Should I Use a Bark Collar on My Great Dane?
If you are asking whether or not to use a bark collar on your Great Dane, we’re taking a wild guess that you are pretty fed up with the racket.
Great Danes have HUGE barks and it can be annoying, intimidating and frustrating (especially to your neighbors!).
Should you use a bark collar for your Great Dane, or are there better ways? Read on, friends…
Should I Use a Bark Collar on My Great Dane?
Bark collars work by adding something aversive (bad or uncomfortable) when your dog barks.
For example, a shock correction, https://www.hellodanes.com/should-i-use-a-bark-collar-on-my-great-dane/an ultrasonic noise, a beep or a spritz of citronella.
In theory, your dog learns that barking = punishment.
THERE ARE FOUR PRIMARY REASONS THAT DOGS BARK:
WHY DO DOGS BARK?
Before you work on training your dog not to bark, you MUST figure out why the barking is happening in the first place. Keep in mind that barking is a natural, normal thing, not unlike how humans talk to express frustration, relieve boredom and communicate.
Look at the following situations and see if any apply to your dog:
- Habit – Your dog knows the mailman comes everyday at 3pm and waits to bark. The behavior has been unchecked and practiced daily.
- Boredom – Your dog barks at the window all day long, barks to hear himself talk and/or may bark to demand things. This goes hand-in-hand with habit.
- Anxiety – Your dog is stressed out by other dogs in the neighbor yard, stressed out when you leave the house, stressed out by people visiting your home, stressed on a leash and/or stressed out by noises in the environment.
- Breed Trait – Remember, by nature Great Danes do seek to ‘protect’ and alert. Many times, barking is just that. It’s important for that trait not to become obsession, or for it to be based primarily in fear and anxiety (which is VERY different than true alert barking).
Many dogs bark for ALL of these reasons!
SHOULD I USE A BARK COLLAR?
Ok so you’ve evaluated that your dog is bored, anxious and/or has developed bad habits.
Before you even think about a bark collar, you MUST address the root causes.
HABIT: Find ways to change the routine. Don’t allow the behavior to be practiced in the first place. Change your daily habits so that your dog can, too.
BOREDOM: Add mental and physical enrichment, LOTS of it! Take a training class. Go for a hike. Off-leash train. Work on Canine Good Citizen skills. Play search and scent games. Clicker train. (Toys, a yard and another dog to play with are rarely enough!)
ANXIETY: A dog that is stressed out by the environment and by separation is a dog that needs your help. Work with a trainer to lower anxiety (and ultimately, lower the risk of bloat!), address separation anxiety and teach your dog that the world is an ok place.
BREED TRAIT: Some breeds are DESIGNED to bark! They may be EXTREMELY bored without a job to do.
UNDERSTANDING WHY YOUR DOG BARKS
It’s important to understand that if you add a bark collar to a dog without addressing the root cause of the barking, there is a huge chance that you will confuse your dog or worse, increase their level of anxiety and stress.
Instead of relying on a hands-off tool, we much prefer to FIRST utilize training, mental enrichment, boundaries, routine and structure.
THEN, if you have put the time into properly conditioning your dog to a legitimate E-Collar, you can use it to deter a barking habit in a hands-on, positive way.
Basically put…do not put an automated bark collar on your unsuspecting, bored, stressed out, untrained dog and expect miracles. Address the root cause first, then look again at your options.
Why is Leash Training so Hard?
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Puppy Training: 5 Mistakes in Training
What is Balanced Training?
Respect Training Tips: How to Train Your Puppy Great Dane
Is My Great Dane Being Aggressive?
Canine Good Citizen Training for Great Danes
A quality bark collar may be an appropriate choice is when all underlying issues have been addressed and the dog is in a home where being surrendered, euthanized or picked up by animal control may be a reality otherwise.
We support the humane, ethical use of high-quality stimulation collars for communication and training.
A E-Collar from E-Collar Technologies may help resolve barking in dogs where root cause has been fully addressed AND the dog has been conditioned to the collar. A collar like this can also be used for recall and more. This is a hands-on approach. The truth is that you may find a massive reduction in barking, without corrections, just by jumping solidly into a new training and enrichment routine.
You can learn more about E-Collar training HERE: E Collar Guide
Shop E-Collar Technologies HERE:
The collar which you choose to buy REALLY matters. Click to see the devices we vouch for.
For a hands-off approach, the ONLY bark collars that we recommend for the LAST DITCH EFFORT type situation is the E-Collar Technologies Barkless Pro E-Collar or the Garmin Pro BarkLimiter. These use a more humane E-Collar tech stimulation (not shock) and advanced technology when correcting the dog, which is the most appropriate choice IF you are going to use a bark collar.
Unlike the versatile E-collars above, automated bark control is the only thing these tools do.
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