Stop Your Dog from Barking with a No Bark Dog Collar

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Barking BeagleNo bark dog collars were made to control a dog’s barking. How they work depends on the type of no-bark collar you use.

In general, a no-bark dog collar is able to detect barking by sensing vibrations in the dog’s vocal cords. When this occurs, the collar provides a stimulus to the dog, warning him that this is the consequence for barking.

Article Overview

Static Shock vs Citronella vs Ultrasonic Bark Collars

There are three main types of no-bark collars: static shock, citronella and ultrasonic. All three  collars fit snuggly against your dog’s neck when they are fitted correctly. It is important both for safety and for proper training that the collar is fitted by a professional or by an experienced dog owner.

All three of the bark collars have a nylon collar which fits similarly to a regular nylon dog collar. At the front of the collars there is a mechanism which releases the deterrent of choice, this mechanism fits against your dogs throat so that the vibrations caused by nuisance barking can trigger the mechanism.

Shock Collar

The shock collar mechanism that sits against the dog’s throat sends out a static shock that travels down two metal prongs that touch your dog’s neck. The shock in some of these collars begins with a small shock which increases in intensity up through a variety of levels as your dog continues his nuisance barking. You can personally test the shock collar on your hand before using it on your dog if you are worried about the intensity of the shock.

Citronella Bark Collar

The citronella collar mechanism sends out a spray of citronella scented liquid when your dog begins to nuisance bark. For most dogs, the scent of the citronella is unpleasant and will deter any further barking.

Ultrasonic Bark Collar

The ultrasonic bark collar (some are just sonic collars) mechanism sends out a very high pitched and unpleasant sound which is intended to deter nuisance barking. Bark collars can be a particularly difficult thing to fit to individual dogs and it is recommended that you discuss which bark collar is right for you with your veterinarian.

How Do No-Bark Collars Work?

Several variations of no-bark collars exist on the market, most of which have multiple levels of stimulation based on how quickly the dog learns. So, if the dog doesn’t stop, the collar will continue to provide increasing levels of shock until the dog learns.

These are engaged in a manner which allows the dog to learn and recover, but the question is: How safe are these no-bark collars? Even if there’s no evidence of physical damage, are our dogs suffering unnecessary stress and anxiety through their use?

Are No-Bark Dog Collars Safe?

While industry claims that no harm is done to the dog, obviously the sensation provided by the no-bark collar is not something the dog likes. If it didn’t hurt them, they wouldn’t worry about barking freely despite the consequences. That being said, we don’t know of any severe injuries or deaths caused by no-bark collars, and if the dog learns not to bark, it won’t be shocked anymore.

We can’t help but wonder how this is restraining some of dogs’ natural functions or causing undue stress and anxiety. Furthermore, consider the fact that in Europe shock collars are illegal.

The Psychological Impact Of No-Bark Dog Collars

Some studies suggest that the electric current from the shock collars for dogs results in aggression, stress or persistent anxiety. How severe the effects of the no-bark collar actually depend on the trainer and the environment in which the collar is used.

Matthijs B.H. Schilder and Joanne A.M. van der Borg studied behavioral effects of electric shock collars and came to the conclusion that shocked dogs showed more stress-related behavior than the control dogs — dogs controlled via human discipline instead of no-bark collars — the shocked dogs connected their handlers with getting shocks, and may even connect orders given by their handlers with getting shocked.

What does this mean? Schilder and Borg conclude that, while they have not proven that the long-term welfare of the shocked dogs is affected, it is clearly under serious threat.

Do No Bark Collars Cause Unnecessary Suffering?

It’s always important to consider the alternatives to no-bark collars, such as traditional disciplinary measures or other means which avoid inflicting physical or emotional pain or stress on the dog. If possible, it’s best to discipline dogs in this way, than to cause any unnecessary suffering by using a no-bark dog collar.

What’s An Alternative For A No-Bark Collar?

HoomDirect Anti Barking DeviceIf you are looking for a more humane substitute to the shock collar, try an ultrasonic bark control device. This HoomDirect one looks like a birdhouse and costs  Check Amazon for availability. .

It’s weatherproof and designed for outdoor use. You can hang it on a tree, wall or fence to stop your dog or your neighbor’s dog from barking. The ultrasonic frequency isn’t harmful to pets and works up to 50 feet away.

Criticism Of The No-Bark Collar

The no-bark collar has received quite a few critics whose points should be brought to light. Bark collars, while they discourage problem barking can also discourage all barking in some more sensitive dogs. On the topic of sensitive dogs it is also true that some dogs can be particularly sensitive to one type of bark collar or another, so it is recommended that you discuss all of your options with your vet prior to using a bark collar.

