While barking is a natural way that dogs communicate with others and express themselves, excessive barking can quickly become a problem, especially if it disrupts your sleep or leads to problems with neighbors.
While you should not seek to stop your dog from barking, there are effective anti-barking devices and tools that you can use to significantly reduce problem barking.
Tools include anti-bark collars and ultrasonic anti-barking devices, but there are also many helpful tips that can help. Keep reading to find out more!
In This Article:
The Best Anti Barking Devices
To help you stop your dog’s irritating and excessive barking, we’ll quickly highlight some of the best training tools you can use.
These anti-barking devices range in complexity and cost, so make sure that you choose the option that comes closest to meeting your preferences and budget!
When most people think of an anti-barking device, the first thing that springs to mind is an anti-bark collar.
As the name implies, anti-bark collars are specialized training collars that reduce barking. Some anti-bark collars are controlled with a remote, but most detect sound waves and vibration when the dog barks.
When the remote is triggered or the collar’s built-in sensor detects barking, the collar gives the dog an ultrasonic beep, vibration, or a static shock.
In this sense, anti-bark collars use negative reinforcement to correct a barking problem.
With time and consistency, the dog will learn that excessive barking is met with physical discomfort, so they will lessen unnecessary barking.
Will an Anti Bark Collar Hurt the Dog?
There is some controversy surrounding anti-bark collars, especially since they deliver pain and discomfort, but modern-day anti-bark collars are far gentler than earlier models.
There are now new anti-bark collars that do not rely on physical pain at all.
For example, citronella bark collars release a quick burst of a natural and plant-based citronella fragrance into the air. Dogs find the smell unpleasant.
These collars can also discourage barking, but without causing any physical pain. Other options include collars that vibrate or emit a high-pitched sound.
The best anti-bark shock collars include hundreds of levels of static correction so you can find the lowest level of shock that reminds your dog to quiet down.
Small dogs have small necks that can’t handle large collars and heavy prong boxes, so if you have a small breed, be sure to choose an anti-bark collar that is specially designed for small dogs.
When used correctly, an anti-bark collar can work quickly, meaning your dog should not have to wear one for too long.
While each case is different, barking frequency should reduce noticeably in as little as a week.
Ultrasonic Anti-Barking Devices
Another training tool you can use to prevent your dog from barking excessively is an ultrasonic bark control device.
These specialized devices produce a high-pitched sound whenever they detect barking.
Since they generate ultrasonic noise, humans cannot hear them, so only your dog will be annoyed by them.
Not only is the high-pitched noise these devices produce annoying to a dog, but it also acts as a distraction.
For example, if your dog barks from seeing another dog through the window, the noise created by the ultrasonic device can distract your dog, which will usually stop the barking.
Do Ultrasonic Anti Barking Devices Work?
While they can take a little more time to show results than an anti-bark dog collar, an ultrasonic anti-barking device can be effective.
Once your dog recognizes that their barking is causing the unpleasant, high-pitched tone that only they can hear, they will learn to stop barking with the same frequency.
The main advantage of an ultrasonic anti-bark device is that they do not cause physical pain.
While the noise they generate is irritating to dogs, they do not cause any lasting harm to the dog’s ears.
Another advantage is that humans cannot detect the noise they create, so your dog will learn to stop barking, but the training process will not disrupt your life.
Types of Ultrasonic Anti Bark Devices
There are different ultrasonic devices, and some are for indoor use.
They almost look like a Bluetooth speaker, and you can place them anywhere in the house where the dog tends to bark.
Others are designed for use outdoors, and they can be disguised as birdhouses and other objects you might find in a typical backyard.
There are even ultrasonic collars, which work much like a standard anti-bark dog collar, but they produce an ultrasonic pitch, rather than a shock.
Tips to Stop Your Dog’s Excessive Barking
While the anti-barking devices highlighted above can be effective, you must use them properly.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations for how quickly they will work. In some cases, they can take months to show results.
While this is not necessarily a bad thing if you have time on your hands, it might not work in certain situations.
For example, if you have a sleeping newborn and your dog’s excessive barking disrupts the baby’s sleep, you probably don’t want to wait over a month for an anti-bark device to get results.
