Dogs use barking, whining, and howling to communicate. Some dogs like to "talk" more than others; they may have learned to get attention by making noise. If your dog's barking becomes excessive, it can disrupt sleep, become annoying, and cause problems with neighbors. For some dogs, the barking can become so excessive it endangers the dog's chances of staying in the home. If you love your pet, but don't love all the noise he is making, you may want to consider the different bark control collar options available. Before purchasing a bark control collar for your dog, please consider the following:
- Spend some time working with your dog prior to purchasing a bark training collar. Think of a command to give to your dog when you want him to stop barking, such as "quiet" or "hush." Make it a word that you do not normally say for other things. Do not use "no" since it is used for many other things. Offer a treat when your dog stops barking after you give the command. It may take some time for your pet to learn the command. You can also use a spray bottle to (gently) squirt your pet in the face if he continues to bark. The water will startle your dog, and cause him to stop barking at least temporarily. As soon as he stops, reward him. Have a little patience with this as it may take several days of consistent training.
- Do not yell at your dog when he is barking. If you are yelling, your dog thinks you are joining him in "barking" and will only get more excited. At the very least, it is a response--a reward--for his barking, and you do not want to reward his barking.
- If the training does not help, and you believe a bark control collar is the only option, consult your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can give you advice on what type of collar will be the most effective for your dog's breed and size. You do not want to purchase a collar that could harm your pet.
- The citronella bark control collar is the most humane type. The collar senses when the dog barks and sprays citronella in the dog's face. The spray is non-toxic and harmless. Humans do not mind the citrus scent. A dog, however, is startled by the sound of the spray, and does not like the strong citrus smell in his face. This collar provides a humane solution for barking, and has also been proven for long-term use. The citrus canister is removable and replacement cartridges are available. These citronella collars are gaining popularity, and some studies show them as the most effective method of bark control.
- Another option is a bark control collar, which emits a high frequency sound when your dog barks. The sound is inaudible to humans, but dogs will learn to associate the unpleasant sound with their barking. Some of these collars have fluctuating frequencies, and you can adjust the frequency to work for your pet.
- The last option is the shock collar. The shock collar gives your pet a shock in response to his bark. High end shock collars will have sensors for both the vibration and sound of barking so your dog is not shocked for other noises going on around him. Many pet owners question whether the shock collar is humane. For some, it is a difficult decision, but if the pet's home is at stake, it may be your only option. Most pet experts recommend using a shock collar only as a last resort.
When you purchase a bark control collar for your dog, make sure it has at least a 30-day money back guarantee. When you get the collar, try it on your pet. Make sure you read and follow all instructions. It may take from one day up to a week to notice a reduction in barking from your pet. Not barking is a conditioned response, and there is a learning curve. Some pets catch on faster than others. Not all collars are effective on all dogs. If the control collar you chose does not affect your dog's barking in a positive way within the first couple weeks, return it for a refund and try another option.