Will a Bark Collar Hurt My Dog?
Discussing the facts about dog bark collars
Some Dog Anti Bark Collars have created a bit of a stigma about their use. The industry has taken a bit of a swing. In the early days bark collars were quite basic, then they were improved immensely.
Sadly, some products being produced now seem to have swung back to the early days and are not giving the industry a good name.
A good bark collar will actually improve the relationship between the owner and the dog. Bark Collars are not cruel.
Dogs need structure in their life, they crave conformity and knowing their place; they are ‘Pack Animals’
Every time I watch Cesar Millan on barking dogs, he quite often mentions the lack of structure - rules - regulations and consistent follow through on training. He talks about improving the consistency of the message the dog is getting so that it is receiving the guidance it needs.
This is what a bark collar can do for you. Provided it is selected to suit your dog and is of good quality.
In my experience I have found that when the dog receives a consistent message and guidance, their behaviour will improve in many other areas as a side effect (a good side effect of Dog Bark Collars).
If you select a bark collar that is consistent and safe, it will give the dog the correct guidance it needs in the area of barking.
I have had feedback on many occasions that our clients (and now our friends) have found that their dogs have become more obedient in other areas as a result of consistent message from a good bark collar.
In my mind it stands to reason… let's look at it this way, if a child is given a consistent message and guidance on one subject like picking up their toys - then it will also be easier to get them to do other tasks if the message is consistent.
People often call us at their most desperate - they need relief from the issues that a barking dog has created. Neighbours complaining, shire rangers knocking on the door, nasty letters in the letter box.
Yet they are worried that a Bark Collar will hurt their dog.
It is not about hurting the dog - it is about consistent and reliable ‘correction’ and guidance at a level that re-trains the dog to the appropriate barking behaviour.
Here is the situation, you have a dog that is constantly barking at the back door to be let in. You know you can’t out and tell the dog off because that just gives the dog the attention they crave (The reward for barking at the door is getting attention)
Parents… this is the ‘toddler taming' nightmare. Right?
So, your dog is learning that barking - gets attention… and this can manifest in other areas of a dog's routine. Especially when you are not home. (Related article - How to Deal with Separation Anxiety Using Bark Collars)
If you employ the use of a good bark collar, it will consistently correct the dog at the appropriate level when barking at the back door.
When the dog has stopped the barking... You can be the ‘Good guy’ and reward the dog for showing appropriate behaviour.
You are now employing the use of positive reinforcement when using a good bark collar.
If you are reading this article - then you have a problem with a barking dog… and like many people have decided that it is time for some professional help.
The usual reason people call us is that they are faced with a problem about their barking dog issue and they have come to the conclusion that using an Anti Bark Collar is ‘less cruel’ than the alternative. After finding a bark collar suited to their dog, life changes for the better.
Some of our clients have been faced with very serious threatening letters -threats to not only the dog but to themselves personally. To an angry neighbour, barking dog noise can be like water torture.
Usually, people have already tried a lot of alternatives before contacting The Dog Line and nothing has worked. Some people have even tried other bark collars that were just not suited to their dog and failed.
You can hire a bark collar here.
Make sure your bark collar does not activate accidentally.
As stated above, your dog needs a consistent message. So, ensure the bark collar is safe from accidental activation. Sound activated units can go off if knocked against something or they pick up stray noises.
Vibration activated bark collar can pick up the vibration through the housing if the dog knocks the unit on the ground. See our barking dog training collar here.
Ensure the collar activates consistently.
It is a fine balance between the above point and this one.
We only want the bark collar to go off when the dog barks.
If it is not consistent then the dog will not receive the correct message.
Make sure it does not have to be done up too tight.
Rubbing sores and irritation have been a bit of an issue in the industry until recent times.
Ensuring the bark collar is sensitive enough, that it does not have to be done up too tight is really going to make a difference here.
People are now more aware that a bark collar will not ‘burn’ a dog’s skin… these incidents come down to poor management of dog hygiene… and is often not the fault of the collar.
Check out our recommended options below and find the ideal bark collar that will perfectly suit your dog.
These are recommended for stubborn dogs - usually medium to large sized dogs.
Folks have also used electric bark collars that are waterproof - some have replaceable batteries and others have rechargeable batteries.
We only offer static bark collars that pass the Australian standard for electronic devices. So, the collars have been proven to be safe and will not harm your dog.
They are designed with advanced safety features such as Dual Detection- the collar will detect your dog’s barking sound and the vibration through his vocal cords before the stimulation is activated.
Plus, the Safety Shut Down feature will turn the collar off, to avoid over-stimulating your dog if a certain barking limit has been reached - often in dangerous situations wherein your dog has to bark. These are only some of the many advanced safety features that the high quality bark collars have.
This work well with tiny to medium sized dogs - usually with sensitive temperament but are still responsive.
Citronella has a natural scent that dogs do not like and with the sound of the burst of spray, it can effectively deter your dog from barking but will not hurt the dog it would only distract them from barking.
Also, Citronella bark collars that are waterproof with rechargeable and replaceable batteries are available.
Also good for tiny to medium sized dogs - usually super sensitive but quite easy to train.
This type of collar releases sound waves that dogs are very responsive to… but are not audible to human ears.
This bark collar commonly comes with with sound or bark and vibration from the vocal cords detection.
Ultrasonic bark collars are usually designed with long-lasting replaceable batteries.
Suits tiny to large sized dogs. This is highly recommended to young and seniour dogs who are quite sensitive.
This type of bark collar is also designed with dual detection - it listens to your dog’s barking sound and will detect the vibration through your dog’s vocal cords before your dog gets stimulated.
Please see the graph below - it shows how an electric bark collar cannot possibly hurt a dog in terms of the electrical output being emitted.
The energy (in joules) from dog electric collars are comparatively lower than the static impulses that we humans get from the devices that we use.
In case you do not know, our chance of getting electrically burned is higher than dogs - we have thin and oily skin whilst dogs have fur, thick and dry skin.
Therefore, the static stimulation from electric bark collars alone, cannot possibly hurt your dog.