Any dog owner who expects their pup never to bark should not own one. That’s because dogs bark to communicate with us and their conspecifics. How to stop excessive barking using an e-collar?
If you already own a dog and think your furry friend barks too much, then an e-collar is one of the anti-bark training tools you can use.
Before dashing to an online marketplace to order an e-collar for bark training, there are a few things you should bear in mind:
- An e-collar is not a miraculous solution for excessive dog barking. It only works when used as part of an overall training process. As such, you should couple an e-collar with positive training.
- The best way to use an e-collar as an anti-bark tool is alongside normal obedience and socialization training. Using an e-collar to correct excessive barking later in your dog’s life will require extra effort for both you and your dog.
How to Stop Excessive Barking Using E-collar
That said, I’ll assume you have already purchased the e-collar and studied how to get it ready for training your dog. So, here are the steps on how to stop excessive barking using an e-collar.
1. Acclimate your Dog to Wearing the E-collar
Acclimating your dog to wearing the e-collar does not just mean making him used to having it on. It also means skillfully fitting it onto his neck and letting him wear it for an hour or so for a couple of days before using it for the actual training.
Doing this helps your dog not to link the e-collar with the correction stimulus sent during training.
2. Chose the E-collar Correction Mode and Intensity level
Once you know your dog is aware that you fit the collar on him but not that you’ll use it to send correction warnings, settle for a correction mode and adjust the intensity level.
E-collars come with one or more of these correction modes:
- Static (shock)
- Sound (beep)
Shock collars are best for aggressive or stubborn dogs. If you have a small breed dog or one sensitive and prone to anxiety, go for a vibration or sound correction stimulus. The spray collar has the mildest correction mode, and my Chihuahua loves this one.
When adjusting the intensity level, I usually recommend starting with the lowest option and graduating to higher levels according to your dog’s response.
3. Test the E-collar on your Dog
This step works hand in hand with adjusting the correction mode and intensity level. You’ll need to expose your dog to a barking trigger. The trigger could be the doorbell, an approaching stranger, or any other stimulus that causes your dog to bark excessively.
Once your dog is barking, dispense the correction stimulant and observe if he stops barking for a while, shakes his head, or shows any other sign that the stimulation is delivered.
If the correction does not seem delivered, adjust the correction mode intensity level until you get it right.
4. Perform the Actual Anti-bark Training
With the test completed and the right stimulation intensity set, it’s now time to train your dog to stop excessive barking with an e-collar.
Expose your dog again to the barking trigger, and this time, pair the correction stimulation with a verbal training cue like “Stop!” or “Quiet!”
If your dog responds and stops barking, reward him with a treat. You could also pair the treat with a verbal reward cue, like “Good boy!” If the dog keeps barking, withdraw the reward.
Repeat this drill several times every day until your dog learns that barking comes with correction cues and not barking brings tasty treats and loving words.
5. Ensure Consistency with E-collar Stimulation and Training Cues
Consistency is one of the conditions for success in any form of dog training. If you are not consistent with training cues, you will confuse your dog. That will delay positive results and give your dog a hard time.
As such, when training your dog to stop excessive barking with an e-collar, the stimulation mode and the verbal cues should be consistent.
For example, don’t press the stimulation button once at one point and twice the next time. Similarly, do not say “Stop” once at one time and twice the next time. Shouting the word out loud can also change how your dog understands it, especially if you say it in a normal tone the rest of the time.
The bottom line: Consistency with training cues is key to successful training, even when using an e-collar.
6. Gradually Withdraw the E-collar
When you are sure your dog can obey the verbal cue without the e-collar correction stimulation, you can start considering withdrawing the e-collar.
Do this gradually until your dog does not bark unnecessarily anymore and doesn’t need the e-collar stimulation to stop barking.
When this happens, you can triumphantly say that you have successfully trained your dog to stop excessive barking with an e-collar.
Excessive barking can be annoying for you and your neighbors and draining for your pooch. If you have tried in vain to stop your dog’s excessive barking with verbal training cues, it might be time you consider an e-collar.
If you do, ensure you learn how to stop excessive barking using an e-collar before you embark on actual training. Doing that will ensure successful anti-bark training and safety for your beloved dog.