Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Bark Control Collars - sorry, kinda long.

clm
April 15th, 2008, 06:32 AM
Well, I never thought I'd see the day where I would consider these things, but Baxter and Bentley's barking had worsened, not improved. This breed is known to be yappy, but I've never really had any trouble with it in the past, not like with these 2. Baxter get's it all started and then Bentley just won't quit. We've tried keeping them on long leads outside so we can actually be able to correct them for it, and I suppose in a large open space that would work well, but not in my garden. Spent most of the time getting them untangled from rose canes or from around shrubs.
With the nicer weather now, and people leaving their windows open at night, it's a real concern. The boys are outside at 4:00a.m. and it's just not acceptable for them to be barking at that time and waking up the neighbours. Likewise after dark when peoples kids have gone to bed, again, it's just not acceptable. It's not like they're out there alone either, we are out there with them. They no barking is not allowed, but they won't be stopped.
Anyway, I went to petsmart and got a couple of bark control collars. Not the spray kind, the shock kind. Tried it on myself before I put it on the dogs (I'm sure hubby wishes he could have seen that), and the shock at the 5th level was unpleasant enough, but not what I would consider painful. These particular collars are sound and vibration activated (sensors are located at the front neck area of the dog when put on correctly). There are 6 levels. If the dog continues to bark after the first jolt, then it goes up to the second level after 30 seconds and so on. If the dog stops barking it goes back to level one should the dog start barking again. If the dog barks more than 15 times in a 50 second period, the collar shuts itself off for 5 minutes.
Waited until a night when hubby was working late.....the dogs really go ballistic if they see a car come up the driveway after dark if we're outside. Hubby called just before he was on his way home, (he had no idea I had got these things). Put the collars on the gruesome twosome and outside we went. It was around 11:00pm. Baxter spots a cat walking up the neighbours back yard and starts to bark, followed immediately by Bentley. I told them like always, NO BARKING. 30 seconds after the first bark the collar gives them the mildest jolt. Neither one appears to be terribly concerned about that and they continue to bark. Again they were told NO BARKING, The collar ups it up a notch to the second level and this time it got both their attentions. They stopped for a minute and then continue to bark at the poor cat and were told again, NO BARKING. The third level jolt was enough to stop the barking. Baxter looked worried and came over to me for reassurance. Bentley just got mad and ran up and down the fence line watching the cat (silently). Then came the big test. Hubby came home. He had to move the cars around too, so a perfect test to see if they would continue to be quiet. They ran down to the back of the house and watched in silence as hubby moved the cars around. They came back up to where I was sitting and watched hubby moving around in the kitchen through the windows as he was getting himself something to drink before coming out to join us on the patio. Again, they stayed silent. Hubby came out and they ran down to him, silently. Hubby wanted to know why the dogs were so quiet. Normally they would have woke up the whole block by now. I showed him the collars. We have been quite impressed with how well these things have worked. Especially on these 2 hair balls, I actually wondered if the collars would really work at all. I only put them on them when we expect them to be quiet. They may wear them for a total of an hour in the morning and an hour at night. On the weekends, they have them on until after 10:00am so the neighbours can sleep in. They're usually pretty quiet during daylight hours, but a cat or a squirrel will set them off, so I put them on to be sure on weekend mornings.
I'm hoping that a couple of weeks of this will condition them enough to be able to remove the batteries on these things and just the association with having the collar on will keep them quiet.

Cindy

want4rain
April 15th, 2008, 07:28 AM
*hugs* im so sorry it came to this. im glad you tried it out first. i hope this helps!!

from someone on the receiving end of a neighbors barking dog... thank you. i mean this most sincerely. thank you so very much for taking the initiative. our neighbor, on the other hand, tells us its all our fault for being in our yard and inciting her dogs to bark. :rolleyes:

-ash

clm
April 15th, 2008, 08:01 AM
I've never understood how people can just let their dogs bark. If you live somewhere where you don't have neighbours, that's fine I guess, but in a city subdivision, and I'm in a semi to boot, not to mention, I don't like listening to it either. My neighbours have small grandkids that will be out in their yard this summer, and all they also like to work out in their gardens and enjoy their patios. There's no way the dogs will be allowed to bark at them.

