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View Full Version : Bark Collars. Do they work?


jedimaster91
04-21-2010, 08:59 PM
My dogs have been driving me particularly bonkers today. It's my day off, my allergies are going haywire, and I've been trying to sleep. Except they bark at every little bumblebee in the yard. Actually, Ziggy is worse about it. Tag usually won't bark unless she starts something. My neighbor babysits a small group of kids during the day. The kids were in the backyard playing, and of course the dogs are barking at them.

Mr Jedi and I have tossed around the idea of getting Ziggy a bark collar for awhile now. We have hounds. They bark. We had hoped getting her a friend would give her something to do besides bark at everything, but we were wrong. All Tag's done is give her a partner in crime. There are several reasons we haven't gotten a bark collar yet. One is they are expensive. Secondly, I question their effectiveness at their humaness. Somehow I doubt the spray kind or the supersonic kind would work on Ziggy. We tried hot sauce as a deterrent to keep her from chewing the wiring to our AC unit, but she liked it. Honestly, I wouldn't need to have it on her more than a couple hours in the evenings when the neighbors get home. Thoughts?

RetailWorkhorse
04-21-2010, 10:17 PM
Used correctly, they can be very good. You can't just use them without further training, though. It only helps to renforce the "No" aspect. It also helps continue training. It's a tool, not a cure to stop dogs from barking.

Then again, some dogs just simply bark incessantly because everything freaks them out.



**Can you tell I went and asked someone? Personally, I don't use them and you can't pay me to use one (along with electronic fences).

draggar
04-21-2010, 10:19 PM
They can help but be ready to hear some deathly yelps from the dog. After a couple of zaps they tend to learn.

Many of them today monitor "excessive" barking. It will let them bark once or twice (as a warning to someone outside, etc..) but it will give them a zap if it is excessive. Set it to the lowest setting in the beginning and make sure it is tight enough so they can't turn it and it is against the skin. DO NOT USE IT IF THEY NEED TO EAT OR DRINK (for obvious reasons).

Another thing you may want to try is if the dog is in a crate, spray vinegar at them if it's excessive (not at the eyes, at their chest with a stream from a regular spray bottle). The strong smell is a deterrent for them so they'll learn barking = sprayed vinegar. (I think my wife actually uses watered down vinegar).

I'm assuming you mean actual bark collars - you but it on the dog and it gives them a little zap with excessive barking, not an e-collar where you need to push a button.

dalesys
04-21-2010, 11:35 PM
... After a couple of zaps they tend to learn...
My nephew's dog didn't... slo-o-o-o-w dog!

TheSHAD0W
04-22-2010, 04:15 AM
Oh yeah, they work great!

http://www.break.com/usercontent/2008/1/Bark-Collar-427321.html

:roll:

Supermarket Slave Girl
04-22-2010, 04:20 AM
I had one for my dog and it did work, everytime the car started up she'd be out there barking her head off and it drove me and the neighbours crazy.

We got the collor off ebay, it sprays citrinella up her nose when she bark and she hates the smell, to a few barks to understand that she will be sprayed if she does it, worked really well.

I'm thinking of putting it back on her because she is doing the car barking again and when the kids go to the back yard to play all she does is bark at them, it's annoying.

Ratha
04-22-2010, 11:47 AM
http://www.break.com/usercontent/2008/1/Bark-Collar-427321.html

This is just proof as to why you shouldn't use a bark collar. No matter how you look at it, you're electrocuting your dog. Even ignoring that fact, without training, the collar would just make things worse. Unless you teach the dog what you consider "good behavior," the dog won't know why it's being punished.

Mishi
04-22-2010, 12:53 PM
We've used a sonic handheld anti-barking unit with good results in the past, not as a punishment but as a part of training. It doesn't work on our current dogs as their floppy ears seem to offer decent protection from the irritation of the noise. All it does is make them curious and so they bark even more.

Squeaksmyalias
04-22-2010, 02:46 PM
As someone who has trained and taken care of a ton of dogs at their own home I would say don't use one. I have seen good results from using bark collars BUT I've also seen dogs who end up very paranoid, it happens with invisible fence collars too. Some dogs won't let you put a collar on them or would refuse to go out into their own yard. Now this doesn't happen to every dog. It's still a possibility, more so if you have a dog who is timid or worries easily. Also it tends to be a temporary solution, the dog could start to ignore it, or the battery dies for example.

I would say before using it work on training.
When the dog barks allow one or two, like what the collar would do, or you don't have to completely up to you.
At the 2nd bark remove them or distract them. So if they are barking in the yard one, two bark. Ok inside. Every time they start carrying on they go inside and they need to stop. Once they settle down they can go back out. Any time they start up you remove them.

It takes time, but so do any products you would buy. Also you aren't spending any money on it. Best of all you are reinforcing any other training you have by making sure they listen to you. Great for when you have an emergency and they need to be at your side NOW or they have taken off on you or someone watching them.

