Posted on

Why You Should Use Ultrasonic Dog Repellers and Deterrents

Dog being trained outside in a field of grass

If you research “ultrasonic dog training,” you might come across some older posts about “ultrasonic repellents and deterrents,” which question the effectiveness of these tools in training dogs. It’s the problem with a lot of information on the internet, isn’t it? You can find information that supports pretty much any point of view.   

Well, we want to set the records straight on ultrasonic dog training tools because much of the information you’ll find is outdated and just not accurate. First, let’s talk about ultrasonic noises and what they sound like to dogs and humans. Then we’ll put on our myth-busting hats and tackle some of the misconceptions about ultrasonic trainers.

What Does Ultrasonic Noise Sound Like to a Dog?

Ultrasonic sound is anything that is greater than 20 kHz (20,000 hertz), which is about the highest frequency of sound that humans can hear. This 2-minute video demonstrates what frequencies sound like from zero to 1 million hertz. 

Caution: Don’t listen to this video if you are wearing earphones or earbuds! The sound could hurt your ears.  

We humans can hear sounds up to 23,000 hertz (Hz), but dogs can hear up to 45,000 and 50,000 hertz. The BarxBuddy produces sounds at 30,000 hertz (.03 MHz) and up, which is why they can hear it and we cannot.

When used to train dogs, ultrasonic sound is simply a tool that you can use to get your dog’s attention. You may have heard stories of people using homemade noisemakers, such as shaking cans filled with coins, to stop barking dogs. We find these homemade tools can startle not only the dog, but everyone else within ear shot. That’s why we developed the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool. It’s safe for dogs, doesn’t startle people, and it works.

Misconceptions About Ultrasonic Dog Training Devices

We have found that the biggest misconceptions about ultrasonic training tools come from people who haven’t actually used them. The following are common things we’ve heard, along with our responses. We hope this helps you understand how the BarxBuddy training tool works, but contact us if you have questions.

“It’s illogical to train a dog with a sound it hates.” 

The BarxBuddy ultrasonic device is a training tool for dogs. It’s not a point-and-click remote control that will mute a barking dog or silence barking forever. The ultrasonic frequency gets your dog’s attention and distracts her from doing unwanted behaviors so that you can correct the unwanted behavior and teach alternatives. We encourage you to reward your dog with treats when she exhibits good behaviors. 

That’s why one of our brand’s sayings is: “train, treat, repeat.” 

“You don’t know what sound ultrasonic dog repellers make.”

That is correct — you cannot hear the ultrasonic training device because it is designed for dogs, not for people. And that’s deliberate. We know that high-frequency sounds are effective at distracting dogs so we can train them to change their behaviors. 

“Results for ultrasonic devices are extremely variable, so you can’t depend on them especially in dangerous situations.”

Results for all training tools are extremely variable for one reason: People use them differently and, often, inconsistently. If you consistently follow our train, treat, repeat methodology, the ultrasonic device will be an effective tool to help you correct your dog’s unwanted behavior. 

“Firm verbal commands are better than unpleasant ultrasonic sounds.”

The flaw with verbal commands is that your dog knows your voice, and if you give a firm verbal command while he’s barking his head off, he might misunderstand and think you’re joining him. 

Firm verbal commands paired with the ultrasonic trainer are the best, most effective ways to train your dog. When the dog hears the tone from the ultrasonic trainer, he is immediately distracted, stops barking and looks to you for directions. This is when you give your verbal command. 

“People who sell ultrasonic dog training tools are snake oil salesmen.”

We got into this business because we love pets, and we wanted to create a resource for people like us who want safe and effective products for their dogs. Every product on our website has been personally vetted by our team, and we wouldn’t sell anything that we wouldn’t use for our own dogs and cats. 

If that makes us snake-oil salesmen, we can live with that.

Do Ultrasonic Barking Deterrents Work?

Let us be clear: The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device is not intended to be used as a stand-alone barking deterrent. It’s meant to be used to train your dog to stop barking, as well as to correct other unwanted behaviors. Yes, they work to deter barking, especially when you use them with the train, treat, repeat method. 

