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BARKING laws and COLLARS - Tony Knight

 

It seems that the issue of barking has become too much to bear for some residents of California, so starting this week in Los Angeles, dog owners now face $100 fines for repeated disturbance to neighbours caused by barking dogs, and other cities are soon to follow. I recently noticed the scale of this phenomenon while enjoying a hot air balloon ride last month. The sound of dogs barking – mostly at the huge balloon sailing over their heads – was everywhere. However, although I appreciate the Governor's decision, I do wonder what they are going to suggest in order to stop the problem of dogs barking. I am worried that sales of bark collars will soar (they cost more than $100 fine in some cases which makes no sense), which ultimately are instruments of torture that do not change a dog's mind. I bet they won't have discussed the reason why it happens either, so yours truly will, AND sort it out too.
So what is the problem with the anti-bark collars?

Here's one example that the manufacturers would not have foreseen. I heard from some dog owners who had put a citronella acid collar on one of their dogs for excessive barking. They were going through a canister of acid a week (not cheap stuff) and the collar was working. One day they decided to sneak back to the house to see what was happening (if anything). The sound of barking was already evident, yet when they peeked inside the kitchen window, they saw the dog with the collar silently sitting down, acid squirting in its face, activated by their other dogs, stood around the collared one and barking. The collar was seen as the problem by them, and barking is a way to try to get a danger to leave. A dog barking while the owners are out is more than likely suffering from separation anxiety, which can be greatly reduced by initially paying no attention to dogs when you come back home. A dog barking at something while the owners are in situ can be greatly helped by thanking the dog. That's it. Full stop. Of course, that is not the full story but just doing those two things can often dramatically change the dog's behaviour.



 



BARKING laws and COLLARS - Shane M. Tyler 
Utah/USA

 

The dog day care/boarding facility that I work for now was caring for a dog last week who literally would not stop barking. I did everything I could think of from just ignoring it, to calm freezes, to isolations. Sufficient to say, after several days all of our nerves were completely frayed. A couple of the people in charge actually went out in desperation and got a citronella bark collar, which delayed the barking for a bit, but within a few hours the small amount in the collar had to be refilled several times. I finally had a breakthrough with him though, and discovered that I could get him to not only calm down, but lay on his side of his own choosing by removing him from all the other dogs (except for the dog that he lives with). So for the remaining days he was there that I had shifts I would sit with him reading or listening to music for several hours to give not only the kennel attendants a respite, but the dog as well.

Another story to add to problems with the bark collar, in my pre-AB days we had a dog who had many problems, including non-stop barking. Multiple times we had Animal Control giving us warnings, the told us to neuter him and that'll fix it, but all it did was make it worse if anything. Then they told us to get a bark collar, which we did, even though I absolutely hated it. I finally got rid of it though one day, when I heard our dog screaming in pain. I rushed outside and found him thrashing on the ground trying to get it off. The only thing we can figure was that the electrical circuits shorted out, and it just sat there shocking him over and over again, that was the final straw for me. 

So this is a subject that I feel very strongly about, and have gotten into many arguments over regarding the idea that these collars are developed to be humane. The definitions of the word Humane are :

- characterized by kindness, mercy, sympathy, etc.

- inflicting as little pain as possible

Hmmm, doesn't seem to fit the description of a bark collar, plus if it were humane than they'd be made for humans. There's plenty of clips on youtube of people who have tested a bark collar on themselves and seeing their reactions are more than enough evidence against these torturous instruments. One boy ended up being sent to the hospital for seizures where he ended up dying because of one of these shock collars. .......wow, was not planning on going on and on like that, well those are my thoughts on the matter, hopefully we can reach enough people to avoid the use of these things.

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