The Essential Difference Between Bark Collars and Shock Collars For Dogs

A person feeding their dog a treat.

Here’s a scenario: It’s windy. You just finished drying the laundry. You reach into the dryer for your favorite sweatshirt and…zap! Shock. Made you flinch. Made you rethink reaching in that dryer on a windy day. In short, the spark wasn’t fun, and it didn’t feel good.

Here’s another scenario: It’s nighttime. You’re taking a walk through your neighborhood. You approach your neighbor’s driveway and a light automatically flicks on. You think, “That probably keeps burglars away.” It doesn’t hurt the burglar—but it does the trick.

The same goes for bark collars vs. shock collars for dogs. People ask what the difference is between anGood Life Inc. collar and a shock collar. How does a bark collar work? Why does a bark collar work?

It’s the same concept as shock vs. light. Shocks hurt. Light, sounds, and vibrations don’t. And while dogs do react to shock collars, why cause physical strife when all you have to do to keep them from barking excessively is give them a painless sensory reminder?

Below, we break down what differentiates a bark collar from a shock collar as well as dive into why and how bark collars work to keep your pooch quiet, the humane way. 

Purpose and Function

A person using a shock collar for dogs.

While bark collars and shock collars seemingly do the same thing, they are very, very different. First, bark collars are designed to do one thing really well—curb your dog’s excessive barking. Shock collars on the other hand are designed for a variety of behavioral issues including obedience training. While shock collars can be effective at getting Bowser to stop jumping on guests when they walk through the door—and even to curb barking—it creates a physically uncomfortable sensory experience for your pet that would make us upright walkers cringe.

When deciding between shock therapy and bark therapy, it’s important to put yourself in your pooch’s paws. And while shock collars aren’t terribly painful, they may not be what you’re looking for from a mental and spiritual standpoint. So it’s good to know there are alternatives out there for excessive barking and behavior.  

Triggering Mechanism

Another main difference between a bark collar and shock collar is how they’re triggered. Shock collars are typically controlled by the dog owner. When Lassie licks too much or scratches too much—zap! Shock! However, with the BarkWise Complete, the collar detects the vibration or sound waves produced by the dog’s barking, then sends a corrective stimulus through sound or vibration to curb the sound. Imagine if every time your neighbor partially blocked your driveway they automatically had to listen to Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” on repeat for five hours—there’d be no more blocked driveways…on the planet.  

Approach and Impact

 This may seem obvious, but a bark collar offers an entirely different approach to dog training. Whereas a shock collar uses discomfort and distress to train, a bark collar simply interrupts the dog momentarily to discourage barking. If every time your neighbor partially blocked your driveway they got shocked, we probably wouldn’t have cars anymore. And while that sounds awesome from a climate change perspective, you might find yourself in a pickle with your morning commute. So, why not dial it back a bit on the stressful training gadgets and still get the same results with a less aggressive approach? 

How Do Ultimate Bark Control Collars Work?

 Our entire line of Good Life Inc. is designed to humanely train dogs without distress or discomfort. For instance, our OnGuard handheld trainer emits an ultrasonic sound only detectable to your dog. Whenever they jump on the couch, or attach themselves to your inconsiderate driveway-blocking neighbor, you simply activate the ultrasonic sound and your dog obeys.

If you’re looking for something geared specifically towards barking and don’t want to cause any discomfort for your four-legged bestie, then the BarkWise Complete is right up your alley. Using our Advanced Bark Recognition Technology which combines ultrasonic sound + vibration, the BarkWise Complete trains your dog to keep it down—and keep off the couch—all without a nasty shock.

 Got a neighbor dog driving you insane? No need to go Elaine Benes on ‘em. Just grab a Dog Silencer Max that emits an ultrasonic sound up to 300 feet to keep dog barking at bay.

But remember—all Ultimate Control Bark collars allow your dog (and your neighbor’s dog) to continue barking when they feel threatened or territorial. Keep your watchdog a watchdog, and get rid of the unnecessary barking with a simple, painless, and humane solution.

Visit the Ultimate Bark Control blog to learn more about the benefits of bark collars over shock collars for dogs. 

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