Bark Collar FAQs

1. What Types of Bark Collars Can I Use on my Dog?

The 2 most successful types of bark collars available on the market today are static electric bark collars and citronella spray bark collars.

Static electric bark collars deliver a momentary, localised static stimulation when your dog barks.

Citronella spray bark collars emit a burst of citronella mist towards the snout of your dog when they bark.



2. How Do Bark Collars Work?

Bark collars deliver a stimulation when your dog's barking is detected. There are three different activation types:

Sound Activated Bark Collars

Sound activated collar deliver a stimulation when the sound of your dog's barking is detected. We recommend sound activated bark collars for howling dogs and single-dog environments. If you have multiple dogs on your property, we recommend a vibration activated bark collar or a vibration & sound activated bark collar (explained below).

Vibration Activated Bark Collars

Vibration activated bark collars deliver a stimulation when the vigorous vibration of your dog's vocal chords is detected. We recommend vibration activated bark collars for barking dogs and multiple-dog environments. If you have a howling dog on a multiple-dog property, there's one bark collar model we recommend - The E-Collar Technologies BP-504.

Vibration & Sound Activated Bark Collars

Vibration & sound activated bark collars deliver a stimulation when the vigorous vibration of your dog's vocal chords and the sound of your dog's barking is detected simultaneously. We recommend vibration & sound activated for barking dogs and multiple-dog environments.



3. What Type of Bark Collar will Stop My Dog Barking?

Statistically, static electric bark collars are the most successful bark collar with a 98% - 99% success rate. The second most successful bark collars are citronella spray collars with a 75% rate.

The best collar model for your dog is determined by their breed, age, weight, temperament, type of barking/howling and the surrounding environment.

Generally speaking, if you have a pet breed dog or working breed dog with a mild to stubborn temperament, we recommend using a static electric bark collar.

If you have a pet breed dog with a timid temperament, we recommend starting with a citronella spray collar and monitoring the effectiveness of the collar. If the citronella spray stimulation deters your dog's nuisance barking, great! If your dog still barks through the citronella spray, we recommend upgrading to a manual set static electric bark collar. This way, you can set the collar to a level that matches your drive.


If you need help choosing a bark collar for your dog, feel free to contact us on 0800 144 869 or email [email protected]



4. My Dog is Howling. Can I use an Anti-Bark Collar?

Yes! But there's one thing you need to consider. Most bark collars detect the vibration of your dog's vocal chords as they bark and this is what makes the collar deliver a correction. If your dog is howling, the vibration of your dog's vocal chords isn't as vigorous compared to barking activity. Because of this, most bark collars won't work for howling/whinging/whining dogs however, you do have two collar options: A sound activated bark collar or a bark collar with adjustable vibration detection levels.

Sound Activated Bark Collar - Dogtra YS300 Bark Collar

Vibration Activated Bark Collar with Adjustable Vibration Detection Levels - E-Collar Technologies BP-504 Barkless Pro

We only recommend sound activated bark collars for single-dog environments or if other dogs aren't excessive barkers. If you have a multiple-dog environment, we only recommend a collar with adjustable vibration detection levels.



5. Is There Anything I Need to Know Before Using a Bark Collar on My Dog?

Your Dog's Age

Bark collars should be introduced to healthy dogs above 6 months old. This is for your dog’s welfare. Waiting until your dog is 6 months old ensures that your dog has the mental capacity to associate the correction as a consequence of their barking. If your dog is under 6 months and is excessively barking, feel free to give us a call on 0800 144 869 and we can discuss your options.

Fitting the Bark Collar Correctly

Fitting the bark collar properly is paramount to the success of the bark collar. The collar must be fitted high up on your dog's neck (just under their jaw) and adjusted tight enough so that you can't module the module from side to side. Once in place, wiggle the collar module up and down to ensure the contact probes are touching the skin. We have an article that addresses this in detail: “Bark Collars – How to Fit One Properly”

Maximum Wear Time

Bark collars must only be fitted for a maximum of 8-10 hours per day.




6. Is the Size of My Dog the Only Consideration When Selecting a Bark Collar?

Some manufacturers and retailers seem to think so. However, here at K9 Control, we know from experience that you can’t choose the right barking collar for your dog based on their size alone.

Your dog's size is a good starting point however, the other things you need to consider are your dog's breed, age, temperament, type of nuisance behaviour (barking/howling), and the surrounding environment (multiple dogs on the property etc). If you would like some assistance with this, please contact us on 0800 144 869 and we will gladly assist you in finding the right collar for your dog.



7. Can Electric Bark Collars Harm My Dog?

Absolutely not. Static electric bark collars (from reputable manufacturers) deliver a momentary static stimulation at an output level less than 2% of what is required to create any type of thermal burn. These collars work like a tens machine stimulating your pet's muscles. This muscle stimulation sensation your dog feels is similar to the sensation you get when you rub your feet along carpet and touch a metal door handle. While the feeling is unpleasant, it's physically impossible for the collar to create any physical harm.

We do need to emphasise that when you introduce the collar to your dog, if you have a manual set collar, you need to start the collar on the lowest level (level 1) and work your way up to a level that matches your dog's drive. The reaction you should see from your dog is an ear flick or head twitch.