Cindy

want4rain
April 15th, 2008, 08:05 AM
whats a semi?? :) down here thats a transfer truck- http://www.taormina.com/images/p2b.jpg

do you plan on leaving it on them all the time?? how are you suppose to encourage good barking with a bark collar?? or is good barking just not going to happen with dogs who bark all the time?

-ash

want4rain
April 15th, 2008, 08:23 AM
also, Chris and i got to brainstorming when our situation first blossomed, some things we would change abotu the current bark collars-

they could do with being a little smarter. being able to turn them on and off with the click of a button would help you to train your dog better. for example- Dixie barks at everything, bugs, deer, neighbors 3 doors down, a door slamming inside of our house, cars pulling up the driveway half a mile away... etc. to spend a few weeks teaching her whats ok to bark at by turning it off at times and giving praise would be really nice. a good time to bark is when someone pulls into YOUR driveway or is lerking outside the house or when the doorbell rings. a time that its not ok to bark is when Cailyn, in her excitement, goes flying through the house, runs up the stairs, down the hall and slams her door shut. or when Chris and i are outside raking leaves.

allow 2 barks before a reprimand. a dog barks once or twice for a reason, 3 or more times for the joy of it. :)

how are things today?

-ashley

clm
April 15th, 2008, 08:37 AM
:laughing: A semi is a semi-detached house. A lot of barking indoors wouldn't be a good thing either, but they're pretty quiet in the house, unless someone comes to the door or if they're playing together. I don't leave these on them when they're in the house at all.

There is no way to really encourage good barking with this collar. When this collar goes on, I expect them to be quiet. They don't have it on for more than an hour in the morning, maybe 2 hours on weekend mornings and maybe and hour at night. True, the collars could be smarter, and you might be able to get smarter ones, if I need to continue with these things indefinately, I may check out some of the other ones to see what they offer. This collar won't go off with just throat vibration....the sound sensor has to actually pick up the bark too, so it has to sense both the throat vibration and the bark, not just one or the other....one bark just gets a warning beep...the second bark actually gets the jolt.

Cindy

mona_b
April 15th, 2008, 10:28 AM
how are you suppose to encourage good barking with a bark collar??

-ash

Another reason why I don't like these collars.

These collars are to stop barking.Which to me is a bad idea.How will your dog ever warn you that something "bad" is happening?They can't cause they are not allowed to bark.

I always had the 3 bark rule.After the third bark,the "enough" command came in.I have used this with all my dogs.When the "enough" command was given and they stopped,they were praised like crazy.And I had 2-3month old pups to train.:rolleyes:...The one thing is they always allerted me when someone was on my property.I too lived in a semi,in T.O. on a pretty quiet street.I'm in a semi again.But there is an owner in my area that have 2 Beagles,and man at time they never shut up.All they do is howl.

So my question for you clm is,do you not want Bentley and Baxter to ever bark and this includes warning barks?If so continue the collar.

But if you do want them to be able to give you the warning barks you need,then you will need to teach them.And this will take time and patience.BUT it can be done without a bark collar....Just my :2cents:....:)

clm
April 15th, 2008, 11:07 AM
Sorry Mona b, but time and patience haven't worked, and my neighbours have been very patient thus far. If I didn't have them out so early in the morning, it wouldn't be as big an issue, but 4am is too early to be waking people up.
It hasn't stopped them from barking if someone is at the door, they don't wear the collars inside, and it hasn't stopped them from barking at squirrels when outside and they're not wearing them. They seem to assoicate the collar with not barking, and that works for me since they only wear the collars when I absolutely don't want them to.

Cindy

aslan
April 15th, 2008, 11:07 AM
I'm going to assume that clm has tried everything before she resorted to the collars. And yes you can teach them there is good barking. If the dogs bark at say someone at the door you praise them to the heavens. If they bark at anything that is good barking praise them. If your only putting the collars on when its not appropriate to bark they will learn that pattern. I've seen it done on more than one occassion.

BusterBoo
April 15th, 2008, 12:37 PM
I had to do the similar thing with Buster, but I used the citronella spray collar. It worked wonders! Buster still does bark if someone comes to the door or if he sees/hears something different (right now it's those :censored: seagulls that have taken up residence in my yard!)

Now if Buster starts barking for no reason, all I have to do is say "Do you want your bark collar?" He immediately stops and gets lots of praise.

