I need to get a barking detterant for my maltese X and was wondering what brand of citronella collars people recommended please? I am also looking at the sonic bird houses to use as well. He is not barking out of boredom. He bark at things but our new house backs onto a public space. Any advice is really appreciated.
We posed this question to many dog trainers and dog training businesses that we feel are quality representatives both locally (South East Queensland) as well as overseas. The following are their replies.
Credits go to Dee Scott (Director of PRDT) and Shelley F. (Trainee Trainer)
Vanessa we would NEVER recommend using a water pistol on a dog to reduce barking or any behavior. This is a form of positive PUNISHMENT, which positive REINFORCEMENT based trainers such as ourselves will NEVER recommend or use. There are other ways to reduce barking that are scientifically proven to be much more effective. Using a water pistol willl only heighten the anxiety that the dog is already feeling and expressing through barking. It will also more than likely create a fear of water, which can be detrimental to the dog’s health especially when bathing and grooming. If the dog actually likes water it may also reinforce the behavior, unintentionally increasing the frequency, intensity and duration of the barking. Please note that I am IN TRAINING and my personal ‘opinion’ does not represent the business in any way. I will let the owner of the business, or a senior trainer explain some techniques that can reduce barking. I just wanted to reply quickly so that your client does NOT use this as a training method. Regards, Shelley.
Have spoken with Dee and she agrees with my previous message. [Dee Scott] would also like to add that without observing the behaviour first hand and understanding exactly why the dog is barking, it is difficult to recommend training methods. Different approaches must be taken if the dog is barking out of anxiety, boredom, over-arousal and stimulation, playfulness or aggression. A technique that will work perfectly for a dog that is barking out of boredom will not work for a dog that is barking from over-arousal. Using a water pistol, or citronella collar may possibly mask the behaviour, but WILL NOT address the underlying behavioral problem that is causing the barking to occur in the first place. Using collars and sprays can actually make the initial behavioral problem worse by increasing the dog’s fear and anxiety levels. She has also witnessed many cases where a dog has been able to ‘bark out’ a citronella collar. This is when the dog has desensitized themselves to the collar to the point that they are able continue barking, causing the citronella to run out and deeming the collar pointless. We recommend the owner of the dog to make an appointment with a Dog Behavioralist and Positive Reinforcement Trainer, such as ourselves (Positive Response Dog Training)
My comments is I would have to agree that I have also observed such behaviour of “barking out” collars or even where clients have used shock collars (and the pets have become desensitized).
Robert Dollwet 0449263400
I don’t mind giving training tips online, but I try to avoid giving direct “free” advice to people, especially in an email or fb comment, mainly because free advice seldom works!, [As a dog trainer] I usually need more information before giving the best advice and I can’t get that from their brief description of their problem.
I’m not saying yes or no on the water pistol technique but I can tell you, using a water pistol on a dog does not create a fear of water.This is why advice doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter what technique you tell someone to try, they have to learn exactly how to execute it properly, so it doesn’t create other problems