by Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Blogger,
Acme Canine had the opportunity to test a BarkWise Bark Control Collar thanks to a client who purchased one to stop his dog from barking for attention at night. We immediately liked the design (smaller than most bark collars) and the rubber contact tips were smooth and rounded. Instructions were also easy to follow.
This is Good Life’s description for the collar: “BarkWise uses two safe and humane methods of correction: Sound and Vibration. When your dog barks, BarkWise™ responds immediately by emitting a loud ultrasonic tone and a series of vibrations. This safe and effective combination disrupts and stops your dog’s barking.”
Ultrasonic or sonic collars are different from the citronella dispensing or e-collar bark collars. Sonic dog collars fit around your dog like a regular collar does. Attached to this collar, is a small box with a battery-operated, electronic device which houses a noise sensor that detects when your dog is barking, and emits a high-frequency sound — the sound is so high frequency it’s undetectable to human ears.
So does it work?
We tried this collar on several dogs. Each dog did stop barking when they heard the noise. Most of the dogs quickly became accustom to the noise and barked through it when excited. Two of the dogs stopped barking even after the collar was taken off.
We found the BarkWise had more training options than alternative no-bark collars so you don’t need several collars on your dog. It also appears to be more humane than many other bark deterring options. Each dog’s reaction was more of a surprise and then a searching around their body to see where the sound was coming from.
Here was a problem
Our concerns involve the ultrasonic sound. Unlike the e-collar and citronella collars that you can test on yourself, there is no way of knowing the damage a sonic collar does to the psyche of the dog. Since we cannot hear the sound, is it humane or is it driving our dog (and maybe other animals) nuts?
We noticed it “punished” other pets near the dog that barked. When we wrote to GoodLife about this, their response was, ““If the other dog is within 5 feet of the collar they may hear it but it should be a weaker sound then what the dog wearing the collar is hearing.” This ‘weaker sound’ caused one dog to dive under a desk and not come out.
Two out of Five Paws
Acme Canine gives this collar 2 paws. Under the right conditions (quiet house, only pet in the house, not a serious barker), the BarkWise will do it’s job but for all other situations provides too many false corrections to perform the tasks it is designed to do.