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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19267
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I need a bark collar that will work pug. Tried pet safe

Customer Question

I need a bark collar that will work for a pug. Tried pet safe brand that auto adjusts but it is not working, I need to be able to leave him alone when I go to work. The pet store where I bought it said his separation anxiety could be bad enough he doesn't care about the shock of the collar. I find that hard to believe as my daughter had a lab that is very attached and he cried barked when she left the room and the collar worked quickly for himLooking for suggestions of a brand or model that you know is best or tips.
I don't want to have to not have him at my apt with me.Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Did you use the stubborn dog shock type of bark collar?

Was it tight on him?

Does he have a lot of wrinkles around the neck area where the collar hits?

Does he only bark when you are gone or does he eliminate or destroy things when you are gone?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Collar goes up a degree as he keeps barking
He only barks when we leave
Yes he's a pug but we tried to be sure he was standing and there was contact w skin
There was a finger width between actual collar (not device ) as instructed
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. The answer is going to be a long one as I'm going to address the collars as well as possible separation anxiety. I just wanted to let you know it is likely to be about 30 minutes to type it all up.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

The collars can be effective but I’ve found that the collar has to be pretty tight so that the contacts are making a very good connection. We even shave longer haired breeds to ensure the contacts are making a good connection. If all that was correct, then you might need to try a citronella collar. They use a spray of citronella as the reprimand and dogs really don’t like that odor.

If it is due to separation anxiety, the collar could make it worse. You also need to be positive your dog is indeed barking the whole time. Set up a video recording device to see how much he actually is barking. They have noise activated recorders as well as digital cameras that will capture video at least until the memory fills up or the battery goes dead. Many smart phones also capture video too. That will at least verify that it is a problem and not just a problem that only goes on for 15 minutes a few times a day.

If indeed the dog is barking excessively for long periods of time, then it may be separation anxiety. You will need to do what you can to help desensitize your dog to you leaving. To help with separation anxiety one of the first things to do is to take your dog for a nice long walk before you leave, preferably 30 minutes or long. Make it a long, quick paced walk to tire your boy out.

Second is to use a low-key approach to leaving the house. Ignore your dog before you leave and after you come home for at least 5 minutes or more. If your house is like mine in the morning you are running around getting ready to leave. This has the dog in an excited mood and then suddenly he is alone. If this is the case, put him away, say in a bathroom or kitchen until the frenzy is over.

Don't punish or shout at your dog when you come home and find he’s barked the whole time. When you do, you increase his stress level rather than reduce it. You can provide him with small stimulating toys or toys that you can fill with treats. I recommend a kong with treat compartment. You can fill it with a variety of things such as yogurt, peanut butter without xylitol or meat baby food without garlic or onions. Freeze it and then give it when you leave. It usually takes a dog hours to get the treat out. If his mouth is busy with that, he won’t be barking.

Sometimes leaving a TV or radio on can help a dog with this problem as well. Some people tape the noise of a shower and put it on playback. The dog knows you are not there, but sometimes it helps them fool themselves into a calmer state of mind. Also remember to not reward a dog's excitement to you with petting and affection or even eye contact. You want to show him nice calm praise when he is being calm.

One thing that is proven to help with separation anxiety is a DAP collar. These use a pheromone to calm a dog. See one here:

Practice putting him in the crate, leaving the house, opening the door immediately and rewarding him with a hot dog treat if he did not bark and carry one. This teaches him that you leave but come back quickly. Once he seems to not do anything when you initially leave, lengthen the time he must be quiet for you to come back in. Change the time as well. Make it 2 minutes one time and 10 minutes another, so he never knows if you are gone for an hour or gone for 2 minutes. It helps him stay calm for longer periods of time, just be sure you reward him when he is good.

These should help his separation anxiety and boredom and help curb his barking. It will not be an overnight cure and will take work on your and your family’s part to be consistent in your interaction with him.

Another option is medication, which is discussed on this site:

Now I have had a couple of clients who have elected to actually sound proof a small room like the bathroom and keep their dog in that area. There are many methods of sound proofing but often this isn’t an option in a rented home.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler

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