Best Dog Barking Collars -
The Anti Bark Overview
Our #1 Pick
The Best Value for Money
My Pet Command
I don’t know about you, but my dog is the most annoying voice in the village. I live in a rural area with plenty of land around us. If a car, person, or other dog happens to graze past our estate, Pip, the man of the house, goes into a wild yapping frenzy.
He spins in circles and runs up and down the garden to let the unsuspecting stranger know who’s boss. And to a degree, I understand. He is a sighthound, after all, so he is fulfilling his role in the family. Who am I to rob him of his destiny? But there comes a point where it just becomes a groaning irritation that upsets us, our other dogs, and the neighbours near and far.
Dog barking collars are different to regular dog collars, and are seemingly the perfect solution for a pooch that just won’t be told (1). When good old vocal training just wouldn’t suffice, we chose to use an anti-barking collar that used citronella and sound as the primary techniques for distraction. Within weeks, we were able to instil better barking habits with our dog. Now we don’t even use the collar. We use a simple command and he knows the drill.
When trying to find the right anti-barking collar there is a myriad of factors at play. We highly recommend that you seek the professional advice of a dog behaviourist or trainer before purchasing one so that you can maximise your training together. (2) You should also consult a vet to make sure that your dog’s reasons for nuisance barking aren’t clinical.
In this article, I want to make the process as easy as possible to find the right collar for your dog’s needs.
Why Is My Dog Barking Excessively?
The first thing to note is that your aim shouldn’t be to stop your dog from barking completely. That is like stopping a bird from chirping. Fish gotta swim, cats gotta meow, dogs gotta bark. (3)
As I said in the intro, my dog uses barking as a territorial call to others. He is protecting the household by letting us know that someone is passing by. Perfect normal doggy behaviours and not one that goes unappreciated - I promise Pip! It’s when the braking spirals out of control that it becomes annoying and unnecessary.
Here are some other common reasons why dogs bark excessively (4):
By fixing the root of the problem, you can often see excessive barking subside naturally. For example, if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, they can act out in all sorts of ways.
Debra Horwitz, DVM, from VCA Animal Hospitals, writes about separation anxiety “They become extremely anxious and show distress behaviours such as vocalization, destruction, or house soiling when separated from the owners. “(5)
Knowing the root of the anxiety could solve it all. That said, you may turn to anti-bark collars when the basis of training and keeping your dog entertained isn’t showing any improvement.
What Are the Different Types of Barking Collars?
We at Gentle Dog Trainers firmly believe in humane, gentle, training methods. Therefore, you will never catch us recommending shock or choke collars to you. (6) It is not part of our philosophy. There are anti-bark collars that use soft techniques that integrate well with consistent vocal training. Here is a round-up of them.
Sound barking collars
Sound collar use beeping to distract your dog from the source of their barking and keep them quiet. It is rare for anti-barking collars to use solely sound as a training technique. It is usually paired with vibration to impart the message to your dog. The sound can be at frequencies above our human hearing capacities or within them. It is up to you which you decide to choose.
Vibrating barking collars
Vibrating bark collars are very common. They typically employ ultrasonic waves to gently vibrate on your dog’s neck. This is a distraction and correction technique used by many professional dog trainers. Vibrating collars are often integrated with other categories of collar like sound and citronella, but it isn’t hard to find a collar that only vibrates if that is what you prefer.
Citronella barking collars
Citronella bark collars use a small cartridge full of citronella to gently spritz below your dog’s snout when they bark. This is very effective for many dogs. Be warned - some dogs love the taste of citronella so it’s a pretty useless tactic on them. You’ll only know if you try!
Light barking collars
This is the least common but some collars use the use of LED lights to distract your dog when they bark. It is the least common because only so many dogs are actually sensitive to this. It also depends on your dog’s face shape. By that I mean, can they even see the light shining below them? This is why it is rare to see a light collar that only uses light as an anti-bark technique. Usually, it is integrated with one of the previous three techniques that are somewhat stronger in their response.
Important Things to Know Before You Buy an Anti-Bark Collar
1. Not every technique will work for your dog
This somewhat goes without saying but every dog is different. I mentioned the citronella obsession but some dogs even love the sensations of vibrations along their neck. Like a friendly massage. Not quite so effective as an aversive tool. Likewise, sound collars are completely defunct when used with deaf or hard of hearing dogs.
If you are not entirely sure which type of collar will work, it is best to purchase a collar that uses many different techniques. You can personalise your training more effectively that way.
