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Barking Solutions: 6 Steps To Effective No-Bark Collar Training

At A Glance

You should only conduct no-bark collar training after you’ve tried addressing the possible reasons for barking. During training, keep your dog from associating the collar with the negative stimulus so that eventually, it will behave without it. Be patient and consistent. Within a few weeks, you should notice improvements.

Last Updated on: Aug 29, 2023

Constant barking can be irritating for pet owners and their neighbors. No-bark collars can help you teach your dog not to bark. No-bark collars rely on negative reinforcement to work. Once barking is detected, it emits an unpleasant sound, sensation, or smell to discourage your pup from making noise.

Because they punish your dog with unwanted stimuli, you should only use them as a last resort when all possible causes for the barking have been addressed. Keep in mind that barking may be due to anxiety, fear, and pain so eliminate these possible triggers before using a no-bark collar.

If you want to give this type of collar a try, here’s a guide on how to train with a no bark collar. The goal of this training is to teach your dog to stop barking even without the collar. We break the process down into six steps that you can easily put into action.

Your dog could be barking because it’s in pain. Before learning how to train with a no bark collar, ensure that there are no medical reasons behind it.

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Put the Collar on Your Dog Without Creating a Negative Association

After choosing the right remote-controlled bark collar for your dog, put it on like any other collar without drawing your dog’s attention to its purpose. Allow your pet to wear it like a regular collar and let the dog become familiar with it before exposing it to negative stimuli.

Avoid creating a negative association by not making a fuss when putting the collar on. You should also avoid checking to see if the collar works right after attaching it. This dog training collar can be a perfect fit to begin training your dog.

Whenever it stops barking, reward the behavior.

Put the collar on discreetly. Your dog shouldn’t associate the accessory with negative reinforcement. If it does, it will only behave when it’s wearing the no-bark collar which is far from ideal.

Fit the Collar Correctly

how to train with a bark collar - fit the collar correctly

Fitting the collar properly on your dog’s neck means following the fitting instructions in the user’s manual. Instructions vary from one brand to another.

Bear in mind that a bark collar will not be effective if it fits too loosely and doesn’t come into contact with your dog’s skin. This applies to static and vibration bark collars.

For sound and spray bark collars, fit the sound sensor or spray dispenser properly to efficiently deliver deterring stimulus.

Make sure that the collar isn’t too tight as it will be uncomfortable for your dog and may affect training.

Give Your Dog Time To Be Comfortable With the Collar

Allowing your dog to familiarize itself with the bark collar means letting it make peace with its presence around its neck without associating it with an aversive stimulus.

So, leave the collar on for a few hours without turning it on. This will help the dog think that it has no undesirable consequences.

Test the Bark Collar

Once your dog is comfortable with wearing a bark collar, you can turn it on. Expose your dog to a stimulus that causes barking. For example, if visitors usually make it bark, ask a friend to walk toward it.

When your dog starts barking, observe its reaction for any indication that the anti-bark stimulus is working. If your collar comes with stimulus levels, begin with the lowest setting and only increase it if your pet doesn’t seem to detect it. The reaction you’re looking for could be flipping ears, a jerking head, or when it stops barking for even a moment.

Now that you’re sure your dog senses the stimulus, you can keep the vibration, sound, or spray at the triggering level. Otherwise, you need to adjust it to a more detectable level.

You don’t want to cause any more discomfort than necessary so begin testing your no-bark collar at the lowest setting.

Begin Bark Training

how do no bark collars work - begin bark training

With the bark collar stimulus set to the right level, you’re ready to combine the correction stimulus with a reward.

Expose the dog once more to the bark stimulus and pay attention to when it stops barking. Once the correction stimulus has been delivered and your dog stops barking, immediately reward it with a treat. You can also give the treat with an accompanying verbal cue like, “Good boy!”

Repeat this a few times and remember to reward your dog as soon as it stops barking and the correction stimulus is received. Withdraw the reward if your dog keeps barking.

By repeating this process a few times each day, your dog should associate barking with punishment and the act of being quiet with a reward. Eventually, it will learn to stop the undesirable behavior. When you aren’t training, remove the collar or turn it off. Avoid subjecting your dog to more than 12 hours of training daily.

Remember, if you start using the collar without training, your dog will regard it as mere punishment. This can have a contrary effect and cause reactive aggression. In fact, research confirms that using punishment training tools without rewards can make them more “pessimistic.”

Stop Training, Weekly Refreshers Optional

After a few weeks, you may notice that your dog has learned to stop barking. This means that the training period is over. If you want to make sure that the habit doesn’t return, you can put it on once a week as a refresher.

Until the anti-barking training program is complete, keep your dog away from the stimulus as much as possible between training sessions. Exposing the dog to it will undo any progress you’ve made.

Great! You now know how to train with a no bark collar. Remember, don’t teach your dog to associate the collar with the negative stimulus. This will teach it to behave even if it isn’t on. Once your dog learns to stop barking, incorporate positive reinforcement to make the learning experience less unpleasant and show your dog what you want it to do instead.

With patience and consistency, you can make your pup the most well-behaved companion.



I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.