What are bark collars and are they reliable
Pet Care December 4, 2017

What are bark collars and are they reliable

Bark collars are devices that you can use to put a check on your dog’s barking nuisance. These are available in three variants—electronic, ultrasound, and citronella spray. Most notably, these collars are used by adoption organizations and animal rescue groups. Nonetheless, these bark collars are increasingly becoming popular among dog owners. There is a wide variety of such anti-barking devices that one can choose from.

How do bark collars work?

Typically, bark collars depend on a vibration or a noise-detecting microphone. Upon detecting a vibration or a noise, an aversive stimulus, or simply an action, is triggered. The aversive stimulus depends on the type of bark collar. A brief overview of each type of bark collar is briefed up as follows:

  • Electronic –

    As soon as a dog with an electronic collar picks up barking, it sends a mild shock to the dog that makes it startled and hence, puts a stop on barking.

  • Citronella –

    Unlike electric ones, a citronella bark collar releases a spray of citronella when it finds that the wearer is barking. As dogs are very good at smelling, they are distracted and thus stop barking.

  • Ultrasound –

    Just as the citronella bark collar makes use of a dog’s sense of smell, an ultrasound bark collar exploits the hearing sense of a dog. Upon receiving a barking signal, the bark collar transmits a high-frequency sound, not perceivable by humans, but to the wearer. The sound diverts the dog’s attention and hence, makes it stop barking.

Are bark collars reliable?

There is no realistic yes or no answer to the question. This is because of several reasons. Probably the biggest is that barking is an important dog activity that they use for communicating many different things. Several studies on finding the efficiency of bark collars have demonstrated them as an effective anti-bark solution. However, most of such studies stress on the nature of the dog for devices to work effectively.

The study reveals that overanxious and fearful dogs respond negatively to punishment and become more anxious, if being punished. Such dogs will simply ignore the collar and keep on barking. Thus, for dogs that bark often due to separation anxiety or fear, a barking collar becomes ineffective. In fact, often in such cases, the bark collar might act effectively in reducing barking frequency, but over time, habituation comes into play, allowing dogs to bark even while the collar is in action.

Nevertheless, an exaggerated level of anxiety and fear is often observed in stray dogs. Domesticated dogs have lower levels of anxiety and fear, which makes bark collars effective for them. There are several makes and models of bark collars available for your pet dog. You can purchase them from your nearest physical store or order one online as per your needs.

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