2. They should not be used on puppies
Most manufacturers will say this on their instructions, but I will reiterate anti-bark collars or devices of any kind should not be used on dogs younger than 6 months old.
3. They should fit like regular collars do
When looking to fit your dog for an anti-bark collar, you should use the same rules you would for a regular collar. That means that you should be able to slip your middle and index fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck comfortably. Most collars are “one size fits all” and you adjust the straps to fit your pooch. Be mindful of the sizing range. Particularly for tiny or giant breeds.
4. They shouldn’t be worn for long periods of time
No anti-bark collar should be used for a long period of time. They should be used in short bursts with active training and positive reinforcement to get the best results. A professional dog trainer will be in the best position to advise you exactly how to use the product you choose your purchase.
Best Dog Barking Collars 2021 Reviewed
The right barking collar for your dog takes into account their unique needs and sensitivities. For these collars to be effective as training tools, they need to be stimulating and distracting to your dog. They also need to be safe for your dog.
By that I mean, if your dog has breathing difficulties, a citronella collar is not the best thing for them. Likewise, if your dog is deaf, a beep collar is not the best thing. A vibrating collar would be better for them. Hopefully, these in-depth reviews will help you to select the right anti-barking collar for your lovely doggy.
Another thing to note before we get into the reviews is the mixed reviews that some collars may get online. When it comes to anti-bark collars, it is quite natural for the reviews to be mixed. This is because not all anti-bark techniques work for every dog. This is why there is a range of different types with different modes that are used in different ways. Some dogs love citronella and will bark more to release the spray - as a reward. Some dogs find the vibrations of a collar soothing. Conversely, your dog may find the techniques of the collar you choose distressing, causing them more anxiety and stress.
It all depends on your dog and how they take to the collar. So, read into the reviews with that nuance in mind.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
My Pet Command is a 4 in 1 master in the training collar category. It is rare to find a non-shock collar that has so many interchangeable modes, so this is a real find!
The collar has 4 distinct training modes: citronella spray, light, vibrations, and sound. This means that you can tailor your training regimen to however your dog best responds. Training is only effective if your dog is listening so you can experiment to find the modes that work for them and at what level. Within each training mode, there are different levels and sensitivities to further customise the experience for your dog. Versatility is king!
We love that this collar is remote-controlled. The remote range is a whopping 800+ metres so you can use this collar with great effect no matter how far away your dog may be being a nuisance.
The remote can be in command of up to three collar at one time. If you have an entire fleet of nuisance barkers, My Pet Command has you completely covered.
As for sizing, we are super impressed with the size parameters that one collar can cover. It can be as small as 15cm and as wide as 65cm. Small dogs and extra-large dogs will be fully catered for.
The in-built battery will last you a very long time when fully charged. My Pet Command claims it will last up to 7 days on standby and recharges easily in just 2 hours. You won't be using the collar on continuously, so this means it shouldn’t run out of juice for some time.
If you prefer the citronella settings, it can hold up to 42 sprays before it needs refilling. This collar doesn’t come with a refill spray, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.
To top it off, My Pet Command offers a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty for the ultimate peace of mind. We hope you enjoy this multifaceted collar as much as we do!
Anti-bark collars can be a little pricey. Particularly ones with more than one mode or extremely far-reaching remote control ranges. If you would like a cheaper alternative with simpler functionality, we recommend the Dog Hero Dog Bark Collar.
This is an automatic ultrasonic vibration collar. It also has a sound mode to it if you want the added flexibility. Two modes aren’t as advanced as four, but for the price point, we think it’s a good compromise. Both modes can be adjusted by sensitivity level for extra personalisation.
Now, I know we said we don’t love automatic bark collars because they can be triggered accidentally. This collar, however, has smart integrated technology that filters out the distant barks of neighbourhood dogs and environmental noise.
The Dog Hero collar is fully rechargeable with the USB cable it comes with. Once fully charged it should last up to 12 days of regular use. That is a much longer battery life than the average so kudos to them!
Something that also pips this collar as a cut above the rest is the sleek design. Superficial sure, but this is one of the better-looking bark collars for dogs we have seen. The LED touch-operated cartridge at the front is adaptable to low light conditions.
We love that Dog Hero also offers a satisfaction guarantee here. Having a free replacement should you have any issues with the product is very appreciated.
Sizing is pretty wonderful too. This collar fits dogs anywhere from 5kg to 50kgs, measuring a maximum of 63.5cm in circumference. Many (though not all) extra-large dogs will be catered for here.
