The Best Citronella Dog Collar Australia - An Overview
Our #1 Pick
The Best Value for Money
My Pet Command Citronella Training Dog Collar
This will be a familiar scene for new and experienced dog owners alike. Your dog finds their favourite target to bark at and it seems incessant. First thing in the morning, they bark. The last thing at night, they bark. It somehow feels that the distinct bark of your canine companion has become the soundtrack to your daily life.
After attempting to use vocal training or other distractions, perhaps your vet has recommended the use of citronella anti-bark collars. They are commonly used for very stubborn dogs who bark seemingly incessantly. (1)
Now it is incredibly important to recognise that in general, it is best to consult a dog trainer or behaviourist before implementing citronella collars as a training tool. This is because dogs excessively bark for many different reasons. Fixing the root of the problem can be the most effective if you know the source. A dog trainer or behaviourist can also advise on how to use the citronella collar if you choose to use one. (2)
We also recommend speaking to your vet about your dog’s tendency to bark a lot before using any aversive methods.
With all that said, if you have taken the precautions to learn about your dog’s barking behaviour and what may be best for them, here is our ultra complete buying guide to find the ideal citronella collar for your dog.
How Do Citronella Collars Work?
Citronella collars are very different to standard dog collars, and there are two types, automatic and remote-controlled.
Automatic citronella bark-collars
“Citronella bark collars have a small microphone in the collar to sense barking. Upon detection, it will release plant-based citronella fragrance into the air. The Cornell University study found that all dog owners found citronella collars to be effective at reducing or stopping nuisance barking, and many preferred them over the electric shock collars. They are also used in several stray and pet adoption organizations to help control excessive barking.” - Melissa Brasfield at Everyday Health (3)
The problem with the automatic mechanism is that you can’t be sure of its reliability. Some collars are “smarter” than others let’s say.
You don’t want your dog to be spritzed whenever they bark for a legitimate reason e.g when they are in danger. Some auto bark collars are so sensitive that a high-pitched whine, a sneeze, or even the bark of other dogs can set them off.
This can end up confusing your dog as they haven’t done anything wrong.
On the other hand, if your neighbours are complaining that your dog barks incessantly when you are not home. Of course, in these situations, a remote-controlled collar is completely useless. So you may opt for an automatic collar instead.
In the interest of providing options for all, we have recommended one automatic bark collar that is very attuned to a dog bark and is, therefore, more fit for purpose. Generally, though, we prefer…
Remote-controlled citronella bark collars
Remote-controlled collars are much more intentional. Intentionality is important for dog training. To train your dog, they need to understand the relationship between cause and effect.
For example, if you get home after a long day at work and have found that your dog has destroyed the sofa cushions, it is almost definitely a waste of time to punish them for doing so. Why? Because the job has already been done. They will not equate your firm commands or frustration with what they may have done hours ago.
They will link your disappointment to whatever they are doing at the moment you speak to them. Quite futile if you ask me! However, if you catch your dog in the act of destroying your cushions, then you can say a firm “no” and take them away from the cushions. There is a direct correlation there between the behaviour and your disapproval of it.
This is the beauty of remote control collars. When your dog is in a barking frenzy, you can use your remote control to sprit them at that precise moment.
As we mentioned in the auto collar section, this isn’t so helpful when you are not around, but we think training is always best employed when you are around. If you can instill good habits when you are present, this can eventually improve their behaviour when you aren’t there.
How To Use A Citronella Collar Effectively
We recommend asking a dog trainer or behaviorist to teach you how to use a citronella collar expertly with your specific dog. Every dog is different and responds to training tools differently.
Here are some quick tips to get you started:
What to Look for In A Citronella Collar
Finding the ideal citronella collar for your dog is just like finding any dog collar for your pup. There are various factors at play, and these are the ones we think are most important.
Unlike many products on the market, citronella collars are generally quite good in terms of sizing. I know right? Shocker! The sizeism of the dog marketplace seemingly doesn’t exist here.
