Shock Collar Training for Barking

Tired of the endless barking from your dog? Have you tried training but your dog still barks at every little thing? Dogs bark and HOAs give fines because of it. If you thought about considering shock collar training for barking then this is the place to be.

In this article we’ll cover how to use dog training collars as well as automatic barking collars to reduce or eliminate random barking by your dog. The first part of the article will cover how shock or bark collars work.

Then in the second part of the article we’ll cover step by step how to use either a shock collar and/or a bark collar to eliminate barking. Use the table of contents to jump to any area of interest.

What is A Shock Collar or E-Collar?

A shock collar or electronic (E-collar) is a tool to train your dog. It provides a negative reinforcement signal (a beep, vibration, or electric shock).

The typical training path with a shock collar goes as follows:

  1. Decide on a habit to train (e.g. stop jumping)
  2. Provide a stimulus (e.g. a friend comes in a the room with you and your dog)
  3. You dog jumps up to greet them. The goal is to stop this.
  4. You say “down”
  5. You press the button on your training device transmitter. It makes the dog collar beep, vibrate, or electric shock for a very short period. That gets your dogs attention.
  6. Your dog comes down
  7. Praise and treat

How Does a Shock Collar Work?

Shock collars provide a stimulus to get your dog’s attention. This could be a beep or sound, vibration, or a small static shock (static correction). It’s used as part of basic obedience training.

The vibration or shock is delivered via two contact points or prongs on the electronic collar.

The goal is to get your dogs attention, similar to what you would do with a clicker except with a stronger input behind it.

After you get their attention and they stop the negative dog behavior (or do the positive dog behavior you’re teaching) then you offer a positive reward (treat and praise).

The biggest value of shock or electronic collar is it helps break your dog’s attention when they are overly excited.

This could be from the friend they are jumping on when they walk in the door or a squirrel running across the lawn.

Electric Shock vs Static Shock

A shock collar provides an electric shock created by the battery in the receiver. When set properly it should be the same as or less than a static electricity shock you would create through friction (e.g. sliding across the floor in socks then touching something metal).

What is an Automatic Barking or Bark Collar?

A bark collar is an automatic tool that provides a negative stimulus (beep, vibration, or static correction) when your dog barks. It has no remote and doesn’t require your input to work.

How Does a Bark Collar Work?

Instead of providing the beep or vibration from you pressing a button, an automatic bark collar will activate when it senses throat vibration and/or sound.

The idea is that it only triggers when the dog its on is barking. It’s a form of automatic obedience training for barking.

The best bark dog collars use both sound and vibration. That prevents false signals coming from a nearby dog barking or other type of nearby vibration.

Beyond that the super best dog collars start with beeping. Then if your dog refuses to stop barking then it applies vibration. It uses increased stimulus starting with the lowest type to prevent harm to your dog.

Vibration vs Sound Triggers

Bark collars can work using either a vibration or sound to trigger them to activate. When choosing an automatic bark collar check that they do both. Having both required will prevent any false triggers from nearby barking.

You can see our top recommendations for bark collars in another article.

Are Bark Collars Safe?

Yes – Dog collars with built-in barking control are safe if used properly:

  • Make sure the collar is fitted correctly
  • Pay attention when you are first using it. Make sure it’s working only when they bark and that it gets their attention and gets them to stop without hurting them.
  • Take the collar off at night
  • Only use it for short training sessions

No – bark collars can hurt your dog if you do the following:

  • Use prongs that are too long
  • Leave the collar on for more than a few hours
  • Don’t check your dog’s neck to make sure the collar isn’t causing damage

Do Vibration Collars Work for Barking?

Yes, most training collars only use beep or vibration for bark training. When set correctly this provides enough stimulus to get your dog’s attention. Then they stop barking.

Most bark collars use a stepped system. First they beep. If barking continues then they vibrate. That’s usually enough to stop the barking.

Does it work for howling or whining?

Yes, a collar that is activated by vibration in your dog’s neck will work for howling and whining.

You’ll want to pay attention in the beginning to make sure it’s working. Whining isn’t as loud as barking and you may have to test different collars to find the right one for your dog.

Start with our top bark training collar picks here.

You can also use manual training with a standard e-collar. That will require you to pay more attention and be actively involved.

While it’s more work you’ll be there to give praise and treats when they stop. That can help speed up the training.

Positive Reinforcement and Getting Your Dog’s Attention – The Secret Behind E-Collars

Positive reinforcement training involves the following:

  1. Command
  2. Dog does the command or a small step towards it
  3. Treat and/or Praise

Shock collar training is similar but with a small twist. It uses a

  1. Command
  2. Dog ignores you because they are overly excited (e.g. jumping on someone, barking, squirrels!)
  3. Trigger the collar to get your dog’s attention
  4. Repeat command
  5. Dog does the command or a small step towards it
  6. Treat and/or Praise

The goal is to use the collar to break your dog’s attention from the distraction and have them pay attention to you. That gets them ready for the comman.

Note how e-collar training is very similar to using a clicker. Clicker training needs two parts – 1. Train them to understand the clicker then 2. Train them using the clicker

Clicker Part One – Train them to understand it

  1. Click
  2. Treat or Praise
  3. Repeat

Clicker Training Part Two – Use the clicker to get their attention

  1. Command
  2. Click
  3. Dog does the command or a small step towards it
  4. Treat and/or Praise

Part two of clicker training doesn’t work unless you’ve pre-trained them to understand that click = treat or praise.

Once they know that then the clicker is an effective attention grabber. That’s no different than an e-collar getting your dog’s attention.

You can also see now how clicker training can be a great substitute for shock collar training.

Training with Shock and Bark Collars

Shock collar training is a manual process. You’re there with a remote. You command and use the remote to activate the collar and get your dog’s attention. Command, dog does appropriate behavior, then treat and praise. Repeat till they’ve learned it fully.

With bark collar training the collar itself is paying attention for barking. It triggers when it senses barking from the vibration in the throat and the sounds.

Now we’ll cover in depth how to do each one starting with shock collar training then using bark collar training.

How to Conduct Shock Collar Training for Barking

The video below gives a great overview of how to train with an automatic bark collar.

We love it because he emphasizes that it’s an active process. First you do manual training. This helps your dog understand how to calm down and “turn off” their bark collar by stopping barking.

Then he has you use the actual back collar to finish the training.

Bark collars aren’t set it and forget it type things. They require your care and attention to use properly.

The basics of his method are as follows:

  1. Put your dog in a crate near the door.
  2. Knock on the door so the dog barks.
  3. Open the dog and command “Quiet” or “Stop Barking”
  4. When the stop praise and treat.
  5. Repeat the above in 15 minute training sessions once or twice a day.
  6. After they get used to that then put on the bark collar. Same setup – dog in crate by door, you’re outside, knock on door.
  7. Pay attention. First the dog will bark then the collar should activate.
  8. Did they stop?
  9. If not then open the door and give the command. Once they stop then treat and praise
  10. Rinse and repeat.
  11. This method has you teaching the dog to understand the collar is a signal to stop barking and that they can turn it off when they stop barking.

6 Tips When Using an Automatic Bark Collar

Check out these 6 tips for using your bark collar. Please watch this in addition to the video above. Consider this the bare minimum training needed to use your bark collar correctly.

We cover the 6 tips more in depth in another article.