All in all, for the price, the Dog Hero bark collar really packs a punch. Definitely consider it for your anti-barking training!
Verified Review - 30/11/2020
Tried - Seems Okay. Might Need Further Adjustment
"Hi all, bought this for my Mum's dog as Mum wanted to try the non zapping option. It's possible that it needs more tweaking. It does seem to surprise him and distract him from barking. He however shakes his head and the collar spins around do the prong bits aren't at his throat. The collar is pretty tight and he still manages to spin it. Do like the low profile of the collar. Mum has mentioned that it does seem to not hold charge for very long but without myself trying it, I'm not sure how long it's lasting. Definitely worth a try."
Citronella collars are very popular and with good reason! We love how versatile citronella can be and gentle for your dog. When your dog bark you use the remote to manually release the spray around your dog’s snout to distract and deter them. Granted, it is not for everyone, but it does work for many as an effective anti-barking technique.
The WWVVPET Spray Dog Barking Collar is our choice for this category. It is not a one-trick-pony though. This collar uses both citronella spray and beeping for a more integrated approach to your training.
The cartridge holds around 25-35 sprays at a time and, thankfully, the kit comes with a spray refill. The refill contains 300-400 sprays so it should last you a very long time.
This is a remote-controlled device which we love for its precision. It has a range of 152 metres and can control two collars at once if you are training two dogs at once.
The battery life should last you 5-7 days on standby and is easily rechargeable. There are handy low battery indicators on the collar to ensure you don’t get caught out without battery life while training.
As for sizing, the smallest size is 20cm and the largest is 50cm. This is a good average range but nothing spectacular. Tiny and giant breeds may struggle with this limited strap.
The water resistance isn’t too great either. It will withstand some light rain and wet grass but anything heavier than that will surely ruin the product.
If you are in the market for an effective citronella collar, this is one to watch!
Verified Review - 3/03/2021
"We have a mini Australian shepherd that is very sensitive to noises outside our house. When hearing a noise, she will get into extended barking fits and has a hard time calming herself down. A citronella bark collar was recommended to us by a trainer. In short, it has been effective.
I wish there was a toggle button on the remote that let you select manual or anti-bark so you could switch modes without turning the unit on and off. Also, I wish the collar wouldn't beep when turning on/off."
Onto the ultrasonic vibrating collars; the GoodBoy Remote Collar is a fabulous choice. It uses the humane and gentle strategy of vibrations at the front of their necks to send a message to them.
It also has a sound mode that beeps when you need it to. Both the sound and vibration settings have 9 levels to them. Lots of flexibility in how you use this collar which is a huge plus.
This is a remote-controlled collar that gets the thumbs up from us! Quite the cute remote control too in a bright blue style that fits neatly in the palm of your hand. The remote has an incredibly long range at just under 823 meters. Perfect for training on the go.
As for sizing, of course, it has small dog in the title, so it definitely isn’t the most representative of collars on this list. Itis designed for small and medium dogs. Really tiny breeds can be catered by this collar. The largest length the adjustable straps stretch to is 45cm. Not terrible but large and giant breeds are definitely excluded.
Another huge pro of the GoodBoy Collar is the waterproof nature of both the remote and the collar. Huzzah! We finally have an option that can be used freely in heavy rain and puddles. In theory, you could also swim with this, but we wouldn’t recommend it anyway. Your dog shouldn’t swim with any anti-bark collars on at all.
The kit comes with a training guide written by a professional dog trainer to help steer you in the right direction. The manufacturer also offers a 1-year warranty.
If you are in the market for a bark collar for small dogs, this is a prime choice!
Verified Review - 24/01/2021
"The product looks well made. It has all the features described. I removed a star because one of my dogs does not respond to the sound or vibration. Strangely enough, my other two dogs do respond to the sound even though they weren’t wearing the collar. The product may work for most dogs, the issue could be that I have a stubborn dog."
If you want a collar that primarily uses sound as a distraction technique, then look no further than the Shut The Bark Up Collar. Isn’t that the best name for a product you have ever heard??
Anti-Fury is a company based in Sydney, creating their products on home turf. This collar uses two main modes - sound and vibration for a customisable training session with your pup. There are 7 integrated training levels that employ the sound and vibrations together in a unique way. You set the level of sensitivity before you put the collar on your dog for the best results.
This is an automatic anti-bark collar so it works by recognising your dog’s bark as they wear it. The smart microprocessor should be able to distinguish between your dog’s bark and ambient noise.
