Barking is a normal behavior; it is how our dogs communicate a variety of messages. The challenge is trying to figure out exactly what the message is. Sometimes the reason for the noise is invisible to us (perhaps a sound that is undetectable to the human ear) and the dog is seemingly "barking for no reason."
Therefore, the goal of any bark collar - shock, no-shock, ultrasonic, spray, vibration, and citronella - is to diminish barking to acceptable levels, and in order to get the best out of them we first need to understand why our dog is barking before putting the collar. So, let’s first uncover the meaning of the message they are trying to convey.
Dogs are pack animals. Dogs left alone for long periods, whether in the house or in the yard, can become bored or sad and often will bark because they are unhappy.
Some dogs bark at any noise or object that catches their attention or startles them. This can happen anywhere, not just in their home territory. Their ears will be back and tail tucked when they are in a state of fear.
When a person or an animal comes into an area your dog considers their territory, which often triggers excessive barking. As the threat gets closer, the barking often gets louder. Your dog will look alert and even aggressive during this type of barking.
Dogs often bark when greeting people or other animals. It’s usually a happy bark, accompanied with tail wags and sometimes jumping.
Dogs often bark when they want something, such as going outside, playing, or getting a treat.
Dogs with separation anxiety often bark excessively when left alone. They sometimes exhibit other symptoms as well, such as pacing, destructiveness, depression, and inappropriate elimination.
How to properly set up and use the bark collar for maximum benefits. For this example, we will be using our Anti-barking collar.
1- Introducing and fitting the collar
The first step before putting the collar is to change the prongs depending on how long the fur of your dog is. If your dog is a short hair use the short prongs, and if the dog is a long hair use the long prongs.
After determining what prongs to use, introduce the device to your dog and then put it on (before the stimulus). Make sure to leave one finger between the prongs and the neck of your dog. Once you determine the length of the collar, cut the excess and sear the collar to avoid any fraying. DO NOT leave more than 6 hours or attach any leash to it! this can rub off the fur.
2- Adjusting the collar settings to your dog
You can set up the collar by vibration and sensitivity. The higher the number, the more sensitive it becomes. We recommend no more that 3-4 if you have another dog. Start at the lowest level of stimulation available. It is fairer to the dog to take the time to move through the levels and determine the proper setting rather than make assumptions based on breed, size or temperament of the dog. Each dog's sensitivity is different and the goal is to find a level that effectively interrupts the barking without causing an overreaction.
3- Place the collar before the stimulus
If you start without the e-collar, finish without the e-collar. By that we mean that if the transmitter is not on and your dog does not comply with what you have asked, don’t go and get the transmitter to enforce your command. The timing will be too late and dependency on the e-collar too obvious. Make your dog follow through by proactively putting the collar before the stimulus. Make sure to let the dog know what he is doing RIGHT. Too often we focus only on correcting the mistakes and don’t put enough emphasis on what the dog does correctly.
4- Reward your dog during the silence
Watch your dog for any reaction. Look for any indication of the dog momentarily pausing because the sensation interrupted their focus. If so, praise/reward the dog during the silence. If there is no noticeable reaction and the dog continues to bark and bark, turn the vibration up and repeat the process. Continue this process until you are confident that the dog is noticing the beep and vibrations enough to be temporarily distracted from the barking. A pause, a slight startle or twitch are adequate responses to indicate your dog has felt the sensation.
5- Collar Wise
Having the dog wear the bark collar while periodically presenting him with situations of potential barking over a series of days helps to make sure he truly understands how to "turn off" the sensation or avoid it altogether by self-monitoring his behavior.
Therefore, we recommend using it routinely, on a situational basis – situations in which they are prone to barking. If your dog is wearing the collar during training AND playtime, feeding time, resting, etc, it will not become associated only with enforcement.
If you would like to like to have a free downloadable guide, click here.
Our e-collar is a fantastic tool, but like any other, it takes knowledge to use it well. Remember, our goal is to diminish their barking to acceptable levels, not change their personality