As puppies, dogs learn that their barks send messages to you, other dogs and animals, and sometimes to inanimate objects. While the reasons behind a bark can vary, the most common include excitement, frustration, anxiety, and boredom. Listening to your pet vocalize its needs is one thing, but enduring incessant barking is another. You may be quick to get an anti-bark collar for your new puppy, hoping it’ll help; however, addressing this problematic behavior in puppies is different than for adult dogs. Here’s what you need to know about bark collars and puppies.
Are Bark Collars Safe to Use on Puppies?
The first thing you need to know about puppies and their barking is that you have to be gentle and patient when it comes to training. Your goal is to teach the puppy to (1) trust you and (2) not fear you. Fear is not a good training tactic. We recommend using positive reinforcement. See our article on using positive reinforcement dog training without shock collars.
When is a dog old enough for a shock collar or bark-control collar?
As you look for ways to train your puppy to stop barking on command, you probably find a lot of information on the internet about using bark control collars. Are bark collars safe to use on puppies? In general, bark collars are intended for larger adult dogs. Most dog collar manufacturers recommend not using their products on dogs younger than 6 months.
You definitely do not want to use a bark collar on an 8-week-old puppy, for example. No, no, no.
Also, most dog training collars are not sized for puppies. An ill-fitting collar may be too heavy for a puppy’s neck and may deliver the stimulus at the wrong time and on the wrong skin area, potentially causing confusion, fear, or worse, injury.
Many pet parents, pet supply companies like Petco, and organizations like the American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty deem anti-bark collars, like the static shock, inhumane. Avoid these problems with the safe and effective BarxBuddy collarless training device.
Is There a Weight Limit for Anti-Bark Dog Training Collars?
Bark collars vary in the stimulus they deliver. Some vibrate, some spra a mist of citronella, and some emit static shocks. Some include features like adjustable sensitivity levels and remote controls and have weight limitations to ensure a proper fit so the device works correctly.
The minimum weight for a dog to use most collars is 8 pounds, even with mini dog bark collars. Most manufacturers do not recommend using their collars on dogs smaller than that because they can be too bulky, heavy, and not function as intended. The good news is there are safe alternatives that don’t require your puppy to wear a collar at all.
If you really want to know more about bark collars, read “All About Bark Collars and Bark Training,” our guide to the good, the bad and the ugly in dog training collars.
Are There Better Ways to Train Puppies to Stop Barking and Annoying Behaviors?
Although a bark collar might seem like an easy fix for your puppy’s constant barking, it’s not. Barking and other annoying behaviors require your involvement, time, and patience. That’s right, even with a bark collar, your puppy’s incessant barking habit won’t go away overnight. Let us not mention the potential physical and emotional harm they can cause. Instead, finding a more humane way to address the negative behavior can ensure the well-being of your puppy.
The BarxBuddy brings many advantages over bark collars:
- Puts you in control
- Effective indoors and out
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t require contact with your dog’s skin
- Usable up to about 60 feet
- Can help address various unwanted behaviors
Remember, barking is a dog’s way to communicate with the world. This is especially true for puppies just learning to navigate their environments.
Do’s and don’ts when training a puppy to stop barking
- Do use patience. Puppies are like babies. They look to you for behavioral cues.
- Don’t use a bark collar for a whining puppy. Whining puppies are trying to tell you they’re hungry, scared, or in distress.
- Don’t stop your dog from barking completely. Aim to reduce nuisance barking.
- Do make sure your puppy is healthy before using any training device.
How to use The BarxBuddy on Puppies
We recommend using The BarxBuddy on puppies who are at least 6 months old.
When your puppy goes into a barking frenzy, quickly press and release the button on the BarxBuddy to emit a high-frequency sound (that you can’t hear). This will immediately distract your puppy so you can offer a “quiet” command. Wait until your puppy stops barking. Follow up with a treat and praise. Repeat the proces if your puppy continues to bark.
Although the BarxBuddy is safe and effective, we do not recommend using the device for a puppy younger than 6 months because the emitted sound may scare them and puppies have a very short attention span and the device may not be effective. After 6 months of age, you should have greater success in training with the BarxBuddy.
Early obedience training and socialization can help your puppy grow into a well-adjusted and well-mannered adult dog. It’s up to you to address nuisance barking sooner rather than later as once it gets out of hand your pet can begin displaying other negative behaviors well into adulthood which can prove challenging to tackle.