Is a No Bark Dog Collar Safe for Small Dogs?

No bark dog collars deliver a shock to your dog each time he barks. According to manufacturer web site, these collars fit dogs as small as two pounds, which encompasses almost every dog. However, the safety of these collars, for any size of dog, is a different matter.

Precautions for Using Shock Collars

No bark collars deliver a variety of level of shocks to your dog each time he barks. However, these collars are designed to fit all sizes of dog from very small to very large so the shocks are designed to punish even a mastiff. For a small dog, even the lowest setting is going to cause extreme stress, which will make the problem worse. In addition, if your dog has a heart problem or seizure disorder, it may cause death.

Pet store workers can testify that no bark collars often malfunction and shock for no reason or continuously. If this happens when you aren't home, it will shock your small dog for hours. This may just make them afraid of collars, but it may cause your dog to go into a shock that could end in serious health problems.

The least of concerns about shock collars is that dogs are discriminative learners. Your dog will know the difference between when the collar is on or off and feel free to bark when the collar is off. You haven't trained a solution to the problem. Thus, the barking will always continue unless you use the collar for the remainder of your dog's life.

Training Not to Bark

A much safer method for eliminating a barking problem in a small dog is training. Most dogs bark because they are anxious, especially small dogs. Shocking them when they bark is not going to resolve the anxiety. In fact, it will make it worse. Thus, you may eventually stop the barking, but you have not helped the underlying problem. Those anxious feelings will show themselves in other ways such as chewing, inappropriate elimination or even aggression.

If your dog is barking at a window or in the yard etc, do not give them access to that area when you are gone. Give them a quiet room with a comfortable bed, treats and bones and a DAP diffuser, which releases calming hormones that only dogs can detect. Don't let your dog practice the behavior all day.

When you are home, teach a no bark command. Play with him in a way that will make him bark. Then say "quiet" when he stops. Reward with good treats. Practice this until he responds every time.

Keep a small, thin leash on him when you are home. When he starts barking excessively at his favorite barking spot, say "quiet." If he listens, reward with a very special treat. If not, grab the leash and quietly lead him to his quiet room and close the door. Do not repeat the command or yell at him. He will just think you're barking with him. Repeat this every time he barks.

While a no bark collar may be effective in the short term, it is quite dangerous for all dogs, especially small ones. Instead, teach your dog to be calm and respond in positive ways to his stress.