Bark collar questions

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by CaliTerp07, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I've finally admitted I have no other options. I put off the collar for over 3.5 years as I worked with various trainers and behaviorists to try to lessen Lucy's reactivity towards everything that walks past our house. We moved from an apartment to a house because I didn't feel it was fair to my neighbors to have such a barky dog next door. Even in a house though, you can clearly hear her from the outside.

    Every dog, car, bicycle, squirrel, cat, etc gets a rousing RAWR RAWR RAWR for a good 2-3 minutes straight. $1000's of dollars in training and hundreds of hours sitting by the window waiting for someone to come past so I can reward her BEFORE barking haven't made a dent. For my sanity, it needs to stop. My agility instructor is the one who suggested a bark collar, as she is convinced that barking is self-reinforcing for Lucy. I put it off for almost a year after she first suggested it, but now I'm caving.

    I bought a bark collar that came recommended by someone here, but now I need help using it. Do I start it on the lowest setting and build up until she stops? Or will that just build tolerance? Do I start at a moderate level and hope to cut it out immediately? At what point (if any) do I realize it's not working?

    Please don't tell me that this is cruel. I've exhausted my other options, and I need it to stop. I just want help so that I'm using it properly and it can extinguish the behavior quickly.
     
  2. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I'm watching this thread, I'm at the point where I think it's needed with Kaylee before I kill her. In almost five years she's gotten nothing but worse no matter how hard I work on it.
     
  3. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Honestly, it is not cruel. I am willing to bet that in a few days you will both be so much more relaxed and happy. I don't have much experience with them, but I have used one before and know many many people who do.

    What brand did you buy and how many levels does it have?

    There are different views on introducing the bark collar, I don't think there a "right" answer though. Is she a sensitive dog? My concern with starting at a higher level would be that she might vocalize out of surprise and activate the collar again. This happened with my old guy, and that WILL make you feel bad. Especially since you have reservations to begin with.

    So I guess in your case, I would recommend starting low to avoid that scenario and see what kind of results you get, then turning it up as needed. I'm curious what others would advise though.....and did you ask your agility instructor what she would recommend?
     
  4. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I have a spray collar that worked well with Kat. I got it used. I don't think I would use a shock type collar for fear of creating reactivity (aggressive vs alerting). I get where you are coming from, Kat barked at EVERYTHING. OMG the loud. Seren barks a lot too, but her bark is a quiet bark where as Kat was a shrieker. I had gotten two for our trip to the States, I figured barking dogs would make us not welcome at camp sites. Dekka barks if I leave her, however she is remarkable quiet with the spray collar.

    Seren came to me having worn a shock type collar. She had a big hairless patch that was red, scaley and raw (likely from the prongs, not the shocks themselves) I do think being shocked has negatively affected her (not saying cruel, just its IMO inhibited her drive). I plan to put the spray collar on her when she goes out in the yard this summer once I get more spray to put in it.
     
  5. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I agree with Dekka about the spray collars.

    But if you do get a shock collar:

    (Granted I've never used one, but...)

    There are a lot of bark collars that start with a low shock, and then if the dog continues barking they shock gradually higher and higher. The idea being that if the dog stops quickly he won't get "hurt" so bad.

    But from a behaviorial standpoint, what you're actually probably doing is teaching the dog a pain tolerance. I have a friend who trains with a remote shock collar. He starts out with a high level shock, basically making a big impression on the dog, and then turns it down after that, using a low-level shock from then on out.

    I'm not necessarily suggesting you do that, I'm just saying it doesn't make sense to use a low shock and make it progressively higher.

    And better yet, use the spray collar instead. ;)
     
  6. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Spray collar does nothing. She doesn't mind citronella in the face :( We tried that briefly too.
     
  7. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Actually, most high level sport trainers who use e-collars use them completely opposite, and the collar is set on the lowest possible level that the dog responds to. At this level, it barely feels like anything, just a slight nudge. Yes, I have felt all levels of my e-collar and have attended an e-collar seminar taught by a well-known police k9 trainer from LA.

    I don't want to get into a shock collar debate here, but many many people use them humanely. Telling stories about the prongs leaving marks from the collar being left on for too long (no the shocks cannot "burn" your dog), is as relevant as me telling stories about buckle collars buried deep in a dog's neck from it being left on too tight for too long.
     
  8. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I'm waiting at the dr's right now, so i can't check. I'll look when I get home.
     
  9. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Except she wasn't saying that they are a bad thing and not to use it, she was giving her experience with it. Same as you could come in and give your experience about another collar without being jumped on, like many people before have.
     
  10. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    With all due respect, I don't want and didn't ask for bark collar horror stories. I want to know how to use it successfully to minimize usage, that's all.
     
  11. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Pat Miller writes that in order for positive punishment to be effective, it needs to be harsh enough to only need to be applied once or twice to make the point so to speak.... so starting out on a high level rather than starting out low and going up would make sense to me as well.
     
  12. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    How I have been taught to use e collars (for training recall, rattlesnake training ect, not barking) is that you start off with the lowest possible setting the dog responds to and you tap the dog for unwanted behavior. If the dog blows you off, you make a large jump in setting to get their attention and then you drop back down. Gradually and slowly increasing will just up the dogs tolerance for the correction. The same way nagging with a prong or choke chain will create a dog that tunes it out.

    One good correction is worth ten nagging corrections. Good luck with the collar. We're about to that point with Ozzys barking. We thought being in the country hed have less to bark at. We were wrong :p
     
  13. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    As Cali has since pointed out, she explicitly asked for advice on how to go about using the bark collar and NOT to be "jumped on" for choosing to one. Others were not simply sharing their experiences, but attempting to sway her away from her choice.

    I don't want to be snarky, but Cali obviously has tried everything and is using the bark collar as a last resort. She doesn't need horror stories.

    To the people that are recommending starting at a high level, I'm just curious if you have first hand experience with it....
     
  14. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    To be fair mine wasn't mentioned for a 'horror' story. More as a cautionary tale to check it frequently.

    Well then lol. If someone is asking about using one, how is it not relevant. I didn't say DON'T use one. I said these are some issues I have dealt with so be aware so you can avoid them. If I asked for advice I would love people not to just say you do it like 'this' but also examples of how to mitigate potential issues that you might have thought of.
     
  15. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

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    Which bark collar did you buy?

    The way I'd use a bark collar would be different to how I use my remote training collar.
     
  16. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Yes, I've used the collar on myself. All the way to its highest setting. It hurts like a bitch. But if my dog is chasing a deer towards the highway I need something that is going to get his attention.
     
  17. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I have an Innotek spray collar and I LOVE it. It's not a bark collar specifically, it's a remote collar, but they do make bark collar versions. The remote collar can be used for more than just barking (but if barking is all you need it for, then a bark-specific collar would have better timing). Admittedly the spray may not work for a hard dog, but for my dogs it's plenty.
     
  18. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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  19. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Ya some dogs just don't care about being sprayed, and some find the spray more upsetting than a shock. Its good you tried the spray first.

    LOL I would threaten to turn them into air fresheners if they didn't shut up! :D
     
  20. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Sweet smelling? I had to change to unscented because I couldn't stand the citronella lol. My dogs are both fairly soft.
     

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