Are Bark Collars Safe for Your Dog?

Bark collars were invented as a solution to the frustrating problem of dogs barking all the time, for no apparent reason. If you have the bad luck of living in a neighborhood where there are many such dogs, your life can turn into a nightmare.

Among the three types of bark collar, the static device was the first one to be invented. Back then, its mechanism wasn’t so advanced and it led to several complications. These versions could not distinguish between more types of barking, and they reacted to all dogs within a certain perimeter, even if the dog wearing it was silent. Some owners did not supervise their dogs during the first few days of wearing the device and their animals displayed various kinds of trauma.

In the time since they were first introduced, no bark collars have improved dramatically.

None of these collars intend to harm the dog, but rather teach it not to bark all the time. (This also works with other behaviors, so many collars have a manual remote that will allow you to help train the dog to stay off the furniture or not dig in the garden).

There are now three types of correction available: spray, sonic, and the already mentioned static. bark collar with citronella spread a strong citrus scent whenever the dog barks for longer that a certain amount of time. Static collars use high-frequency sounds that only dogs hear. Both of these styles are best used on ‘sensitive’ dogs; those that are high-strung or over-react to physical stimulation (spray collars are not recommended for scent hounds due to the sensitivity of their noses).

The static bark collar has the most flexibility and the highest rate of success, due to improvements and innovations. Vibrations prolongued for a determined period of time can trigger the high-pitched sounds of the static collar. The static collar only reacts to the barking of the dog wearing it. It features volume and frequency settings that can be adjusted so that the collar does not react to manifestations of fear or stress, These devices can be adjusted manually. In addition, they have an automatic shutdown period if the dog barks for a certain period without cease. The bark collar will also reset to a lower level if the dog is silent for a preset amount of time. This reduction reinforces the idea that being quiet has benefits.

Anti-bark collars work best when associated with proper dog training. They are only adjuvants in the training process. Training should be based on rewards and play for good behavior.

When used for the purpose they were intended, bark collars are effective and much preferred to the alternatives- ‘debarking’ surgery that involves cutting the vocal cords (with all the risks inherent in any surgery), and having to find another home for what is supposed to be a forever friend  

Even though the first versions of bark collar weren’t perfect, they have been improved in time. Most types of dog collars can be adjusted manually or digitally. If you want to find out more about different types of bark collar, click here.

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