For some dogs, the shock collar is too painful, while others seem to be unaffected by it. The citronella collar can cause some dogs to roll on the floor and try to disguise their scent with the citronella. And for other dogs, the ultrasound noise does not deter the dog from barking, so it really is beneficial to know your dog and options when using a bark collar.

Do you use a no-bark collar?

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.

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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Sam

I have a 7 lb chihuahua mix and can not find a collar for a dog that small!

Apiffany Gaither Billings (Admin)

I would recommend speaking with your vet regarding his/her recommendations for your dog’s size.

Linda

On one of our dogs we use a bark collar. First it vibrates then we can make it make a beeping noise then if needed a low shock. Have not had to use the shock. The problem is since we put the collar on one dog our other dog does not like to go out. What do we do. Hettie (no bark collar dog) will now not go play outside with Ernie (one who wears the collar)

Angela Fitzgerald

I have witnessed from a neighbour who used one of these shock affect dog collars,the longterm affect it had on her dog, I personally thought it was in-humane as when her dog tried to greet you, she was silenced by this device It meant the dog could not Express its emotions and ability to connect either with other animals or humans, the dog passed on whilst not totally blaming the collar I do not think it helped as every time I met the dog,she would try to make a sound and nothing would come out, it was heart wrenching to watch as it was killing her natural instinct

Linda

Excellent insight, Emily. I will never choose a shock collar. My heart is so heavy thinking about the dog trying to greet one in a natural way and getting shocked. Never for my girls!!

Emily

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much, but he barks A LOT… So, leaving home is always a challenge for us. My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!

Mira

This is honestly disgusting to see and hate that this was recommended to me. All of you KNOW dogs bark and whine before you get them. But then you complain about them after the fact and try see how you can control and abuse them to stop what comes naturally for them. You’re not entitled to a living being just because you want one, and you’re certainly not justified to hurt them once they do something that’s “annoying”. If you can’t take care of a dog, then don’t get one. If you can’t stand a dog barking or whining, DON’T GET ONE. That’s not a hard concept to grasp. Not to mention you’d save yourself money by not having a pet, so I really really don’t understand why you all feel the need to be such terrible people to animals. Grow up and find some empathy.

Reality Check

My dog has been to professional trainers at $165/hour, has been given vet-prescribed medication for anxiety, and I have covered my furniture every time I leave the house to prevent the noise and damage (everything from urinating to defacating to shredding things to eating furniture to knocking glass pictures off the wall) he inflicts. When he is outside, the neighbors text me to complain about the incessant barking. Yes, the barking and destruction do need to be controlled because either I will control it or my neighbors will complain to the HOA and he will have to be surrendered. Since the dog I have is a rescue, the alternative to a bark collar is to return the dog to the rescue to be euthanized. Do you feel that is a better solution?

Bob E.

I have the same problem. We took on a rescue lab of 8 years old and cancer survivor because nobody else would take her. Have you heard of a lab that doesn’t like water or retrieve. We were told of her anxiety issues but we figured that maybe it was because she was in so many foster care takers that maybe if she was in a permanent home she would change. Wrong. Three years later nothing has changed. She is fine when we’re all home but when we leave, barking,urinating and defacating, heavy panting and takes forever to calm down after we return. My wife is at her wits end. The no bark collar is our last resort.

Sean P Sullivan

Let me guess, you are a card carrying PETA member, right? No one is suggesting punishing a dog for what comes naturally, but controlling when and where it’s appropriate.

Sharon Azar

Mira! Thank you! Your comments are good and reflect my feelings. I have been rescuing dogs for 30 years and my most recent adoptee, Bubu, a Westie/poodle/whatever mix is an inveterate barker!!! Naturally I wish he would not bark at people who come to visit, but that’s who he is and he’s my dog and I love him as I have always loved all my dogs over the years and I’ve had some very difficult ones. Bubu came from the streets of another country and was abused. Naturally I wish he would be more friendly, but he is who he is and I would never use any of those anti barking devices. The most I do when we go out for a walk and he starts barking at people passing by is to just say ‘ssshhh’…and then sit close to him to calm him down.

Mary

Hateful and raging reviews are the go to for uneducated people.every dog case is different , not implying that every dog needs a bark collar

Candace Rose

Right now, we are facing rehoming him or trying this. Our apartment manager is losing patience with complaints from our neighbors. We want to keep our family together

Kalli Lockwood

Me too. Neighbor complained today.

