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MAArcher

Are bark collars cruel?

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Wildcat
1 hour ago, MAArcher said:

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?

 Hey MA, this could be very true, I called Garmin and was told the collar is triggered by the dogs vocal chords, it picks up the sound and vibration through them and shocks them but I did not ask if a loud barking dog next to them would set it off. I bought this last year and apparently need to read up on this barklimiter feature and how to set it. :) My wife and daughter won't put the collar on her when I am gone so that pretty much defeats it's purpose. When I am home all I have to do is yell at her and she stops. I use the collar in vibrate mode along w my whistle when I hunt and hike with her to get her attention and have not had to shock her in some time.

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Mundo

some collars go off if the dog in the same kennel as they are barks. Get a quality bark collar and use it till the dog learns to keep quiet.  Having a an unsocialized, ill mannered dog is what is cruel.  Don't bother with squirt collars and collars that shoot scent.  They rarely work. 

Baking is not necessarily a result of lack of work, exercise or neglect.

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Gyrfolco

Only when the dog barks.

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Cass

I don't do barking.   If I had a dog that barked all the time I wouldn't hesitate to put a bark collar on it.   I believe some dogs just bark and while excitement or energy may not help the matter, it's certainly not the cause.  I have 2 male dogs.  1 is a chihuahua (known for barking) and the other is a high strung neurotic FBECS.  Neither one of my dogs bark - I could count on 1 hand the times I've heard a peep from the 2 of them.  They just have a quiet nature.  2 summers ago we lost our mini dachshund to spinal issues.  That dog never stopped barking it seemed.  And she was by far the calmest of the dogs lol.  Just had a tendency to be loud. If you're already seeing issues with your pup I'd nip it in the bud.  

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Speedgoat44
8 hours ago, C.J.L. said:

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!

  

I had a dog that was a nuisance barker for 15 yrs.  It was the only thing wrong with that dog, but it was a biggie.  As for the collar:  It became collar-wise with the bark collar and never tested when the collar was on, so I guess it worked in a way, but when the collar was off, it was no-holds-barred barking and it really stunk.  Needless to say, it wore the collar often.  My current dog (same breed) has barked 9 or 10 times in her whole life, not exaggerating.  We kind of forget that she knows how.  Anyway, we came close to giving up our old dog at age 4 because we were at our wit's end. Glad we didn't because it was a good dog in every other way, but  no alpha muzzle grab was going to do the trick - this dog was hard-headed and barked at everything.  Maybe atypical, but this much I know:  It. wore. us. down.   Two dogs, same breed, same owners (so the whole 'the dog feeds off of the owners energy' song and dance  was null and void) different temperaments.  Hopefully yours is a puppy thing or something that the dog will avoid/learn from with the bark collar.  I don't think the collars are cruel because the dog learns quickly, but hopefully yours can generalize better than mine when the collar is off.

 

Minor hijack: Is this another plus for buying a started dog?  My hunting partner looked at 3 english setters...all were 1.5 yrs old.  All were equally good on birds.  2 were nutjob barkers in their kennel.  One just stood and wagged his tail.  And they lived happily ever after.  

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Brad Eden

I have never had this problem, but have been subjected to barking neighbor dogs in the past. The aggravation of having to listen to a dog barking incessantly can drive a person insane. I'd buy bark collars for neighbors if I wasn't so cheap.

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bill
10 hours ago, MAArcher said:

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? 

They can be had one go hay wire keep shocking the dog not good I only have one that likes to wake up early in Am if want sleep in a little just put regular collar on him at night he stays quiet until i go down in basement let them out outside to run around do their biz

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bill
27 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

I have never had this problem, but have been subjected to barking neighbor dogs in the past. The aggravation of having to listen to a dog barking incessantly can drive a person insane. I'd buy bark collars for neighbors if I wasn't so cheap.

 

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bill
Just now, bill said:

 

Dogs can be trained easier than their Human counter parts, some folks shouldn't,t be allowed to even have a dog or kids either for that matter ( MY OPINION)

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quailbil
31 minutes ago, bill said:

They can be had one go hay wire keep shocking the dog not good I only have one that likes to wake up early in Am if want sleep in a little just put regular collar on him at night he stays quiet until i go down in basement let them out outside to run around do their biz

Had one go bad also. Stopped using them after that.

