Most of the times, dogs bark for a justifiable reason. However, sometimes dogs over-react to situations or stimuli and become excessive in their vocalizations. Dogs are extremely attached to their owners and feel their absence; they usually become noisy when they are left alone in the house.
Because it happens when the owner is not around, it is also one of the most difficult to control. There are times when dog owners do not know what to do anymore, other than subject their pets to debarking surgeries or simply take them to a shelter. Of course, these are rushed decisions which should only be used as a last resort. Yet, if neighbors complain constantly, there’s not much the owner can do.
Fortunately for both the dog and the owner, anti-bark collars were invented for these situations. Like most new technologies, there were some unforeseen complications. They often reacted to the barking of another dog, and could not differentiate between the types of barks, so would correct the dog when it was responding as any dog would; and did not necessarily have a safety cut-off in case the dog was hurt or panicked.
Bark collars have been constantly upgraded since they were invented. There are now three types available: spray, sonic, and static. All these collars use the same principle. The collar is activated when it detects sounds and vibrations within certain frequencies. The combination of vibration and barking makes the collar react only to the dog’s noise. Also having a volume and frequency requirement helps prevent the collar from being triggered by fear, pain, or other vocalizations not tied to problem barking.
bark collars based on citrus spray release the substance when they’re triggered by barking; the sonic ones produce a sound that irritates the dog and static collars give the dog a mild shock. None of these devices can seriously harm the animal. The static versions can be adjusted according to the intensity and frequence of barking; if the dog does not bark for a longer period of time, they will automatically shut down. Moreover, the bark collar can switch to a lower setting if the dog doesn’t produce any noise for a certain amount of time. This system is meant to encourage your dog to only bark when it has to.
A bark collar is intended as an aid in training your dog not to bark inappropriately, not as replacement for training. It should not be left on all the time, and initial sessions with it should be monitored. If your pet only barks when you are away and there’s no possible means for you to control his training, ask for a neighbor’s help. He will be more than glad to do it, since he’s the most affected by your dog’s behavior. Choose a person whom your dog trusts already.
This monitoring is crucial in the beginning to ensure your dog reacts within normal parameters for effective training. Dogs need much more than an anti-bark collar in order to learn how to behave. You must train them constantly, especially during their first year of life.
Instead of resorting to extreme solutions, consider purchasing bark collars instead. These devices can prove to be very efficient in educating your dog. If you want to know more details about these devices and the mechanisms they use, read more about bark collars here.