Shirley

If you don’t do what your boss requires he with holds your paycheck you snap at your spouse all the time he leaves you. A rabbit ventures out of safety an owl catches him. Every living thing on earth has consequences on behavior

Kris

I don’t mind my dog barking, but unfortunately, we have neighbors that keep calling the cops to report it as a noise vibration. thankfully most cops in my small town are like, hey they are just doing their jobs.

Dog Collar Accessories UK

Hi, thanks for sharing this awesome post.

Gina

After reading some of the comments about citronella collar spraying in the eyes. You must put the collar on correctly. Spray should never be aimed at the eye area!

Gina

I have used the citronella collars on my welsh springer spaniels with very good results. The spray mist scent s unpleasant to the dogs (personally thing it smells good). I would NOT ever use shock or sonic collar.

Donna Berscht

My shihitzu dog is coming 2,in May he barks contently at cars driving past our house or kids playing or a paper flying in the wind he’s annoying what kind of collar should I get for jim

Sam Duarte

My boxer is one yeAr old and came from a good home where there was a doggy door. Here he is supposed to stay outside and he sits and whines all day and night. He does bark but 90% of the time it’s whining

Susan

He needs to be with his “pack”, which is you/the family. Bring him in and put him in a large wire kennel, NOT a traveling kennel, at night or for short periods of time – like when you are eating, or out of the house. He is a valuable part of your life and can’t understand why you don’t think so. 🙂
Susan
dog owner for 55 years

Diana

Why have a dog if it is staying outside consistently. I work with a rescue and that is such a sad life for a dog. I have been a dog owner for 38 years and have never and would never leave my dogs out all the time. They are part of my family and loved.

Tracy

SMH. Out of desperation, I’m reading this article and I find this comment? ? You stay outside and be quiet! I’ve had 7 boxers in my life and it breaks my heart to read something like this comment. Now you want to punish the poor dog? I just pray to God you don’t have weather extremes, but where don’t we in this country?
We’re doing professional training, someone is with him all day. He has a million toys, run of the house. He doesn’t bark at people going by like our other dog. He barks when he wants more attention after we’ve had our 10th round of Frisbee for the day. Like a baby, we make sure he’s been fed, has as plenty of water, toys to chew and went potty. Ignoring him is fruitless. His barking and whining have no end. I’ve always been against any devices but at my wits end.

S. Davis

My 4 yr old neutered Bischon/ Maltese never stops barking unless he is eating or sleeping. I have 6 different collars to ” stop him from barking ” but none of them work !!! He is making me very stressed !!! I live across from my Superintendent.

Helene Messina

We just got the citronella collar for our Me. Barks-a-Lot, Morkie. It works! We were amazed. We bought Pet Safe for a little dog. I only wonder about his mental health. Is this an issue with dogs?

Michael La Rocca

My partner just got one for our dog and we just tested out. I refuse to let a shock go through the dog like that. It’s inhumane. I would consider this pet abuse. I am making him send it back.

nicky savage

Hell, the barking is a nuisance to everyone, just euthanize the damn animal.

Keith

Maybe, except we’d do the world more good if we euthanized YOU. After all, we can train the dog not to bark. You being an asshole, however, is unfortunately permanent.

djk

Doesn’t it have a setting on it so you can put it on just vibrate instead of shock? Use it for that instead Michael LaRocca.

Mike Hawk

Do they make em for humans? I want to get some for some people that won’t stfu

nicky savage

I want to get on one for people who complain about other people.

Randy

Perhaps because you are the one they are complaining about.

Mildred Mele

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. But he barks a lot. So, leaving home is always a challenge for us.
My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? Thank you!

Diana

You can find different ideas on YouTube. Some trainers do short videos and they are free. When he is barking try to get his attention off of whatever he is barking at. I understand the struggle as I have two hound mixes which bark especially when I get a new Foster. I know from working with a rescue some fosters do not see a problem with the consistent barking as it is a way the dogs communicate but I try to work on it as I don’t want to see the dog returned because of barking.

Tracy

Our trainer has online videos. Google All Dogs Go to Kevin

Red's person

I can control Red’s howling most of the time when I am at home. However, when I leave, (6:45AM) he can be a nonstop howling maniac, much to my neighbors’ dismay. The no-bark collar was my last resort, and thank heavens it worked. Now he doesn’t even try to bark when it is on, and my neighbors can sleep in peace in the morning.

I use it when I’m away from the house.

