Best Bark Collars

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

16 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
137 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bark collars

Last Updated December 2019

Your dog may be the perfect four-legged companion in most situations, but if he has an excessive barking habit, it’s easy to get frustrated.  Whether it’s because the UPS truck is making a delivery or a squirrel ran past your window, dogs typically don’t need much reason to bark, which is why a bark collar may be the only way to get some peace and quiet in your home.

A bark collar has a sensor to detect barking. When the collar senses that your dog is barking, it uses a correction to discourage the noise. This negative reinforcement trains your dog to stop barking because she learns to associate an unwelcome sensation or consequence with barking.

To make sure you train your dog safely and effectively, though, you have to choose the right bark collar. That means figuring out what type is best, the sensor type you prefer, and what other features will be most helpful in training your dog. If you’re confused by all the options, our convenient shopping guide can help you choose the best bark collar for your dog. Or check out our specific product recommendations for the easiest shopping.

Most veterinarians only recommended the use of bark collars after you’ve tried other training techniques because it’s considered a more extreme measure.

Key considerations

Collar type

Bark collars are available with several different types of corrective stimuli to discourage barking. While they can all be effective, you may be more comfortable using certain forms of negative reinforcement than others on your dog.

  • Static bark collars provide a short pulse of mild static electricity when the collar senses barking. Some models increase the strength of the pulse if the dog continues to bark. Many veterinarians, trainers, and pet owners don’t feel static bark collars are the best option because they can confuse the dog, who may respond to the pulses by barking more. Though the static electricity is mild, some research suggests that it can cause tissue damage.

  • Vibration bark collars begin to vibrate when they sense that your dog is barking. The vibrations are similar to the vibrate setting on a cell phone, so the collar won’t hurt your dog. These collars are considered a more humane alternative to static bark collars, though they usually work better if you have a dog with short hair that can feel the vibrations more strongly.

  • Ultrasonic bark collars emit a high-pitched sound that only dogs can hear when barking is sensed. They are another more humane alternative to static bark collars, but they can be set off by other noises nearby. Dogs can also become used to the sound over time and learn to ignore it.

  • Spray bark collars produce a fine mist that hits the dog to discourage barking. Most models use a solution that contains citronella because it has an odor that is unpleasant to dogs. Depending on where the mist hits the dog, though, the citronella may cause eye irritation. Models that use plain water may not be as effective, but they won’t irritate your dog. The problem with spray bark collars is that some dogs learn to empty all of the misting solution from the collar with continued barking.

Dog size and weight

Most bark collars are designed to be effective on dogs of a certain size and weight. As with any collar, you have to choose a model that will fit the circumference of your dog’s neck. Measure your pet with a tape measure, and compare the measurement to the sizing guidelines provided by the manufacturer. If the collar is adjustable, you can purchase a collar that’s slightly larger because you’ll be able to tighten it for a snug fit around your dog’s neck.

To make sure that a bark collar is both safe and effective, manufacturers often sell collars based on weight. That’s because a 10-pound dog obviously needs a milder pulse from a static collar than an 80-pound dog. Check the weight range listed for any bark collar that you’re considering to make sure that your dog can safely use it.

Outstanding collar for a variety of breeds

The SportDOG Brand FieldTrainer 425 is an excellent training collar for dogs of all sizes. It works for any dog eight pounds or larger and can actually be used to train up to three dogs. You can choose from vibration, beep, or pulse stimulation to deter your dog from barking or other unwanted behaviors, and the remote transmitter has a range of up to 500 yards to make training as easy as possible. We also love that the rechargeable lithium-ion battery can last for up to 70 hours per charge.

Features

Sensor type

A bark collar has a sensor that determines when your dog is barking. Some collars have a vibration sensor, which picks up the vibration of a dog’s vocal cords, while others have a sound sensor that’s able to detect the noise of barking.

Vibration sensors may not be sensitive enough to detect all barking, while sound sensors may be too sensitive and trigger the collar when noises are detected around your dog. You can find some collars with dual sensors, which typically provide the most accuracy. Dual-sensor bark collars are more expensive, though.

Adjustability

No matter what type of sensor you choose, you should select a bark collar that allows you to adjust its sensitivity. The more sensitivity levels that a collar offers, the better you’ll be able to fine-tune the device so that it works only when your dog barks.

Battery type

A bark collar’s sensor and behavior modification mechanism require some type of battery for power. Some collars use standard replaceable batteries, such as AAA or AA, while others feature rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can last up to 70 hours without needing to be recharged.

