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Old 04-03-2012, 12:04 PM
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CaliTerp07 CaliTerp07 is offline
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Default Bark collar questions

I've finally admitted I have no other options. I put off the collar for over 3.5 years as I worked with various trainers and behaviorists to try to lessen Lucy's reactivity towards everything that walks past our house. We moved from an apartment to a house because I didn't feel it was fair to my neighbors to have such a barky dog next door. Even in a house though, you can clearly hear her from the outside.

Every dog, car, bicycle, squirrel, cat, etc gets a rousing RAWR RAWR RAWR for a good 2-3 minutes straight. $1000's of dollars in training and hundreds of hours sitting by the window waiting for someone to come past so I can reward her BEFORE barking haven't made a dent. For my sanity, it needs to stop. My agility instructor is the one who suggested a bark collar, as she is convinced that barking is self-reinforcing for Lucy. I put it off for almost a year after she first suggested it, but now I'm caving.

I bought a bark collar that came recommended by someone here, but now I need help using it. Do I start it on the lowest setting and build up until she stops? Or will that just build tolerance? Do I start at a moderate level and hope to cut it out immediately? At what point (if any) do I realize it's not working?

Please don't tell me that this is cruel. I've exhausted my other options, and I need it to stop. I just want help so that I'm using it properly and it can extinguish the behavior quickly.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:28 PM
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I'm watching this thread, I'm at the point where I think it's needed with Kaylee before I kill her. In almost five years she's gotten nothing but worse no matter how hard I work on it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:35 PM
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Honestly, it is not cruel. I am willing to bet that in a few days you will both be so much more relaxed and happy. I don't have much experience with them, but I have used one before and know many many people who do.

What brand did you buy and how many levels does it have?

There are different views on introducing the bark collar, I don't think there a "right" answer though. Is she a sensitive dog? My concern with starting at a higher level would be that she might vocalize out of surprise and activate the collar again. This happened with my old guy, and that WILL make you feel bad. Especially since you have reservations to begin with.

So I guess in your case, I would recommend starting low to avoid that scenario and see what kind of results you get, then turning it up as needed. I'm curious what others would advise though.....and did you ask your agility instructor what she would recommend?
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:48 PM
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I have a spray collar that worked well with Kat. I got it used. I don't think I would use a shock type collar for fear of creating reactivity (aggressive vs alerting). I get where you are coming from, Kat barked at EVERYTHING. OMG the loud. Seren barks a lot too, but her bark is a quiet bark where as Kat was a shrieker. I had gotten two for our trip to the States, I figured barking dogs would make us not welcome at camp sites. Dekka barks if I leave her, however she is remarkable quiet with the spray collar.

Seren came to me having worn a shock type collar. She had a big hairless patch that was red, scaley and raw (likely from the prongs, not the shocks themselves) I do think being shocked has negatively affected her (not saying cruel, just its IMO inhibited her drive). I plan to put the spray collar on her when she goes out in the yard this summer once I get more spray to put in it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:06 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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I agree with Dekka about the spray collars.

But if you do get a shock collar:

(Granted I've never used one, but...)

There are a lot of bark collars that start with a low shock, and then if the dog continues barking they shock gradually higher and higher. The idea being that if the dog stops quickly he won't get "hurt" so bad.

But from a behaviorial standpoint, what you're actually probably doing is teaching the dog a pain tolerance. I have a friend who trains with a remote shock collar. He starts out with a high level shock, basically making a big impression on the dog, and then turns it down after that, using a low-level shock from then on out.

I'm not necessarily suggesting you do that, I'm just saying it doesn't make sense to use a low shock and make it progressively higher.

And better yet, use the spray collar instead.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:14 PM
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Spray collar does nothing. She doesn't mind citronella in the face We tried that briefly too.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
I have a friend who trains with a remote shock collar. He starts out with a high level shock, basically making a big impression on the dog, and then turns it down after that, using a low-level shock from then on out.

I'm not necessarily suggesting you do that, I'm just saying it doesn't make sense to use a low shock and make it progressively higher.
Actually, most high level sport trainers who use e-collars use them completely opposite, and the collar is set on the lowest possible level that the dog responds to. At this level, it barely feels like anything, just a slight nudge. Yes, I have felt all levels of my e-collar and have attended an e-collar seminar taught by a well-known police k9 trainer from LA.

I don't want to get into a shock collar debate here, but many many people use them humanely. Telling stories about the prongs leaving marks from the collar being left on for too long (no the shocks cannot "burn" your dog), is as relevant as me telling stories about buckle collars buried deep in a dog's neck from it being left on too tight for too long.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panzerotti View Post
What brand did you buy and how many levels does it have?
I'm waiting at the dr's right now, so i can't check. I'll look when I get home.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panzerotti View Post
I don't want to get into a shock collar debate here, but many many people use them humanely. Telling stories about the prongs leaving marks from the collar being left on for too long (no the shocks cannot "burn" your dog), is as relevant as me telling stories about buckle collars buried deep in a dog's neck from it being left on too tight for too long.
Except she wasn't saying that they are a bad thing and not to use it, she was giving her experience with it. Same as you could come in and give your experience about another collar without being jumped on, like many people before have.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
Except she wasn't saying that they are a bad thing and not to use it, she was giving her experience with it. Same as you could come in and give your experience about another collar without being jumped on, like many people before have.
With all due respect, I don't want and didn't ask for bark collar horror stories. I want to know how to use it successfully to minimize usage, that's all.
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