Banish the Barking
Cues and collars for a serene canine
There's nothing we love more than our dogs. So when we heard that a recent Los Angeles ordinance fines excessive dog barking at up to $1,000, it made us weak-kneed in anticipation of trouble with our vocal pooch.
Dog trainers advise that while barking is natural, nuisance barking might signal insufficient exercise or boredom. When more frequent walks and dog-park games didn't stop our pet's barking, however, we were at a loss--and refused to consider a scary shock collar.
Happily, there are new technological devices that interrupt a dog's barking, distract him and make subsequent jags unrewarding. Pettags' Classic No-Bark Collar (from $25) releases vibrations or noises at first bark. The Bark-Control Spray Collar from Innotek ($62) releases citronella scent when a dog barks--it's all-natural and harmless but unpleasant enough to make dogs mum.
Finally, the PetSafe Indoor Bark Control Ultrasonic Pet Training System ($40) uses no collar at all. It's a small tabletop device that emits a two-second ultrasonic sound.
We're happy to report that after a week wearing a citronella collar, our dog stopped barking and now stays bark-free even without it (lingering mail-carrier distrust notwithstanding).