Bark collars are designed to deliver a correction to dogs when they are barking at nothing in particular, an activity called "nuisance barking." Bark collars provide a reasonable alternative to yelling or harsher forms of punishment. They usually consist of a plastic collar mounted with an electronic or citronella component that delivers either a mild shock or a blast of unpleasant odor.
Training is easier to do when you are present than when you are not. Unfortunately, dogs bark at any time of day, whether we are present or absent. Dogs can wear bark collars for relatively long periods, so these collars can be used even if the owners are not around. One beneficial side effect of the collar doing the correction instead of the owner is that the dog will not associate the owner with the correction.
Dogs like to have clear and consistent instruction. Yelling and impatience when attempting to train a dog not to bark can create undue stress—the dog does not understand what he’s being punished for. Yelling may confuse him because he may perceive it as barking back at him. In addition, the negative stimulus (electronic pulse, tone or citronella release) is consistent, both in timing and in severity. The collar is a tool that relies on stimulus and response. Removing emotion from the training process makes it easier on both the owner and the dog.
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