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A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Bark Collar for Dogs

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Bark Collar for Dogs

Dogs bark by nature. However, excessive barking can mean either a behavioral or health problem. You should promptly visit your vet if you think it's the latter. Otherwise, this post is for you.

If you're looking for a viable solution for your dog's yapping behavior, you've certainly come across no bark collars.

This blog explores everything you need to know in choosing the right bark collar for your dog.

If you want to hit the ground running, go straight to the discussion where we tell you the buying guide for your first no bark collar. But, if not, learn some valuable insights about anti-bark collars and the importance of buying the right one.

Should I Use a Bark Collar for My Dog?

Black No Bark Collar Receiver and Strap on White Background

What is a bark collar for dogs? A bark collar is a regular collar (typically made of nylon or leather) with an attached receiver that delivers the stimulus.

This dog training device is an e-collar that corrects unwanted behavior on dogs, particularly nonstop barking. This is also known as a no-bark collar or anti-bark collar.

Annoying barking disrupts the peace you most want to enjoy after a day's hustle and bustle. Most notably, it can harm your dog's larynx or cause a sore throat. Unfortunately, this is a common concern among pet owners with dogs like Beagles, Chihuahuas, and other noisy dog breeds.

No bark collars deliver what their name entails. Over time, your dog will learn to associate the stimulation with the barking and avoid the behavior.

How Does a No Bark Collar Work?

No bark collars work by sending a negative stimulus once your dog barks. Most anti-bark collars deliver the stimulation automatically once the barking is detected. It means you don't have to constantly watch over your dog since the device will do the job for you.

However, some operate with a handheld remote, wherein the stimulation is only given once the handler presses the remote button. The problem with this is that the collar won't work if no one is there to control the remote or the handler's location is beyond the collar's effective range.

Some bark collars keep increasing the stimulation level until your dog stops barking. On the other hand, other collars allow you to manually adjust the stim level to start at the level where your dog will react.

Are Bark Collars Effective?

Bark collars are reliable and effective, as you won't have to watch over your dogs to ensure the collar works. As long as your dog is wearing the collar, you also don't need to worry about the collar's effective range, which is only a consideration for e-collars with remote transmitters.

Some anti-barking devices also detect the vibrations of your dog's vocal cords. Hence, the training collar identifies not only your dog's actual barking but also their howling and whining.

You must ensure that the collar fits snugly around your dog's neck to deliver the stimulus whenever your dog barks.

Are Bark Collars Harmful to Dogs?

Two Snarling Dogs Facing Each Other

Like remote training collars, no bark collars are safe and never designed to harm dogs. In fact, a dog bark collar is one of the most viable solutions to prevent dogs from getting laryngitis due to incessant barking.

No bark collars are not tools to stop your dog from barking completely. Barking is a means of communication for dogs aside from their body language. Making them forgo barking is like compelling a person not to talk for the rest of their lives.

How Long Can Dogs Wear Bark Collars?

Like any other e collars, a bark collar can irritate your dog's skin when left for long periods. Thus, you should leave it on your dog for less than 8 hours.

When Not to Use a Bark Collar?

  • Not recommended for dogs under 6 months old
  • When your dog is asleep or during positive playtime sessions
  • Dogs suffering from a cognitive decline due to old age, which causes the excessive barking

Importance of Buying the Right No Bark Collar

The first step to teaching your dog not to bark unnecessarily is to purchase the right bark collar tailored to your dog's needs. Here's the tricky part, though. Bark collar varieties are all over the market since they're the quick and practical solution to nuisance barking.

With all the reviews online from different websites or people with vested interests in the e-collars they are promoting, the selection phase can be challenging, if not perplexing. While this may seem like an indulgence of hypocrisy since we’re selling the same, it’s up to you to decide after reading this blog. Here, our primary goal is to give you the metrics to help inform your buying decision.

The Criteria - Choosing the Right No Bark Collar as a Beginner

1. Type of Bark Collar

Which type of anti-bark collar is best? The first thing to consider is what type of bark collar suits your dog’s needs. No bark collars come with four stimulation categories: static, vibration, sound, and spray.

  • Static Bark Collars

SportDog No Bark Collar

Static bark collars are the most common among no bark collars. But don’t be too quick to judge as they are also one of the most effective.

