Dog Barking Problem

To dogs, barking is as natural as it is for humans to talk. But at times, the barking could be too much. And it could land you into trouble. Excessive barking could be grounds for eviction from an apartment building, or a neighbor could sue you. Of course, you don’t want to end up squabbling with other people. But, if such scenarios are frequent with your furry buddy, you could be facing the worst. The obvious question that comes to mind is, “how do I quickly get the dog to stop barking?”  Are anti-bark collars the answer?

Bark collars can help frustrated pet parents quickly stop their dogs from barking. However, some products use archaic methods, and some pet owners abuse them. It has created a stigma about their use, and many pet owners describe anti-bark collars as cruel. 

We will evaluate this claim in light of recent developments and your end goals. Plus, we will give you tips to help stop the barking.

What are Anti-bark Collars, and How do they Work?

Anti-bark collars are devices designed to curtail barking. They work by releasing an unpleasant stimulus immediately when your dog barks. Depending on the type of unpleasant stimuli, you can categorize anti-bark collars. The groups of collars are:

  • Electric or static bark collars
  • Citronella spray bark collars.
  • Ultrasonic sound bark collars
  • Vibration bark collars.

Some bark collars emit a loud sound when the dog barks. But they are less popular as the loud sound is also a nuisance to the pet owners. 

Anti-bark collars use the principle of punishment to modify the behavior of animals. As such, many animal pet trainers do not recommend them. But are they cruel?

Are Anti-bark Collars Cruel?

After carefully considering the cruelty claims, we can confidently say modern anti-bark collars are not cruel. The designs discourage barking without hurting the dog. 

Whenever the dog attempts to bark, the device releases an unpleasant stimulus, for example, vibration. It does not automatically result in pain. In the same way, an ultrasonic sound or citronella mist would cause discomfort. But hardly hurt your furry buddy. Today, more pet owners and trainers use anti-bark collars to deter nuisance barking. 

Some pet owners claim that dogs learn how to become collar smart. The dog will avoid barking when wearing the device and revert to the annoying behavior when you remove it. So anti-bark collars are not effective for long-term behavior change. 

On the contrary, bark collars can aid positive reinforcement. You can use an anti-bark collar to teach a dog that barking results in discomfort. But by quietly waiting for his turn, he gets a reward! Plus, anti-bark collars help reduce the number of dogs euthanized. 

What other Methods can you Use to Stop Barking?

It is not possible to entirely stop your dog from vocalizing. But, you can stop nuisance barking, and there are several options available. Treatment is more effective when you address the reasons behind the barking. 

There are many reasons why dogs bark. Your dog could be barking to guard its turf or to protect you. Sometimes the dog would bark to draw attention or to express boredom or loneliness. Pup Junkies explains that dogs could also bark as an expression of nervousness or fear. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety also tend to bark frequently. 

You can do the following to stop a dog from barking:

  • Tell the dog in a calm but firm tone to “quiet.” If he does not respond, divert his attention. Shake a bunch of keys or a soda can full of pennies. The noise will startle him, and when he is quiet, give him a treat. 
  • To reduce territorial/protective or fear barking, take the dog to where he will see less of the external activity. Or you can cover the fence with an opaque item. If the dog does not perceive the threat, he will not bark as much.
  • If the dog barks because he is lonely or bored, get him a companion or interactive puzzle toys. You could arrange for a pet sitter to come by when you are not around. Or take the dog to hang out with a pal who also loves dogs.
  • If the dog likes to say hi by barking whenever the doorbell rings, train him to learn new instructions like sitting at his spot when someone’s at the door. 
  • Also, ensure the dog gets sufficient exercise and is socialized. It will help address conditions such as separation anxiety.

Concluding Remarks on Anti-bark Collars

Although the stigma about anti-bark collars is still prevalent, the devices are making a comeback. Thanks to developments in technology and collaboration with experts, modern anti-bark collars no longer hurt the pet. Instead, they release unpleasant stimuli. You can use the devices in conjunction with other methods to reinforce positive training and keep your furry buddy from yapping all day. 

Article written by Author: Elsa Smith

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