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Is the Citronella Dog Collar a Safer Alternative to Electric Shock?

Barking is a natural way dogs use to communicate. Regardless of this fact, barking in dogs can be a nuisance-some dogs bark as a response to unnecessary distractions. A dog may bark to draw the attention of the owner, if they are stressed, they need water, the sun is too hot, hungry, require mental stimulation, lacking exercise, or they have seen a strange dogs etc.

Dogs may also bark to alert the owner of the presence of other animals. No matter the cause of the barking, excessive barking can be stressful to the pet owner. These facts led to the introduction of ways of discouraging nuisance barking.

To date, obedience training, shock dog collars, and citronella dog’s collars are the most popular ways of controlling dog barking.

What is citronella?

Citronella also referred to as lemongrass is a plant that has found a variety of uses. Besides been used to control dog barking, this plant has exceptional insect repelling properties that make it a useful tool in repelling some insects like mosquitoes, head lice, and flies.

Geraniol and hydroxy citronella are the main compounds in citronella that confer it the insect repellent capabilities.Besides the two active ingredients that confer citronella its insect repellent capability, it has another compound known as D- limonene, which functions as an irritant.

The combination of these three ingredients makes citronella a potent substance that will distract dogs from barking.

How does a shock collar work?

For years dog owners have used a variety of ways to distract dogs from barking. Besides obedience training, various dog collars are a popular choice for dog owners. When obedience training fails to offer the desired results or the dog owner doesn’t have the patience for the training, shock/zap collars remain to be the preferred way to stop nuisance barking.

Shock dog collars are devices that emit electric shock to the dog’s neck and are trigger by barking. In the market, you’ll find shock collars of different intensities designed for different dog breeds and ages. The pet owner can alter the shock output for many of these devices. To a majority of animal rights crusaders, they view shock collars as the worst method of dealing with excessive barking in dogs.

Research has shown that this zap collar increases the level of cortisol on dogs. This is the hormone that dogs produce when in stress. Additionally, these collars can affect the dog’s hearth through inflammation and pain if left on the dog for long.

How do citronella dog collars work?

A citronella dog collar is an example of spray dog collars. These collars emit a spray in response to barking. Though they work similarly to electric collars, citronella dog collars emit a spray instead on shock when the right stimulus is generated.

Other spray collars emit either lemon or water when triggered. The gadgets receive the stimulus through a microphone attached to them. The rationale behind these dogs’ colors is that the citronella extract will discourage the dog from barking due to the smell. Since the spray is released every time the dog barks, the dog will associate this awful experience with the barking thus any time they want to bark they’ll stop when they think about the spray.

Though these dog collars have been known to be effective in preventing excessive barking in dogs, if not correctly calibrated they may respond to stimulus from other dogs in the area. Thus make sure the gadget is appropriately set.

Citronella dog collars Vs. Electric collars

Compared to the shock collars, the citronella collars are by far the most humane way of taming nuisance barking in dogs. Just imagine been electrocuted compared to a person spraying fecal matter on your face, though both are offensive, electrocution is worse.

Although the lemongrass extract is unpleasant to the dog, it doesn’t have any toxic effects on the dog. It’ll not frighten nor hurt the dog. Electric shock may injure the dog both physically and psychologically.

Though we can’t rule out any side effects of using citronella collars such as psychological effects, we can say that it’s a safer way of controlling excessive barking in dogs. Due to their safety and limited risks, citronella collars are the best dog training collars.

Safety and efficacy of effective citronella dog collars

Citronella collars offer a similar level of effectiveness when compared to shock collars. The two will show a significant reduction in barking as of the second day of use. Studies have shown that the use of zap collars corresponds to an increase in the level of cortisol in the dog’s body as you start using them.

This is proof that electric collars psychologically affect the dogs. Thus we can conclude that citronella collars are not only safe but also an effective way of resolving nuisance barking. The main idea of using either electric or citronella collars is to stop the barking behavior immediately.

Imagine if your dog was barking to warn you of burglars, yet it has an anti-barking collar on its neck?

What would be your response?

Anti-barking collars whether electric or spray collars are a great way to train your dog to avoid nuisance barking but consider the safety, and other effects first.


Though several ways of solving nuisance barking do exist, the pet owner must critically analyze the choice method to make sure it’s safe and effective. Before deciding to use any of these methods to stop your dog’s from barking, you must make sure you have researched and established that the cause of the barking isn’t hunger, thirst, or stress.

If you have ruled out any genuine cause of the barking, you can then choose to use citronella dog collars. After selecting your choice collars, make sure it’s appropriately calibrated to only respond to the right stimulus.

Though the citronella dog collars are safer and humane than the shock collars— they are among the best dog training collars in the market. Finally, also factor in the psychological impact of these collars since barking is your dog’s way to communicate.

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