Having a dog that’s constantly barking loud can be very frustrating. Not just for yourself, but for everyone who lives near you and can hear him going about endlessly at night, whether it’s because they’re upset, scared or anything in between. And in most cases, regardless of the reasons for the constant barking, this can cause your neighbors to take action against you and call animal services, which may lead to your beloved friend being taken away from you.
For this reason, training your dog to not bark, or reducing barking to a minimum, can be one of the most important things you’ll teach him. However, doing so requires a lot of effort. Many people, especially those who have owned several dogs, know how important tackling this problem is. Nevertheless, the truth of the matter is, many dog owners are not that much experienced, which is why they start using devices like the barking collar. There has been a lot of controversy regarding barking collars in the past few years, however, there can be great differences in features between different models.
There are some barking collar types that are perfectly okay to use, like the citronella ones. These models use a small microphone to sense barking, and once they do, they release plant-based citronella fragrance into the air. This has proven to reduce and even completely stop nuisance barking. However, you have to ensure the mic’s sensitivity works properly at all times. It might pick up the sound of another dog barking and confuse your dog, but these are just small drawbacks that far outweigh the benefits of these barking collars.
Then, there are also ultrasonic bark collars which have a microphone that emits a high-pitched sound that’s irritating to dogs, but humans don’t pick it up. Some models feature two tones – one which punishes negative behaviour and one which rewards positive behaviour. However, there are also models that combine a sound and an electronic shock, and you should make sure you stay away from these as they’re illegal in Australia.
While there are also other ways to train your dog so it doesn’t bark, they all require a lot more effort and you still might not get the desired result. Barking collars are affordable, effective, and if you research well the type you’re buying – you’ll realize they’re also perfectly safe. Consult with your vet before getting a collar, and look into the different models and what features they offer.