Most collars claim to be usable for dogs over 8lbs and older than 6 months. Those are the typical size parameters. This covers a very wide range of breeds.
These collars do tend to be a one size fits all kind of deal so make sure you find the correct sizing for your pup.
As an overall rule for fitting collars, it needs to be snug on your dog’s neck but not suffocating. You should be able to comfortably slip your index and middle finger between the collar and your dog’s neck for it to be a good fit. (4)
Manual vs Automatic mechanisms
We spoke at length about the manual and automatic natures of citronella collars. In that vein, it is important to choose the right one for your specific circumstances. If in doubt, we think the remote control collars are a bit better in terms of effective training.
You want your dog’s citronella collar to be durable and for some, that means waterproof. Since these have electronic mechanisms, it is rare to find a completely waterproof option.
By the very nature of their construction, there is an opening where the citronella sprays from which leaves the collar vulnerable to water damage.
Certain models are better than others at withstanding the rain or wet grass so read the indications well. Given that the collar shouldn’t be used all of the time, you should be able to protect it from extensive water damage.
With or without spray
This is a gripe of mine. So many manufacturers sell citronella collars without the actual spray. It’s like every product you’ve ever received without the necessary batteries to make it function.
Such a pain!
Luckily, our top choice in the category does come with its own spray, and we have also recommended a standalone spray to purchase with the kits that woefully go without one.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Not everything needs to be complex or have multiple settings, but citronella collars for dogs can use several modes to great effect.
The simpler collars use low, medium, and high settings to adjust the mist that the collar spritzes. You can adjust this to your dog’s unique sensitivity and calibrate it to what they will best respond to. With remote-controlled collars, you can do this using the remote. Auto collars will need setting before you put them on your pooch.
Other collars take things a step further. They use other humane techniques such as ultrasonic vibrations, beeping, and light as distraction techniques against barking. If you are not sure if your dog will respond to citronella the way you intend, you may want to purchase one of these more all-encompassing options. You can adjust the modes to the techniques that work best for you in your training.
Best Citronella Dog Collars Reviewed
So, we’ve discussed how citronella collars work and what you need to look for before you buy one. Let’s now dive into our top picks for citronella collars on the Australian market.
I would like to make note of the online review of these collars before we dig into the nitty-gritty. Citronella collars and anti-barking collars often get mixed reviews. Why? Well, some dogs are just more stubborn when it comes to training tools. Some dogs even like the taste and smell of citronella so bark more to release the yummy goodness from the collar.
So, you may see some reviews saying that a collar didn’t work for them. That can happen. All training tools have a margin of error. Your dog may not respond to citronella collars but prefer ultrasonic vibration collars. Maybe the source of the barking is old age and confusion, so citronella collars wouldn’t be as effective. Bear this in mind as you review the collars we recommend below.
My Pet Command creates a fabulous dog training collar. It may be a citronella collar first and foremost but it can do so much more!
Let’s start with the spray capabilities first as that is why you’re here of course. The collar is capable of holding ~42 sprays at a time which is easy to refill. Unfortunately, the collar kit does not include a bottle of citronella to start using the collar so you will need to purchase this separately. Bit of a pain? Absolutely. Luckily we have a recommendation for citronella spray for dogs later in this review, so hang tight, dear reader!
There are three spray modes that you can use to send the message to your dog. The most effective is the mist setting but there are two others that you can use. It is best to experiment with what your dog responds to best to ensure effective training.
To us, the best part is the remote control. It has a wide remote range of up to ½ mile. Being incredibly effective and reliable at long distances is always a plus.
Now onto the extra modes! Oh yes, there are three extra modes apart from the citronella spray. There is a vibration, light, and beep setting. We love the versatility of this collar because, as I mentioned before, not all dogs respond to citronella. This collar will give you the flexibility to use other distraction tactics to keep your dog’s barking at bay.
Extra bonuses of this product are the super-long battery life and the adjustable fit. This product is great for dogs of all breeds as it can be as small as 15cm to as large as 65cm. Very impressive range for a general product.
