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Dog Silencer : Can You Really Stop Dog Barking?

Updated on August 13, 2010
Bark Off Dog Silencer
Bark Off Dog Silencer

Really Such A Thing As A Dog Silencer?

Is there really such a thing as a dog silencer? If there was a way to stop dog barking by using some contraption, would you use it? Well, apparently a lot of people would because the pet supply market is being inundated with all types of dog silencers these days and more are on the way.

If you have a dog that continuously barks, or suffer because of a neighbor's dog, the information here may especially interesting. We all probably have horror stories about how our lives have been interrupted by nuisance dog barking and we all also probably thought that there was nothing we could do about it. The consensus from professional dog trainers seem to be that dog barking is a behavior issue and to stop dog barking would require some behavioral modification.

That's all fine and good but that sounds to me like it would be expensive and take a long time for a dog to learn new behaviors. Especially when it comes to changing something so instinctive. Dogs bark for several reasons but each one stems from the desire to communicate. Training them to communicate only when it is desirable for us may prove to be tricky even with the best trainers. Further, a lot of dog owners would argue that they want their dogs free to "communicate" so they could alert them to danger. When your dog isn't causing the trouble they serve as great little trouble detectors so maybe we just need to suffer for the sake of safety.

But the new dog silencers on the market offer solutions for this very issue and they days of shock collars 

Stop Dog Barking With A Dog Silencer

So can you really stop dog barking with a dog silencer? It seems you can but there is some debate about their effectiveness. I read a magazine article on this very subject and the dog trainer said they were effective but they would prefer to teach the dog by positive reinforcement and wasn't sure how a device could offer a reward for "good behavior".

I see the point here and over time rewarding your dog for barking or not barking on command would be great but again it seems like a timely proposition and unless we hire a pro, how easy is it really to train your own dog? Or worse, how the heck are you going to train your neighbor's dog. Dog training is great and I don't doubt it would eventually work to control dog barking. It seems to me that rewards for appropriate barking or barking on command and the absence of rewards for bad barking could rid the dog of this annoying habit but I want a quick fix. If, and only if, it could work.

In the meantime these new dog silencer gizmos have a very strong appeal because they require nothing more than flipping a switch. The premise is this. When a dog starts to bark for whatever reason, their attention is intently focused on something. It may be an object, a person, a sound or tons of other things. But, it that attention can be interrupted, then the dog will forget about the initial source and focus on the interruption. But how would this work?

A dog silencer will stop dog barking by emitting an ultrasonic wave to interrupt the dog's barking pattern and basically trick them to stop barking. By the way ultrasonic means the wave cannot be heard by humans. However, the wave is picked up quite easily by dogs. Some dog silencers will emit frequencies we can hear and you can bet they are just as annoying for us as for the dogs! So this ultrasonic stuff is probably much more agreeable to us if it works.

No there are several of these dog silencers on the market and they seem to be pretty reasonably priced. But the one creating the hype is bark off and runs only about $10. 

Bark Off Device

The Bark Off Device

oes bark off work is really the question of the hour. It looks great on TV but how does it hold up in the real world. First, let me briefly explain how it works. This particular dog silencer is small and battery operated. It can be moved around the house and works both indoors and outdoors with a range of about 300 feet. That's a pretty big range for one of these type of products.

All you need to do with the Bark Off Device is turn it on. Nothing happens on it's own but when a dog within range barks, the sensors will trigger the release of this ultrasonic pulse which will capture the dog's attention. The instructions say to give it about a week of trial and error before you make any judgments because it may take that long for your dog to get used to it. Now I tend to think this is a training mechanism more than something that renders the dog incapable of barking which I think is important to point out. The dog will react to the ultrasonic wave and focus on it as opposed to the original barking stimulus and they are not harmed in any way. No shock collar and no pain. There won't be any positive reinforcement here for the dog and I get a sense there won't be much learning here but if your dog reacts well with the bark off, you should experience some relief.

Now, if you manage to give a treat or insert a command when you notice the dog quiets after his/her initial bark and you can tell they are reacting to the bark off, then perhaps this could be used as a learning tool for the dog. I'm not going to put that much effort into it.

One of the questions being asked about the bark off device and the other ultrasonic dog barking devices is how can you make sure your dog is able to bark when you want them to? Well, that part is simple and maybe even better than if your dog learned that barking was not appropriate at any time or angered you. My fear would be that the dog became so into getting treats or receiving such positive attention for you that they wouldn't want to bark if they saw Timmy fall down the well or some thief was crawling through the window.

This is one of the main reasons a dog silencer seems like a great option and especially one like bark off. If you decide that it is a good time to allow your dog to bark, then you simply turn it off. When you go to sleep and expect your dog to sniff around and monitor the house for protection, then you would keep it off. When you want to read or watch TV and need a break, you switch it on. If your dog is one that clicks with bark off then you are home free with this type of dog silencer!


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      angie pina 7 years ago

      The bark off doesn't work. I had to take it back to Walmart for a refund. My neighbors dog is a nusiance and everytime I am outside it barks at me. I used the bark off but it still didn't stop barking, it makes me so mad that I wish I had a gun to shoot it. I need a powerful gadget. Do you have one that I can buy?

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      sal 7 years ago

      We tried bark off on our (4) dogs - the first day it worked well. After that they got used to it and barked anyway.