How Does Bark Collar Work? (Unveiling the Secrets)

How Does Bark Collar Work

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A bark collar might do wonders for most healthy dogs to stop their excessive barking and unwanted behavior. But first, it’s necessary to know how does bark collar work, because using a bark collar without knowing its functioning can harm your dog.

I have seen dog parents using bark collars without guidance and making their dogs either aggressive or anxious due to lack of information.

Hence, to help dog parents with dodging such an issue, I gathered the following information after spending hours researching the bark collar’s functioning.

So, let’s get into the details.

Key Takeaways from this article

  • There are three types of bark collars: Citronella, static shock, and ultrasonic bark collars.
  • Static shock bark collars use low-intensity shocks.
  • Citronella bark collar uses scented liquid to spray.
  • Ultrasonic bark collar releases high-pitched ultrasonic sound. 
  • Dogs below six months of age should not wear a bark collar.
  • Dog bark collars work effectively on dogs.
  • Dog bark collars might not be the right choice for timid dogs.

Bark Collars: Overview & Types

Bark collars are the best way to apply when your dog’s excessive barking doesn’t stop and disturbs the whole neighborhood. There are three types of bark collars: static shock, ultrasonic, and citronella bark collars.

All three collars function differently, with a unique mechanism that corrects your dog’s unwanted behavior and nuisance barking.f

Let’s check out how does a bark control collar work:

1. Static shock bark collar

Static shock bark collars release low-intensity or customizable shocks to correct a dog’s barking when a dog barks excessively. These collars are highly effective but might be safe and suitable for all dogs. Plus, dog parents should strictly avoid using this collar for a pup. 

Static shock bark collar

Also, even if you use them on your adult dog, be sure to keep an eye on your dog and prevent the collar from reacting to false alarms.

2. Citronella bark collar

A citronella collar is the second most effective and safer alternative than a static shock collar. This type of collar uses a scented liquid to spray around your dog’s nose and distracts the dog from barking excessively.

Citronella bark collar

Dog owner worried about a shock bark collar harming their dog can opt for this option if their dog’s nose is not allergic to scents or has a sensitive nose.

3. Ultrasonic sound bark collar

Ultrasonic sound bark collars release an ultrasonic sound, which is high-pitched and unpleasant for dogs and instantly distracts them from barking. I personally like this option as it doesn’t harm a dog in any potential way and still does the job for you. 

Ultrasonic sound bark collar

Static vs. Citronella vs. Ultrasonic bark collars: How does bark collar work? 

Three types of dog collars are generally available for dogs: Static shock, Citronella, and Ultrasonic bark collars. The functioning of all the collars is different while having different results to stop your dog’s barking.

All of them should fit perfectly around your dog’s neck, and only a dog expert and an experienced dog owner should put in on your dog to avoid placing it wrongly.

Now that you have a basic idea of the types of bark collars, let’s check out the functioning of all three of them below:

How does static bark collar work?

In a static shock bark collar, a low-intensity shock is released from the prongs of the mechanism placed on a nylon g collar belt. The intensity of these shocks can be customized as per your dog’s tolerance and behavior.

The shocks are harmless; you can check it personally on yourself and set the intensity lower than your own tolerance for your dog. Also, if you feel that the shocks might harm your dog, you should consider using other deterrent options for your dog.

How do Citronella collars work?

Citronella collars are a little different than regular shock collars, which employ spraying a fragrance or scented liquid near your dog’s nose. The spray simply distracts your dog and prevents your dog from barking.

How do ultrasonic bark collars work?

Ultrasonic bark collars’ mechanism releases an unpleasant and high-pitched ultrasonic sound that can only be heard by dogs and not humans. 

Therefore, I feel this is the safest deterrence method to stop your dog’s unwanted and excessive barking a sit doesn’t affect your dog’s skin tissues in any way.

The modern-day bark collar also includes many additional features that can be effective for you to communicate with your dog and train them in new commands.

Do bark collars work? Are bark collars safe?

Bark collars work well to stop your dog from barking excessively and also help you train them. However, they might not turn out safe for timid and small dogs in all cases. 

To be precise, a dog collar can be the best solution to stop your dog’s unwanted behavior and nuisance barking. 

However, correcting false alarms and the wrong collar positioning might hinder the process. It might also end up being unsafe for your dog if the collar releases deterrents at false alarms.

Plus, the size and weight of your dog also matter for a bark collar’s effectiveness. After all, there are reasons why dog collar manufacturers mention weight restrictions on the collar.

Moreover, there are separate categories for dog bark collars, such as bark collars for small, medium, and large dogs.

Furthermore, if you are still doubtful about using dog collars for your dog, you can opt for vibrating dog collars to train your dog and correct their behavior. Vibrating collars employ vibrating sensations that are extremely harmless to correct your dog’s behavior.

Tip: I have made a handpicked selection of best-vibrating dog collars that will help you pick the right one!

Why use a bark collar?

Bark collars are a great option to stop dogs from barking in unwanted situations. Hence, many bark collar types and categories are being introduced in the market with extra and safer features and deterrence alternatives. 