Ann

Which brand and type of collar did you buy that worked?

Laura Etheridge

please could you give me the brand that worked for your dog? we have the same problem, when we go to work the dog won’t stop barking and our neighbors complain.

kim

What level (1-7) should I start my 16 lb dog?

dmaxclayton

It is always better to stop the barking without the bark collar. Find out the reason why the dog barks. Dogs are dogs and dogs will bark. It is very normal. And usually the dog will bark for a reason. When you discover the reason, solve the problem or get rid of it, the dog will stop barking.

Observations99

Ok, our’s goes nuts when she sees an animal on TV (lunging, snarling and barking). She goes nuts when someone rides by on a bike or skateboard (lunging, snarling and barking). She goes nuts when someone walks by on the sidewalk (lunging, snarling and barking). She goes nuts if she sees any animal….ever (lunging, snarling and barking). She goes nuts if kids play in their yards (lunging, snarling and barking). She goes nuts if a neighbor mows their lawn (lunging, snarling and barking). I’ve been trying to train her by providing instant, unwavering correction, but she is unable to resist her instincts. She is unable to break her focus without being strongly corrected. Frankly, I’m sick of fighting with her. I’m for the bark collar or a remote controlled training collar.

Relieved Dog Owner

You’ve probably never had a dog that has a penchant for barking. It is indescribably miserable, and it makes everyone around the dog miserable. We tried everything at first. Our dog is a terrier. He wants to chase and bark at every dog, squirrel, cat, or shadow that walks by our house. He sits in the window. Waits by the glass door. Goes outside and barks and chases. It’s clearly in his DNA. I can’t cover up every window or door in my house. He would be super miserable if we did.

Many of the “humane” methods are humane to humans. Those standards shouldn’t apply to animals. Citronella in the eyes is as painful as a quick shock. What we might prefer is not the same as what a dog might. The beauty of the shock collar is that it is over quickly, and animals (generally) learn fast. So while trying to work it out in a way that a human would prefer may work, for dogs that are persistent and stubborn barkers, these collars are quick and effective trainers. And, that method may have more to do with you and what you can stomach than what an animal might actually suffer less from.

Finally, it’s worth it to note that we love our dog, but his barking makes him completely miserable to be around. So now we get to enjoy our dog, and not be in a constant state of apprehension over his truly awful barking.

Bonnie Lazuka

I just got the Petsafe static collar yesterday. It’s amazing the difference. We have a beagle/terror mix and she was just not tolerable. I can actually sit outside with her now. I don’t hear the neighbors telling us off behind the shrubs.

Mike D

Interesting, what if your dog barks at everyone, everything, and sometimes nothing at all beyond the fence line in our yard? Sometimes he just runs around the house barking, doesn’t matter how much exercise he gets, doesn’t matter if I teach him quiet and give him treats, he will bark at people, dogs, squirrels, the air immediately when he’s outside driving neighbors nuts I’m sure.

If it’s between surrendering or having your dog taken as a nuisance dog, a bark collar is a good last resort.

BSmithfield

Hate to burst your bubble but you cannot determine why a dog barks as they are NOT human and cannot tell you why or more importantly, how I can help him stop. All of my dogs (labs) were trained and raised by me. Now that I decided to take on a Rescue Lab, I am taking on someone else’s horrendous lack of training and a major problem they caused. He barks at everything and goes from 0 to 1,000 and scares the living heck out of everyone. From someone just walking outside to any vehicle he can here drive by. Any type of delivery truck including the mail man he turns into Cujo. He’s 3, was locked in a crate in an unfinished basement for the first 3 years of his life. NO Social skills and is very skittish. I know he’s barking because someone screwed him up from every angle, but one thing is for sure, I can’t ask him why he’s barking and how I can help him stop. I need to continue working on him and a bark collar will be my last resort.

Pattycake

I highly recommend no bark shock collars. Our stubborn pup was constantly barking and after a couple days of shock therapy she fell right in line. It may sound blunt but it’s the best damn invention for a dog there is.

Do yourself a favor and don’t listen to the idiots who try to tell you it has some negative effect on the animal, that’s hog wash. Animals learn best from stimuli and it’s fast and effective.