I've used this method for years, my own dog is a hound and likes to howl at people passing by. She is allowed to let people know she is there but must stop and join me, after. At times she hasn't even bothered to howl or bark, she has figured out she can't do it for long.

Also if you want a example of doing this you can look up "it's me or the dog" the trainer on there also uses that method and has success with it.

BTW if you do go with the spray bottle route just keep in mind if you go to a groomer or use any spray to clean them or to make them smell nicer they will be afraid of the bottle. I know a few groomers who say they've had dogs freak out on the table because they had no idea what went wrong. It does work, but its one of those things that you should consider before using it.

JoitheArtist
04-22-2010, 05:19 PM
Used correctly, they can be very good. You can't just use them without further training, though. It only helps to renforce the "No" aspect. It also helps continue training. It's a tool, not a cure to stop dogs from barking.

Yes, training is the real key!

I had a roommate a few years back who wanted a dog, and insisted on getting a Shiba Inu (sp?)

She also refused to train it. Or walk it. She was always "too tired," so her boyfriend would end up walking the dog a couple of times a week (yes, A WEEK). She did get the dog paper-trained, but would leave the soaked papers for HOURS. The whole house smelled like urine, it was beyond disgusting. The kennel she kept him in all day while she was at work was just big enough for him to turn around in, but a dog like that has a LOT of energy, and so when she'd let him out at night, he'd go on a rampage through the apartment. But when we told her to take him for a walk to get some of the energy out, she'd refuse because she was "tired." Dammit, if you're too tired to walk the dog for ten minutes, you shouldn't own the dog!

Anyway, the dog had a really irritating bark, so she got him a bark collar. It sort of worked, but she never backed it up with any other training, so it just wasn't that effective in the end.

I think her boyfriend ended up taking the dog with him after 6 months or so, don't know what happened after that. The boyfriend was much less flakey, so I hope he and the dog got along. That would've been a great dog if he'd just been walked and trained...

Midorikawa
04-22-2010, 05:34 PM
Bark collars are to be a last resort really, anyways. You are shocking your dog, plain and simple. My parents had a dog that would bark a TON as a puppy. We tried traditional training, and all manner of things that just didn't seem to get through her thick labradoodle puppy head. Personally, I think she knows shes cute and can use that to get away with more. When we got the shock collar, we only used it for a week, and she got the hint that barking is bad, and we're tired of it.

Remember, you want the dog to alert you if someone's there, and you DO NOT want to make the dog terrified of you, collars, certain scents, or barking period.

We had a black lab before the labradoodle who was scared of orange scent, due to the scent used by a flea and tick medication you apply to the shoulder. It wasn't fun to get an orange out of the fridge, or be drinking orange juice and the dog wouldn't go near you. If you get the spray kind, you can get a dog who is scared of citronella scent. Not good if you use mosquito candles/torches. :-)

RetailWorkhorse
04-22-2010, 06:12 PM
I had a roommate a few years back who wanted a dog, and insisted on getting a Shiba Inu (sp?)

...that is an expensive fuzzy. And she didn't even bother to take of it?? WHY DID SHE BUY THE POOR FUZZY?! :eek:

That's it, I feel sick. :(

JoitheArtist
04-22-2010, 06:20 PM
...that is an expensive fuzzy. And she didn't even bother to take of it?? WHY DID SHE BUY THE POOR FUZZY?! :eek:

That's it, I feel sick. :(

Because she was a moron. She did that sort of thing a LOT--would want the best of something and have no clue what to do with it. Come to think of it, she kinda did that with her boyfriend too, he was a great guy (of course, I could be biased since he and I were both Babylon 5 fans and would chat about sci-fi).

jedimaster91
04-22-2010, 08:38 PM
I would say before using it work on training.
When the dog barks allow one or two, like what the collar would do, or you don't have to completely up to you.
At the 2nd bark remove them or distract them. So if they are barking in the yard one, two bark. Ok inside. Every time they start carrying on they go inside and they need to stop. Once they settle down they can go back out. Any time they start up you remove them.

Sure, I do that when I'm home. But my schedule's been so erratic lately that I know there's no way I can be consistant. They just go back to doing whatever they want when they think I'm not looking. ;)

Bark collars are to be a last resort really, anyways. You are shocking your dog, plain and simple.

I know, and I really don't want to do it. However, I know my beagle, and I really don't think the spray or the supersonic collars would work on her. :( And I don't want to spend money on something that won't work.

Squeaksmyalias
04-22-2010, 09:52 PM
Ah the beagle one of the most head strong dogs ever. I just love it when they put their nose down you know you are in for some trouble, or at least a very long walk.

Hmm, well I would try to go for making them distracted if you can. Maybe something better to do instead of barking, Kongs squeaky toys, balls, what ever they like the most. Keep em busy and as often as you can tire them out. They are less likely to bark if they are too tired to bark. :p It's hard to give advice without actually meeting the dogs. I would try to stay as consistent as you can, and make sure EVERYONE else in the house is doing the same. That is the key for sure everyone has to agree on what you plan is and all do it.

