Dogs remain some of the best furry companions around. They are friendly, loyal, and adorable, among several other things, but they’re not without their quirks. And as much as we would love to ignore these “quirks” and focus on their other endearing qualities, there are hard to overlook traits, even though they are harmless.
Barking is one behavior that all dog owners have to deal with. True, some dogs bark more than others, and even the smaller breeds can bark as loud as some of their larger counterparts. The barking can become a problem after a while, not just to you, but also to neighbors nearby, especially if your dog barks loud and regularly.
What then can you do about excessive barking? How do you discourage your dog from barking too often? Is this even possible?
Yes, you can control your dog’s bad barking habits with obedience training and bark collars. In your absence, you can count on the latter to keep your dog calm.
So, what are bark collars, and are these accessories as effective as claimed? In this article, we’ll also be reviewing the best bark collars for small dogs to help you make an informed purchase.
What Are Bark Collars?
Also known as anti-bark collars, these types of collars rely on vibrations and noise-detecting microphone to trigger a stimulus. The stimulus can be an electric shock, citronella, or any other irritating noise or smell.
Are Dog Collars Safe? Should You Use a Dog Collar?
Should you use a dog collar on your dog? Are they safe? While bark collars are relatively recent inventions, they have also been successful. But are they really necessary?
Many dog experts recommend that you try giving your canine anti-bark training before investing in a bark collar. With most dogs, training will do. However, because some dogs tend to be excessive barkers despite the training, a barking device may still be needed.
Our canines will bark excessively for several reasons. They will bark when they sense a threat to you or their life. Although many like this behavior in their canines, it can still be excessive and disruptive. E.g., when they scare children, friends, or bother neighbors. In these cases, an anti-bark collar may be recommended,
Are Anti-Bark Collars Safe?
Safety depends mostly on the type. Bark collars come in two varieties; shock and citronella, with each type having its advantage and disadvantage.
Considered the safest bark collar, it works by dispersing citronella mist towards the dog’s nose to keep it from barking. Because the scent and hissing sound released are unpleasant to canines, they learn from repetition not to bark excessively.
Most dog experts recommend this anti-bark collar as it is seen as a safer and more humane way to stop your dog’s excessive barking. Plus, it’s been proven to be more effective than shock collar at stopping barking.
Believed by many dog experts to be needlessly aggressive, the shock collar works just like the citronella collar. But this time, instead of the unpleasant-smelling and sounding spray, your dog’s bark triggers a shock.
As it happens every time your dog barks excessively, he will come to learn that his bark triggers the shock and would eventually stop the behavior. All shock collars are not the same. Some models emit a standard shock when triggered while the others increase their shock intensity, the more the dog barks. Again, this collar type is not often recommended by dog experts for obvious reasons aside from the fact that you may get better results with a citronella collar.
Should You Use a Bark Collar?
You’ll have to decide this for yourself. How frequent are your dog’s barks? Are his barks disruptive and often “pointless”? If the answer is yes to these questions, a bark collar may not be a bad idea. All collars on average are safer, less harsh, and more humane than debarking procedures. The latter is because of its invasive and extreme nature is not often recommended by vets or other expert dog handlers.
Are Bark Collars Effective?
Yes, bark collars have been shown to be effective in many studies; however, its effectiveness will be determined to a large extent by your dog’s temperament. Also, as mentioned earlier, your dog can bark for tons of underlying reasons. Therefore, this means that depending on their need to bark, a collar may not work as much on your dog as it would for another dog.
Even with a shock collar, some dogs may still go on barking, especially when anxious. These types of dogs do not respond well to punishments, and as such, a bark collar may only worsen the situation. If your dog is barking due to separation anxiety or fear, the collars may not be of much help. That said, and noting all of the factors mentioned above, it is best to use a collar alongside anti-bark training for maximum effectiveness.
The Top Bark Collars for Small Dog Breeds
-Three programmable correction modes
-Lasts up to 200 hours per charge
-Nice lemon scent
-Includes extra bottle of spray
-6 levels of progressive static progression
-Automatic safety shut-off
-Easy to use
-Works in days
-Remote and collar recharge
-Comes with one unscented & one citronella refill
Please continue reading for more in-depth reviews
1. SportDOG NoBark SBC-R Waterproof Rechargeable Dog Bark Collar
This rechargeable bark control dog collar works a little differently from most. It detects your dog’s unique barking style. That is not all; it also filters out every other noise to deliver a specific correction.
With this technology, your dog only receives correction when needed and consistently. This means that your dog does not get unnecessarily corrected when he is not barking.
The collar is designed with three programmable correction modes and ten static stimulation levels for a safe, proper, and effective correction. This collar also features a safety shutoff for excessive barking within a time frame.
