An anti-bark collar is a specific type of training collar that can be used for dogs with a tendency to bark excessively. It is designed to passively reinforce barking behavior. And over time causes the dog to avoid that behavior. The use of bark collars has become controversial in recent years, and many people consider their use a form of animal abuse. The following guide examines the advantages and disadvantages of bark collars and will help you decide if a bark collar is right for your dog.
Types of Bark Collars
Electronic bark collars detect vibrating vocal cords when your dog is barking. When these vibrations are detected, a low-level shock is directed to the dog’s neck. Some online pet stores refer to these vibrations as being similar to the shock that humans experience or receive after moving their feet on a rug and then touching another person or doorknob. However, this type of collar has been criticized as cruel and inhumane by organizations such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the use of electronic bark collars has been banned in Australia. Even veterinary professionals have questioned the effectiveness of electronic bark collars. A study conducted at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine found that four out of eight dogs who tried an electric bark collar had no reduction in barking activity.
Citronella Bark Collars Have A Small Microphone In The Collar To Pick Up The Bark
Citronella bark collars have a small microphone in the collar to pick up the bark. Once detected, it releases the aroma of botanical citronella into the air. A study by Cornell University found that all dog owners found citronella collars to be effective in reducing or stopping nuisance barking, and many preferred them over electric shock collars. Citronella bark collars are also used to control excessive barking in many stray and pet adoption organizations. However, the design of most citronella collars is problematic.
The sensitivity of the microphone must be working properly at all times, or else you might catch other dogs barking and punish your dog for something they don’t do, confusing the dog and counterproductive to behavior modification. Ultrasonic bark collars also have a microphone, and make a high-pitched sound that is imperceptible to humans and annoying to dogs. Some systems have two tones one to reflect positive behavior and one to indicate negative behavior but most have only one tone. Ultrasound bark collars are often paired with electronic shock collars that first emit a sound, followed by a shock if the behavior continues. Of the three types of bark collars, the ultrasonic bark collar has the least amount of confirmatory research.
Why Use a Bark Collar?
Katherine A. Haupt is director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The Haupt describes the type of dogs whose owners often buy bark collars as “noisy barkers.” He says these dogs bark constantly for territorial reasons or because barking is a learned behavior that commands attention. Haupt says behavior modification can help manage nuisance barking, but owners who are absent, unwilling or unable to correct their dog when barking occurs may choose to try a barking collar. Many dogs bark for a specific purpose, and often the problem of barking can be resolved without resorting to a bark collar.
Behavior Challenges for Bark Collar Users
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does not recommend the use of shock collars.
The SPCA considers them inhuman and should never be used. BarkingDogs.net author Dr. Craig Mixon says that dogs who wear bark collars can experience habituation. With practice, the longer your dog wears his citronella collar, the less successful it will be, and ultimately the less effective it will be. Dogs can learn to avoid citronella collar and bark and then bark excessively until the citronella supply is exhausted, to avoid the smell of citronella. Mixon wrote that the best way to avoid habituation is to alternate citronella and electronic collars, and to use the collar as only one component in an arsenal of training and behavior modification, not the only training method. Other dog behaviorists advocate leaving the training collar on for short periods of time, not all day.
Some dog breeds bark more than others. Small dogs and bark toy breeds for more non-essential reasons than retrievers, sheepdogs and Saint Bernard’s. Some breeds, such as scent hounds. Digging and barking with their owners.
Reasons Your Dog Barks
Your dog barks for a number of reasons. He barks in response to stimuli when a stranger approaches or sees a strange animal in his area.
It can bark when other dogs bark, which enhances the dog’s initial spatial response. This type of barking is very beneficial for human owners who keep dogs as a form of protection.
Dogs may bark as a learned response. If a dog barks and then gets your attention. The learns that barking helps him get what he wants – attention or play. The your dog brings his toy to you, then barks. And you engage in play with the dog. He will learn that barking is a good way to start the game. If this behavior prompts you to scold or yell at the dog.
Similar to barking to get attention. Dogs may bark in response to anxiety they feel when their owners are not around. This usually occurs after the owner has left and is known as separation anxiety. The barking can last for several hours at a time and usually only occurs when the owner is not around.
For many owners, one of the above is sufficient reason to justify the use of a bark collar. However, there is one instance in which. To discourage barking. Some dogs with pain, deafness, cognitive problems, or brain diseases may bark excessively.
To Eliminate These Possibilities
To eliminate these possibilities. Always take your dog to the vet for a full examination before beginning. A behavior modification program that includes a bark collar.
Ultimately, the choice to use a bark collar is up to the owner. You are responsible for your dog’s well-being and health, but you must also be aware of your neighbors and family. Experiment with alternative methods of behavior modification before choosing a bark collar. Your vet may recommend specific exercises to train your dog to stop barking or to calm down. While you want to discourage unwanted barking, you don’t want your dog to stop barking completely. Barking – within reason – is a normal dog behavior. Learn to recognize the triggers that make your dog bark and work to eliminate those triggers as much as possible. While training your dog to stop barking may seem like a time consuming burden. It is often more successful than using a bark collar. With dogs, as with humans, there is no magic cure for unpleasant behavior.
Also Read: Pros and Cons Of Bark Collars