How it works: The static anti-bark collar releases a low-level shock once your dog’s barking is detected. It has prongs or contact points on the receiver that transmits the stimulation. Most collars offer adjustable levels of stimulation and flexible correction modes.

Pros: Dog shock collars are effective as a nonstop barking solution. Expect fast results when using this collar. The gentle shock gives your dog a bit of discomfort, which is enough to teach them that unnecessary barking is not good. This collar works best for large and stubborn dogs.

Cons: Your dog cannot wear the collar for long periods. This barking device is not recommended for sensitive or small dogs, as the shock may cause severe anxiety.

  • Vibration Bark Collars

PetSafe Vibration No Bark Collar

A vibration anti-bark collar is an excellent alternative to a shock collar. The collar works through sensation to stop your dog from barking.

How it works: This collar operates by sending a vibrating pulse instead of static to stop the barking. Some vibration collars have multiple stim levels that are also adjustable.

Pros: Vibrating bark collars are good communication tools. It’s the safest way to get your dog’s attention, making it ideal for timid dogs, older-aged canines, and those with hearing impairments.

Cons: Using the collar for extended hours may irritate your dog’s skin. Dogs with thick coats may not feel the vibration. Stubborn dogs may ignore the vibration and go on with their barking fit.

  • Sound No Bark Collars

PetSafe Ultrasonic Bark Collar

As the name implies, this collar emits sound to distract your dog.

How it works: This collar uses an ultrasonic or beeping sound to stop the barking. The ultrasonic sound is inaudible to humans but irritating enough for dogs. The beeping sound diverts your dog’s attention.

Pros: The high-pitched sound of ultrasonic bark collars are not audible to humans. The stimulation may be annoying to your dog but is proven safe and ear-friendly. Another good option if you’re on the fence about using static collars.

Cons: Needless to say, it’s not a collar for deaf and hearing-impaired dogs. Also, this collar may not deliver good results to anxious dogs.

  • Spray Bark Collars

PetSafe Spray Bark Collar

This collar works by releasing a burst of spray, either scented or unscented.

How it works: Spray collars discharge a scented (citronella or lemon) or unscented spray. The sudden spurt of mist in front of your dog’s snout distracts them from barking.

Pros: Spray dog bark collars are effective in stopping nuisance barking. The spray is harmless to your fur buddy. It’s a good collar for all breeds, especially for small-sized dogs.

Cons: Some dogs may not find the spray annoying, triggering the collar even more by barking to lick the mist. Other dogs may be allergic to the spray ingredients.

Depending on the manufacturer and product model, some no bark collars feature a combination of the above types, such as a collar with static and vibration modes. Many pet owners prefer the mixed-type since they can opt for the non-stimulating vibration and only use the static mode when needed.

2. Safety

One important criterion to look into a no bark collar is safety. Only consider anti bark collars from reputable manufacturers or those that adhere to industry guidelines for the proper usage of electronic training tools. The manufacturer must be a member of the Partnership for Electronic Training Technology (PETT) or the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association (ECMA).

PETT and ECMA Logos

Other things to check:

  • Safety Mechanism - Modern bark collars have a safety feature to avoid overstimulating your dog. For instance, most e-collars are programmed to issue the correction for a limited time. Once the time lapses, the stimulation automatically stops. The correction will only resume after a certain time and if your dog barks again.
  • Warranty - Reputable brands offer long warranty periods for repairs and returns. 
  • Customer Service - Good customer service support indicates that the company is devoted to resolving whatever inquiries or issues a customer may have about their products.

Do not rely heavily on online product reviews, as companies may manipulate them to influence buyers’ decisions.

3. Adjustability and Flexibility

Typically, this criterion only applies to static bark collars. Some vibrating collars have different combinations of vibration correction instead of stim levels. Meanwhile, sound and spray anti-bark collars are usually not adjustable.

Collars with adjustable levels of stimulation ensure that you get to find the right intensity level to use. Also, most static bark collars have flexible correction modes, such as letting you choose the beep sound as a warning setting before administering the shock or vibration correction.