- The Silent Partner Technology that detects and learns your pooch’s bark for effective and necessary corrections
- Three correction modes and ten levels of static stimulation to safely and effectively eliminate unwanted barking
- Rechargeable battery lasting up to 200 hours per charge
- Waterproof, high-quality sleek design
Want some quiet without the harshness associated with many other bark collar types? The Eyenimal Deluxe Lemon Scented Spray No Bark Dog Collar might be worth considering. The all-natural bark collar works by responding to your small pooch’s bark vibration and releasing the lemon-scented spray. While the scent from this collar is harmless, dogs do not find it pleasant.
Like other scented sprays, this collar conditions your pooch to gradually and eventually break the habit.
- Lightweight and waterproof
- Long enough and adjustable to fit dogs of almost every size
- Designed to control and prevent excessive barking gently
- A natural and harmless lemon scent that is safe for pups and the environment
- The collar comes with an extra bottle of spray for refillable use
Another easy to use anti-bark collar, the PetSafe static basic bark control collar is designed to provide progressive corrections. The correction collar automatically increases/progresses to a higher level until your little dog stops barking. With time, your dog will learn to associate the increased corrective level with his continued barking and will prevent the behavior altogether.
- Suitable for small and large dogs 8 pounds and over
- Up to 6 levels of progressive static correction
- Thanks to its automatic safety shutoff, correction ends after 50 seconds.
- Waterproof and lightweight
- Works by sensing your pooch’s moving vocal cords.
Designed for dogs with uncontrollable and disruptive barks, the Petsafe Elite Little Dog Spray Bark Control is one anti-bark collar I highly recommend. Unlike most anti-bark collars, this collar is high-tech and is set off by both vibration and sound. Each time your dog barks, it senses it and sets off a citronella-scented spray.
This high-tech collar is adjustable to fit up to 20 inches, and it comes with a one citronella spray can. Using it is easy and requires no manual or very technical settings. It is convenient, safe, and will gently compel your dog to stop barking in no time.
- High-tech patented Perfect Bark Control that senses vibration and sound and only goes off during barks.
- A citronella spray can that goes with the collar and an accompanying battery for use as soon as you receive the order.
- Safe citronella-scented spray formulated to effectively control your pooch’s barking
- Comfortable adjustable collar made from nylon and long enough to fit up to 1 inches neck sizes
- Easy to use collar that safely compels your dog to stop barking excessively within a short time
- Comes with easy to understand instructions
The PetSafe Rechargeable Remote Spray Dog Training Collars provides dog owners with ease, convenience, and safety not common with many other collars. This high-tech anti-bark collar is one device you can trust for its reliability and safety in dog training.
The collar’s spray is triggered by tone and vibration and is perfect for use during hikes and other outdoor events with your dog. The collar is fitted with rechargeable batteries, and with just one push of a button, you’ll send a signal up to 300 yards to correct excessive or unwanted barking.
- Perfect for both small and large dogs weighing 8 pounds and upwards
- Water-resistant collar making it perfect for use outdoors and in almost any condition.
- Adjustable to up to 27 inches in circumference
- The product comes with a citronella refill cartridge and one unscented, with each providing up to 35 sprays.
- Remote controlled and rechargeable. Hence no need for frequent battery replacement.
Precautions When Using a Bark Collar
Yes, you want your pooch to stay quiet when possible, but you also have to understand that barking is completely natural. And unless you’re opting for more severe and harsher options such as debarking, you really cannot completely get the bark to stop.
However, if you decide to go the anti-bark collar route, you want to use the device carefully. Most dog experts do not recommend harsh devices, but utmost care should be taken if you choose to go this route.
Carefully read and follow the instructions on the manual. You want your pooch to be as comfortable and safe as possible with this collar on. Even when on it, you also want to check frequently that the collar fits. If you observe any sort of discomfort or skin irritation, you should remove the collar for a few days and adjust to a comfortable size before reuse.
Do not attach a leash to bark collars or leave the collar on for extended periods. Aim for a maximum of 12 hours a day or less. If going to be left for more than a few hours, ensure you reposition the collar every one or two hours.
Best Bark Collars: Conclusion
Canines will always bark, and if you’re looking to control the barking with a bark collar, it is probably because your small pooch barks excessively. In this article, I discussed bark collars, the types, and also a list of my recommended dog bark collars that are suitable for small breeds.
You’ll notice I had more spray collar types on the list than the progressive correction collars. The reason for this is not suprising; shock/progressive correction collars are harsher and very unnecessary when you consider that citronella and scent collars can have the same effect and even better when combined with anti-bark training.
The progressive correction collars, just as the name suggests, are milder and safer than most and should cause your dog no harm. With collars generally, you want to be sure that the instructions are followed for maximum effectiveness and to keep your pooch safe during use.
Most dogs will reduce their barking frequency when the collars are used. However, if the collars seem to do little or nothing for your pooch, you should consider having him checked and trained by a professional. More extreme methods such as debarking may be recommended in severe cases, but this is very unlikely. With the right training and possibly with the help of a good bark collar, most dogs will reduce their barking considerably.
About the Author
Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.