Personally I think dogs should be allowed appropriate barking! It's like a human laughing/talking/screaming.....it's a necessity! :2cents:

clm
April 15th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Personally I think dogs should be allowed appropriate barking! It's like a human laughing/talking/screaming.....it's a necessity! :2cents:

Absolutely, they have to be able to bark sometimes. Especially when my guys are playing either with each other or with us. Getting rid of the evil squirrels or letting the people knocking at the door know there's a couple of fuzz butts on the other side. :laughing:

I would never take away their ability to bark totally, that wouldn't be fair at all. That's why I'm so happy they've associated being quiet with the collar. It's not on them for long periods, only when they must be quiet so the neighbours can have some peace early in the morning and at night.
Their barking during the day is the odd bark here and there at a squirrel or a noise or while playing, not the constant barking that the darkness brings when the evil boogie bear is terrorizing all good puppies in their yards. :laughing: Must really be something to do with the dark and their hearing being good, but the eyesight being strained.

Cindy

Lissa
April 15th, 2008, 03:26 PM
Shock collars are not something I would ever use but I do know people who've found success with them.

I hope that this was a last resort and that you've tried everything to avoid using this kind of tool. Ie: not leaving them in the backyard, separation, individual training etc...

The problem with these collars is that they can malfunction, so you need to make sure they are never on your dogs unless you are directly supervising. Also, most people do not want their dogs associating no barking with the collar, because the barking will start happening when the collar is not on. Dogs who love barking more than anything else will often deal with the shocks until the collar turns off. And I've known a a dog who knew when the shock collar had batteries and when it didn't (he was a smooth-coated dog though).

All dogs bark for good reasons (ie: alerting, guarding, expression)... If you have a dog who has "over the top" barking, its because they are barking out of habit, bored, over-stimulated, fearful, territorial and/or because they lack training/foundations/boundaries/socialization. That is not the dog's fault, its the owners. So unless all other options have been exhausted, I can't say I support the use of shock collars.

BTW - dogs have excellent night vision (almost as good as cats but not quite)... The only time they can be said to have poor vision is at a distance when an object is stationary (they are wired to detect moving objects).

Ford Girl
April 15th, 2008, 04:43 PM
Dazy is this way too clm, so I understand. There is barking, then there's BARKING! There is an appropriate time to bark for sure, and other times when you just want them to zip it.

If its dark out - and Dazy needs to pee - the first thing she does is bark her giant bark - for no apparent reason, just cuz...it's loud and annoying. Out the door she goes..as loud as she can. Leash, no leash, correction...doesn't matter.

I try my best, if she barks while out alone she comes in, if she barks while we are there - a "quiet no bark" - sit - redirect is what we use. In a perfect world we would be out there at all times, but we all know that doesn't happen. Or at least with active young dogs.

The mail lady and the flyer kid, are both scared of her because of the barking. By no means have we just let her do it, we have been training since day one, and on a Saturday afternoon - by all means bark your head off...but you can't be there all the time nor can you ask your animlas to stay inside at all times except to pee.

For me a 3 bark rule wouldn't work - the response would be...3 barks - what happens if I do 4? How about now? What about this time? What ever happens will happen after I bark - so it doesn't really matter - I've already scared it away. Dazy's pretty obedient in most aspects, but barking to her is like...."ya whatever :rolleyes:"

I guess I am asking - if you want them to be able to bark at times, but not others, what command is that? How do you train that? Without a tool that pinpoints that exact vocal release of noise how do they know? :confused: These collars do that right...noise = shock. Without it...it's bark bark bark...bad boy inside - big deal - I've already barked - can't take it back. :shrug: :laughing:

clm
April 15th, 2008, 09:49 PM
Shock collars are not something I would ever use but I do know people who've found success with them.

I never thought I would end up using them either.

I hope that this was a last resort and that you've tried everything to avoid using this kind of tool. Ie: not leaving them in the backyard, separation, individual training etc...

Oh, we've tried everything all right. And the dogs are never outside unless we are too.

The problem with these collars is that they can malfunction, so you need to make sure they are never on your dogs unless you are directly supervising. Also, most people do not want their dogs associating no barking with the collar, because the barking will start happening when the collar is not on. Dogs who love barking more than anything else will often deal with the shocks until the collar turns off. And I've known a a dog who knew when the shock collar had batteries and when it didn't (he was a smooth-coated dog though).