This is why it can be useful to combine these devices with other anti-barking tips.
Bark-activated ultrasonic sound emitters and anti-bark shock collars address problem barking with negative reinforcement, which some dog owners and trainers prefer to avoid.
Some people prefer to avoid punishing their dog for poor behavior and would rather use positive reinforcement, like treats and praise, to reward good behavior.
If you find yourself frustrated by your barking dog, we recommend trying out some tips outlined below.
You can use them alongside an anti-barking device or try them on their own. Whichever tactic you prefer, the following tips can help.
Make Sure the Dog is Getting Adequate Physical Exercise
Just like humans, dogs need plenty of exercise. While exercise is critical for their overall health, physical activity is also important for mental stimulation.
If your dog has too much pent-up energy or is suffering from chronic boredom, they may express this with constant barking.
While daily walks are a good start, you may need to introduce more stimulating and challenging activities if your dog is living an overly sedentary lifestyle.
If your dog has been properly socialized with other dogs, going to an off-leash dog park is a great way to make sure they get adequate mental stimulation and exercise.
The truth is, boredom and lack of exercise are two of the most common causes of excessive barking, as dogs often bark to express their frustration.
Spend Quality Time with Your Dog & Play Games
Another common cause of the excessive barking is separation anxiety and loneliness. Many dogs will bark for attention, especially when they feel they are being neglected.
Remember, dogs are social animals, so you may notice your dog will express previously unseen and undesirable behaviors if they feel they are being cast aside.
Attention-seeking barking is one of the most common ways they express these feelings.
While walks are great, try playing games with your dog and introduce it to new experiences, such as walks along a dog-friendly beach or taking it to explore some off-leash hiking trails.
With that said, nothing beats a good old-fashioned game of catch, which will only cost you the price of a tennis ball and 20 minutes of your time.
Remember, while your dog might seem like a small part of your life, you are your dog’s entire world!
If they are frequently barking, they might just miss you and want your attention.
You should also remember to greet your pooch and make a fuss out of it when you walk in the door, even if you have had a long and frustrating day.
Just this simple action can help your dog feel less isolated.
Does Your Dog Suffer from Canine Separation Anxiety?
If your neighbors complain that your dog barks to excess while you are away at work, there is a good chance that your canine companion is suffering from separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is a common condition for dogs, especially those that spend long periods on their own in total silence.
If, in addition to barking, your dog destroys things while you are away, like chewing furniture and peeing in the house, your dog likely has separation anxiety or some other mental health issue.
You can speak with your veterinarian about prescription and non-prescription medications designed to help ease canine anxiety.
However, there are quite a few non-medicinal ways you can help your dog.
For starters, consider hiring a local dog walker to come and take your pooch for a quick walk during the day, especially if you spend long hours at work.
There are also plenty of dog training techniques you can follow. For dogs that suffer from serious anxiety, much of their stress is due to a fear of being abandoned.
You need to build them up to be alone for long periods.
This proactive exposure dog training works exceptionally well for puppies, as it teaches them how to handle being alone.
Desensitize Your Dog to Barking Triggers
Some dogs bark in response to a specific trigger, such as a passing car, knocking at the door, or even just a squirrel outside the window.
If your dog’s excessive barking fits are due to a specific trigger, you can desensitize them to that stimulus by slowly and cautiously exposing them to it.
Fear-related barking is a major issue, so teaching your dog that there is nothing to be afraid of can go a long way toward putting a stop to their heavy barking.
For example, if your dog barks every time a neighbor walks up the driveway, you can explain the situation to the neighbor and ask if they would mind meeting your dog.
Once your pooch realizes there is nothing to be afraid of, it may stop barking in response to seeing that individual.
The same applies to all other types of barking triggers.
Combine Negative Reinforcement with Positive Reinforcement
If you opt for an anti-bark device that relies on negative reinforcement for dog bark control, remember to use positive reinforcement when your dog stops barking.
If your dog is being quiet and calm, offer praise, especially if they are not barking in a situation when they normally would, like when the doorbell rings.
The combination of negative and positive reinforcement tends to work far more effectively than just negative reinforcement on its own!
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