Many reasons instigate barking in dogs, such as territorial issues, attention-seeking, anxiety, etc. Therefore, dog experts worldwide suggest that a bark collar is good for shaping a dog’s behavioral traits and habits. 

Remember, users looking for a training collar should opt for shock collars as not all bark collars have advanced features as a modern-day shock collar.

You can read the list of best shock collars for small dogs here!

Understand the reasons your dog barks

Many reasons are responsible for your dog’s barking if it’s becoming excessive and can only be controlled with a bark control collar.

The reasons why your dog barks are many. It responds to stimuli by barking, such as when someone new comes or notices an unfamiliar animal.

It can also bark if other dogs bark, which strengthens the territorial response of the first dog. The owners of dogs who retain them as a protection will find this kind of barking very helpful.

Barking is a learned response in dogs. A dog learns that barking helps them get whatever it wants, like attention to play with him, and then gets it from you. 

A dog will learn that barking is a good way to start play if he brings his favorite toy towards you and then barks so you can play with him. 

Pros and Cons of Bark Collars

Let’s check out the pros and cons of Bark Collars to understand them based on their benefits and drawbacks.


  • A correctly fit device doesn’t harm the dog.
  • A bark collar quickly stops your dog’s barking as long as your dog is wearing it.
  • Using a bark collar is the best solution for stubborn dogs.
  • Using a bark collar can shape your dog’s behavior and habits.
  • Bark collars are not as complex to use as other smart dog collars.


  • A dog already suffering from illness or any other physical or mental condition might get badly affected by a bark collar’s corrections.
  • A bark collar might sense false alarms, and it can scare your dog with uncalled-for corrections

How and when should you train your dog with a bark collar?

The majority of the task will be done by the collar’s sensor; immediately, as your dog barks, vibration and sound are produced. 

On the other hand, the remote control that comes with the collar is excellent for stopping other undesirable behaviors like damaging furniture or making holes in the lawn. Keep the remote close by in case your dog starts acting up.

Dogs struggle to understand both causes and effects after a long period of time. Therefore, it’s critical to address them as soon as the undesirable behavior occurs. 

They won’t be properly trained when there is a too-long wait since they won’t connect the annoying noise with the barking. Words like “no” should be used to demonstrate training.

Factors to consider before using a bark collar

A user should know about the following three factors before using a bark collar correctly and safely.

1. Dog’s age

A dog’s age is a crucial factor in deciding if you should use a bark collar for your dog or not. As suggested by many dog experts around the world, dogs below the age of six months should not use a bark collar. 

Dogs develop a mental ability to link the commands of stopping the bark to corrections after the age of six months. Therefore, ensure that you buy a dog collar for your dog only if they are old enough to use it.

2. Dog’s neck size

It happens many times that a dog collar doesn’t fit your dog properly, resulting in the dog having the collar placed in the wrong position. Doing so can harm your dog’s vital parts. 

Hence, always ensure you have your dog’s correct measurements when buying a bark collar. Otherwise, the collar will not affect your dog and will only scare them whenever a false alarm goes off.

Also, once you buy a dog collar, check if the collar’s prongs are placed right near your neck and if it’s touching the dog’s skin.

3. How much time should your dog wear it?

Using a dog bark collar whole doesn’t help your dog in any way. It will only cause discomfort to your dog while eating, sleeping, or while doing other activities.

Dog bark collar alternative

If you don’t want to use a bark collar for your dog and require a substitute with humane technology, you can opt for an ultrasonic bark control device. It is primarily designed for outdoor use, which you can hang on a tree or place on a wall or fence.

This device releases an ultrasonic sound to prevent dogs from barking and doesn’t harm your pet in any way.

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The Bottom Line: how does a bark collar work?

There’s no straightforward answer to the question of how does a bark collar work. As mentioned above, there are three types of bark collars, and all of them function differently based on three different technologies.

some advanced bark collars also help in teaching a dog a few commands that come in handy in day-to-day life. 

Ensure you choose a bark collar after considering your dog’s age, neck size, and the time you should make your dog wear a collar.

Considering all these factors, you will use a bark collar properly.


Which type of dog collar should I use for my dog?

Static shock collars and citronella bark collars are considered the most successful among all the three types. However, if your dog is sensitive and timid, I suggest using either a citronella or an ultrasonic sound bark collar.

Can I use an anti-bark collar for my dog’s howling?

Practically, you can use a bark collar for your dog’s howling. However, bark collars react based on a dog’s vocal cords and are designed only to detect a dog’s bark. Therefore, not all bark collars will effectively detect your dog’s howling and stop it.

Do vets recommend using bark collars?

Previously, anti-bark collars were used to punish dogs for behaving incorrectly or for being ill-mannered. Hence, vets don’t recommend using a bark collar as a first choice for excessive barking. Nonetheless, modern-day bark collars can be used by applying safety measures and alternate deterrence modes.

How long does it take for a bark collar to work?

Dogs suffering from physical or mental conditions might get easily triggered by bark collars. So, there’s no definite answer to how long it takes for a bark collar to work for dogs with certain conditions. However, healthy dogs might get used to the collar and start obeying the command within a week or two, based on the cases I’ve seen.

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