With the added bonus of a 1-year warranty, the My Pet Command citronella collar is definitely the one to beat!
WWVVPET makes a fantastic simple spray dog collar. It is highly effective, humane, and controllable. First of all, it has a remote control which means that you can have a direct cause and effect with the mechanism of the collar. The remote control has an impressive range of 152 metres which means you can use this collar at a great distance from your dog. If you have a large garden like mine, you’ll know how handy this large remote range really is!
The reason we placed the WWVVPET collar as the runner up is because it has fewer training modes. There are two modes to this collar: the citronella spray and a loud beep setting. The beep mode has two volume levels.
This collar uses long-lasting, rechargeable batteries that can reportedly remain on standby for 5-7 days. When the battery is low, the red light on the collar will flash, so you’ll never be caught out without battery. Recharging is simple with the USB cable that comes with the kit.
We love how lightweight and small the collar is as citronella collars can be very cumbersome! The manufacturer claims you can fit this collar of a dog of any size over 6 months and 3kgs. That is relatively true but not quite. The widest width is 54cm so if you have a giant breed, double check this will work for them.
The spray chamber comes with capacity for 25-35 sprays. It’s great that the manufacturer includes a full citronella spray in the kit too. As you’ll see, it is quite rare for the company to do this! The citronella spray they give you is fully safe to use with your dog and provides up to 400 refills. It will last you for ages!
It is a shame that the WWVVPET collar isn’t fully waterproof. It’s only resistant to light rain and the moist atmosphere in wet grass. So, you wouldn’t be able to use this on a heavy rainy day or around large bodies of water.
With all that said, this is citronella collar ticks all of the boxes. It is easy to use, it is remote controlled and has incredible battery life. A winner all around!
If you are looking for a reliable cheaper alternative to the models we mentioned before, the Kaiercat Citronella Collar will get the job done!
The collar has the capacity for between 25 and 30 sprays at a time but is easily refillable like the others on this list. The starter pack does not come with a refill, unfortunately so bear that in mind. There are three spray modes according to the sensitivity of your dog and the strength their respond to.
The Kaeircat is a smart device. It lets you know by way of LED lights when the battery is low and when the spray is low. Therefore, you can trust you will know when it needs topping up. Not that you will need to charge it too often. This collar can reportedly stay awake for up to 7 days depending on how frequently you use it. Charging it is simple with the USB cable they include. Easy-peasy!
We also love the fully adjustable silicone straps here but it is more limited in terms of sizing than the previous two models we mentioned. The smallest size is 20cm and the largest is 68cm. Excellent for extra-large breeds which makes us happy, but not so ideal for toy breeds.
Finally, in terms of water resistance, the Kaiercat will fare better than the WWVVPET collar but it’s still not fully waterproof. A rainy day? Yes. Swimming? A definite no.
Overall, this is a wonderful product for such a reasonable price point. It is simple, effective, and trustworthy - we love it!
So, we have shown our bias for remote control citronella collars because they are more targeted in their training uses. That said, in the interest of catering to all, we do have a recommendation for an automatic collar. Introducing the ULTPEAK.
We recommend this as an automatic anti-barking collar because it is quite intelligent in deciphering when your dog is barking and when they are using their voice in other ways. This is crucial for the effectiveness of any citronella collar. You don’t want your dog to be spritzed if they innocently sneeze!
This collar is very well received by the owners who use it. It is a high-quality product with a solid build.
There are two spray levels; high and low. You can adjust according to your dog’s sensitivity.
The highly effective rechargeable lithium batteries take 2 hours to fully charge and last up to 7 days of use.
Like the previous models on this list, this collar will withstand a splash of water or rain, but not being fully submerged. Be sure to take the collar off before your dog goes for a swim or rolls in a puddle.
ULTPEAK, unfortunately, doesn’t include the citronella spray in the box, but they do supply two adjustable straps which are handy. These are durable nylon straps that will last your dog a long time.
To top it off, there is a manufacturer’s warranty if you buy the product from ULTAPEAK’s store on Amazon for extra peace of mind. Overall, a fabulous automatic spray collar for those who want one!