To learn more about the product, shop now or visit the resource center on training tools for dogs. 

Posted on

7 Reasons Dogs Bark

Dog Barking

Dogs bark for one primary reason — to communicate. But you knew that. The real question is, what is your dog trying to say when it barks? 

Well, dogs bark for a number of reasons:

  • Alarm
  • Anxiety 
  • Attention 
  • Frustration
  • Greeting
  • Injury or illness
  • Response

Dogs have simple minds: They quickly associate actions with reactions. If they bark and you yell, they think you’re joining them. If they bark and you take them inside and give them a treat, they think they’ve done a good thing.

That’s why it’s important to understand why dogs bark so you can train them that you’re the top dog. When you give a command, they stop barking. 

With so many triggers for a dog’s bark, it’s hard to know what to do to quiet it, isn’t it? For most dog owners, the longer they have their pet, the better they get to know what their animals’ sounds mean. A high-pitched yipping bark might be an alarm for a backyard invader. A rapid loud non-stop bark might mean someone is at the door. A short, quick yelp might mean “I want out” while a howl might mean it’s suffering from separation anxiety.

Alarm Barks: My Dog Barks At Everything

What an alarm bark sounds like: An alarm bark tends to be loud, nonstop, and rapid.

Why your dog alarm barks: If your dog seems to bark at every little noise and every person or thing that passes by your home, he’s just doing his job. The problem is that you haven’t provided on-the-job training, to let him know when it’s OK to bark, for how long it’s OK to bark, and what to do instead of barking. 

When your dog barks in alarm, he thinks something is wrong. Someone or something has invaded his territory. She heard a noise and she’s protecting her territory.

How to control alarm barks: To control alarm barks when you are home, use a combination of verbal commands with an ultrasonic training device. Ultrasonic trainers are easy to use, inexpensive and convenient. Our trainers use them on their own dogs and keep several in various rooms in their homes, so they’re within reach when their dogs begin alarm barking.

Controlling alarm barks may be more difficult when you are not home. We recommend closing windows so your dog can’t see outside and using white noise, a TV or music to drown outside noises that trigger alarm barks. Also, a well-exercised dog is less likely to engage in alarm barking and more likely to relax and sleep while you’re away.   

Anxiety Barks: Why Dogs Bark at Night and When Left Alone

What anxiety barks sound like: An anxiety bark sounds like a cry, whine or howl and might be mixed with periods of silence.  

Why your dog barks with anxiety: Separation anxiety causes dogs to bark when you leave them alone, and some dogs will experience anxiety when you crate them or at night when you go to bed. 

Dogs are pack animals, and when left alone or cut off from their pack, some breeds, such as beagles, tend to bark and even become destructive. You might find puddles from a dog with separation anxiety. 

How to stop anxiety barks: If your dog begins to exhibit signs of anxiety as you gather your things and get ready to head out the door, you can use an ultrasonic dog training device to correct the barking behavior, which we recommend combining with positive rewards. 

Positive rewards that work well include favorite treats and toys that you give to your dog only when you leave home. That way, she’ll associate your absence with something she loves. 

You might also try a puzzle treat for your dog, which is a treat or toy tucked into another device that your dog has to work to retrieve. This will keep him busy for a while after you leave. 

Attention Barks: Dealing With a ‘Velcro’ Dog

What attention barks sound like: They’re short and quick, as if your dog is saying, “Hey you!” 

Why does your dog become needy all of a sudden? Is your dog a “velcro dog”? They cling to you, follow you wherever you go, and bark when you’re ignoring them? 

They’re lonely and bored. They want a treat or to play. The behavior can be cute for a few minutes, and then it quickly turns annoying. Some dog breeds are more prone than others to being needy, especially the breeds that fall into the lapdog and working dog classifications. 

