Post # 1
Let me preface by saying I’m not trying to open a can of worms here. I really just need some honest information and feed back regarding the use of shock collars for “bark training.” Please no heated arguments. If you’d like a debate please start your own thread.
I’ve always been under the assumption that they are negative and inhumane, but Fiance and his family think otherwise. We’re going to be staying with his family over Christmas and they would like us to place a shock bark collar on our dog while we are there. Our dog is a Boarder Collie/Husky mix, so I’ve always just believed it was in his nature to be quite vocal. He is just under 1 years old.
Have any of you used this method of training on your dog? Does anyones have solid information either for or against that has been backed up by scientific facts or studies? What are the pros and cons?
I’m very conflicted because the reason why we got our dog in the first place was so that I could feel safe at night while Fiance is out of town for work (which is a lot). If we start using this collar will it stop him from barking all together? Also, FI’s family and mine treat our family pets very differently. Our dog sleeps in our bed with us, snuggles up on the couch with us, rides in the cab of the truck etc. etc. FI’s family does not allow the dogs in the house and when they take them somewhere they ride in the back of the truck etc.
Any information would be appreciated because I know my in-laws will probably try to make me sound like an idiot for aguing with them. I just need to have my facts straight before we go there and I try to take a stance on this.
Post # 3
How about the argument “This is our dog (not yours) and we will train him as we see fit.”? Seems like you are going to have more problems than just a shock collar (letting the dog sleep on your bed at in-laws house, etc)…IMO you and Fiance need to decide how to confront your IL’s together about the dog – you should both be part of this (rather than you against them). Good luck!
Post # 4
@mrs.peters.to.be: they’re really inhumane, not to mention they don’t address the behaviour so often they don’t work. Before buying one, I would really recommend looking into training. It’s going to take time but will have lasting benefits. You can also find a store that sells the collars and put it on your neck, then see how painful it is.
Often times the collar can be set off by loud noises, not just your dog barking. I work with animals and was once scanning a dog to see if it was microchipped and the scanner makes a very quiet beep, which set off the shock collar. It can be set off by things like car alams and other dogs in the neighbourhood barking, which only serves to confuse the dog and cause pain.
I don’t think they have the right to tell you what to do, it’s your dog, your decision.
Post # 5
Ugh i hate yappy animals. I think you should just tell your in-laws it’s not open for discussion–he’s your pet and you’ll train him as you see fit. I think that’s an excellent way of handling it. You don’t have to take a stance on it at all
Post # 6
We love our little lab. She is a member of the family…sleeps on the couch with us, goes for runs with us, goes on vacation with us. However, she loves to yap her little head off when in the backyard alone. We got an electric shock collar to prevent barking. We put it on the lowest setting, and I tested it on myself before putting it on her. It delivers a very tiny shock…like a slight tingling sensation. After a couple of barks, she knows not to bark when it’s on. It’s great. It doesn’t hurt her one bit.
It won’t stop your dog from barking all the time. Dogs are very collar smart. Our dog knows she can bark as much as she wants until the shock collar goes on. Then she stops barking, and when it comes off, it’s bark time again 🙂
Shock collars don’t have to be painful or set at high levels to be effective.
Post # 7
I don’t care for the auto-shock bark collars at all. Those I will not use. However, we have one dog that has a barking problem and to work on that we have the Dogtra 175NCP that is only manual, not automatic. We do not leave the collar on the dog unless we are with her and only then when there is company or something around that it bothers. The nice thing about that kind of collar is that it has the vibrate/pager button, which is what we use almost exclusively, that is more a reminder to our dog that she shouldn’t bark. It is very very rare we ever use the shock feature, particuarly since the dog with the barking issue is very sensitive and it doesn’t take much to get her attention. Also, if you are going to use the shock feature, it has a wide range so you can set it just where your dog feels it slightly, not where it is too high. I was originally very against the collar at all but with those features I’ve come around to it. Also, our dog has never run from the collar and always sits patiently to have it on. It only comes out when her barking is out of control and a problem for other people. It didn’t take long for it to be more of a conditioned response that when the collar is on her, she does not bark so we don’t even turn it on any more.
ETA: Our dogs are considered part of our family and sleep on the bed with us, ride in the vehicle cabs with us, go to doggie daycare once a week, and are basically spoiled rotten. The barking for the one dog is the only thing we haven’t been able to positively train her not to do.
