What Are Spray Collars and How Do They Work?

Citronella spray collars have been gaining in popularity ever since studies were released showing the negative psychological effects of electric shock collars on dogs. They are a top option for those who are looking for other options to deter unwanted behavior in their dog.However, this type of training has its own set of side effects to be aware of. Here is some more information on citronella-spraying collars and how they work.

What Are Spray Collars?

Spray bark collars are considered an alternative to a shock collar for training. A citronella anti-bark collar is a lightweight, plastic collar that fits around your dog’s neck, and there is no shock or loud noise involved. The spray is designed to be mildly unpleasant to your dog. These collars usually use citronella but are also available in water or lemon juice. Citronella is most known for its ability to repel mosquitoes. The oil is commonly found in insect repellents, tiki torch oil, and wax candles. The citronella plant is toxic to dogs, but the collars contain only small amounts of citronella. So, unless your dog chews the collar and ingests the oil, they are unlikely to experience symptoms of toxicity. However, if you opt to use this method, monitor your pet closely for skin irritation and rashes.

How Do They Work?

Dog spray collars work by spraying a liquid, usually citronella, to deter barking. Spray bark collars can be used to help train dogs to curb excessive barking. The idea is that the dog, discomforted by the citronella spray, will learn to stop barking to avoid being sprayed in the face. The collar uses a microphone to detect when your dog is barking. Once the collar senses a bark, it emits a spray of citronella oil toward your pet's muzzle.

Are They Effective or Humane?

Pet owners consider the citronella dog collars to be more humane than electric shock dog collars, and citronella collars have been shown to be more effective than shock collars in some situations. On the other hand, there are some limitations to be aware of.

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For example, you should never use bark collars if you have more than one dog in the house or if there are other dogs in the vicinity. The collar may pick up another dog's bark, creating the possibility of a dog being sprayed with citronella even when they didn't make a sound. According toMarin Humane, if a dog continues to bark even though they are continually sprayed the “humane” aspect of the collar is negated. Dogs can become desensitized to the spray and keep barking through the spray until the collar is empty.

Additionally, citronella bark collars may only pick up some barks and not others. This inconsistency can make it very difficult, and even impossible, for your dog to successfully stop barking. Another concern is that if the dog doesn’t connect the punishment (spray) with the cause(the barking) he may mistakenly redirect or bite whatever is nearest him in a defensive attempt. Bark collars may stop barking by applying a negative stimulus, but they don't address the cause of the barking. This means the behavior may return when your dog isn't wearing the collar, or the citronella runs out. Citronella dog collars can help with barking, but every dog is different, so your experience using these training aids may vary. Many people have reported success in using citronella collars to reduce unwanted barking behaviors on their own, but you may need to combine them with behavior modification and training for best results.

If you are in search of a more humane way to prevent unwanted barking, choose BARKMUTE™. BARKMUTE™ really reduces barking, without causing your dog to feel painful or distressful. Combining the beep sound and vibration in one unit makes it possible to correct the barking habit effectively, and there is no harm to your beloved dogs. Set your BARKMUTE™ collar to produce sounds, gentle vibrations, or a combination of the two when your dog starts barking, and it won’t take them long to figure out what’s causing these sensations. For more information, checkout our products page.