I would never put the on the dogs unless I was going to be with them.
I do want the dogs to associate wearing the collar and not barking. Problem is primarily when it's dark outside, ie early morning or late at night. During the day and early evening they bark on occassion, but not contant like they do when it's dark.
I thought Bentley would be the dog you describe as barking until the collar shuts off, but that wasn't the case with him.

All dogs bark for good reasons (ie: alerting, guarding, expression)... If you have a dog who has "over the top" barking, its because they are barking out of habit, bored, over-stimulated, fearful, territorial and/or because they lack training/foundations/boundaries/socialization. That is not the dog's fault, its the owners. So unless all other options have been exhausted, I can't say I support the use of shock collars.

If you say I'm responsible for my dogs barking because of a lack of training or the dogs are barking for good reason, or because they're bored, over stimulated, fearful, territorial.....ok, I'll take your word for it. Regardless, it can't continue at 4am and the collars are working so I'll stick with them. :shrug:

BTW - dogs have excellent night vision (almost as good as cats but not quite)... The only time they can be said to have poor vision is at a distance when an object is stationary (they are wired to detect moving objects).

Well, they may have good night vision, but I certainly can't see what they're barking at. With the collars on, they don't even look over into the neighbours yard scouting for something to bark at anymore. Exactly what I want.



I totally understand why a lot of people don't like these collars, I never thought I would end up using them, but they work for my guys and my neighbours will appreciate it I'm sure.

SnowDancer
April 16th, 2008, 10:14 AM
I understand your pain. My American Eskimo is a barking fool - as are most Eskies and the Spitz in general. I have not yet resorted to the Bark Collar as I don't think my guy would do well with it. The Keeshond is the most laid back of the Spitz group from what I understand. We used to live in a semi as well - but with Hounds - now they were serious barkers. Now we live in the bungalow from "H". Our yard is not fenced so they only go out with us on a leash. My husband and Eskie go to bed at 10:00 p.m. and get up at 5:00. Eskie get him up even on weekends despite going to bed maybe at midnight, because frankly he wants his breakfast - very food motivated - and his snack at bedtime doesn't count in his mind. It is a nightmare on the street at 5:00 - and we take them out front because of the skunk that lives behind the shed of the not so neighbourly neighbour. The people out on the street doing weird things at 5:00 a.m. is outstanding. My guy is pretty good and knows to keep quiet, but there are some things that just demand that a dog bark. Same thing for the night walk - and we live across from a park where there are most definitely weird and I think illegal things going on at night. My husband is in Germany as I type so it has been Eskie and me out at 5:00 - and of course he is looking for Dad. At every noise he has to bark - inside and out. And it doesn't help when kids throw balls at the house etc. A few people on the Eskie specific board have tried the Bark Collars with some success, including the Citronella collar - but in more than a few cases the Eskies have developed a tolerance for them - the bark is more fun than the pain of the shock or the spray. Other dogs just have to be shown the collar and they shut up. My guy is in high spirits this morning. A motorcycle just parked on the sidewalk in front of our house and he went nuts - can't say as I blame him. I relented and told him that Daddy is on his way home so that hasn't helped. I don't know if the Keeshond is the same, but the Eskie tends to focus on who is not at home as opposed to who is. No need to suffer sitting at the window, you can get into bed and suffer while your belly is being rubbed. My hounds were that way. Re Bentley and Baxter being barkier than you previous Keeshonds is not a surprise to me. In speaking with people while waiting at the vet's and at the groomer's, many people have said that they have had the same breeds of dogs for 30 years, but that their current pups - say those 5 and under are different personality wise - more separation anxiety issues, barking issues, stomach issues - and most definitely - "ouch" means zip. The fellow who fixed our little gas fireplace had 2 big German dogs that died within a year of each other at ages 13 and 14. So they adopted a same breed pup from the original breeder. He said if the dog didn't look the same he would have thought something was wrong. It is all about the dog. Don't I know it. I hope the collars continue to work for you. I have tried the shaking of the coins in the can - zip. Clickers have never worked for training or anything - I suspect because just after we adopted him they added a second floor to the house next door and all we heard was hammering - day and night. An obedience instructor tried the clicker as well - didn't even notice it.