"Do bark collars actually work?" This is the number one question on the minds of dog owners who are interested in buying one, but don't know exactly how these devices help discipline dogs. There are two schools of thought that we can examine to answer this question.
The first school of thought espouses positive discipline, which means you will be handing out rewards and not punishments most of the time. Newer and younger dog trainers prefer the positive reinforcement route, because they believe it is more humane and therefore, more desirable to society in general.
The advantage of this technique is that it fosters a deeper bond between trainer/owner and animal because, let's face it: dogs love to be rewarded! On the other hand, positive reinforcement may not be that effective if the dog owner does not have prior knowledge of how to use positive reinforcement to his advantage.
So, before one can use this method of training or disciplining any animal, one must first study effective methods of positive reinforcement. Otherwise, you will be groping in the dark, and your results will come purely from trial and error. Merely handing out tasty treats at random will not train your dog. There are a lot of factors that go into training when this school of thought is followed.
Now, the second school of thought espouses the much more classical belief that misbehavior in animal can be corrected if punishment is given, the same way that humans are punished in modern society for crimes that are committed so that, theoretically, they will not do those crimes again. The second school of thought also re-emphasizes a facet of dog training that seems to have been forgotten by proponents of positive reinforcement: you are the dog trainer, the parent:parents are friends with their children.
Using bark collars falls into the second school of thought, because bark collars deliver swift punishment when a particular behavior is observed in the dog: mainly, excessive barking. Do bark collars work? Yes, they do. Bark collars are capable of cutting barking sprees short, which is extremely useful in situations where other people are already threatening you with legal action.
Bark collars can help quell barking behavior but, unless the dog sees you as a dominant figure in its life, it will continue to require the bark collar. Which means it will not follow your commands if there is no aversive device used. So that means you are still not in full control of your pet dog.
The best way to use bark collars is to use them for the short-term while you are training the dog not to bark. Once the lesson has been learned, the bark collar can be removed. Because if you use it daily, it will lose its power eventually. Short-term use is best for aversive collars. This applies to every type of aversive collar, including electric shock collars, and metal prong collars. Also, time your use carefully to achieve maximum effect on the animal. Poorly-timed punishment is never effective. Punishment must be given immediately after the animal shows the undesirable behavior. Do not punish while the dog is performing the misbehavior.
If you have been asking, Do bark collars work? you've come to the right place