The use of a bark collar is something that some folks are hesitant about, but by knowing these pros and cons, you can rest assured that it's the right option for you!Research shows that 59% of people in the U.S. own a pet. Of that percentage, 74% have a dog.
Dogs are fun-loving, loyal, and affectionate. They add warmth, unconditional love, and a daily playfulness to your home.
Studies reveal that people who own dogs have lower blood pressure, stronger immune systems, and a better sense of emotional well-being than their furry-free counterparts.
Dogs also help children develop empathy and a sense of responsibility. They also give them a great reason to get outside and run around.
Working dog-owners have been able to find a career-canine balance by hiring dependable dog-walkers. Customized feeders can help nourish your pet while you aren't home. Yet, for those dwelling in apartments or snugly situated neighborhoods, the noise of dogs barking can lead to complaints.
Folks have been turning to bark collars since they were invented in the 1960s to help train hunting dogs. Yet, how will they impact your life and the psychological well-being of your dog?
Let's take a look.
The Shock Bark Collar
Many dog owners do not appreciate the disturbance their dog makes when non-threatening folks walk past their homes, or when the sounds of nature perk up their ears. Some have young children whose fragile sleep habits can be disrupted by the barking.
Yet, dogs are designed to respond to dangerous stimuli by making noise, and this has been known to save their owners' lives in some situations.
Many dog owners turn to shock collars to help make their pet-padded homes more livable. Here are the pros and cons of this option.
Pros of a Shock Collar
The shock collar works by administering a small electric shock to dogs that can be controlled from a distance. If a dog barks or tries to escape, they are given an immediate consequence that controls the behavior.
The amount of shock can be easily administered from a distance. It is very important to adjust the shock carefully, as too great a response can cause the dog to become stressed out or fearful. Too little force can be ignored by the dog.
Cons of a Shock Collar
The cons of a shock collar have been a subject of interest among dog trainers. If the voltage is set very high, even inadvertently, the treatment is considered inhumane. Human skin is different than dog skin, and the animals may feel the pain more intensely.
Shock collars have been proven to lead to increased aggression, stress, fear, and learned helplessness in some dogs. They become confused and frustrated because their natural response to responding to danger is being suppressed.
Dogs trained by shock collars showed a higher level of the stress hormone cortisol. They demonstrate their psychological learned helplessness through yawning and tense body language. These dogs may learn to isolate themselves whenever they are near negative stimulation.
Shock collars are illegal in several European countries, including England, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Scotland.
The Ultrasonic Bark Collar
Ultrasonic collars work by triggering a sound that humans can't hear that will be unpleasant to dogs. It is stimulated by a dog's throat vibration, and sometimes by the bark itself. Considering an ultrasonic collar? Let's review the pros and cons.
Pros of an Ultrasonic Collar
As the owner, you will not notice the negative sound the dog is hearing. This cuts down on noise and helps to maintain the peace. This collar also helps to control behavior without causing the dog pain the way a shock collar does.
Cons of an Ultrasonic Collar
The negative aspect of an ultrasonic collar is that it can be triggered by sounds that are not barks. When the collar is triggered by vibration, it can be set off by the dog's movement. When the collar is triggered by the barking sound, it can be triggered by other noise, such as a baby crying or a car driving by.
Newer, higher-end models can reduce the chances of false warnings. Most dog collars cost around $25-$50. More sophisticated and sensitive models can cost anywhere from $100-$400.
The Spray Bark Collar
Spray collars work by spritzing something unpleasant onto a dog's face when they are barking. Most spray collars spray citronella, although some use lemon juice or water. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of this type.
Pros of a Spray Collar
Spray collars come in a range of prices. They are effective, although some dogs learn to jump back when they are sprayed. When this happens, however, the smell is still offensive.
There are studies, such as one by the Animal Behaviour Clinic at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, that find spray bark collars to be even more effective than spray bark collars.
Cons of a Spray Collar
Spray bark collars are more humane than shock collars and ultrasonic collars. However, there are still possible psychological side effects when you suppress a dog's natural impulse to bark when faced with danger.
The Static Bark Collar
The static bark collar animates dogs' voices with a vibration that causes them to quit barking. Here's what you can expect with this model.
Pros of a Static Bark Collar
The higher-end brands have automatic turn-off settings. This will allow you to pause the negative stimulation when you want the dog to bark in the event of danger such as a fire or an intruder.
They are engineered not to over or under-correct negative behavior and come equipped with a remote control.
Cons of a Static Bark Collar
Static bark collars may also cause dogs to become fearful if not administered properly. It is important to read instructions and see if static bark collars are right for your dog.
Time to Go Shopping
Once you have decided which bark collar is right for you, it is time to browse the many styles and price points available to help make your pet-owning experience as pleasant as possible. It will be easy to find the collar that is right for your household.
To learn more, contact us today!