For most of these anti-bark citronella collars, you need citronella… and yet they so rarely include a refill spray in the kit! So frustrating.
So, to get you started here is a recommendation for a citronella spray.
The PetSafe spray is exactly what it says on the tin. It is completely safe to use for your dog’s citronella collar.
The formula contains a safe percentage of citronella oil in a water carrier for the gentle scent effect. To use it with the barking collar you buy, you need to tip it upside down and press the nozzle into the cartridge for the allocated number of seconds. The manufacturer of the collar will indicate how long the pressure should be applied to fill up the cartridge.
This refill is 88.7ml which equates to around 300-400 sprays depending on the collar you use it with and how often you refill it. It should last you a very very long time!
Top Choice: Best Citronella Bark Collar
There we have it! For our best of the best, we think the My Pet Command collar is pretty outstanding. The multiple modes, wide sizing, and excellent remote-control range make it an incredible training tool. It is a great place to start with plenty of options to customise your dog’s training in a unique way.
If you are on a budget, the Kaiercat collar is a simpler collar with a lot to offer. It will do the job perfectly well, squeezing in many great features into an economical frame.
Want to learn more about dog collars? Check out our below guides:
Generally, yes, citronella collars are safe for dogs. However, if your dog has underlying health issues or breathing problems, it is probably not the best idea to use citronella sprays with them. We recommend consulting your vet before attempting to use any kind of anti-bark collar.
Before attempting to curb your dog’s excessive barking, it’s good to have a handle on why they may be so agitated in the first place. (5) Here are some suggestions:
- Separation anxiety
- Greeting people or other animals
- Territorial barking around the house or garden
- Attention seeking
Sometimes a dog may get fixated on barking, even after the stimulus is gone. My dog can often continue barking for a long time at the bottom of the garden, long after the offending passer-by has gone. We have to wake him up by calling him to get him to come inside and calm down.
Overall aversive collars are seen as inhumane. These are shock collars, prong collars and choke collars. They use pain to deter your dog from barking which is cruel and ultimately ineffective. (6)
Citronella collars are certainly on the aversive scale, but they are not considered inhumane. Regardless, you should consult your trusted veterinarian before using one.
The truth is.. Yes and no.
Some dogs enjoy the taste and smell of citronella, so it is pretty useless for them in general. They are in the minority though. What is more likely is that your dog will associate the collar itself with the spray and will therefore be strategic as to when they bark.
The American Kennel Club writes “your dog may learn that the spray only comes when the collar is on. However, you should not leave any bark-deterrent collar on your dog twenty-four hours a day.” (7)
- M, Becker. November 21, 2011. “My Puppy Won't Stop Barking, Will a Spray Collar Help?”. Vet Street. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/my-puppy-wont-stop-barking-will-a-spray-collar-help
- J, Stregowski. January 24, 2019. “Dog Trainers Versus Animal Behaviorists Which is Right for Your Dog?”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://www.thesprucepets.com/dog-trainers-versus-behaviorists-1118258
- M, Brassfield. November 15, 2017. “Pros and Cons Of Bark Collars”. Everyday Health. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://www.everydayhealth.com/pet-health/pros-cons-bark-collars/
- “How Tight Should a Dog’s Collar Be to Fit Properly?”. A, Collins. Puppy Pointers. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://www.puppypointers.com/how-tight-should-a-dog-collar-be/
- “5 Reasons Your Dog Won’t Stop Barking”. September 29, 2017. PetMD. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/5-reasons-your-dog-wont-stop-barking
- L, Holmes. May 17, 2020. “Are Dog Shock Collars Harmful? E-Collar Training Dangers”. Petful. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://pethelpful.com/pet-ownership/Are-Dog-Shock-Collars-Harmful-The-Dangers-of-E-Collar-Training
- “Bark Control Tools to Help Stop Nuisance Barking”. November 12, 2020. American Kennel Club. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/bark-control-tools-to-help-stop-nuisance-barking/