Getting a new dog to a household is a rewarding and exciting time in everyone’s life, but that can soon change when the dog starts to bark. It is exceptionally discomforting when the dog develops a habit of barking constantly and when there is no need. People with noisy dogs often earn the ire of neighbors and that can cause all kinds of awkwardness. There is an effective way to reduce the overall behavior of a dog barking and that is with a bark collar.
A bark collar is specially designed to teach a dog not to bark. The boxes housed on the front of the bark collar have a dual function. The first function is used to detect the dog when it barks and this is done by measuring the pressure created by the dog’s vocal cords. When the dog barks, the bark collar detects the change in pressure and emits a small electrical shock into the dog’s neck. The electrical pulse is the second function of the bark collar. Over time, the electrical pulses from the bark collar discourage the dog from barking as the jolt – and it is only minor – causes minimal discomfort in the animal so it comes to associate barking with discomfort. These shocks are no more powerful than when you rub your feet across a nylon carpet and then touch something that conducts static, so a bark collar is perfectly safe to use and does not cause any lasting harm.
Another bark collar is the Citronella. This bark collar works differently from electroshock bark collar. Built into the box on the collar is a small microphone that measures the pressure of the dog’s vocal cords. Once the microphone picks up tension in the dog’s vocal cords, the bark collar releases a pungent stench of flowers. This stench, like the electroshock collar, becomes a reinforced negative associated with barking and slowly deters the dog’s behavior.
There is a slight issue with the use of the Citronella bark collar, however. Due to the sensitivity of the microphone, if it stops functioning correctly, it can detect the barks of other dogs around the dog being trained and this can cause an unwanted release of fragrance. An unintended release of fragrance then confuses the dog because it will associate the fragrance with wrongdoing and if it is behaving in a normal manner, the release will confuse it.
Another form of bark collar is the ultrasonic style. The ultrasonic bark collar works with the same kind of microphone to detect the dog’s bark, but unlike the others, this bark collar releases a high-pitched frequency sound only audible to dogs. This sound causes mild irritation to dogs and though it only lasts for a few seconds, it works the same way as the others: reinforcing negative experience with their barking.
The most popular bark collar to date is the Citronella, due to its more humane way of training a dog not to bark, but the electroshock bark collar is reputedly more reliable.