One of the most annoying parts about owning a dog is barking. It can lead to many headaches, and can cause your neighbors to hate you. Many people think there is no such thing as a bark deterrent, and that it is just a natural thing dogs do, but they are wrong. There is no reason for you or the people around you to have to suffer from excessive barking. There are plenty of good options on the market for those who want a bark deterrent. The options range from electronic gadgets, to collars that deliver mild shocks, to collars that shoot spray or vibrate, so if you are having trouble stopping your dog’s excessive barking there will be multiple options for you to try.
The first thing I want to look at are “electronic gadgets”, these are a fairly new type of bark deterrent. These are often shaped as a usual outdoor item that are common in many backyards. An example would be the DOGTEK Sonic bird house bark control. As the name implies rather than rely on a collar, you can have this machine in your back yard, and it will pick up the noise emitted by your dog’s barking and then send out a noise that irritates your dog (but does not harm its ears) until it stops barking. These work as a bark deterrent, but I personally do not like them as much as collars because collars are more precise (because collars rely on the vibrations in the dog’s throat or a manually operated remote) and with these machines you run the risk of other dogs barking setting it off. It’s good for single do neighborhoods, but if multiple people in your neighborhood have noisy dogs, I’d pass on these types of bark deterrents.
Moving onto by far the most popular form of bark deterrent, we have bark collars, more commonly known as “shock collars.” Now it is important to note, shock collars do not harm dogs, they give them a small, unpleasant shock that annoys the dog into stopping its barking, it does not seriously injure or harm the dog. When looking for a shock collar you want to consider first and foremost is it strong enough for your dog? Obviously bigger dogs will require a bit more power in the shock collar to actually register when they bark, and smaller dogs require less power. You also want to consider things like battery size, voltage, different features (extra modes, water resistance, different power levels, etc.). If you are stumped as to what collar to try, there are two good, relatively cheap options available online or in any pet store. The Petrainer PET998DRB1 dog training collar and the Esky EP-R300-C1 dog collar are both cheap (under $40 on amazon) and good options if you want a high quality, effective bark deterrent. They may not be perfect for your dog, but if you are new to the world of training collars, they are very good starter options.
Of course not all collars deliver shocks. Some collars rely on spray. You may have noticed in some pet stores products that you put on your clothes or furniture to repel dogs who have biting issues (usually the spray is made into something very bitter, which most dogs hate). Well that same technique is applied to barking. Some collars, such as the PetSafe Gentle Spray Bark Collar, work the same as shock collars (detecting rumbling in the dog’s throat, or being manually activated by a remote) but instead of delivering a shock, they spray an unpleasant smell into the air around the dog which cause it to stop barking.
There are also collars that instead of shocking or spraying simply vibrate. I wouldn’t recommend vibration collars for first time users, or dogs with major barking issues because they are more meant for dogs that need the occasional reminder as opposed to full on training. So if you are training your dog for the first time, go for a shock or spray collar, since they are more effective as a bark deterrent.
In this article I’ve given you some idea of what to look when looking for a good bark deterrent, as well as some good suggestions as to what collar you should start off with. Obviously this is more geared towards first time users and more experienced users looking for a good bark deterrent should look at our various reviews and top 5 articles.