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Old 06-12-2010, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Are bark collars cruel? Help please!

I have a 7mo old female German Shepherd. I got her from a well respected breeder at 7 weeks old. Overall she is a fabulous pup - but she has a horrible barking issue.

She has been thru puppy training class and Obiedence 1. So again, a good puppy.

She will bark at anything and everything and nothing. Especially thunder and jets flying over (military family here). She barks at the neighbors on the other side of the fence. She barks at things we cant see or hear. She will bark inside and outside. She will bark when exhausted (after walks, runs and play) or any other time of the day. She barks alone. She barks when we are with her. There is no rhyme or reason to her barking.

We have tried a can with pennies in it. Shed rather play with it. We have tried "no" "quiet". We have tried putting her in her kennel - she just barks more. We try and exhaust her. Still barks. She just loves the sound of herself I guess. But its becoming an issue with neighbors and my husband who has to sleep many times, during the day. She only barks at night if there is thunder. Otherwise, she sleeps fine thru the night.

We have tried everything now - except a bark collar. Ive done so much reading and read reviews from the various products - that im confused. Everyone has an opinion, of course.

If I dont get this under control SOON - my husband will make us get rid of herand this brings tears to my eyes.

My fear is that it will hurt her or scare her. Will it? Are they truly safe?

Im desparate now. I dont want to lose my Asa. I write this while under stress do to this - just had huge fight with my husband about this. After reading here for about 5 months now - I joined for a desparte cry of help!

Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I'd put a bark collar on a 7mth old, but I that's your choice.

I use a bark collar on my male aussie. I kinda pride myself on being a pretty good trainer, but this dog does not shut up He barks at nothing sometimes, most times it's critters, people walking by, people coming to the house. He barks himself into a 'frenzy' and goes into the 'zone' I call it, and then that pushes him into redirected agression usually towards my other aussie..

Nothing worked, I decided to try a bark collar, and ohhhh it works) I got one at Walmart, (not hugely expensive, didn't want to spend alot of money if it didn't work!)

Anyhow, he loves the darn thing, if I get it out, he comes wiggling right up to put it on..(he's a weird dog!),,it has 3 settings..the first is an alert bing, if he doesn't stop within 15 seconds, he gets a low jolt, if he doesn't stop after that, 15 seconds the jolt is a little stronger, and so on for the 3rd time.

I swear when he has it on, he does NOT bark at all, (my husband tried it, and said it's really not a "jolt" more of a little zing to snap him out of it)...in fact, he's calmer with it on, doesn't go into his "zone of no return"..

I do NOT leave it on him unattended, and I would never suggest anyone do so.
So hey, it works for my aussie anyhow)
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for a quick response.
Im just not sure of it. I dont even know if 7mo is too young or not, so thank you for your opinion.

I really am at a loss and wanted to hear yall's opinions on the collar.

Again thank you.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think this is also a training issue that would work better with the best method for your dog and situation. TIMING is everything so the dog has to be WITH the adults at all times.

Barking itself is very satisfying, fun and rewarding. So the more they bark (are able to get away with barking) the more they LOVE to do it and will continue to do it. Be like letting me eat chocolate, learn to love chocolate, and then leave chocolate easily accessed in the house and expect me to not eat it just cause you say so......... (uh, that chocolate is getting eaten!).

Here's some sites with info that may help train away this problem:

Dog Barking,Puppy Barking,Dog Training,Puppy Training

Train Your Dog to Stop Barking

How to Stop Unwanted Barking | Karen Pryor Clickertraining


Dog Training - Teaching Your Dog to Stop Barking Video ? 5min.com
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You are in good company! If you go to youtube and type in 'dog stop barking' you will get tons of hints!



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Old 06-12-2010, 09:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There are some dogs - like yours, I assume - who just like to bark. They bark when they are excited, annoyed, bored, and lonely. They bark when someone walks by the house, something flies over the house, a squirrel is in the yard. They bark when they want something. They bark when they're just playing by themselves.

If you are there while all the barking happens, then in most cases you can train your dog not to bark. This is a long process that requires a lot of consistency and patience on your part until you get to a reliable "quiet" and your dog understands when it's okay to bark and when it isn't.

Because it's a long road to train a very "bark-ative" dog not to bark, it's sometimes not possible for people to go that route. Folks who have neighbors complaining about their dog's barking, for example. Or if your dog also barks when you are not home to correct her and train her not to bark.

If that's the case, a no bark color is what I would recommend. As a matter of fact, a no bark collar is exactly what I bought for Abby who would bark ONLY in her crate and only when we were away from home. We never heard this dog bark ourselves and it took a long time for her to even offer a bark in play with other dogs. But the neighbors sure heard her when we lived in an apartment in Virginia.

After trying everything to deal with separation anxiety (which we thought at first was causing all the barking), from exercise to leaving the TV on to giving her things to play with while crated, we went to addressing the barking itself because none of the other stuff made any difference at all.

A no-bark collar is not cruel. There are two types of no-bark collars - the ones that start with a neutral "warning" and then go up through various levels of correction, and the ones where you can set the level yourself. There are also tons of different brands.

If you are going to get one, I would recommend going with a quality brand. I have tried the PetSafe brand ones they sell at Petsmart and that thing was a piece of JUNK. It didn't work at all. I ended up emailing the company and they sent me a tester to see if it worked and also a replacement unit. It still didn't work when Abby barked. We now have a TriTronics Bark Limiter XS and have been very happy with it. Dogtra also makes one called the Yapper Stopper that is also great.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the additional responses. I will check out the links/vids provided. Will also further consider the collars recommended.

I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. Will show my husband these responses too.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What about a citronella collar, like this one: Dog Training: Bark Control - AboiStop Citronella Spray Anti-Bark Collar

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Old 06-13-2010, 09:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I tried a citronella collar for my old girl (R.I.P) and it worked but only for a few days then she would bark anyway. I then tried an electronic one lent to me by a dog trainer for the police, and she became very aggressive toward my other dog. I should add that she had behavioral issues to start with. So I put a stop to using it straight away.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have used a bark collar on my older dog She loves to bark. It worked and its a better solution than having an angry neighbour and having to get rid of the dog
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