent hounds, which are extremely sensitive to scents.

The static bark collar has the most flexibility and the highest rate of success, due to improvements and innovations. Vibrations prolongued for a determined period of time can trigger the high-pitched sounds of the static collar. The system does not react to other dogs’ barking. Due to its volume and frequency settings, the collar only reacts to continuous barking, and isn’t triggered by reactions of fear, pain or stress. These devices can be adjusted manually. In addition, they have an automatic shutdown period if the dog barks for a certain period without cease. The bark collar will also reset to a lower level if the dog is silent for a preset amount of time. This will make the dog understand the benefits of barking less.

Like all training aids, a bark collar works best when owner helps the dog understand what the desired behavior is. They are only adjuvants in the training process. Training should be based on rewards and play for good behavior.

These devices are most recommended, over their alternatives - giving the dog away to a dog shelter or subjecting it to a stressful debarking surgery that comes with high risks.

Resource Box

Even though the first versions of bark collar weren’t perfect, they have been improved in time. Most types of dog collars can be adjusted manually or digitally. If you want to find out more about different types of bark collar, click here.



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