Dogs bark for a number of different reasons and whether we want them to or not won’t always be enough to suppress this most natural of reactions. You want a dog to warn you when a stranger is approaching, but what happens when your dog’s barking becomes a nuisance for your neighbours and yourself?
Dog bark prevention collars can seem like the perfect solution. With an in-built sensor and a harmless spray that is triggered by the proximity of the bark, your dog will be dissuaded from barking before too long, using reinforcement techniques that punish the dog for barking. Your dog will soon understand that barking equals spray, and will soon stop. Not only can this be a quick, cheap and humane solution to your problem, but it will also work when you aren’t in the house, for example whilst at work.
The problem with this is that you aren’t tackling the problem in the first place, merely putting a block on your dog’s primary form of communication with you. If your dog is barking an excessive amount, it is more than likely a sign that something is wrong, either medically or behaviourally. Excessive barking can be a sign of depression or boredom, and your pet may be trying to get some attention from you. Perhaps it is feeling abandoned when you leave for work, or that you focus too much time on matters elsewhere and have accidentally neglected your pet’s needs.
In any case, you should always seek professional help before making any kind of purchase – you can visit a dog behaviourist who may be able to get to the root of the problem. A fully socialised and well-treated pet may be affected by even a small change, so the problem may not be as simple as you first imagine. Simply using a deterrent will not rid your dog of the problem, and with no way to communicate with you about that problem, your pet may end feeling worse.