Bark collars are a particular kind of collar for training that is worn by dogs who are inclined to bark frequently. The purpose of the collar is to increase the barking behavior and, in time, force the dog to avoid the behavior. The use of collars for barking has been a source of controversy in recent times, and many consider their use to be a form of abuse for animals. Bark collars have creat a bit of a stigma about their use. 

The following guide will look into the question: do barking collars hurt dogs? And assist you in deciding whether a collar with bark is the right choice for your pet.

Also Read: How to Treat Shock Collar Wounds?

Types of Bark Collars

A good bark collar will actually improve the relationship between the owner and the dog.

Electronic Bark Collars

Electronic bark collars were first introduced to detect the vibrating of the vocal cords of your dog as it barks. If it detects the vibrations, a mild shock is sent to the neck of the dog. Certain online pet stores refer to these vibrations as similar to the kind of shock we humans give or feel after moving their feet across the carpet and then touching an individual or doorknob.

This type of collar, however, is heavily criticized as cruel and cruel by groups like The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as well as it is illegal to use electronic collars is actually banned in Australia. The effectiveness of electronic collars for barking is also being questioned by vet experts. A study carried out in Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine found that four of the eight dogs who tested an electronic collar experienced no reduction in barking.

Citronella Bark Collars

Citronella bark collars feature an in-built microphone that allows the collar that detects barking. When it detects barking, the collar releases the citronella smell that is derived from plants into the air. A Cornell University study found that the majority of dog owners were able to find citronella collars efficient in stopping or reducing annoying barking.

Many prefer them over electronic shock collars. Citronella bark collars can be utilized by various animal rescue and stray organizations to control excessive barking. However, the style of many citronella collars is a source of concern. The microphone’s sensitivity needs to work continuously. Otherwise, it will detect sounds from other dogs barking and could discipline your dog for an act he didn’t do, which could confuse the dog and can be unproductive in modifying behavior.

Ultrasonic Collars

Ultrasonic collars also include an audio microphone and emit a high-pitched noise that is unnoticeable to humans but unpleasant to dogs. Certain systems use two tones — one that is used to encourage positive behavior as well as one to denote negative behavior but most only have one. The ultrasonic collar is frequently coupled with shock collars that are electronic in order to provide a sound first, then a shock if the behavior persists. Of the three kinds of bark collars, the ultrasonic collar has the least amount of corroboration research.

Why Use a Bark Collar?

Why Use a Bark Collar?

Katherine A. Houpt, V.M.D. is head of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Houpt explains the kind of dogs that owners buy bark collars in the form of “nuisance barkers.” The dogs, she claims, are known to bark continuously, either due to territorial issues or because barking is an acquired behavior that arouses attention.

Houpt states that behavior modification can be a way to manage nuisance barking. However, owners who aren’t present when their dog barks and are unable or unwilling to stop the dog from barking might consider an effective bark collar. A lot of dogs are prone to barking for a particular reason and can be addressed without the need for using a bark collar.

Behavior Challenges for Bark Collar Users

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has not endorsed the use of electric shock collars.

The SPCA finds them to be inhumane and will never allow them to be employed. The dogs wearing collars with barks can experience habituation effects. As they become habitual, the more often a dog wears the citronella collar, the lower it performs as well as, and the more ineffective it’s likely to be. 

Dogs might learn to bypass the collar by barking and then backing away to avoid smelling the citronella or to bark incessantly until the citronella’s supply is depleted. The best method to avoid the habit is to alternate the use of electronic and citronella collars and to utilize the collar only as one part of the arsenal of behavior modification and training but not as the only method for training. Some dog behavior experts recommend using the collar only for short durations but not for the whole day.

Some breeds of dogs have a tendency to bark more than other breeds. Small terriers and toys tend to bark for reasons other than essential, as are sheepdogs, retrievers as well as St. Bernards. Certain breeds, such as scent hounds, have been developed and taught to bark upon being in the presence of their scents. Other breeds, such as dogs, were bred to be active and dig, as well as bark together with their hunters’ owners.

Reasons Your Dog Barks-Do Barking Collars Hurt Dogs?

Your dog barks due to a variety of reasons. It barks in reaction to an event, for example, when a stranger comes near, or it observes an unfamiliar animal that is in its zone of responsibility.

It can also bark when dogs bark, thereby enhancing the dog’s territorial response. This kind of barking is particularly useful for humans who own dogs as a means of protection.

Barking dogs can also be a learned response. If a dog barks and is then rewarded with attention, and you pay attention, he will learn that barking can help him gain the attention he desires or even plays. If a dog is able to bring his toys to you, it barks, and you participate in games with the dog, then he will learn that barking is a great method to start play. If your behavior leads you to berate or shout at your dog, it could be interpreted by the dog like this as a form of reinforcement. Any attention is better than none, even. Barking is a normal behavior of dogs. It is directed towards an animal or a person. These are some of the reasons to use a bark collar. 

As with barking for attention, dogs are prone to barking in response to the anxiety they experience in the absence of their owner. Present. It usually happens following the departure of their owner. This is often referred to as anxiety over separation. The barking can last for hours at a time and is usually only observed when the owner isn’t present.

