The 6 Best Citronella Dog Collars Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
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 more 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. To ensure we recommended the most effective and safe option, we teamed up with an expert panel of veterinarians and dog behaviourists to research and test dozens and dozens of options. After months of testing and debate, we compiled this list of the best citronella dog collars Australia offers. Let's check them out.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
PetSafe Rechargeable Citronella Bark Collar
- Dual training modes
- Suitable for X-Small to X-Large dogs
- Rechargeable lithium battery - lasts 40 hours
- 3 year manufacturer’s warranty
Runner Up -
Barktec BT-100 Citronella Bark Collar Kit
- Automatic bark detection
- Adjustable collar included
- Non-toxic citronella spray
- Refill included
- Easy to use
Third Choice -
WWVVPET Spray dog barking collar
- Remote controlled
- Long battery life
- Lightweight and adjustable
- Comes with a citronella spray
Australia's Best Citronella Dog Collars Reviewed
So, we’ve discussed how citronella collars work and the features you need to look for before you buy one. Now let’s dive into our independent team of experts' 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, which some of our researchers experienced too firsthand with their pups. 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.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
"Citronella is a canine safe essential oil derived from leaves and stems that can be used a training aid. What I liked about the product we've listed in the top spot, the PetSafe Rechargeable Citronella Bark Collar, is that it comes with a three year warranty."
Out of all our tests, our panel of independent experts agree that the Pet Safe Rechargeable Citronella Dog Collar offered by The Dog Line - Australia's bark collar specialists, is head and shoulders above the rest.
It utilises a combination of spray sound resonation, mist and citronella to instantly distract your dog and help redirect their attention from barking.
What sets this option apart from its competitors are its features.
The PetSafe Rechargeable Citronella Bark Collar being tested by our independent expert team.
There are two training modes, weak and strong which are interchangeable at the press of a button and perfect for finding the most suitable spray level needed for your pup (our advice is to start on the weak setting). The collar has an in-built vibration and noise sensor that triggers the spray and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts for 50 hours and can be recharged in only 2 hours. There is also a battery status indicator that flashes either red, yellow or green to indicate the battery level.
I really appreciated that each collar comes with an additional two cartridges of safe citronella essence oil. Not all of our recommendations include a refill, though our next choice at number two does include a single refill. With this collar, one of the refills is scented and the other is unscented meaning you can trial which option is more suitable for your pup. In addition, each citronella cartridge is recyclable and contains 35-40 sprays before a refill is needed.
The cherry on top is the 3 year warranty, which highlights what a solid and trustworthy product it is.
The Barktec BT-100 citronella collar is another product that works well and is easy to use. Just like our top pick, this collar has a sensor on it that detects barking and automatically sprays a dose of citronella.
Could it be easier than that? Probably not. Though as a side note, it is built bulkier than our number one choice, which may be an issue for smaller breed dogs.
To get started, all I needed to do is fill the collar (super easy to do), press the ‘ON’ button (do this before you put the collar on your dog, as turning the collar on triggers a test-spray). Then I just needed to adjust the strap and set up the collar on my dog – and you are all set! When you buy this collar, you will also receive a refill bottle.
While the collar is automatic, our expert team still recommends using it only under supervision. You never know when the system might malfunction and you don’t want your dog roaming around and being sprayed by citronella in the face constantly!
WWVVPET makes a fantastic simple spray dog collar. It is highly effective, humane, and controllable. First of all, our research panel loved how it has a remote control, meaning 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!
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, which we mentioned about our second choice. The manufacturer claims you can fit this collar on dogs of any size over 6 months and 3 kgs. That is relatively true but not quite. The widest width is 54 cm so if you have a giant breed, double check this will work for them. If not, opt for the Barktec collar.
The spray chamber comes with a capacity for 25-35 sprays and 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 citronella collar ticks all of the boxes. It is easy to use, 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. Though unlike our previously mentioned products, 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 they respond to.
The Kaeircat is a smart device. It lets you know by way of LED lights when the battery and spray are low. Therefore, you can trust you will know when it needs topping up. Not that you will need to charge it too often. Our team of independents experts noted this collar can stay awake for up to 7 days depending on how frequently it is used. 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 20 cm and the largest is 68 cm. Excellent for extra-large breeds which makes us happy, but not so ideal for toy breeds, kind of like our number two option.
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 all members of our research team feel 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 was very well received by all of our panelists who used it with their dogs. It is a high-quality product with a solid build.
Like our number recommendation, 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, I had 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 88.7 ml 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!
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, so our team of independent experts 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, lets say 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, our panel of researchers 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 between the behaviour and your disapproval of it.
This is the beauty of remote control collars. When my dog is in a barking frenzy, I can use your remote control to spritz 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 instil 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 behaviourist to teach you how to use a citronella collar expertly with your specific dog. Every dog is different and responds to training tools differently. But in general, our panel of independent experts have some ideas that may prove handy.
Here are some quick tips to get you started:
What I 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 our expert team thinks 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 8 lbs (3.5 kg) 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 with 'batteries not included'.
Such a pain!
Luckily, our top choice in the category does come with its own spray, and along with our panel of experts, we also recommended a standalone spray to purchase with the kits that woefully go without one.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Related: Citronella Spray For Dogs.
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. I was able to adjust this to my dog’s unique sensitivity and calibrate it to what he will best respond to. With remote-controlled collars, I could 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.
My Final Say
There we have it! For our best of the best, our independent team of experts agree that 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, we also think 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)
- Becker, M. January 24, 2012. “Dr. Marty Becker’s Picks for Calming Your Pet”. Vet Street. Retrieved April 8, 2023. https://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/dr-marty-beckers-picks-for-calming-your-pet
- Stregowski, J. October 5, 2022. “Dog Trainers Versus Animal Behaviorists Which is Right for Your Dog?”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved April 8, 2023. https://www.thesprucepets.com/dog-trainers-versus-behaviorists-1118258
- Brassfield, M. November 15, 2017. “Pros and Cons Of Bark Collars”. Everyday Health. Retrieved April 8, 2023. https://www.everydayhealth.com/pet-health/pros-cons-bark-collars/
- Collins, A. August 6, 2021. “How Tight Should a Dog’s Collar Be to Fit Properly?”. Puppy Pointers. Retrieved April 8, 2023. https://www.puppypointers.com/how-tight-should-a-dog-collar-be/
- “5 Reasons Your Dog Won’t Stop Barking”. September 29, 2017. PetMD. Retrieved April 8, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/5-reasons-your-dog-wont-stop-barking
- Holmes, L. March 21, 2023. “Why Shock/E-Collars Are Bad For Dogs”. Petful. Retrieved April 8, 2023. https://pethelpful.com/pet-ownership/Are-Dog-Shock-Collars-Harmful-The-Dangers-of-E-Collar-Training
- “Bark Control Tools to Help Stop Nuisance Barking”. September 1, 2021. American Kennel Club. Retrieved April 8, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/bark-control-tools-to-help-stop-nuisance-barking/