Identifying the underlying issue behind your dog’s barking and training it to stop barking on command should be your main priority. Still, If you’ve already gone through the recommended ways to stop your dog from barking, you may be considering resorting to a bark collar. These collars might help you correct and mitigate your dog’s nuisance barking. It’s common to want to test the bark collars before you put them on your dog, either to modify the intensity, check whether it’s functioning or not, or to know what you’re subjecting your dog to.
How you test the collar depends on its bark detection methods and the bark collar type. The bark collar can either use a single-sensor device or a dual-sensor one.
For the latter, a testing method that works is sliding the sensor on a rough surface across 10 inches at least while blowing air into the microphone port. The collar should then activate and emit the corresponding stimulus. Single-sensor bark collars only need to perform one of the two actions; for sound-activated ones, you blow in the microphone port, and for vibration detection ones, you move them across a rough surface.
Testing Differences Between Bark Collar Types
Depending on the collar type, the way you test the device can vary slightly. The most common types of bark collars are shock or static collars, spray collars, vibration collars, and ultrasonic collars.
Shock or static collars require you to place your hand, finger, or arms across both metal contact points in the collar. The shock isn’t emitted if you don’t touch them simultaneously while testing. Once you are in contact, use the test method of either dual-sensor or single-sensor collars, you should feel the shock once you do it.
Spray collars differ from the others because it uses a solution that you need to refill after 30 to 40 uses on average, so testing the device to check whether it still has citronella, water, or lemon juice is typical. If you try it and the device clicks but does not spray, it means that the canister is empty. If it does neither, you need to replace the batteries and test if it clicks and sprays.
You can test vibration collars as you would shock collars. There isn’t the need to touch contact points as they don’t have one, but using the general test method should work.
Ultrasonic bark collars can’t be tested as the other collars because the high-pitch frequency it emits is inaudible for humans. These devices tend to have LED lights that indicate various functions, so check the manual to know what each light response means.
Should any of these methods fail, you may need to replace the batteries of your bark collar. If it still doesn’t work, the likely reason may be that your device is faulty, so you need to replace it.
Most bark collar devices come with manuals that indicate the intricacies of each device. The easiest way to test them is to consult the product manual and check the specific test method they have or the color response functions to know the device’s condition. If your bark collar has a remote control, checking the device becomes a trivial thing. Activate the device while holding it to see whether it triggers.
What Are the Best Bark Collars?
There are a couple of features you should look out for if you’re thinking of getting a bark collar. Your dog’s size and disposition are also some things to consider when deciding on your bark collar. If you want to check the device without difficulties, then getting a single-sensor bark collar with a remote control would be the best option. However, if it uses sound, the collar is at risk from activating from other sources, and the ones that detect vibration may require you to trim your dog’s hair around the contact point to guarantee that it works correctly.
Although dual-sensor collars may also need to trim your dog’s hair, having the insurance that the collar doesn’t activate from other sources is valuable. Picking a collar that emits a warning sound can diminish the number of times your dog triggers the collar, as they may associate the warning to the impending punishment.
Rechargeable and waterproof collars are other useful features, as the cost of replacing batteries can add up in the long run, and some dogs enjoy playing in the water. Getting a bark collar with many of these features or a combination of them is the ideal case.
Are Bark Collars Safe to Use?
Bark collars are a subject that sparks many pet owners’ emotions, and worrying about the collar’s safety is expected of nearly everyone. The only purpose of these collars is to interrupt or distract your dog as they bark or misbehave, not to harm it. Most of these devices are safe, but the case of shock collars comes into question for many people, specifically, whether it’s a humane tool to train your dog or not.
Using bark collars on puppies younger than six months or below eight pounds isn’t recommended, as positive training during that age is easier.