Bark collars are a specific type of training tool that is ideal for dogs with a natural tendency to bark excessively, or more than usual for any reason. Bark collars are designed to provide negative reinforcement in reaction to the unwanted barking behavior. Over time, the dog will learn to avoid the behavior in order to avoid the negative reinforcement.
While the use of bark collars has become controversial, it is not inherently a bad training method as long as the collar is used correctly and the training is administered as it should be. This guide is designed to address the concept of a specific type of bark collar, a "shock" bark collar which delivers an electrical pulse in reaction to the barking behavior.
While there are other types of negative reinforcement bark collars, including collars that spray citronella rather than emitting an electrical pulse, but the electrical "shock" type of collar is the preferred method of training a dog not to bark through the use of a control tool. Electronic "shock bark collars" are capable of detecting a vibration in the dog's vocal cords as he or she barks.
When these vibrations are determined, a low level shock is delivered to the neck of the dog. These shocks have been compared to the electric shock that is felt as a result of static electricity, when you touch a door knob after shuffling across a carpeted floor. Still, this type of collar has been criticized in the past as being humane or cruel. Some areas, such as Australia have outlawed and prohibited the use of electronic bark collars.
Some veterinary professionals also have questioned the effectiveness in these collars in the past, after a study conducted by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has found that after significant testing, four out of the eight dogs tested with an electric bark collar had no reduction in barking. If your dog's barking habit is beyond your control, before you consider any irrational options, you need to think about training methods.
No bark collars are a solution that is well worth exploring, at least to determine whether or not it is ideal for your situation. No bark electronic shock collars are designed specifically to be quick, easy and humane in reducing a dog's barking habit. When electronic shock collars are used the right way, it can take only a handful of days to drastically reduce a dog's barking habit.
If you are just beginning to understand what shock collars are, this guide should provide the resources and information that you need to make an informed decision regarding whether or not to use one for your dog. The first thing that we will examine when it comes to shock no-bark dog collars is the pros and cons associated with training a dog in this fashion. By the end of this guide, you should be able to determine whether or not a bark collar is ideal for you and your dog.
Why dogs bark
Your dog is likely barking for one of several reasons. Dogs bark as a response to a variety of different types of stimuli, such as when a strange person approaches, or when a foreign animal is in the dog's territory. Dogs can also be urged to bark when other dogs are barking, which unfortunately reinforces the territorial response of the dog. This is the most useful type of barking for any human owner who is looking to keep a dog as a form of protection.
Dogs also tend to bark as a learned response to a number of stimuli. If a dog barks, and then as a result he or she receives attention from you, then he or she will learn that barking is an excellent way to get what he wants. If a dog brings his toy to you and then he barks to you, and you engage in playtime with the dog as a result, then the dog will learn that an excellent way to initiate playtime is through barking.
If this behavior causes you to yell or to scold the dog, he still may continue this behavior because all reinforcement is reinforcement, even negative reinforcement because all attention beats absolutely no attention. Barking is also a completely normal play behavior for a dog, and the dog may bark both to human and animal during play. When barking for the purpose of seeking attention, dogs also tend to bark in response to the anxiety that they feel when they are not in the presence of their owner.
This can occur just after the owner leaves, or it can persist for as many as several hours later until the owner does finally return. While most of these reasons are cause enough to explore electronic bark collars, but there are also reasons for why bark collars should be avoided. For example, some dogs that are in pain will bark excessively.
Dogs who suffer from brain diseases, deafness or cognitive problems may also bark excessively, and none of these situations should be dealt with through the use of an electronic bark collar. It is important to take your dog to the veterinarian's office before you begin any new behavior modification program including a bark collar to rule out situations such as these.
Ultimately it is up to you whether you choose to use a bark collar or not. You are responsible of the well-being and health of your dog, but you have to be aware of the needs and wants of your family and your neighbors as well. There are various methods of behavior modification that can be explored, but electronic bark collars are very fast and effective at delivering the desired results in only a few days in most cases.
Your goal here should be discouraging barking that is unnecessary rather than discouraging all barking, because barking within reason is a natural dog behavior and should never be discouraged. It would be ideal for you to learn how to recognize any and all triggers that will cause your dog to lash out through barking, because you may be able to eliminate or at least limit these stressors to a degree. Keep in mind, most importantly of all: There is no magic cure for such unsavory behavior, you simply have to show patience, and when possible, understanding as well.
Excerpted from the book How To Buy A Shock Dog Collar.
This excerpt has been edited and condensed for clarity.