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Citronella dog collars have been gaining in popularity ever since studies were released showing the negative psychological effects of electric shock collars on dogs. Furthermore, studies by the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine suggest that citronella dog collars are even more effective than electric shock collars.
How Does A Citronella Dog Collar Work?
A citronella dog collar is a type of spray dog collar. Spray dog collars work by spraying a substance (in this case citronella, but versions also exist that use water or lemon juice) in the dogs face when the collar senses (via a microphone) that your dog is barking. The idea is that the dog, discomforted by the citronella spray, will learn to stop barking to avoid being sprayed in the face. Pet owners consider the citronella dog collars to be more humane than the electric shock dog collars, and citronella collars have been proven to be more effective than shock collars (in some instances a dog given an electric collar would keep barking despite the shock, whereas with the citronella collar, the odor was so unpleasant that later a substitute could be used and the dog would still not bark, fearing the smell of the citronella spray).
Are Citronella Dog Collars Humane?
While there’s no doubt citronella dog collars are more humane than electric shock collars, we should still consider the psychological impact of the spray collar on your dog. There have even been instances reported where the spray collar’s microphone sensitivity was such that it would pick up other dogs barking. The problem here is obvious: Your dog could be punished with a spray of citronella despite having done nothing. Even more problematic, however, are the psychological implications of such punishment. After all, barking is a natural reaction for any dog, and can often be a way for dogs to protect their owners. It would be terribly ironic if, for example, your dog was about to save you from a burglar, but because of repeated citronella sprays to her face, she would do nothing to alarm you of the intruder. That example aside, we feel it is simply wrong to impede or constrain such a natural function. We feel that as the dog’s owner it is your responsibility to train and take are of your dog. (For training alternatives to any sort of anti-bark collar, head over to our “Dog Training Advice” article.) After all, barking is part of what you signed up for. Now you have a living being, a life, on your hands that deserves just as much care and nurturing as if it were your own child.
Best Citronella Barking Collar
If training just doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, you might want to consider adding some paw-sitive reinforcement and this citronella collar might be the thing you’ve bee s-praying for. All jokes aside, we love the Petsafe Premier GentleSpray collar as an addition to your already-in-place training regime because it’s a cinch to operate, it’s harmless to your pet and family, and it holds up to 25 sprays. Each box comes with a nylon collar and spray device, a three-oz. can of stain-free, citronella spray, a six-volt alkaline battery, and an operating guide. It also works on dog six pounds and up, and six months and older, so you don’t have to wait for your dog to develop a nasty barking habit to add in this training option.
The information contained in this article and website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional safety advice; it is provided for educational purposes only.