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MAArcher

Are bark collars cruel?

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MAArcher

My new GWP puppy is much more vocal than my GSP ever was.  I’m anticipating maybe having to use a bark collar in the future to maintain relations with the neighbors and to keep my sanity if he doesn’t grow out of it or I cant find another way to limit it.  Having no experience with bark collars they do appear cruel to me.  Like slapping a child and telling him to shut up every time they try and make themselves heard.  And I wonder if it has other effects on a dogs mental health that might carry over to training or performance in the field. Is it just training good manners, or is it tourcher? 

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aje4

I use bark collars and don’t have any issues.....I live on a decent amount of property and my neighbors are not nearby but barking echos and carries....I hear nearby farmers dogs all the time.

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MAArcher

I'm also curious what folks think about barking.  Is it just a symptom of a lack of exercise or excitement or are some dogs just more "chatty" than others?  What do you to train for less barking?  Also, can bark collars, specifically the Garmin Delta Upland XC, be set to respond to a certain loudness of barking, letting the dog bark softly but not loudly?  Right now my puppy only seems to have one bark, ear splitting, but my GSP would come to the back door and bark once to be let back in.  If you didn't respond, she'd bark again more loudly and then give you some of that fine "German Wine".  In a perfect world I'd find away to let my puppy communicate by talking to me rather than shouting.

 

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SelbyLowndes

It seems to me that a bark collar is much less cruel than a one way trip to the dog pound. I once had a solid white English Setter named Dan who was a barker.  My oldest son's first words were "Hush Dan", I guess because he'd heard me shout it out the back window at the dog so many times...SelbyLowndes

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braque du upstate

Sure , to certain degree they are harsh. I wouldn't say cruel. When I used mine, there was no malicious intent. 48 hrs and my pup stopped the all night bark fest that was unacceptable.  I lived in a duplex,  and could not have a nuisance Barker. A mother canine will often  deal with undersireable behavior with swift, decisive action. The totality of the situation was abundantly clear in my situation. I also believe in using ecollar for snake conditioning.  I don't believe you need to fry daddy a dog for barking. You do need to create a strong negative stimulus.  I'd rather see a dog be collar conditioned first. Force fetching and ecollar work has a degree of stress involved. Watch the dog , adjust as necessary.  Great tool if used with responsibility 

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C.J.L.
33 minutes ago, MAArcher said:

I'm also curious what folks think about barking.  Is it just a symptom of a lack of exercise or excitement or are some dogs just more "chatty" than others?  What do you to train for less barking?  Also, can bark collars, specifically the Garmin Delta Upland XC, be set to respond to a certain loudness of barking, letting the dog bark softly but not loudly?  Right now my puppy only seems to have one bark, ear splitting, but my GSP would come to the back door and bark once to be let back in.  If you didn't respond, she'd bark again more loudly and then give you some of that fine "German Wine".  In a perfect world I'd find away to let my puppy communicate by talking to me rather than shouting.

 

Dogs will bark until you tell them not to.......and you mean what you say.  Just like that guy that everyone knows who can't shut his mouth cause his parents didn't tell him to shut up as a kid.  

 

As for training, the good old alpha dog muzzle grab when he barks with a little shake and a very firm NO!

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CodyM

I have to use bark collars where I live, lots of neighbors plus I despise barking just to bark. I use garmin bark collars. It has a vibrate feature. One the collar has been ran on stim for a day or two the dogs usually figure it out. From there I can run it on vibrate only or sometimes not even turn it on and that enough to control the barking.

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shinbone

I have had great success with bark collars stopping nuisance barking.  A properly used bark collar can stop or substantially reduce nuisance barking in just a few days.  No need for super high stimulation levels for most dogs, either - once the dog knows barking is alwaysalwaysalways going to cause some discomfort, it soon stops.  And, the beauty of the bark collar is that, when set, it always corrects and that correction is perfectly timed.  In other words, human error in the training process is eliminated, causing a faster training process which is more humane.   I know of more than one dog where a bark collar saved it from a trip to the pound.