8. Are Static Electric Bark Collars Cruel?

No, they are definitely not. When used correctly, bark collars are completely safe and effective for all dogs.

In their early days, electric dog collars were considered barbaric and harsh, however, thanks to the development of design and technology, bark control collars are now safer than ever. Why? As mentioned in the question above, static electric bark collars deliver a momentary static stimulation at an output level of less than 2% of what is required to create any type of thermal burn. If you're hesitant on using a static electric bark collar but you know it's your last resort, we recommend using a static electric bark collar that has adjustable correction levels. This way, you're in control. You can choose which level you want to use for your dog. All you need to do is start from the lowest level, monitor your dog's barking behaviour, and increase the stimulation level as needed.

Modern-day bark collars feature reliable activation, safety cut-offs, waterproof design and training guides. When purchasing from reliable manufacturers, you can be confident that the bark collar is safe.

DO NOT purchase from unauthorised companies selling cheap bark collars (priced anywhere around $5 to $80). These collars have been made with cheap materials and electronics and have NOT been tested safe for dogs. We hear the horror stories daily with these products and we urge you to steer clear from them. If you have any questions regarding this, we're more than happy to explain further. Feel free to email us or give us a call on 0800 144 869.



9. What Brands Should I Look For?

SportDOG, Dogtra, DogWatch, E-Collar Technologies, and PetSafe collars are best (and safest) bark collars on the market. These brands manufacture high-quality bark collars that have been designed, built and tested for effectiveness, reliability, ease of use and your dog's safety. Here at K9 Control, we are very selective in the brands we stock and we only supply bark collars that are covered under warranty.

It's important to be careful when shopping for a bark collar for your dog. There are many online brands that sell cheap, unreliable bark collars that may be harmful to your dog. These companies don't offer warranties on their products, have no support team available and their products have not been tested to industry-standard specifications. We do not stock these cheap products. If you come across an unfamiliar brand and you're not sure whether they're a trusted company, contact us and we'll let you know. Rest assured anything you purchase from K9 Control is safe for your dog and covered under warranty.



10. Can my dog wear the bark collar out in the rain or swimming?

Yes! Static electric bark collars only deliver a static electric stimulation, not a voltage electric shock. Static electric collars are completely safe for use in the rain or while swimming (providing the collar is waterproof).



11. How do I Fit the Static Electric Collar on my Dog?

Static electric bark collars need to be fitted tighter than regular neck collars. The bark collar needs to be fitted high up on your dog's neck (just underneath the jaw) and adjusted tight enough so that you can't move it side to side. Once it's in place, give the module a quick shake up and down to shuffle the probes through your dog's fur.

The contact probes must be in constant contact with your dog's skin. If the collar is too loose, the collar simply won't work. This is because if the collar probes aren't touching your dog's skin, your dog won't receive the static stimulation and they'll continue to bark.

If you find that the collar was too loose, simply reset the collar to the lowest level (level 1), fit the collar high up on your dog's neck, adjusted tight enough so that it can't move side to side and wiggle the collar module so that the probes are touching the skin.



12. How do I Fit the Citronella Spray Collar on my Dog?

Citronella spray bark collars need to be fitted tighter than regular neck collars. The bark collar needs to be fitted high up on your dog's neck (just underneath the jaw) and adjusted tight enough so that you can't move it side to side. Once it's in place give the module a quick shake up and down to shuffle the module up against your dog's skin. Make sure the spray nozzle is facing upwards towards your dog's snout.



13. Does my Dog Need to Wear the Bark Collar all the Time?

No. Bark collars must only be worn on your dog for a maximum of 8-10 hours per day. If your dog barks during the day, you'll simply need to put the collar on before you leave for work and take it off when you get home. If your dog barks during the night, you'll need to put the collar on your dog before bed and take it off in the morning. Your dog's skin must have time to breathe. If the collar is left on for extended periods of time, your dog may develop pressure Necrosis (pressure sores) where the probes are touching the skin.



14. Can My Dog Bark in an Emergency?

Yes. Static electric bark collars are designed to deter dogs from nuisance barking. In situations where your dog is in defence/attack/guard dog mode, your dog enters a heightened state similar to an adrenaline rush that allows your dog to bark through the bark collar stimulations. The static stimulations are not strong enough to stop a dog from barking when they have an adrenaline rush. Modern bark collar models now also feature a safety cut off when an excessive number of barks are detected within a short period of time.



15. Can I use a Bark Collar if I Have Multiple Dogs?

Definitely! The only thing you need to look for is that the bark collar you choose is either vibration activated or sound & vibration activated. This ensures that only the dog wearing the collar will receive a static correction when they bark. The reason why we don't recommend sound activated collars in multiple dog environments is because the collar may deliver an unintentional correction to the dog wearing the collar if another dog's bark is detected.

Introducing Multiple Dogs to Bark Control Collars

When introducing multiple dogs to bark control collars, we recommend that the dogs are separated for the first few stimulations. This ensures that the dogs will associate the correction with their own barking and not other dogs.