We get many questions about bark collars, from “do bark collars work?” to “are bark collars effective?”, and those who don’t know anything about them always ask “are barking collars cruel?”
Here are the answers to all of the bark questions everyone has but might be too afraid to ask.
1. How Do Bark Collars Work?
A bark collar (otherwise referred to as an e-collar or an anti-bark collar) is a device that emits a behaviour correction upon detecting barking.
The devices have sensors in them; when these sensors are placed on the side of your dog's neck, they can detect barking. When the barking is detected, the collar will emit a correction.
The behaviour correction depends on the collar you buy. Bark collars can emit either a vibration, a beep, a puff of citronella, a static correction or a combination of these.
2. So, Do Bark Collars Work?
Yes, bark collars do work to stop your dog from continuing their excessive barking.
To get the most value out of your bark collar, make sure you place the receiver on the collar (this is the piece that emits the corrections) on the side of your dog’s neck. Putting the collar here is ideal for comfort and accuracy.
Then, make sure the collar is snug around your dog's neck, but you should be able to fit 2-3 fingers between the dog and the collar. This ensures your dog is comfortable with the bark collar and that the collar isn’t too loose.
If you do these two things, whilst also keeping the collar clean and charged - the bark collar is very very likely to stop your dog from continuously barking.
3. Are Barking Collars Effective?
Dog barking collars are very effective. Most of our customers find that within a few corrections, their dog has effectively connected the stimulation (the correction emitted by the collar) with their barking.
Usually, the dog doesn’t need to wear the collar for long to stop the nuisance barking.
The temperament of your dog also comes into play - we have heard stories of customers saying their dog liked the citronella smell, so they didn’t mind barking through the citronella. Others find after one low-level static correction, and their dog learns nuisance barking isn’t that fun.
Here are a couple of reviews our customers have left on our best selling bark products. They share the common experience that most of our customers have - that it doesn’t take long to work.
A review on the Barktec BT-100 Citronella Kit: “My 8-month-old German Shepherd had taken to barking at people passing and also in the middle of the night. On the advice of eDog, I purchased the Barktec BT-100 citronella collar. The collar worked beautifully and my pup stopped barking almost immediately. He doesn’t even bark without it and I’m getting a good night's sleep. Fantastic!”
A review on the Dogtra YS300 Bark Collar: “Very satisfied! Worked well above my expectations on our German Shepherd. He now walks up to people in a friendly manner instead of barking loudly and furiously at everyone.”
4. Are Barking Collars Cruel?
No - bark collars are not cruel. The misconception is understandable because when people hear “static shock”, they assume it's an electric shock so big that it’ll knock you over.
In reality, a static shock given by the collar is equivalent to the static shock we feel when we rub our feet on the carpet then touch a doorknob. It doesn’t hurt. We also have a process that we recommend our customers follow to ensure maximum comfort and safety.
Firstly, try the collar in your hand at the lowest level, so you know what the sensation feels like. Then work build up the intensity levels to understand how the collar feels on different settings.
Next, try it on your dog at the lowest level. You want to establish what is known as the working level; this is the lowest possible level of stimulation that still captures your dog’s attention. For reference, our Dogtra products have 127 intensity levels, but the working levels for most of our customers are levels 5-10.
Another thing to note, it usually takes very little corrections for your dog to learn the consequence of their action.
Dogs quickly learn that barking leads to a correction either in the form of citronella, vibration or static. Once they establish this correlation, they usually don’t bark excessively again to prevent being corrected.
5. How Long Does it Take For a Bark Collar to Work?
This is a commonly asked question, but the answer depends!
How long it takes for a dog barking collar to work depends on the dog and the collar. The collar needs to be distracting enough to deter them from barking. And your dog has to think it’s enough of a consequence, so they stop barking.
If after a week you don’t see results, check that the collar is in the right position on the dog's neck. It should sit to the side of the neck, not on their throat.
After that, you may need to adjust the intensity of the collar, that means either increasing the static intensity or increasing the citronella duration.
6. Will a Muzzle Stop My Dog Barking?
A muzzle technically does solve the barking, in the sense that the dog cannot properly bark because of it, but it’s not the intended purpose of a muzzle.
However, if the muzzle wasn’t there, the dog would still want to bark. Yet after a few sessions with the collar, the dog won’t want to bark, and they can still move with complete freedom.
So yes, a muzzle will stop the dog barking for the moment, but it is not a viable long term solution unless you want them to wear a muzzle forever.
7. What is the Best Dog Collar to Stop Barking?
This depends on your needs and your dog. The best collar for your dog is likely to be either a citronella collar or a static correction collar.
We highly recommend the Barktec BT-100 Bark Control Kit - this citronella collar is one of our best selling products. We hear from many customers every day telling us how much they love it, and how much they love their dog being quiet. It’s an easy to use device that works quickly to teach your dog to stop barking.
If you’re looking for a static bark collar, you can’t go past the Dogtra YS300; this device is an industry favourite for a reason. It has six intensity levels, is completely rechargeable, is waterproof and suits a wide variety of dogs. It is safe and extremely effective at detecting your dog barking.
One More Thing About Bark Collars
Unfortunately, a small proportion of people think of bark collars negatively, and these are people who have never had a dog where they needed to use one.
Our customers purchase a bark collar because they have run out of options. They’ve had complaints from their neighbours or the council, and they need to prove they are doing something to help their dog.
We also recommend layering a bark collar into your current training routine. This helps your dog understand when barking is acceptable a lot faster. You aren’t hurting your dog using a bark collar. A bark collar allows you and your dog have a better relationship; it’s a training tool.
If you’re interested in purchasing a bark collar for your dog, browse our range here. And if you aren’t sure which collar would best suit your dog, contact our customer service team. They are great at giving you tailored recommendations so you can pick a bark collar with confidence.