 

Modern bark collars can be set to issue an audible warning or low-level stim before the main correction is applied.  If the dog decides to continue barking after the warning, then he has made his own choice and I don't see that as cruel.

 

Even without a warning feature, once the dog has barked with the bark collar on a few times, it knows what is going to happen, and, again, its the dog's choice and I don't see that as cruel.  Just start off with low-level stim, and slowly ramp it up over the course of a few days.

 

And, the sooner the bark collar is employed the better to avoid nuisance barking become engrained behavior.  The only problem with a bark collar is that inconsistent use can lead to a collar-wise dog.

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Steve Hunts

Stay away from the cheap ones.

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RMH

Have you tried using a water pistol or spray bottle with water? When pup barks and doesn't stop, give hush command and squirt pup in the face a couple times. This I've found to be affective. 

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MNice
20 minutes ago, RMH said:

Have you tried using a water pistol or spray bottle with water? When pup barks and doesn't stop, give hush command and squirt pup in the face a couple times. This I've found to be affective. 

....or a quick blast from a garden hose in an outdoor kennel. A breeder friend uses this method at their kennel especially with new training arrivals. It's a very quiet kennel.

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Wildcat

I agree with many here, my black lab is a barker, my former dogs never barked so she didn't learn it from them. I bought a Garmin Upland Delta with the bark feature, BUT it only kicks in after so many barks and my lil princess figured this out right away. She would bark at least 4x, (the 5th was the shock) and then stop LOL It then resets itself and the whole thing starts over again. In hindsight I should have bought a single purpose bark collar without the built in cutoff feature. Garmin told me they added the 5 bark cutoff to the Delta for safety reasons??

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MAArcher
5 minutes ago, Wildcat said:

I agree with many here, my black lab is a barker, my former dogs never barked so she didn't learn it from them. I bought a Garmin Upland Delta with the bark feature, BUT it only kicks in after so many barks and my lil princess figured this out right away. She would bark at least 4x, (the 5th was the shock) and then stop LOL It then resets itself and the whole thing starts over again. In hindsight I should have bought a single purpose bark collar without the built in cutoff feature. Garmin told me they added the 5 bark cutoff to the Delta for safety reasons??

I think you have an older one.  I read the older ones have "auto rise" only.  I think your dog is actually getting zapped on barks 1-4 but the level just isn't high enough to stop the barking.  The new ones can be set with auto rise (level increases with each bark until it stops), or vibration only or set for 18 levels of direct stimulation.  The shortcoming of the new collar as far as barklimiter is that there's no setting to warn with a vibration then zap.  What I can't figure out is if you can adjust the the correction to take place only if a bark is over a certain loudness.  And what happens when another dog barks next to mine?  Can the collars tell the difference between a bark and other loud noises?  Is my dog going to get zapped every time a Harley with loud pipes rips past my house?

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oak stob
26 minutes ago, MAArcher said:

... Is my dog going to get zapped every time a Harley with loud pipes rips past my house?

 

No

 

Bark collars or limiters make for good citizens.....in a motel parking lot at 2AM, for example.

 

Bark limiters are not cruel....but many devices of many kinds can be used cruelly.

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Flush
1 hour ago, MAArcher said:

 Can the collars tell the difference between a bark and other loud noises?  Is my dog going to get zapped every time a Harley with loud pipes rips past my house?

 

 

The vast majority of bark collars work off vibration, not sound, so other loud noises won't set them off.

 

The Garmin bark limiter deluxe even advertises it's accelerometer is able to tell the difference between barking and other vocalizations coming from the dog (and only gives a correction on barking) 

 

Do you really think the thousands upon thousands of other people using bark collars are letting their dogs get shocked frequently from nearby sounds or activities other than their dog barking?

 

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