How to stop attention barks: If your dog barks to get your attention, you can retrain this behavior. Increase their exercise so they’d prefer a nap while you’re busy. Give them something to do, such as a puzzle toy or snack. Create a special place for them, perhaps in a comfortable bed or crate, and teach them a command so they know to go there when you issue the command. Some trainers give treats or favorite toys when dogs go to their special places.

An ultrasonic training tool can be used to stop unwanted barking behaviors as well. This helps your dog associate the demanding, bossy behaviors with negative but not harmful consequences.  

Frustration Barks: When Your Dog Wants Something

What frustration barks sound like: The frustration bark sounds like a combination of an anxiety bark and an attention bark. It’s a short, frequent — and loud — yip.  

Why does your dog bark in frustration? They’re confined, restricted or can’t reach something (a toy or you). You might be OK with a short occasional frustration bark, especially if your dog is trying to get a toy that’s rolled under the couch. How else is he supposed to get your help?

Some dogs engage in frustration bark at night when their people have gone to bed and the house is quiet. They want to be with you, and they want you to play. It’s important not to give into this type of barking behavior because that reinforces the dog’s test. He yipped, and you responded. Success!

How to stop frustration barks: Teach your dog that you are top dog by stopping the frustration barks. It’s OK to alert you when he can’t reach a toy, but it’s not OK to demand a treat, toy or something else just because he’s bored.

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise, so that need for activity is satisfied. Use a training tool like the Barx Buddy to curtail frustration barks. 

Greeting Barks: Overly Friendly Dogs

What greeting barks sound like: They’re not as loud as alarm barks, but they’re constant and might even sound “happy.” The pitch tends to be higher and filled with excitement. 

Why your dog engages in greeting barks: This one’s easy: Someone new has arrived, and your dog loves people!

How to stop greeting barks: Your dog might love people, but not all your visitors will love your dog in return, especially if she barks, nips, and jumps when they arrive. To control your dog’s barking when you come home or when visitors arrive, follow these steps:

  • Keep an ultrasonic training device by your doors, so you can use it in combination with your verbal cues to quiet your dog.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to greet visitors, and don’t respond when your dog is barking at you when you come home. 
  • Tell your visitors not to respond to your dog when she’s barking at them. While you train your dog with commands and the training tool, let your guests know that as soon as your dog has calmed down, it’s OK to invite her over for a hello and belly scratch.

Read more on this topic in our guide to dog barking, When Dogs Bark at Strangers, Visitors, and Intruders.

Injury or Illness Barks: A Dog in Distress

What painful barks sound like: When a dog is in distress, his barks are low, quiet, mixed with whines and may even sound breathy, like he’s panting. 

What to do if your dog is in distress: We’ll keep this short and simple: If your dog is in distress, it’s important not to try to correct her barks. Call your vet.

Response Barks: Why Dogs Bark at Each Other

What response barks sound like: They might echo a neighbor’s barking dog, or their barks might sound short and loud, even howling and whining. 

Why dogs bark at each other: Dogs engage in response barking for a number of reasons. Sometimes, it’s just to join the fun. We know a Yorkshire terrier who’d engage in response barking when her owners had guests over; as the conversation levels would increase, the Yorkie would join in with her barks. While the behavior was cute for a few minutes, it became an annoyance after a while. 

Dogs will also bark when they hear other dogs barking. You might recall the “twilight bark” from the movie “101 Dalmatians”? It was an idea that dogs pass along messages daisy-chain style, across hundreds of miles. Of course, this isn’t true (as far as we know!), but barks are infectious. When one dog hears another dog bark, they join the conversation. 

How to stop response barks: Response barks might be the easiest of all barks to train. Your dog is testing you by his response barks. As soon as it starts, use your Barx Buddy ultrasonic training tool to stop it in its tracks. Your dog will quickly learn that just because Rex next door is barking doesn’t mean it’s OK for him to bark, and when you’re talking with your guests, your dog’s job is to listen.

Training Dogs Not to Bark

To learn more about the Barx Buddy ultrasonic training device and how it should be used to train your dog not to bark, visit the product page. You can contact us with questions, or visit our blog to explore more topics on dog training.