10 Best

Bark Collars

of October 2023

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A Guide to Selecting the Right Bark Collar

Yehudah Posnick

Dogs bark for a number of reasons. It could be an expression of discomfort when they encounter strangers or other dogs. It could also be that your dog is bored, scared, or just stressed out. There are ways of training your dog to express themselves in a different way as an alternative to barking. But, if you experience times when your dog barks uncontrollably, there are bark collars that give negative reinforcement when your dog barks. Hopefully, a bark collar can wean your dog off his barking habit.

We’ll see a number of different designs to bark collars. Some let you operate them yourself by remote control, any time your dog starts to act up. There are also automatic bark collars, that use different stimuli, such as citronella spray, a beeping noise, vibration, or an electrostatic shock. They are generally programmed to only react to your dog’s barking, and ignore any background noise–even if the background noise is your neighbor’s dog!

Types of Bark Collars

Bark collars fall into a few categories. Some are able to focus just on your dog’s particular bark. They will vibrate, beep, shock, or emit a spray automatically when your dog barks, while ignoring any other noises (even if it’s another dog barking). Let’s examine the options:

  • Manually-operated bark collar: There are bark collars that are activated by remote control. That way, you can activate the collar whenever your dog starts misbehaving, such as jumping on people or growling at strangers! An example is the WWVVPET Citronella Dog Training Collar with Remote. It has a 1000-ft range and allows you to select from various modes: citronella spray, beep, and vibration. You can select Spray + beep, Vibration + beep, and only beep.

WWVVPET Citronella Dog Training Collar with Remote

  • Automatically-operated bark collar: A manually-operated bark collar lets you train your dog against a wide range of undesirable behaviors. But you have to be in the area to discipline him. There are also fully-automatic bark collars that will focus solely on your dog’s bark. Other dogs barking in the area will not trigger any response. You have a few options and combinations for the bark collar’s response:

    • Vibration/beep/electrical shock: There are bark collars that allow for a number of training responses. For example, the NBJU Bark Collar has 7 levels of sensitivity, and can be set to 1) beep, 2) vibrate, 3) beep & vibrate, or 4) beep, vibrate, and also deliver a slight shock to train your dog. All told, you have 64 different combinations of bark collar responses!

NBJU Bark Collar

    • Vibration and static electric shock: Another combination is a dog collar that lets you select either vibration or an electric shock to train your dog. An example is the Dog Care Bark Collar.

Dog Care Bark Collar

    • Shock only: Some bark collars operate on delivering an electric shock as their only means of training. The SportDog NoBark Rechargeable Bark Control Collar delivers an electric shock when it detects your dog is barking. However, it works on progressive correction: it will start at a low-level shock and increases in intensity every time your dog barks again within 30 seconds of the previous bark.

SportDog NoBark Rechargeable Bark Control Collar

    • Vibration and/or beep only: Some dog owners object to using electrical shocks to train their dogs since it seems somewhat inhumane. There are some painless alternatives. For example, the DogRook Bark Collar allows you to set it to vibrate and/or beep when your dog barks. It has 5 levels of sensitivity, allowing you to make it very sensitive when you’re in a quiet environment, and not so sensitive when you’re dealing with background noise. It has two vibration modes and 7 sound levels.

DogRook Bark Collar

    • Spray: There are also bark collars that emit a spray when your dog barks. The PetSafe Elite Little Dog Spray Bark Collar is refillable, and can either spray an unscented spray or a citronella-scented spray, to train your dog not to bark. The collar can hold enough spray for around 30-40 sprays before you have to refill it.

PetSafe Elite Little Dog Spray Bark Collar

What reviewers say

Here are some customers’ impressions about the bark collar that they purchased:

  • Vibration and beep the best options: An owner who had a 9-lb dog felt that the options of electrostatic shock would be too inhumane, and citronella spray may get in the dog’s eyes, or spray on the furniture. They purchased the NPS No Shock Bark Collar, which uses beeps and vibrations. When their dog barked, the collar made a beep. The dog was distracted enough, that it started digging into the couch pillows, to see where the beeping is coming from! But, that little distraction was enough to stop her barking!

  • Adjust collar for thicker fur: Some bark collars that deliver an electric shock have a set of prongs. But, for your dog’s comfort, you’ll want to cover them so that they don’t dig into your dog’s skin. Many bark collars will come with two sets of covers for the prongs. You’ll select the cover according to the thickness of your dog’s fur, with the short prongs for short-haired dogs, and the long prongs for long-haired dogs.

NBJU Bark Collar Prong Covers

Important Features

Here are some tips from the manufacturers and users of the best bark collars:

  • Size and weight limits: You’ll notice that bark collars will be suitable for dogs of certain sizes and weights. For example, the Pawious Small Dog Bark Collar is primarily for small to medium-sized dogs, weighing from 7 to 80 lbs. Others, such as the NPS No Shock Bark Collar, can also help larger dogs that weigh as much as 120 lbs.

  • Waterproof: Since your dog might end up going in the water, or get caught in the rain, it’s good that your bark collar is waterproof or at least water-resistant. One of the best in this category is the NBJU Bark Collar for Dogs, which has an IP (=Ingress Protection) rating of IP67. The first number indicates how secure it is against dust penetrating on a scale of 1-6, and the second number indicates how it can stop water from penetrating, on a scale of 1-9. That means that NBJU Bark Collar has complete protection against dust, and can withstand being immersed in 1 meter of water for short periods of time.

  • Rechargeable: The bark collars in the Best Reviews Guide Top 10 are all rechargeable models. It’s not unusual that they will charge up in two hours for as long as two weeks of functioning. But take note of whether they use a USB-C cable to recharge. That will make it easier to recharge the batteries than in cases where the product uses a proprietary cable. If something happens to a proprietary cable, or if you misplace it, you won’t be able to recharge the bark collar!

  • Preferable not to wear the collar all the time: It’s preferable to only have the dog wear its collar around 12 hours a day. If s/he receives a stimulus not to bark too frequently, it will cease to have an effect. Also, there are bark collars that will increase in intensity, the more the dog decides to bark within a certain amount of time. But, once it reaches the maximum level of intensity, it turns off for 60-90 seconds. That’s how the SportDog NoBark Rechargeable Bark Control Collar works.


Final Verdict

We briefly surveyed the different types of bark collars, looking at both manual and automatic bark collars. You can select a gentle form of training, or a more aggressive type of electrostatic shock, depending on your dog’s build and temperament. A bark collar is a small investment to help train your dog to be calmer when encountering strangers, or other dogs. And many of them are made with a reflective coating so that it will be easier to spot your dog in low-light conditions. A bark collar is a win-win situation for both you and your dog!

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