I had never really thought about using a dog silencer before. In fact I never even knew such a thing existed. I only wished I could stop my neighbor's dog from ruining my life. Well, the night part anyway. So as I was reading some Pet magazine in the checkout line of my local pet superstore, I came across and article filled with solutions. I'll admit right now that I didn't buy the magazine, but I my interest was peaked and I began to research a way to stop dog barking online.
For the most part my own dog is relatively well behaved and doesn't bark a whole lot. Only, when company comes or the kids get him riled up but my neighbor's dog is a different story. She's a great dog but my bedroom window happens to be very close to my property line and seems even closer to the neighbors patio where the dog roams late at night. I know dog barking is instinctual but getting a break once in awhile would be incredible.
Most dog barking stems from a desire to communicate. We have all heard the heroic stories of dogs saving people by alerting them to danger or trouble and we surely don't want to stifle that behavior so what is the best approach?
The first thing we thing of as a dog silencer is the good old shock collar. I'm not a fan of this at all because not only is a bit inhumane, it's based on negative reinforcement and that can't be good for aggressive dogs. The collars deliver an electrical pulse when the owner deems it necessary and hopefully the dog will learn to associate the little blast with the unwanted behavior. It may work, but keep in mind that your isn't going to like it.
Next is the dog whistle. These things are pretty popular for all types of training. The frequency of the whistle annoy the dog enough to pay attention to the trainer and hopefully over time will learn to associate the sound with the command to stop the behavior. This is great but training can be tough and what about the neighbor's dog that I can't train?
This leads me to training in general. There are lots of successful training methods and several different ways to teach commands to your dog. One of the most popular is hand signals. It might take a while with this type of training as well, but judging by its popularity on all the television shows it probably works. But again, we are talking about time, most likely some significant money for classes and of course what about dogs that are not our own.
So the solution may just be these ultrasonic dog silencers we are starting to see advertised on late night television. There are many different brands and technologies floating around but the ones that interest me are the ones that you just switch on and your dog stops barking.
In a perfect world they would work as follows. Switch on the device and when your dog barks some type of ultrasonic wave is emitted which makes the dog stop barking. End of story. But the reason why it works is actually pretty clever. The theory is that the dog, while barking, is focused on some stimulus and if their attention can be diverted away, they will forget about it and the barking will stop. This seems plausible to me but does it work.
The jury is still out on these devices mainly because each dog is different. Some are passive, some aggressive, some vocal, some just plain uncontrollable so the best advice is to try. There are devices out there which sell for around $100 and there are both good and bad reviews on them. Others, like bark off, sell for just $10 so testing it out on your dog will require no significant investment.
In my case the bark off works great on my dog, which was never really the problem, but doesn't seem to affect my neighbor's dog. I suspect that the dog wanders in and out of range and the fact that the bark off is by my bed inside my house might have a lot to do with it.
So the good news for those suffering from annoying dog barking is that there are several methods to try and control it. If you don't have time to train your dog or don't have access to the neighbor's dog, you may want to try some type of dog silencer.