Carolina

Omg, thank you so much of what you wrote. I bought today the collar and I was feeling so so bad, that almost cry and then someone in the office told me that I was crazy doing that, that my dog will be suffer, and almost died.
But now that I’m reading this I’m not feeling guilty, I’m doing this because he barks all day and I don’t want any problems with the association.
Thank you again.

felicidad taljard

If at all possible, I would avoid a shock collar, but in the end the collar will save my poodle from euthanasia. He barks at every visitor, every person who walks by and doesn’t stop. In fact, he gets so voracious that my sisters are afraid of visiting me. Now I only have to worry about his biting some of my male guests because maybe he thinks I am the alpha bitch of his pack …:)

Chantelle

Personally I feel horrible about it but we just had to get a shock collar for our dog today. We own a town home and today our neighbor told us she called our association and reported us for his barking. He’s always been a very well behaved, easily trainable dog, so we decided to let him stay out of his crate while away since we hate having to lock him up when we leave for extended hours occasionally. Day 1: absolutely great. He stayed in the baby gated area. Day 2: did not go well at all. He escaped the area, ate the cat food, pooped all over the house, chewed up tons of things… Behavior that he has never displayed before even when left out briefly. He was put back in the crate and ever since we’ve been having issues. He tries to escape it. He’s somehow dented it and he’s only 40 pounds. Tried covering and he ate the blanket. He’s even got scratch marks on his face from trying to escape and when he does, he destroys everything. Again this is a dog that has always been happy, never barked, never chewed anything up, never misbehaved. The only naughty things he did prior was potty a couple times as a puppy and I caught him licking my pizza when I went to use the restroom… Other than that he gets nothing but compliments on his great behavior. We moved his kennel to different areas of the house. We’ve left TVs on for background noise. But nothing works. This is brand new behavior and we have had him almost 2 yrs since he was 4 months. Our neighbor constantly is complaining and calling us that he’s barking when we leave. The issue is we have only caught him 1x. We’ve definitely tried the whole routine of acting as if we’re leaving hoping we’ll catch and correct him. Putting him away and everything but quietly standing in the house for up to a half hour and heard absolutely nothing. We’ve caught him once when we came home where we could hear him outside barking from inside. Our neighbor has called us asking when we are coming home and just basically harassing us. It doesn’t help that she doesn’t work, so she is always home. We have tried numerous attempts to give him positive reinforcement taking him for walks, giving him treats, and giving him lots of love and affection before putting him in his crate. The neighbor still calls complaining. Nothing works. This is behavior that’s been going on for about six weeks. We had to get the shock collar because we really had no other choice except for let him continue then get more calls to our association and be told that we’re not allowed to have him anymore.

Laura Etheridge

Hi, could you please tell me if the collar worked and if so which kind or brand it is? we have the same problem when we leave the house.

nisrine nes

The anti bark collars are beneficial for pet owners who cannot get their dogs to stop barking excessively when there is no cause for the behavior.

Jennifer Arlem Molina

Our dog recently started using an LED collar and we both love it. I am currently training for a marathon and running at night by myself isn’t fun or the smartest thing to do. Having my little one with me makes me feel better and the light up collar helps a lot. I did a lot of research, but wasn’t too happy with the prices. I ended up finding a great deal on the Eternity LED Glow website. $15.00 only! Great quality at a fantastic price! Perfect for keeping my little one safe on our walks/runs. They’re so affordable I might end up getting all seven.

Gae Goodrich Seal

THX! On sale now for $10!

Brian Jones

Sounds like a sales pitch to me – what does this have to do with barking collars!!

Babs

Depending on the breed and its personal character, some dogs are just like super heroes like mine when it comes to barking. First if something like barking competition competition ever exist. His barks are so piercing and High-pitched. Shock dog bark collar get him to behave right. We now recommends it strongly on our dog training website. Training them may take time, collars get them instant training. If it is a very aggressive dog, then he gets the correction most times and get along as time goes on. It all depends on the owner. Would you like to get complaints and issues because of your lovely dog?

Melissa

I would NOT use one. We had a sport dog no bark collar and we recently found two large holes and missing hair on our dogs neck. She just had surgery and came out with five stitches and on a bunch of medications.

Jeff Thomas

The collar wasn’t used properly and you obviously weren’t interested in the welfare of your dog if you weren’t checking how it was affecting it. Sounds like the collar was on constantly without checking to make sure it wasn’t hurting the dog. Maybe you had it turned all the way up. A lower setting barely shocks.

Cesar

No-bark dog collars have their advantages and disadvantages. I guess proper usage of them is the most important thing to do for the dog owners. 

Dog Bark Collars

Most the dog bark collars are climate resistant such that it is going to still work even when your dog is out within the rain. To make sure that a pet owner can operate the collar properly, instructional DVDs are often included in the package.The ideal part in using a collar to train a barking dog would be the affordability.