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What Is the Best Bark Collar? Maybe It’s Not a Collar At All

Barking poodle mix

Anti-bark collars are devices that dogs wear around their necks so their owners or trainers can correct unwanted behaviors. To answer the question about the best bark collar, you have to understand what bark collars are, what types there are and how they work.

The best fit for you and your dog depends on how much time and effort you commit to train your dog, as well as what your dog can tolerate. And, after reading this, you may learn that the best way to train a dog to stop barking on command isn’t by using a bark collar at all.  

What is a Bark Collar and How Does It Work?

Most anti-bark collars are controlled by a wireless remote, although some models may be sound-activated when your dog barks.

These sound-activated bark collars are tricky to use effectively because other loud noises could signal the collar, confusing your dog. They may not be the best bark collar if you plan to leave it on your dog at all times, even when you aren’t home.

Remote-controlled bark collars operate on batteries, so they need to be recharged or replaced. 

Some bark collars can be worn with your dog’s regular collar, while others are better alone. Shock collars with prongs are not intended to be worn 24 hours a day. Most manufacturers recommend that you remove no-bark collars when your dog is resting or at night.

Anti-bark collars are training devices, which means they aren’t magic wands that correct your pets’ behaviors. They’re intended to be used along with voice commands, treats and rewards to teach your dog what you do and don’t want him to do. 

For stubborn dogs that bark excessively and don’t respond to voice-only commands, the bark collar can be used to get the dog’s attention. That’s what training devices do: They distract a dog from barking so you can correct her behavior.    

What Are the Types of Bark Collars?

There are five basic types of collars:

  1. Vibrating 
  2. Shock collars
  3. Spray
  4. Ultrasonic training collars
  5. Combination

Vibration collars emit a pulse-like sensation to your dog’s neck. They are thought to be more comfortable than shock collars, which emit a static correction. The vibrations typically can be adjusted from low to high intensities. 

Shock collars use static electricity through metal prongs to signal to your dog when he’s doing unwanted behaviors. They also range in intensity from a mild tingle to a painful shock. If you’ve ever accidentally touched a light socket and gotten a jolt of electricity, that’s very similar to the sensation a dog gets from a shock collar. Some shock collars are used with remote controls, while others are used for training dogs with electric fences; if a dog crosses the fence line, he gets shocked.

Spray collars emit citronella when your dog barks, attacking their sense of smell rather than sight or sound. These collars are a good option if you have dogs that are hearing impaired. Spray collars can be used with remote controls or be sound-activated. 

Ultrasonic training collars are controlled by remotes. When a dog exhibits unwanted behaviors, the trainer/owner presses a button, releasing a high-frequency tone that only dogs can hear. 

Combination bark collars use two or three of the technologies that the other four use. For example, one model offers a combination of sound with vibrations and shocks. The idea is to start with the least intrusive technique — sound — and if your dog resists the correction followed by your voice commands, you progress to vibrations and then shocks. 

What Are Humane Alternatives to Bark Collars (and Do They Work)?

Collarless ultrasonic dog training tools are very effective ways to train your dog to stop annoying barking habits. 

The advantage of this type of training device is that your dog doesn’t have to wear anything special. In fact, the ultrasonic dog training tool never comes in contact with your dog. It is about the size of a TV remote control, and when your dog starts barking, you press and release the button. Only your dog will hear the ultrasonic sound, and it will stop him in his tracks. 

Our ultrasonic dog trainer includes built-in lights, which can add a layer of distraction for your dog, especially if he has hearing issues or is out of range. It’s safe, effective, humane and the best way to train a dog to stop annoying behaviors.

What is the Best Way to Humanely Train a Dog to Stop Barking?

The train, treat, repeat method is best for training dogs to stop barking, as well as to stop all sorts of annoying behaviors. 

It works like this: The dog does something you don’t want her to do. You point the device at her, press the button and she stops, because you’ve distracted her. Before she can resume barking, you give a voice command. When she does things that you want her to do, you reward her with a treat. Repeat it every time; consistency is important. 

You can learn more about this type of training device on our product page, as well as this information guide on ultrasonic anti-barking devices.