I completely understand how hard it is to stay consistent with training when your schedule is crazy.
I ended up adopting a lab x hound who had a lot of issues and work a crazy schedule myself. It helped a ton that everyone followed the same plan. It just takes a little longer than normal. She does the same, oh you aren't looking I can do it. Eventually they will learn.

If you have any questions you can always PM me I will help you the best I can. More details on behavior can help and I can try to figure out something to help you, or at least direct you to a source that can. :)

i4wolves
04-22-2010, 10:00 PM
I used to sell bark collars when I worked at a petstore and I personally did not like them. They can work in extreme circumstances however the problem that I found was that sometimes (depending on the model) that the collar would go off even if it was the other dog barking or it was a loud sound. So one dog would get punished for what the other dog did and then you got very paranoid dogs. That did not happen with every model but there were models that it happened with. In addition, my dog (we think had a bark collar on) because he does not bark at all and he is afraid of collars. I also saw pictures of one dog's neck, after the shock collar would not turn off and kept shooking the dog until the dog's neck became so raw that they ended up having to put the dog down because the dog was in so much pain. I personal do not like them, as I have seen what they can do to a dog.

Sheldonrs
04-22-2010, 10:00 PM
Bark collars work fine but make sure you and your partner agree on the safe word.

:devil:

Midorikawa
04-22-2010, 11:37 PM
In addition, my dog (we think had a bark collar on) because he does not bark at all and he is afraid of collars. I also saw pictures of one dog's neck, after the shock collar would not turn off and kept shooking the dog until the dog's neck became so raw that they ended up having to put the dog down because the dog was in so much pain. I personal do not like them, as I have seen what they can do to a dog.

Both of those sound like abusive situations. They aren't meant to be "set it and forget it" training. Ideally, you need someone around at all times the collar is on. If the dog gets repeatedly shocked, or shocked for loud noises nearby, there's someone there to take the collar off.

Yes, they can do damage, but so can a rolled up newspaper if used right. Both are not minor infraction punishments. Both are for worse offenses. I think the point that is trying to be made is that they CAN be used properly, are not to be taken lightly and if used at all, need to be treated with the same safety precautions you'd expect to use if a human were to be shocked like that.

jedimaster91
07-12-2010, 10:15 PM
Well, we broke down and got a bark collar. After much research and reading of reviews, we decided on the Sport Dog NoBark 10r (http://www.sportdog.com/Gear/E-Collars/All-Purpose/NoBark-10R.aspx). According to the manufacterer, this collar requires both the sound of the bark and the vibration of the dog's vocal cords to set off a correction, so Ziggy *shouldn't* get zapped if Tag barks next to her. It also has a safety shut-off, has a rechargable battery (woo!), and is waterproof. I'm off from work this week, so I'll be around to make sure the collar works. I'm not putting it on her unless I'm there to keep an eye on it. Here's hoping the little darlin' gets the hint.

shankyknitter
07-14-2010, 04:48 AM
Yes, they can do damage, but so can a rolled up newspaper if used wrong.

corrected for accuracy.

draggar
07-14-2010, 08:25 PM
That doesn't look like a bad one - and it has both noise and vibration control (we borrowed one for Luna, for some reason my wife got one that will go off based on sound (yet we have our own kennel (vibration) ones?). We may use the manual e-collar for her excessive barking (remote control).

Make sure it is set to the lowest setting. Most will allow a couple of "warning" barks (strangers, etc.) and low "gruffing" but will correct with excessive barking (2-3+ barks).

Just to warn you - even on the lowest setting expect a blood curling yelp the first time the dog activates it.

jedimaster91
07-14-2010, 09:50 PM
Make sure it is set to the lowest setting. Most will allow a couple of "warning" barks (strangers, etc.) and low "gruffing" but will correct with excessive barking (2-3+ barks).

That's another reason we went with this collar. One of the modes is called "Temperament Learning" which adjusts the correction level automatically depending on how often the dog barks and how long it takes for the barking to stop.

What I'm hoping happens is she gets it through her thick beagle noggin that Mommy and Daddy (but especially Mommy :) ) are tired of her barking at everything and that eventually I can put the collar on her with a dead battery and she won't bark.

jedimaster91
07-15-2010, 03:17 AM
The collar came in the mail today. I got it charged up and it worked great. Ziggy barked, it corrected. She jumped about a mile in the air and took off to the other side of the yard. It sure startled her, but she doesn't seem any worse for wear and she was actually quiet instead of barking at the little dog next door. Hooray!

And then I let them in for the night and her collar was missing. Turns out, the strap is not all that sturdy and one of them (I suspect Tag) chewed right through it. The device itself is still intact, I just need to pick up a sturdier strap while I'm out tomorrow. I can't say I'm entirely surprised by this turn of events as this was a common complaint with a lot of the collars I researched, but I am disappointed that the design wasn't stronger.