Bark Collar vs Shock Collar

It is essential to understand the differences between a bark collar and a shock collar before committing to buying one for your furbaby.

Written by Sarah Connor - Pet Nutrition Expert. Updated on 27/07/2023.

Choosing Between a Bark Collar and a Shock Collar

One of the most common pet parenting issues is excessive barking and how to control it. Fortunately, two devices can help pet parents control their dog's excessive barking behavior - bark collars and shock collars.

Before deciding which one is right for you and your furbaby, it is essential to understand how each collar works. So, in this blog post, we are going to compare and contrast bark collars vs shock collars. Here's the takeaway.

Written by Sarah Connor, an experienced canine trainer and nutritionist for over a decade. Her positive reinforcement methods and passion for pups make her a go-to for dog owners.

What are Bark Collars?

Bark collars are effective training tools used to put an end to excessive barking. They help deter and distract your dog from excessively barking and work immediately. Anti-bark collars work automatically and pick up on your dog's barking, correcting the behavior immediately.

Bark collars are designed to detect barking sounds and provide a stimulus to prevent the behavior from continuing. They work by sensing vibrations in the dog's vocal cords or detecting the sound of their bark.

Dog bark collars are good at ending excessive barking but do not help with other training. The takeaway with dog bark collars is that you don't have to be at home for training, and you get peace of mind knowing that your dog's excessive barking is not annoying your neighbors and family members while you're at work.

How Does a Bark Collar Work?

The most popular dog bark collar models, like the Bark Beyond and Sofrid S2 Anti-bark collars, work by using different correction modes. When your dog barks excessively, the collar produces an unpleasant tone or vibration. Both models stop barking within minutes in the most humane way possible.

These collars are typically safe, humane and do not cause pain to dogs. Some bark collars even have spray mechanisms that deliver a small amount of citronella that interrupts the dog's barking. The citronella scent is effective because dogs detest it. This option is also much more affordable than a shock collar.

What are Shock Collars?

On the other hand, shock collars use a small electric current to correct behavior. The device works by giving the dog a mild electric shock when your dog misbehaves. Sometimes shock collars are accidentally misused. They are generally considered more controversial than bark collars, as some pet parents believe they can be painful and cruel.

But remember that shock collars work similarly to electrical fencing used for horses that trigger a small, safe shock to the horse when he touches the fence. Despite getting a bad rap, they work fast and, after a few mild shocks, don't need to be used again.

Despite their reputation, many pet parents find shock collars effective in controlling barking and other unwanted behaviors. They benefit dogs that are stubborn or difficult to train using different methods.

Remote Collars

When considering remote collars, it's essential to understand their main components: the transmitter and the receiver. The transmitter is a handheld device used to input commands, while the receiver, located on the collar, picks up inputs and facilitates behavior modification. The trainer or pet parent is responsible for determining the type and strength of correction and the timing of administration.

Additionally, some advanced e-collars offer multiple tones. These can identify positive behavior and reward your dog accordingly, while a different tone signifies negative behavior. With this buying guide in mind, you can choose the most suitable remote collar for your needs.

How Does it Work?

This collar has been known to cause pain and anxiety in dogs that can lead to aggression or other negative behaviors. Shock collars must be used on the lowest frequency and as humanely and safely as possible.

Shock collars should only be for temporary use while ongoing positive training occurs. It's also vital to remember that dog training is a lifelong process and does not end when your pup becomes an adult.

Dog sports, regular walks, and dog training classes allow for socialization and mental stimulation resulting in a " tired" dog that is happy and well-behaved.

Problematic behavior stems from bored and lethargic dogs with little to look forward to daily. Lack of training and understanding of dog behavior from pet parents come into play with excessive household barking issues.

Positive Training

It's important to note that when it comes to training dogs, rewards are much more effective than punishment. Bark collars with positive training reward good behavior and punish only when necessary, making them a great alternative to shock collars.

In fact, bark collars like the Bark Beyond and Sofrid S2 can help train your dog the "quiet" command when paired with treats. However, with shock collars, there aren't always rewards associated with good or corrected behavior.


The most important thing to do before using either a bark or shock collar is to understand the causes of unwanted behavior like excessive barking.

Root causes of excessive barking can stem from many things, including improper socialization, new sights, other dogs barking, stress, anxiety, boredom, and lack of exercise.

If, during puppyhood, a pet parent tends to micromanage a pup's environment too much in the critical early stages, things like pots dropping, loud noises, and other animals may trigger anxiety.

Bark or Shock Collar for Excessive Barking

Bark collars like the Bark Beyond and Sofrid S2 are, without a doubt, the best options for ending excessive barking. They offer automatic corrections and only respond to your dog's barking.

Bark Beyond anti-bark collar features seven different strength options to suit every breed, small or large. You can stay with the vibration option or move to the zapper feature. Because high- quality bark collars give you the flexibility to customize the intensity and functionality of the bark collar, it makes these a good choice.

Features Comparison

Method of Correction TrainingHigh-Pitched Tone, VibrationElectrical Stimulation
Training RequiredYesYes (Professional Training Recommended)

FAQ's Bark Collar VS Shock Collar

Q: Which is better, a bark collar or a shock collar?

A: Bark collars are best for nuisance barking because they improve your dog's behavior without a shock. They also work automatically without you needing to be at home. Bark collars like Bark Beyond S2 and the Sofrid S2 feature advanced Smart technology to ensure optimal safety and efficacy while addressing barking issues 24/7. They are also waterproof, fully adjustable for all dog breed sizes, and easy to use in all environments.

Q: Can I use a shock collar for barking?

A: You can use a shock or bark collar for nuisance barking. Shock collars should only be used when a dog barks excessively. It should not be used for punishment.

The proper way to use the collar is to monitor your dog's barking and only apply the collar when there is excessive barking. Shocking your dog every time it barks is not an acceptable way of training.

Q: What do experts recommend for excessive barking?

A: Experts recommend positive reinforcement training combined with bark collars, as the best method for stopping nuisance barking quickly.

Positive reinforcement training aims to encourage desirable behaviors, such as being quiet, through positive feedback, such as treats, praise, and petting. This method is more humane and has produced long-lasting positive results without fear or anxiety.

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