Debunking myths about bark collars

If your new dog or puppy barks a lot, chances are you’re looking for a way to regain some peace and quiet. Perhaps you’ve been considering a bark collar, but are unsure whether they’re ethical, let alone effective. In this article, the team at Chico tackles three myths about bark collars so you can make an informed decision about whether or not they’re right for your dog.

Myth: Bark collars can make a dog’s barking “magically” stop

In most cases, when dogs first start wearing a bark collar, they do stop barking when it delivers the unpleasant sensation (through ultrasonic tones, vibrations, citronella sprays or electric shocks). However, numerous experts in canine behaviour have noted that the barking recommences after a certain amount of time, as a dog that isn’t properly trained isn’t able to make the connection between the stimulus that causes him to bark (for example, the mail carrier delivering the mail), the action of barking and the unpleasant sensation he receives because of the collar.

Myth: Bark collars eliminate the need for dog training classes

Anti-bark collars are devices that, if used properly, can help train a dog. On the other hand, only a qualified dog trainer will be able to root out the deeper reasons as to why your dog barks (excitement, boredom, fear, etc.) and thereafter correct his behaviour through positive reinforcement (rather than punishment). Moreover, even if the bark collar is able to correct the barking problem, it won’t teach your dog to behave well in general.

Myth: Bark collars don’t hurt dogs

Many dogs develop neck lesions if their bark collar doesn’t fit properly or has to be worn for a long periods of time. Also, some electric models emit high-intensity shocks that cause real pain to the dog. And, as for citronella sprays, these can cause superficial burns to a dog’s eyes and mucous membranes.

Moreover, all types of barking collars prevent dogs from expressing themselves while at the same time causing them stress and discomfort. They may, however, represent a temporary solution in some extreme cases (for example, if the dog has a strong tendency to run away or barks uncontrollably in certain circumstances). To learn more about bark collars, consult a dog behaviourist.

At Chico, we have a wide selection of dog food and accessories (transport bags, toys, collars, etc.). Drop in to one of our stores or order what you need from the comfort of your home. We look forward to serving you!