For many pet owners, one of these causes can be sufficient to justify the need for the use of a collar for dogs. There’s one situation, however, when the use of a collar for barking should not be used to deter barking. Some dogs suffering from pain or suffering from cognitive issues, deafness, or brain illnesses can bark excessively.

To prevent these issues, ensure that you visit your dog’s vet for a complete check-up before implementing a modification program that incorporates the use of a collar for barking.

In the end, the decision of whether to utilize a dog collar is entirely up to you as the dog’s owner. You are accountable for the well-being of your dog and its health, but you have to be aware of your neighbours as well as your family. Explore other methods for behavior modification before you decide to purchase the bark collar. Your vet can suggest specific exercises that will help train your dog to not bark or to remain calm. 

Although you’ll try to reduce excessive barking, you don’t wish for your dog to stop barking completely. Barking is a normal and natural thing for dogs; however, it should be watched closely. Find out the triggers that trigger the dog to start barking and try to remove the majority of these stressful triggers as you can. While the process of training your dog to not bark might seem like a time-consuming task, it’s often able to succeed more than employing a collar for barks. For dogs, as with humans, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to unsavory behavior.

Are anti-Bark Dog Collars cruel?

No, they actually aid in positive reinforcement.

Many call us when the most critical times are in need of relief from the stress that barking dogs have caused. Residents are complaining, Rangers from the shire knocking on the door, and threatening letters in the mailbox. 

However, still, some people think bark collars aren’t safe for dogs.  They are concerned that they will be worried that a Bark Collar will hurt their pet. It’s not about hurting the dog; it’s all about consistency and reliability, correction and direction in a way that helps re-train the dog to follow the correct barking behavior.

How can bark collars help in Positive Reinforcement during training?

This is what happens when there is a dog who continuously barks at the door in order to be allowed in. You are aware that you shouldn’t go take the dog out to tell them to stay away since that gives dogs the attention they want. (The incentive for making noise at the front door is attention).

The parents… This is the nightmare of ‘taming’ your toddler. Right?

Your canine is learning to bark attracts notice. as well it can be reflected elsewhere in the dog’s daily routine. Particularly when you’re not at home.

Alternative to a Bark Collar – why are you considering it?

If you’re reading this article, it is likely that you are dealing with your dog’s barking… or, just like many others, you’ve decided it’s time to seek professional assistance.

The main reason why people call us is that they’re facing an issue with their dog’s barking and have concluded that the use of the Anti-Bark Collar is ‘less cruel as compared to the other options. When they find a collar that fits their dog, things change in a positive way. Barking is normal behavior. 

Our clients have received extremely serious threats in the form of letters, which threaten not just the dog but also themselves personally. For a neighbour who is angry, the sound of barking dogs can be like torture in the form of water.

Most likely, clients have attempted a number of different options prior to contacting the Dog Line, and nothing has been successful. Many have used other collars for dogs that were not suitable for their dog but didn’t work.

Safety Information to consider when purchasing Bark Collars for your dog

Check that your bark collar doesn’t go off in error.

As mentioned above, the dog must be given constant communication. Also, ensure that your collar is protected against accidental activation. Sound-activated devices are able to activate if they are hit by something or detect noises that are not intended to be heard.

Vibration-activated collars for dogs can detect the vibration through the housing in the event that the dog is able to knock the collar onto the ground.

  1. Make sure the collar is activated consistently.
  2. It’s a delicate balance between the first aspect and this.
  3. We just need the collar to sound in the event that the dog starts barking.
  4. If it’s not consistent, the dog will not be able to receive the correct message.
  5. Be sure that it doesn’t require a rework to be too tight.
  6. Sores from rubbing and irritations were an issue in the field in the past, but not until recently.
  7. Making sure the collar of the bark is sufficiently sensitive and that it doesn’t need to be made to be too tight is likely to make a difference.
  8. The public is now more aware that the collar that barks do not cause burns to the skin of a dog. These instances are due to the poor hygiene of dogs; in most cases, it is typically not due to the collar.

Also Read: Best Shock Collars for Hunting Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can bark collars kill dogs?
The safety of the bark collars has been established, and they won’t hurt your dog. They are built with cutting-edge safety features like Dual Detection, which allows the collar to identify your dog’s barking sound and vocal cord vibration before the stimulation is turned on.

How do bark collars work?
When your dog barks, electronic bark collars pick up the vocal cord vibration. A little shock is given to the dog’s neck when it notices these vibrations.

What triggers the bark of a dog?
Dogs may bark to communicate with other dogs, to show emotion, to mark their territory, or to get their owner’s attention. Any sound, no matter how insignificant, can cause a dog to bark, such as rustling leaves, a window breaking, lightning or thunder, or the ringing of the doorbell.


Do barking collars hurt dogs? Well, after reading this article, we can say that barking collars don’t hurt dogs if you use them in the right way. However, there are other alternatives to bark collars that you can use for several behavioral changes.

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