Post # 8
I’m very against shock collars for obvious reasons. Just tell your IL’s it’s not an option and it’s not up for discussion. It’s good to set those boundries now, it’s only going to get worse if you have kids.
It’s meant to hurt your dog and provide negative reinforcement, but positive reinforcement has been proven to work 100 times better.
Post # 8
Well if they are staying with his parent’s over Christmas they kind of have to play by their rules, which can be frustrating. but my house my rules.
There are non shocking collars that they sell on the market. I use a non shock one, for several hours a day. Once it comes off she starts “talking”. she has calmed down alot with it.
Good luck with the no thread jacking! you might want to post the question to a dogcare website or a dog trainer to get more Facts vs. Feelings. (i hope that didn’t sound douchy it wasn’t ment to)
Post # 9
I’m torn – I have a friend (who I met from volunteering at the shelter) who has a rescue GSD who barked so much she had complaints from her neighbors. So she got one of the collars that reported how much the dog barked and when, so she could track what times of day/events/etc set him off.
However, there are also citronella collars.
I would consider a more effective way to help with anxiety/boredom (the main causes of repeatitive barking).
Otherwise, they just have a different view of having dogs so maybe you should find someone who will watch your dog while you’re at the inlaws so it’s a non-issue…?
(we have a neighbor a few doors down – condo building – who doesn’t address her dog’s barking – all separation anxiety – and I can’t even stand being home it’s so disrubtive to me, and I have a dog so you know it’s bad when I complain)
Post # 10
I used the manual shock collar for my rhodesian ridgeback for training purposes. She was a little older when I got her and her attention span was very limited so it was a very effective way of getting her attention. After awhile I just used the vibrate function just to remind her to pay attention like @Pelikila mentioned.
I don’t think I would use one that automatically shocked the dog everytime it barked, instead use a manual one that you can use when the barking is at an inappropriate time.
As for inhumane, before I even used it on her I shocked my own hand and it is more of a slightly uncomfortable tingling than a “SHOCK”.
EDIT: Here are some links to look at:
Post # 11
@mrs.peters.to.be: If you don’t want to use the shock collar (and I don’t blame you) then kennel your dog instead of taking him to the in-laws.
Also, if your dog is “vocal” and you have neighbors, then you should try to train him. Speaking as someone who lives next to “vocal” dogs, its quite disruptive and annoying.
Post # 12
I don’t have a useful answer because I’ve never thought about bark collars before…but I wonder if it’d be better not to bring your dog with you during the holidays? it just seems like since your fi’s family treats dogs so differently, it’s bound to create tension, and since it’s on their “turf” especially, you’re going to have a hard time “winning” the arguments. Is there someone who could look after your dog for you while you’re there? or even a kennel?
And only somewhat related (not to threadjack, but this is a fun tangent)–have you seen the youtube videos of Mischka the talking husky? it’s just about the cutest thing ever, does your part-husky make those kind of noises? 😉
Post # 13
have you tried other ways to train your dog not to bark? for my dog, we filled an empty coke can with coins and would shake it every time he barked. it worked like a charm, and within a week he no longer barked. other people use a spray water bottle and spray the dog every time he barks.
Post # 14
@jindc:The Citronella collars are awesome! Non shocking and still do the trick. Also, your dog smells awesome. We would leave it on our pup during the day, and once he realized the barking would produce a spray, we would turn it off, but keep the collar on for a while. It really helped!
Post # 15
I’d like to just be able to say, “It’s my dog, I’ll train him how I please,” but it’s really not that simple. Fiance thinks that using the shock collar is okay and will work because thats what his parents do. So unfortunately, it’s Fiance and his family views against me and my family views. My mother is completely against it and is actually really mad that this discussion even needs to happen. I really just need all the information I can get so that Fiance and I can weigh the pros and cons and decide together.
A kennel is not an option because, as I said before, these are spur of the moment plans and all of the boarders in town are booked up. There is one kennel available, but it’s not to the standard that I would feel comfortable leaving my dog in. I wish this was an option 🙁
Ugh I hate this. Our dog’s barking has never bothered me, but it drives Fiance crazy. This is just one of those things we’re going to have to work through as a couple because despite the fact that we have a lot in common we were raised in very different environments with some differing values and I believe we’ll come across differing opinions on issues like this a lot. I’m going to have to be really firm when it comes down to us having children so I guess this is good practice.
@finnaroo: Yes, I have seen that video and that’s exactly what he is like! I swear his character shows through so much when he “talks” and I would hate so much to take that away from him.