As for the fit, this collar is meant for small to medium dogs, measuring a minimum of 15cm and a maximum of 50cm. A little limiting. A major difference between this beep collar and the others on this list is the customisable colours. The pack comes with an orange, blue, and green cover for the vibrating box. You can therefore personalise the collar to suit your pup’s style!
The battery life on this product is outstanding, lasting over two weeks on standby when fully charged. You can recharge it at any time with the USB cable it comes with.
The manufacturers offer a guarantee on the product, meaning you can ask for a replacement should anything happen to it. A percentage of their proceeds are also donated to the RSPCA Australia.
All in all, this is a great beep collar for small to medium dogs with a naught barking habit.
Verified Review - 22/08/2020
"Really happy with purchase. I ordered 2 different brands to try on my 2 dogs. This one is perfect, works as stated. Clear instructions and a test feature. My bigger younger dog has responded to the training almost over night.
The only negative I have, which is just a minority thing, my smaller dog is deaf. All these collars rely on the sounded beeps first and then vibration if barking continues. So a deaf dog is going to bark longer before they are given a signal they can feel to stop so not really recommended for them."
Perhaps you want to avid the collars altogether? There are such things as bark control devices that can work in a myriad of ways. Most use sound at frequencies well above our own humble human hearing, to grab your dog’s attention whenever they are barking too much.
Some are large electronic devices that sit in your living room, ready and waiting to hear the offending noise. Others are handheld and put you in control of when the high pitched beeps are emitted.
The MODUS Bark Control Device is a handheld one, which we prefer for dog training. Small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, you can use this device at any time. You simply push the button to emit the sound when your dog is being a noisy nuisance. You won’t be able to hear it but the device will tell you when it is working by glowing green. Hopefully, your dog will also stand to attention when it is letting out the high-frequency beeps.
Of course, a huge bonus of anti-bark devices is that it can be used on dogs of any size. Tiny dogs, giant dogs, and every loveable canine in between is fully catered for. Note that you still shouldn’t use this device on puppies younger than 6 months old.
You also have less of a chance of the device being ruined if it is in your hands rather than around your dog’s neck.
The control range is around 5 meters which may be fine around the house but not nearly as effective on the go. If you have a large garden and your dog has a tendency to bark like a crazy person whenever a car roams past (like mine does) you may prefer the remote collars because of their long remote ranges.
This won’t be a good device for dogs with hearing issues, and different dog breeds react to ultrasonic beeping in different ways.
If you prefer a device that puts the control in your hands and keeps your dog free of anti-bark collars, the MODUS model may be for you!
Verified Review - 4/05/2020
Useful If Used In Conjunction With Training
"Our dog is anxious and barks a lot (I mean he will bark if a leaf falls off a tree). I find that using the device necessitates a really good timing plus following up with the command for what I want him to do and praise and reward for the proper behaviour. When I press on the button the dog immediately looks at me like he's wondering what 's going on. The first time he went into an insane barking spree so I pressed the button again which triggered more barking... you see the pattern. The next time I had a plan ready. So when he barked, I pressed the button- he looked at me and I praised him, called him to me and rewarded. Barking has gone down, but don't necessarily expect this to work like an on-off button for your dog's barking!"
The Final Verdict: The Best Barking Collar for Dogs
Our overall winner has got to be the My Pet Command Collar. It is simply too good at all aspects of anti-bark training to ignore. Wonderful sizing, 4 training modes, and an extensive remote control range make it a fully rounded anti-bark product that you need in your life!
If you are after something a little bit cheaper, the adorable Dog Hero collar is stylish and reliable. Economical and high tech, it is a great option for a barking collar. Who says that training collars have to be ugly to be functional?
Want to learn more about dog collars? Check our our below guides:
If you are following the four rules we discussed earlier and you are not using the collars to be cruel to your dogs, then yes, the collars are safe to use. Gentle training techniques should be used in conjunction with the collars to get the best results.
Eventually, you won’t need to use the collar at all - that’s the goal!
We are completely against shock and choke collars. Prong collars are just as damaging. Overextended use, these collars can completely demoralise your dog, leading to psychological and/or medical issues.
Anti-bark collars are still aversive collars to a degree, but they are far gentler and more humane.
- 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/
- 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
- “Solutions For Barking: How To Get A Dog To Stop Barking”. DogTime. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/675-barking-aspca
- “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
- D, Horwitz. “Separation Anxiety in Dogs”. VCA Animal Hospitals. Retrieved November 29, 2020. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/separation-anxiety-in-dogs
- 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