Notably, some shock collars have different training modes:

SportDog SBC-R No Bark Collar Training Modes

  • Auto mode - This automatically adjusts the stimulation level based on your dog’s bark volume.
  • User-select mode - In this setting, you can manually select the correction level to use once your dog barks. The collar will not increase the intensity level even if your dog keeps barking unless you change it. It’s a good option for high-drive dogs that do not react with lower intensity levels.
  • Progression mode - The correction starts at the lowest level and gradually rises to the next level until your dog stops barking. The level will reset to the lowest level once your dog behaves.
  • Temperament learning mode - In this mode, rather than a reset to the lowest level, the collar notes the level where your dog stopped barking so that the next time your dog barks, the stimulation will pick up the last level used before progressing up. The level will also automatically decrease once your dog stops barking after a specific time.

4. Accuracy

Dogtra No Bark Collar with Parts Labeled

For a bark collar that functions sans human control, the unit’s bark sensitivity must be accurate and able to filter other ambient noises to prevent false correction. Because of this, this is the most common concern pet owners raise regarding bark collars.

Consider this: if the sensor or microphone does not function properly, it may pick up other sounds (other dogs’ barking) and issue a correction to your dog, although they’re not doing anything. This confuses your dog about how exactly you want them to behave or, worse, may have a counterproductive effect.

So, pick a collar that has an accurate bark sensor technology or a false-trigger feature to only get the best results out of your dog training. High-end models reduce the chances of false corrections but entail higher price points.

There are e-collars with a bark sensitivity feature that also detects growling, howling, and whining aside from barking. Some also have a bark counter that lets you know how often your dog has barked. This lets you know if you need to increase the stim level when your dog is not responsive to the stimulation.

5. Dog Weight and Neck Size

Illustrated Bark Collar Fitting Guide

Manufacturers have a weight restriction on their bark collars. Based on the consensus, puppies weighing less than 8 pounds should not use a no-bark collar. The collar and the receiver may be too heavy for them and strain their necks. Some bark collars may be best for small dogs like Pugs, but not for large breeds like Great Danes.

Before shopping, also make sure you know your dog’s neck size. Wrap the measuring tape around your dog’s neck snugly, not too loose but not too tight. Compare the measurement to the sizing chart of the brand you’re considering buying from. 

6. Water Resistance

Dog Running Through Water with Dummy

Most bark collars are water-resistant nowadays, but still, it’s a factor to remember. Some are both waterproof and submersible. So, if your dog loves water and dives into the pool, you won’t have to worry and allow them to have fun. Waterproof e-collars also save you from replacement costs.

7. Rechargeability

 Rechargeable Bark Collar vs Battery Operated

We believe it’s best to opt for a rechargeable bark collar. It can save you additional costs for replacing batteries later in your training. However, replaceable batteries also have selling points. First, you won’t have to wait for the unit to be fully charged to use it. Second, they have no charging ports that can affect water tightness.

8. Budget

Brown Dog Looking at Words Budget Against Yellow Background

Although it may not always be the case, high-end products almost guarantee you only get the best bark collar available. Cheaper collars usually lack some features mentioned above that you will most certainly need. More features mean a higher price.

Making a Choice

Now that you know what makes the best no bark collar for your dog, it’s time to go shopping.

In sum, the best bark collar should be:

  • The type of collar suited for your dog’s temperament and needs
  • A collar tailored for your dog concerning weight and neck size
  • Manufactured by reputable companies, adhering to e-collar industry guidelines
  • Have safety features to avoid overcorrection
  • Have adjustable levels and flexible correction modes
  • Accurate in detecting your dog’s barking, filtering ambient noises
  • Waterproof and rechargeable
  • Cost-effective that fits your budget

You might want to check out the top bark collars this 2022, where we listed products that are not even on our product listing. That’s how objective we are in giving you the best advice you could ever find online. 

And if ever you decide to shop on our site, we have excellent bark collars from trusted brands, such as Dogtra, PetSafe, E-Collar Technologies, and SportDOG.

Final Thoughts

No bark collars are safe and effective in addressing nuisance barking from your furry companions. Once you have the right bark collar, it’s only just a matter of time before your dog learns to associate the stimulus with the barking.

If you have other concerns, drop us a comment below or contact us. Happy training!

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