There are two main types of electronic dog collars out there. The more famous ones are the so called “shock collars”. For those who don’t know, shock collars are electronic collars placed around a dog’s neck (like a regular collar) and when the dog does something wrong, the owner can activate the collar and deliver a small shock to the dog to let it know the behaviour wasn’t okay. However, there is another type of electronic dog collar that is less talked about, called “bark collars”. As one can see from the name the purpose of these collars is to stop the dog from barking excessively or barking when it should not be barking.
Dog bark collars are more effective at stopping barking when compared to the traditional shock collars, and they are one of the most effective methods out there when it comes to controlling barking. What makes the bark collars effective is that they are activated by the dogs barking and thus don’t rely on the owner pressing a button. The barking is detected by a microphone and by detecting if there are vibrations coming from the dog’s throat; this ensures that the collar doesn’t go off when the dog isn’t barking. There are many different types of dog bark collars that use different methods for correcting the dog when it barks. Learning about the various dog methods each of the different bark collars use is an important step in choosing the best bark collar for your dog.
This type of dog bark collar contains a spray can filled with a citronella based fluid. Citronella is oil obtained from lemongrass. When the microphone detects barking and the sensor picks up the vibration in the dog’s throat, the can sprays a puff of the citronella fluid into the dog’s snout; it does not reach the eyes nor does it burn the skin, so it doesn’t cause any harm. This is effective because dogs hate the smell of citronella (despite it being used in perfumes) and thus they will soon associate barking with a foul smell. This collar is good for those who want the most humane option possible but still want to correct their dogs barking.
This type of dog bark collar is the most similar to shock collars. These types of collars use a small pair of batteries to generate a small static shock (think when you touch a doorknob after walking on a carpet, except less painful) that activates when the dog barks. Static collars almost always give the owner the ability to adjust the power of the shock (usually through a dial that goes from 1-10). The purpose of the dial allows the owner to customize the power of the shock and tailor it to an individual dog. The Static collars are more effective than the spray collars because they let you customize the power of the shock, but these collars also more controversial as they do cause the dog a slight amount of pain (not as much as people think, the lower settings are more like a tickle, but it’s worth noting).
This type of dog bark collar works by detecting when the dog barks and than sending out a ultrasonic or sonic noise (basically a very loud noise) that is in a frequency that human’s can’t hear. This is the equivalent of a trainer yelling at the dog to correct it. This is also similar to the spray collar in that there is absolutely no physical harm to the dog. These collars are not considered to be as effective as the other options in the long term because dogs will adjust to the loud noises and continue to bark. So it is effective if you need a short term solution to barking but over time your dog will get used to high pitched noise and continue to bark. Meaning these types of collars aren’t really the best bark collars out on the market.
These collars send out combinations of vibrations whenever the dog barks. This has the effect of disrupting the dog’s bark. These collars like most bark collars cause no physical harm to the dog. The process of sending out vibrations makes them similar to the Ultrasonic collars, however vibration collars more effective. However, they are not as effective as spray or static collars because some dogs will still be able to get used to the vibrations and continue barking (though this happens more with sonic collars).
This guide is by no means comprehensive and owners should make sure to research products and look up customer reviews to determine what the best dog bark collar is for their dog. And that is one of the most important aspects of being a responsible trainer and dog owner, knowing what methods or what type of collar your dog responds best to. Bark collars are a great tool for training dogs and can be a great help for any dog owner frustrated with their dog’s constant barking.