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Korthaar
10 hours ago, shinbone said:

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

I use the kind quoted above on my dogs while they are young, as I work during the day and they are kenneled outside. I assure you, your dog knows when the collar is on just like an ecollar. They also learn how to push it without triggering the stimulation.  My pup knows he can "cluck" bark and do a certain whine without triggering the warning beep.  My older dogs only bark if someone or something cuts through my side yard. I've never tolerated barking without cause (stranger or strange animal in the vicinity only) Your dog will still bark and should.

 

 Starting this training early sets the habit of not barking for the sake of barking.  Dogs love routine and stick to habits that provide reward or avoid negative reinforcement. I find after about a year, I don't  need them. They will bark briefly as mentioned above and stop. This has even worked for my beagles, notorious barkers.

 

I have some sportdog collars that start with a beep and if barking continues, stimulation begins at an increasing level. After a short period of time of silence, it resets. They are much better than the old ones that ran hot all the time and couldn't discriminate between the vibrations of the dog's vocal cords and a dog scratching its collar.

 

Remember not to leave them on if your dog has access to other dogs. You don't want to inadvertantly punish dogs at play.  I never use bark/ecollars before 5-6 mos of age, and I always use something that beeps first. I seldom have to use more than a beep on my ecollar for my dogs.

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quailguy
19 hours ago, Korthaar said:

Starting this training early sets the habit of not barking for the sake of barking.  Dogs love routine and stick to habits that provide reward or avoid negative reinforcement. I find after about a year, I don't  need them. They will bark briefly as mentioned above and stop. This has even worked for my beagles, notorious barkers.

 

  Not for my idiot GSP. No bark collar, bark, bark, bark just for the hell of it bark more. It took years before he began to shut up; I went through 4 or 5 bark collars before I got "The bark collar from hell" from LCS. That shuts the stupid SoB up. Now he whines constantly, but at a level that doesn't set off the collar, at least I can't hear it because he is outside. And there he will stay.

  I guarantee a bark collar is a lot more humane than what I would do after years of having to listen to that idiot's pointless barking. In fact I would have already gotten rid of the dog were it not for that LCS bark collar. 

  This thread reminds me of Web Parton's book about dog training and bird hunting in AZ; he had a large kennel because he was a quail guide. There were always barkers that he couldn't shut up (this was before the widespread use of bark collars) so he rigged up a system in his kennel that had a water sprinkler set off by a sound sensor. That worked fine until he discovered some dog was barking anyway. Turned out to be his lab who learned to bark when he was too hot!

 

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ryanr
On 7/26/2018 at 8:20 AM, MAArcher said:

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? 

Most drahthaars learn to settle down pretty good as they age and gain experience, your pup's not even 5-6 months old right? Relax. And no bark collars aren't cruel if used properly. Just as telling a dog that knows better to pipe down and if it doesn't then give the command again with a little stim. They usually settle down in short order. I don't tolerate lots of carrying on, particularly at training days but my dogs have all learned to settle down in their crates and wait their turn. Every dog will whine or bark a bit at times but some guys have dogs that carry on and on. They're usually the guys that have excuses for it or hesitate on a mark collar or even a stern NO with a little stim if the dog doesn't respond. Like I said relax, I'm guessing your pup will learn to settle in soon enough.

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Jim Vander

I hate a barking dog. I have used several brands of bark collars over the years the od sport dogs worked great and the new tritronics is excellent. Ive never found them to be cruel or go off falsely. They are not as cruel as the alternative. 

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tut

Forgot the brand, but I bought a pretty high end bark collar a few years ago.   It was supposed to go up in Stimulation the more the dog barked.  Well, it misfired.  Went from about 1 to 10 in 3 barks.  I heard this blood curdling yelp in the back yard followed by another blood curdling yelp and looked out to see Sophie laying on her side quivering on the ground.  She had been shocked so hard twice in a row that it had literally knocked her out.  I frankly thought she was dead.   Took the collar off her and never put it on her again.   What I will do now is put her regular Tritronics training collar on her if she starts barking and tell her to hush.  If she continued to bark I hit the buzz button.  She never barks after that because she knows the next thing following the buzz button isn't pleasant. 

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