To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.
No bark dog collars were made to control a dog’s barking. How they work depends on the type of no-bark dog collar you’re using. Here are some of the more common types:
In general, a no-bark dog collar is able to detect barking by sensing vibrations in the dog’s vocal chords. When this occurs, the collar provides a stimulus to the dog, warning him that this is the consequence for barking. All three of the no-bark collars fit snuggly against your dog’s neck when they are fitted correctly. It is increasingly important both for safety and for proper training that this 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 all three of the bark 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. The shock collars for dogs provide an electric current, the citronella dog collars provide a spray of citrus, and the sonic dog collars produce a tone that only the dog can hear (it’s out of human hearing range).
Static Shock Bark Collar
With the static shock dog collar the 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 static shock in some of these collars begins with a rather small shock which increases in intensity up through a variety of levels as your dog continues his or her nuisance barking. You can personally test the static shock bark collar on your hand prior to using it on your dog if you are worried about the intensity of the shock your dog will receive.
Citronella Bark Collar
With the citronella bark collar the mechanism that sits against the dog’s throat 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
With the ultrasonic bark collar the mechanism that sits against the dog’s throat 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. In other words, 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 we must ask ourselves 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 stimulus, or 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, however, or causing undue stress and anxiety. Furthermore, consider the fact that in Europe, electric shock no-bark 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 dog collar actually are 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 it’s possible, it’s best to discipline dogs in this way, as we’re sure you’ve seen on various episodes of the Dog Whisperer, rather than to cause any unnecessary suffering by using a no-bark dog collar.
Have a barking dog? Do you use a no-bark collar? Chime in on this debate below with your experiences.
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. For some dogs that still have the natural instinct to disguise their scent the citronella bark collar can start the dog rolling on the floor trying to disguise their scent with the citronella. For some dogs the ultrasound noise just does not deter the dog from barking so it really is beneficial to know your dog and know your options when it comes to using a bark collar on your dog.
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.