How do you feel about bark collars?

pinkspore

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#21
My dogs do that, but I've found that it's extinguished itself pretty quickly. Not in one or two classes, but after a month and a half of private lessons mine are pretty quiet while the other is being worked.
Pretty much all training classes here are at parks in residential areas, so barking can cause enormous problems with the neighbors. I'm sure everyone would love to be able to let it extinguish itself, though.
 
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#22
Hey pinkspore!

I'll give you two answers, my own and a more professional one.

My own opinion: Bark collars suck, plain and simple, LOL. They're either cruel (shock collars) or they are terribly ineffective (spray collars).

A more professional answer: Quoted from an interesting article I found on UltimateHomeLife

"This method is one that you’ve probably heard of before. Why? Because it’s wildly popular.

Whenever your dog barks, bark collars automatically catch on and emit something that interrupt your dog from barking. Depending on the bark collar you get, the interrupter might be very different for you than for someone else.

Some bark collars emit a noise, while others make use of a small frequency of electric stimulation. There are many other methods bark collars use that are way too many to list in this article, so the choice is up to you. Explore your options and see which one you’re most comfortable using on your dog.

However, one important word on shock collars. By delivering a certain electric frequency to your dog, this can be painful for them. And when they feel pain, this can cause both physical and psychological pain and trauma, and may make your dog very aggressive, especially if they are able to tell where the source of the pain is coming from (where they’ll become aggressive towards you if they’re able to tell you’re behind the electric frequency).

As for collars that squirt a scent of citronella when your dog barks, your dog knows how to adapt to that faster than you think. Believe it or not, your dog can catch on to what the can is there for, manipulate it and use it up real fast and start barking at will again."
 
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#23
The situation specifically cited for training class was people who bring more that one dog, and the crated dog barks continually while the other dog is being worked.
Typically I either ask my husband to come with me, or only bring one dog at a time. But I wouldn't be totally opposed to using one this way depending on how close the other dogs' crates are. A nearby noise can set off the collar of a quiet dog.
 

Kat09Tails

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#24
I have no problem with bark collars on dogs that seem to adapt well to them. Some dogs that are more sensitive to their universe or dogs who are amped to high levels are not ones I would use a bark collar on. It would just be unfair om that situation but the majority of dogs happily do just fine with them and figure it out in short order.

Well made bark collars require a noise and a vibration to stim so there is little risk of someone getting stimmed because their neighbor is barking. Used well it's a great learning tool because it's consistent in a way a person just can't be.

Tritronics/garmin even makes an e collar that allows you to remotely turn on and off the bark collar which again - is a great learning tool in the right situations. I would love to use one to teach the quiet command.
 

Shakou

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#25
We use one on Ma'ii on car rides, because unfortunately he barks like crazy in the car, and absolutely nothing short of drugging him has kept him quiet. I don't like doing it, but it's extremely distracting to have him carrying on while driving, and there were a couple times where we've come close to getting into some accidents because of it.
 

Elrohwen

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#26
Pretty much all training classes here are at parks in residential areas, so barking can cause enormous problems with the neighbors. I'm sure everyone would love to be able to let it extinguish itself, though.
Yeah, that's tough. I agree with Sass that I would personally have my husband come along or just bring one dog, or at least get a friend in the class to sit with them.

I'm still not against bark collars as a fundamental thing, I just don't think I would resort to one for crate barking in class because I feel like I have other options. I know not everybody has those options though.
 

Laurelin

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#27
I'm not a fan but they tempt me a lot. All three of my dogs are excessive barkers. I'm really uncomfortable with one (either citronella or shock) for Mia with her trachea issues.

But god do they bark. Summer at least is quiet in the yard but hank and Mia bark too much and I'm afraid neighbors will complain. They'd get more outdoors time if they'd shut up.
 

Laurelin

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#28
Summer is one of those dogs that would bark through entire classes. Many many trainers, including really good ones, could not dent it at all. Nothing worked at all with her. Mia and hank both barked at the beginning but worked through it with normal methods. We tried everything from treat and train, other people treating her, startling. Basically any method and none made a dent.
 
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#29
I have never used one and would be cautious about using one as I think they are easily misused, but I may use one in the future. I own a Cataholler cur - I've never known a dog with a voice like his, he once got us expedited service at the vet's office just for being insanely annoying I am ashamed to tell you. He screams, he bays... especially when he knows I'm nearby but can't get to me. (When he knows I'm out of the house he quiets down though.) It's a problem we work on using other, preferred, less harsh methods. However if they don't prove effective I will escalate to bark collar as necessary.

For now we don't attend lessons that require him to be crated, but in the future we may so it will need to be taken care of somehow in the long run.
 

PWCorgi

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#30
Siri has one and wears it every time she is crated when we leave because she will every once in a while throw a screaming fit in her crate while we are gone. Even though it is rare, it has gotten us in trouble with the apartment management before (for 10 pounds, she has LUNGS!) and I won't risk it again.

That said, she is also a whiner at agility class and we work on it every week. With time she has gotten better, but she still isn't great. I don't think I'd ever use a bark collar in that context.

Tried one on Frodo once, worst decision ever.
 

pinkspore

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#31
But god do they bark. Summer at least is quiet in the yard but hank and Mia bark too much and I'm afraid neighbors will complain. They'd get more outdoors time if they'd shut up.
I'm working through this with Sisci right now. My dogs know that barking means the end of outside time. I've been having her drag a leash when she plays, and as soon as she barks I blankly pick up the leash and walk her inside and tobthe bathroom, turn on the light, and shut her in there for ~2 minutes. This seems to be working, though I had to do it several dozen times the first day.
 
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#33
I have always wondered-does growling or whining also set them off?
Maisy learned to test the citronella collar (if it was empty or the batteries low, it wouldn't always go off). She'd start whining really soft and slowly escalate until she got to a normal bark or it went off. Soft growling/whining didn't set it off, it actually had to get fairly loud before it would go off. But it probably depends on the collar, too.
 

mrose_s

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#35
I use an electronic bark collar with Quinn. I don't think it even works anymore but I use it to help her chill.

I think its fine if used correctly. I have no concerns about her wearing it.

Originally I used it for 2 reasons.
1. She likes to sleep outside during summer but where we used to live there was a neighbouring cat that would stir her up about 2am. I couldn't deal with explosive barking that only occured at that time of night.
2. The kennel facility I used to be at a lot with her was a pretty intense environment. She used to bark non stop while I was there, no issue on its own but over time this turned into her developing fence fighting type behaviours because of the arousal levels. The tool dealt with this issue, although she did develop an entire new vocab of high pitched chirping noises that didn't set it off to yell at me instead of barking.


The collar allowed her to continue to do things she enjoyed doing without any downtime from them. I have seen it have zero ill effects on her confidence, sociability etc etc.

I put it on her when I need to ensure she's quiet, it's virtually always off or on the "tone only" setting these days.

I've had hit and miss success with clients using citronella collars. If they work for your dog, great. But I generally suggest electronics for reliability in results if I deem the collar to be appropriate in the situation.

My opinion of them is "effective training tool, when used correctly"
 

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