In this section of our guide to training dogs, we list the types of bark collars and how they work, as well as their pros and cons.
Rechargeable Bark Collars
Depending on how often your dog barks, you may find yourself changing out the batteries of his bark collar more often than you’d like. Rechargeable bark collars, on the other hand, eliminate that nuisance and cost. Some rechargeable models can work for about three weeks before they need to be recharged, which typically takes 1-2 hours.
A major downside to an “always-on” type of collar is they can activate even when your dog has a good reason to bark. These types of collars are available for all dog sizes.
Remote Control Bark Collars
While most types of bark collars engage automatically, some collars work with a rechargeable remote. This type of anti-bark collar makes it easy for you as a dog owner to control your pet from a distance or when he is out of sight and determine if the barking is warranted. Remote control bark collars can be used on dogs of all sizes.
Shock Collars for Dogs
The shock type of anti-bark collar has been around for decades and set the path for the variety of collars on the market.
Shock collars come in both remote controlled and automatic.
Sometimes called static shock collars, automatic shock collars send a short static interruption to the dog’s neck area when the sensors on the collar detect barking. When used properly, these types of collars can be effective at deterring unwanted or unsafe behavior. However, this type of collar is non-discriminating and will go-off even when your dog is barking for a valid reason.
Remote control shock collars, on the other hand, are operated by you through a wireless remote. You can adjust the intensity of the shock, which some people find to be an inhumane way of training dogs. If you are concerned about hurting your dog, you might consider a collar-less approach, such as an ultrasonic training tool.
Shock collars are available for all size dogs and offer various levels of intensity that can be adjusted manually or automatically.
We suggest that you do not use this type of collar on your dog until he understands commands like sit and stay. Ensuring he comprehends what you’re asking him to do before using a static shock collar, your dog can associate the negative behavior and the adverse stimulus, the shock.
Spray Collars for Dogs
These automated dog bark collars use sensors to detect when your dog barks and emits tiny bursts of spray (typically citronella or lemon) near your dog’s snout to disrupt his barking. Both scents are non-toxic to pets and humans, and they are safe for the environment. This type of collar can be a practical training collar and is best suited for smaller or apprehensive dogs.
Ultrasonic Bark Collars
To silence a dog’s barking, ultrasonic bark collars use a microphone to sense when your dog is barking and transmit a high-frequency sound that is inaudible to humans. Some brands also use vibration. These types of bark training collars are ideal for young or smaller dogs.
Vibration Bark Collars
Similar to other collars, vibration bark collars have sensors that detect when a dog barks. Unlike shock collars, this type sends a pulse that disrupts a dog’s barking. The vibration can be adjusted, with some models featuring up to seven levels. Although vibration bark collars are a practical alternative to shock collars, they aren’t recommended for dogs under 11 pounds and may prove ineffective for large, stubborn dogs.
Waterproof Bark Collars
Waterproof bark collars provide multi-levels of static correction that are not as powerful as typical static shock collars. They are rechargeable and allow your pet to run through the rain or puddles without harming your dog or damaging the bark collar. This type of bark collar can be used on dogs of all sizes.
Combination Bark Collars
Most bark collars provide only one way to control your dog’s barking; however, some models offer multiple anti-barking options such as alarm, vibration, and shock. You can even find remote-controlled bark collars, which provide you the trainer control over when your dog receives the stimulus.
Do Bark Collars Work?
Yes, anti-bark collars help reduce or stop a dog’s barking. While different types of bark collars approach your dog’s barking with different deterrent methods, they all have advantages and disadvantages, such as skin irritation.
You may find that the best way to curb your dog’s barking is not with a collar, but with an ultrasonic training device like the BarxBuddy. This training tool uses high-pitched sounds inaudible to humans and infrared light that can control your dog’s barking without contact between the device and your dog.