Are Bark Collars Dangerous?

For years, the only function of a collar was to carry an ID tag and to give pet owners something to tie their leash around before going for a walk. Oh, how times have changed. Today, dog collars serve many purposes; fashion collars, training obedience and flea prevention are some of the most popular types of dog collars on the market, but none of them carry the same negative connotation as Bark Collars.

Almost all dogs bark, and while it's fun to hear your dog "speak," there is certainly too much of a good thing, especially if you bring your dog out in public. Dogs are pack animals and they typically bark as an alert to the others in their group. Some yips and barks can be a signal for pain and distress, to express happiness, or to fend off intruders. However, many dogs bark out boredom or for attention, which is when proper training must be introduced to the pet.

Different Types of Bark Collars

For a long time, the only type of a bark collars that could be purchased were shock collars. These training tools came onto the pet market around 1960 and were much bulkier, less reliable and more prone to failure than the bark collars that are available today. In turn, PETA, The Kennel Club and a wide range of veterinarians spoke out against the use of shock collars, which has forever tainted the image of all types of training collars.

"Dogs wearing shock collars can suffer from physical pain and injury (ranging from burns to cardiac fibrillation) and psychological stress, including severe anxiety and displaced aggression," said one spokesperson from PETA. "Individual animals vary in their temperaments and pain thresholds; a shock that seems mild to one dog may be severe to another. The anxiety and confusion caused by repeated shocks can lead to changes in the heart and respiration rate or gastrointestinal disorders. Electronic collars can also malfunction, either administering nonstop shocks or delivering no shocks at all."

Because of this backlash on collars, the pet industry was forced to create more reliable and safe collars to help control barking dogs.

"We strongly opposes the restriction, limitation or banning of electronic dog training equipment and containment products," says a statement from The National Institute of Dog Training Experts (NICE). "Humanely used electronic dog training equipment had been demonstrated to be an effective, efficient, benign training tool for a variety of difficult performance venues beginning with its birth as a training device almost 40 years ago for hunting hounds, upland bird dogs and retrievers."

Different Types of Dog Bark Collars

How many times have you zapped yourself by touching a door handle after walking across a rug in your socks? This shock from static electricity actually carries thousands more volts than a standard bark collar, and the "pain" associated with it is pretty comparable, too. The most important thing for a pet owner to consider when purchasing a training collar is to make sure that they buy a collar that is appropriate for the size of their dog. A training collar that was made for a Chihuahua is not going to have much effect on a Great Dane.

  • Petsafe PBC-102 Bark Collar: In recent years, this has become one of the most popular bark collars on the market. This features an audible warning tone that alerts your pet of the coming correction and will help your pet make the connection between barking and tone/stimulation. There is also a safety shut off which occurs when your pet barks 15 times in 50 seconds. This ensures your pet will not become over stimulated, which has been an association to aggressiveness in dogs.
  • Spray Bark Collar: Just like other training collars, a spray bark collar uses an auditory sensor to detect your pet's barking. Then, it mists your pet, which will confuse and distract your dog from barking. Eventually, your dog associates the unpleasant misting with its own barking. This option is perfect for pet owners who need to control a troublesome pooch, but who don't like the idea of an electronically stimulating their pet.

So, if you're still looking for a good way to control the barking of your dog, remember that quality training collars are now a humane way of keeping your pooch well behaved. As long as you supervise your pet, purchase an appropriate sized collar and follow all manufacturers instructions, you should have nothing to worry about when using a modern bark collar.

If you're still unsure that bark collars are right for your dog, be sure to ask the pet experts at by calling 800-957-5753. The animal lovers are more than happy to answer any questions about any of the pet products that we carry in our catalogue.

By Sean Bowes
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