Having a big, friendly giant for a dog is great! They're loyal, loving and always by your side. They're also great to make you feel safer at home, with that deep bark to scare away any potential intruders.
But that bark can become more of a hindrance if it doesn't stop! Next thing you know, you have your neighbours complaining about being woken up from their sleep and a letter from the city at your doorstep about a noise violation!
A bark collar can be a valuable tool for you when it comes to excessive and unnecessary barking. But how do I choose the right bark collar for my big dog?
How do bark collars work for my big dog?
Before we talk about the different types of bark collars, it's helpful to understand how they work.
Most bark collars have a built-in sensor in the device which can either detect vibrations from your dog's vocal cords or has a microphone that can detect excessive barking.
Once the bark collar detects unnecessary barking, it will emit a distraction, diverting your dog's attention from what it was barking at. Your dog will learn that barking too much will cause the collar to emit the response. This gives you the opportunity to reward calmer behaviours.
Distracting a big dog may be difficult since many will not react to light distractions.
There are four different types of collars:
- Citronella spray collar
- Vibration collar
- Static shock collar
- Ultrasonic sound collar
Types of Dog Bark Collars
A Citronella spray collar is one of the most effective methods available to help moderate your dog's excessive barking. It works by spraying a light mist of non-toxic citronella blend onto your dog's lower jaw.
The Barktec Citronella Collar uses a sensor that automatically detects the vibrations from your dog's vocal cords. The citronella collar is entirely safe for your dog and won't cause your dog harm.
The spray and scent are unusual sensations for your dog, so it will distract their attention from their barking allowing you to reward calmer behaviours.
The Vibration Collars are exactly as they sound! The collar vibrates in pulses once it detects excessive barking.
You can set the level of the vibration your dog feels. We recommend starting with the lowest level and observing your dog's response; if your dog doesn't react, increase the level.
Vibration collars don't cause your pup any pain. Again, simply a distraction for your dog's attention.
Static Shock Collars
Static collars are the most popular type of bark collars. Not only can they train your dog out of excessive barking behaviours, but they can also be used for training purposes beyond barking.
Like the vibration collar, you can change the level of the distraction, giving you the ability to customise the response to suit your dog.
Many owners are intimidated by the Static Shock option; however, remember that the shock isn't painful. It's no different from the 'zap' you get from rubbing your feet across a carpet and touching something else. It's unpleasant for a split moment but not enough to hurt you. This distraction may be necessary for dogs with a high drive (big dogs in particular) and won't react to anything else.
We have an article that dives deeper into Static Shock Collars here.
Technically, our Ultrasonic devices aren't collars, so yes, we are cheating here. But these devices are extremely useful in distracting dogs' excessive barking.
eDog Australia's ultrasonic technology is a device that sits facing where your dog barks the most. It has a microphone that automatically detects the sound of your dog's barking and then responds by using high-pressure speakers to emit a high-frequency sound that dogs can hear but is inaudible to humans.
Your dog will learn to associate that barking too much will result in them hearing the ultrasonic sound. This noise can be annoying but not harmful to dogs, so it is safe for your dog.
Our Top 3 Picks for Anti-Bark Collars
Ultimate Barktec BT100 Citronella Spray Bark Collar Kit
As a reminder, the Barktec Citronella Collar is a bark collar that emits a mist of non-toxic citronella blend when your dog barks excessively.
The collar comes with a receiver that measures 5 cm by 3.5 cm by 3.5 cm. It's also light and weighs in at ~70 grams. This size makes it exceptionally comfortable for larger dogs.
What it comes with:
- User manual
- Ten extra batteries
- Adjustable nylon collar
- 3 Citronella Refill Canisters
- Spray device
- Adjustable 60cm strap
Here's what others are saying about this collar:
Gulcan Okmen | Customer Review
Dogtra YS600 Electric Collar
The Dogtra YS600 is a bark collar made specifically for big dogs. It's suitable for dogs over 16kg and also ideal for stubborn breeds, such as Beagles, Poodles and Terriers.
The Dogtra brand is highly innovative and works slightly different to the Barktec Citronella Collar. It's powered by a high-performance pager that distracts the most stubborn big dogs when training. The collar offers ten stimulation levels that allow you to find the ideal level for your dog.
There's also a 'bark indicator' that alerts owners when the vibration level is too low. When the indicator detects that your dog is still barking even when the distraction is activated, it beeps to alert the owner. This allows you to see what your dog is barking at and ensure your dog's safety. If the barking is unnecessary, the indicator then tells you the distraction isn't high enough for your big dog.
On top of that, the collar uses the latest Bark Sensor technology to detect excessive barking. This technology better distinguishes between your dog's barking and other vibrations not caused from your dog.
The Dogtra YS600 is durable. It's fully waterproof and has strong buckles. It's also lined with a plastic covering that takes whatever your dog throws at it.
The collar is small and measures 10.75 by 7 by 2 inches. It also weighs in at only 90 grams for the comfort of your pet.
The following items are included in the package:
- User manual
- Collar charger
- 1 inch wide collar strap
Here's what one buyer said about the collar:
Julian Mocanu | Customer Reivew
Aetertek AT-919A Bark Control Collar
The Aetertek AT-919C training collar uses innovative technology in this bark collar. This training collar comes with a remote control which allows for manual training, and an auto-bark feature that automatically detects excessive barking (similar to the previous collars we discussed).
This training collar is also great for owners of 2 dogs. You can use the same remote to train up to 2 dogs.
This training collar has three different modes of distraction (sound, vibration and static shock) and the ability to customise each level to suit your dog.
This collar is made for medium to large dogs. We recommend the AT-919C for dogs over six months and weighing from 8kg to 60kg.
The following items are in the kit:
- 1 Aetertek receiver measuring 7.5 x 4 x 3 cm
- 1 magnet switch
- 1 collar
- 1 charger
- User guide
Are Bark Collars Safe?
Yes, bark collars are completely safe. Bark collars aim to distract your dog from excessive barking, through many different modes. They are not punishment tools. Bark collars are humane, and it all comes down to the owner's preference.
For more training collars and other dog accessories, check out our range that includes anxiety toys, playpens, dog jackets and many more.