Most pet owners find rechargeable batteries to be more convenient because you don’t have to run out to buy replacement batteries while you’re training your dog.

Remote control

While bark collars are designed primarily to correct a dog’s barking problem, they can be used to train your dog to avoid other undesirable behaviors. To help you correct behaviors other than barking, some models allow you to trigger the collar with a remote control rather than waiting for the sensor to be activated. This feature may be ideal if you also want to discourage your dog from behaviors such as jumping on furniture or wandering away from your yard.

Water resistance

If you have an active dog, choosing a water-resistant bark collar can be an important feature. It allows the collar to still work effectively even if your dog is in the water, out in the rain, or getting bathed.

DID YOU KNOW?

If you use a bark collar with ultrasonic noise stimulation, be aware that other dogs in your house may be affected when the collar is triggered.

DID YOU KNOW?

Bark collars shouldn’t be used on dogs younger than six months of age.

Bark collar prices

Bark collars vary in price based on their sensors, sensitivity, and special features. Most collars range from $10 to $265.

The most affordable bark collars use a single type of bark deterrent and only offer up to 10 levels of adjustability. They usually run on replaceable batteries, have few special features, and cost between $10 and $65.

Mid-range bark collars typically offer two or more bark deterrent options and offer up to 50 adjustability levels. They usually run on rechargeable batteries, offer some special features like remote access, and cost between $65 and $170.

The most expensive bark collars offer three or more bark deterrent options and offer up to 100 adjustability levels. They run on rechargeable batteries, offer some special features like remote access and a waterproof design, and cost between $170 and $265.

A collar that helps with more than just barking control

If you’re looking for a collar that can train your dog to stop barking, walk on a leash, control aggression, or stop other behavioral issues, the PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar is an ideal option. It offers remote control with up to a 1200 foot range so you can correct behavior even from a distance. You can choose from pulse, vibration, and noise stimulation options as well to customize the training to fit your dog’s needs. We also love that it has 100 levels of customization to finetune the stimulation perfectly.

Tips

  • Make sure that any bark collar you choose fits your dog comfortably. If the collar is too loose, your pet may not experience enough of a deterrent effect to stop the barking. If the collar is too tight, it will be uncomfortable and your dog won’t want to wear it.

  • Take your dog’s temperament into account when you’re deciding what type of bark collar to choose. If you have a relatively calm dog, you likely don’t need an electrical pulse to train him to stop barking.

  • Get your dog used to a bark collar slowly. Have her wear the collar for short periods to start, and gradually increase the length of your training sessions as your dog becomes used to the collar.

  • If you are using a bark collar for barking, don’t try to use it for jumping on the furniture or staying in your yard, too. Your dog may get confused if you use the same stimuli for all types of training.

CAUTION

Bark collars with only one stimulation level are often too extreme and may cause distress for your dog that makes training more difficult.

Other products we considered

There are plenty of bark collars on the market, so you should be able to find a model that is the perfect match for your dog’s training needs. The ELenest Bark Collar is an ideal option if you live in a noisy or busy neighborhood. That’s because it uses vibration detection to sense barking, rather than sound detection, to prevent the collar from accidentally being triggered and spoiling your training efforts. We also love the Pawious Dog Training Collar for active dogs because of its waterproof design, which allows your dog to wear it while swimming or bathing. It also features vibration, pulse, and sound deterrents, so you’re sure to be able to get the training results you want.

A bark collar typically won’t work to correct whining. That’s because the sensor usually can’t detect whining since barking reaches a different vocal pitch.

FAQ

Q. Will a bark collar hurt my dog?
A.
Even if you choose a bark collar that uses electrical pulses as a deterrent, it likely won’t hurt your dog. The pulses are designed to be mild, so they feel more like static electricity than a shock. If you’re concerned about your dog experiencing pain or discomfort, though, opt for a collar that uses vibration as a deterrent.

Q. Can my dog use a bark collar if he has health issues?
A.
Most bark collars don’t have any health restrictions for use, but check the manufacturer’s information to be sure. If you have any concerns about particular health issues that your dog suffers from, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before using a bark collar.

Q. How long will it take a bark collar to stop my dog’s barking?
A.
A variety of factors can affect how long it takes to train your dog not to bark with a bark collar. Your dog’s temperament, how frequently she experiences the stimuli that trigger barking, and how easily your dog is distracted while barking can all determine how long the training takes. In many cases, it only takes a handful of triggers from the collar for your dog to make the connection between barking and the deterrent, so you may see results in a week or so. Other dogs may need several weeks of training.

The team that worked on this review
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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