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Anti-Bark Collars

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Has anyone used these?

We have a 9mo. old Aussie who doesn't like to be separated from us. We are going to the Keys to camp on June 30th. I had hoped, after our trip Memorial Day, to leave him with our breeder but she isn't able to keep him. So it looks like he is going to have to go with us. Besides being a pain in the truck, I'm afraid when we leave him in the camper - he will bark and drive the other campers nuts.

I'm looking for a doggy day care for our snorkel excursion and trip to Key West but was curious if anyone had used these collars. He has a LOUD bark and if he gets to barking while we are away, everyone will hear it!

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Personally, I would never use one of these. If you choose to use one, try it out on yourself first and see if it is something you would use on your dog.

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Is there a camp bow wow near you? We kennel our dog here all the time and he has a blast, plus you can watch them online.

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We used one for a short time, that sprayed a lemon scent when she barked. It didn't take long for the gratuitous barking to end. She sits at campsites and in the back yard now without much trouble, even without the collar. She still barks when someone approaches, but I encourage that- as long as she stops when told.

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Personally, I would never use one of these. If you choose to use one, try it out on yourself first and see if it is something you would use on your dog.

If you're talking about a shock/bark collar, I completely agree with Jim. There are lots of studies now that show that shock collars frequently cause more problems than they solve. I see this first hand in my volunteer work with border collie rescue. In fact, we've seen a lot of very good dogs nearly ruined by shock collars.

The best way to find a solution to the barking in general is to figure out why your dog is barking. If it happens that he's doing it because he's anxious at you being gone, adding a punishment of a bark collar to the equation is likely to make things a LOT worse and result in other unwanted behaviors. And if it is anxiety and it's to a high enough degree, it's also unlikely the bark collar will work.

Citronella collars like Rob mentioned are much less harsh, but again, if there's an actual reason why your dog is barking - like anxiety vs just randomly barking at things he sees/hears, it's still punishment-based training and you still run the risk of creating new bad behaviors and not really fixing the first one.

If your dog doesn't normally camp, or isn't good in the camper, I'd definitely go the boarding route.

If there's any way for you to "practice" camping and get him into a routine where he knows he can settle in the camper (leave TV on, run fan/AC, make sure he can't see out, give him a stuffed kong or safe chew toy, use crate if needed...) that might work too.

But if you're not able to do that - again boarding will probably be the easiest and least stressful solution for all of you.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the replies! I don't want to do anything at all that would hurt him or cause other behavioral issues.

He has camped with us, and the intent is for him to camp always with us but we haven't had to leave him alone. He used to bark at our house when we would kennel him to the point it set our house alarm off. I think that has calmed down some - we don't leave him alone often.

We did leave him alone in the camper while we kayaked and went to the springs on our last trip and asked a few camping neighbors if he was an issue and they all said "no" but he was only alone for an hour or two. I'm most concerned about the one day in the keys when we will be gone a good portion of the day.

We do lock him in a kennel and close all the blinds so our Scottie doesn't bark and get him barking. We did leave the A/C and fan on and the TV. I was just concerned if he started to bark while we were away.

I did find an animal hospital in Marathon that offers boarding so I will call them to see if they can keep him the one day and the rest of the time he should be OK while we are doing things around the campground. We just got a walky dog for the bike in hopes of wearing him out so much that he sleeps :)

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We've had good luck leaving dogs crated with a frozen stuffed Kong to keep them occupied for a while. Can be especially good for dogs that get a bit anxious when you leave them. Often times they are so into the kong they don't even realize you've slipped out the door.

Best bet is to stuff with super yummy stuff he doesn't normally get, then happily and nonchalantly put him in his crate and walk out - no muss no fuss. The calmer you are when you leave him, the less anxious he should be. Try and make sure that the last person out is the one that gets the dog settled so that he doesn't have a chance to notice people milling about and get worked up.

When we first started camping with our dogs we'd do a lot of test runs, leave them for just a short while then come back and let them out - again without a lot of fuss so they think it's just the normal routine and "no big deal."

We've found that the trick is to make sure the crate is the "happy place" and that the comings and goings are low key so the dogs don't get worked up and settle well.

For our dogs - 3 active border collies - the other key is to TIRE THEM OUT.

When we're at the Fort and we know we'll be heading to the parks for a while, we make sure to take them to the dog park and get them good and tired. Quick potty trip and everyone hops in their crates with their kongs and settles right in while watching... what else... the Disney Channel. :D

I'm betting with a young Aussie that will go a long way too. ;)

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