How to Train with a No Bark Collar
Excessive barking is one of the common challenges pet owners encounter in raising a dog.
Many pet owners believe that once they get a bark collar, the problem is as good as solved. Unfortunately, they forget to consider that a barking collar is just a tool. Like any other dog training collar, a no-bark collar is just as good as its handler. The success depends on how you utilize the tool in your training.
This blog discusses how to train your dog with a bark collar to help you achieve optimal results.
What Is a Bark Collar for Dogs?
A bark collar is a collar designed to control nuisance barking and train dogs to only bark when needed. It’s a regular dog collar with a receiver attached to it. The receiver has prongs or contact points that deliver the correction once barking is sensed (via a bark sensor). In time, your dog should be able to associate the stimulus with the barking, hence avoiding it.
Are Bark Collars Good for Training?
Dog bark collars are popular devices for nonstop barking problems. It’s a practical solution if your dog tends to vocalize a lot inappropriately. It’s cost-effective and safe for dogs.
How Long Does It Take to Train a Dog with a Bark Collar?
Dogs learn at different paces. Some dogs may only take a few days to behave accordingly, while others could take longer. This also depends on how the anti-barking device is used in training. The promise here is that an anti bark collar is one of the fastest solutions for barking problems.
How Do You Train a Dog with a Bark Collar?
If you already have your bark collar, that’s a good start. If not, we have a separate guide to choosing the best no bark collar. Here, let’s talk about how to train with a bark collar.
Step-by-Step Guide for Bark Collar Training
1. Be Casual.
Don’t let your pet know that you’re using a bark collar on them. When introducing the collar on your dog, be casual, as if it’s a regular collar that you’ve been making them wear. This prevents them from associating the correction with the collar later on. Dogs are smart. Once they know the collar is correcting them, they can devise a strategy around it. For instance, if they’re on the bark collar, they won’t bark to avoid the stimulation. Once they’re out of the collar, they’re back to their barking fits again. So, let them wear it like any ordinary day.
2. Fit Snugly.
No bark collars only work if the correction is instantly delivered once barking is detected. So, make sure the contact points are touching your dog’s skin. The fit should neither be too tight nor too loose. Aim for a snug fit where your dog feels comfortable. Review your bark collar manual to learn more, as different brands have specific fitting instructions.
3. Don’t Turn On the Collar Right Away.
Don’t turn on the barking collar yet. Let your dog be familiar with the device first. Allow them to wear it for a few days until they get acclimated to the collar without any issues.
4. Now, Turn It On.
Once your dog feels comfortable wearing the barking collar, it’s time to turn it on. Anti bark collars typically have different correction modes: static, vibration, ultrasonic, and spray. Some devices have two correction options, but most types only come with one training mode. The choice depends on your dog’s temperament and needs.
Ultrasonic (tone) and spray bark collars usually have only 1 level of correction. Some vibration no bark collars have adjustable levels. However, it is the static types that have multiple levels of stimulation.
5. Start at the Lowest Setting.
Some no bark collars automatically adjust the level as your dog keeps barking. Others allow you to operate manually, where you can set the stimulation level. For this case, always start at the lowest level and only increase it if your dog is not reacting to the stimulus. Observe any reaction, such as a slight head twitching, pausing momentarily, or ear flicking. If your dog responds slightly to the correction, you can use that level every time you train with the collar.
6. Expose Your Dog to the Stimulus.
It should be noted that no bark collars are not tools to completely stop your dog from barking. It’s a collar to curb unwanted barking behavior. Hence, your training should start with the triggers wherein your dog tends to bark inappropriately. These triggers could be doorbell sounds or knocking on the door.
Here’s a simple guide on how to do it:
- While wearing the anti-barking collar, expose your dog to the stimulus.
- Sound the doorbell and see how your pet reacts.
- If your dog vocalizes, check for any reaction to know if the correction interrupts the barking.
- If the collar is working, repeat the steps. This is to ensure your dog learns that barking follows correction, so they would want to avoid it.
- Once your dog keeps quiet after ringing the doorbell, reward them with a treat to reinforce the behavior.
- Repeat the steps until you get the desired results.
7. Turn Off the Collar After Training.
So, we mentioned making your dog associate the correction with their barking. That’s right. However, your dog shouldn’t know that the bark collar is sending them the correction. The reason is that your pet should learn to avoid barking even without the bark collar. One way to do it is to turn off the collar and allow them to wear it for a little while after training. Just ensure you keep them away from the stimulus as much as possible until your training resumes.
Note: Don’t let your pet wear the collar for over 8 hours, as this can irritate their skin.
What Type of No Bark Collar Should You Get?
Dog bark collars are categorized into the following:
1. Static Bark Collars - These collars deliver a gentle shock once your dog barks. These usually have adjustable levels of stimulation, allowing you to select the perfect level for your dog.
If you have a stubborn dog, this type of bark collar should do great. Dogtra bark collars are excellent for this type, especially if you have a large dog. However, if you’re looking for smaller dogs, a SportDOG bark collar is the way to go.
- SportDOG SBC-R (for dogs 8 pounds and up)
- Dogtra YS300 (for dogs 10 pounds and up)
- Dogtra YS600 (for dogs 35 pounds and up)
2. Vibration Bark Collars - No bark collars of this type emit a vibrating sensation when your dog starts barking. Some collars offer different levels of vibration.
This type of no bark collar works best for sensitive and deaf dogs. The PetSafe Vibration Bark Control Collar is a perfect option.
3. Sound No Bark Collars - This type employs an high-pitched ultrasonic sound, which is inaudible to humans. They don’t commonly have adjustable levels.
This is a good alternative if you’re conflicted about using static shock collars. You should consider the PetSafe Ultrasonic Bark Control Collar for this choice.
4. Spray Bark Collars - This group of anti-barking devices releases a soft spray to distract dogs from barking. The spray is not harmful to pets.
If you prefer a spray correction, the Rechargeable Spray Bark Collar by PetSafe is the one you’re looking for.
Barking is a natural behavior in dogs, but nonstop barking is not. Dog bark collars are effective solutions for your dog barking concerns. Coupled with appropriate usage, you can expect promising results even after a few weeks of no bark collar training.