No 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.
- Static Shock vs Citronella vs Ultrasonic Collars
- How No-Bark Collars Work
- Are They Safe?
- Alternative For No-Bark Collars
- Why People Don’t Like No-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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?