A Citronella bark collar can be a great tool for training dogs not to bark, whereas most anti bark collars will shock or vibrate to stop your dog from barking, citronella collars will release a spray of Citronella in front of the dog’s face. Dog’s find the scent of Citronella unpleasant, and will begin to associate excessive barking with the unpleasant scent of Citronella. Here are the pros and cons of using a Citronella bark collar as opposed to using a shock collar or a vibration collar. Here are some answers to common questions that people often have when considering purchasing a Citronella bark collar.
Are They Effective?
Yes. Barking is a huge issue for some people, for those who live in apartments or suburbs, a dog that barks a lot can cause issues with you and your neighbors; not to mention the headaches you might get from constant, loud barking. A Citronella bark collar can definitely be an effective way to curb your dog’s excessive barking. The idea is that you condition the dog by using the collar and having the Citronella be sprayed every time your dog barks. Your dog will slowly begin to associate barking with smelling Citronella and will ideally stop barking to avoid the Citronella smell. At this point you can switch out the Citronella for water or lemon juice, or just stop using the collar all together. Obviously it does not always work 100%. Certain dogs may get used to the smell and thus they will continue barking even if they get sprayed. And generally the spray works better on smaller and medium sized dogs than bigger ones.
Are They More Humane Than Shock Collars?
First off it has to be established that shock collars ARE NOT inhumane, they annoy the dog and do not inflict any real pain, especially if used properly and at the correct settings. But if you are still opposed to using a shock collar, then yes a Citronella bark collar would be an effective alternative. The spray acts as a mild annoyance for the dog, and if positioned properly should not get in the dog’s eyes or nose.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Citronella Bark Collar?
Well as stated earlier some dogs do not take to the Citronella right away, and your average collar only gives you around 30 sprays before it needs to be refilled, one or two refills does not make much of a difference, but if your dog is not adjusting to the training right away the refills can add up, so you should look to save money wherever possible. One great way to save money is to go for a collar that uses rechargeable batteries over a regular battery operated one, as batteries can just be an extra cost that you do not need. My other advice is to stick with the well-known brands, PetSafe probably being the most reliable bark collar manufacturer.
If you have decided to get a Citronella bark collar I recommend the PetSafe Elite Remote Spray Trainer. It comes from PetSafe who deliver high quality collars of both the shock variety and the spray variety. It is relatively cheap for a high end spray collar (around $85) and you get good customer support from PetSafe who are usually willing to replace a model if it breaks or showing any deficiencies. This model is not just for barking either, you can use it to train your dog to follow commands or teach it not to go past a certain area (really helpful if your dog is having issues escaping from the backyard).