Labrador Training - Know the Essentials

May 2nd, 2011

If you happen to own a new Labrador puppy, don’t think that Labrador training is impossible. These dogs possess the characteristics ideal for training, the intelligence and energy. They are even considered as one of the most obedient breeds when it comes to training.

Even if they are known as intelligent dogs, they are not born nicely trained dogs nor become one on their own. In order for you to achieve success in training, you should be well-aware with the ideas on useful training techniques.

Before you take home your new Labrador puppy, you should decide first the rules and limitations. Decide in what part of the house will be your puppy’s sleeping area and his bathroom. Providing him his sleeping area will give him the feeling of security and belongingness. Setting a spot for him to use as his bathroom will also help lessen the burden of potty training. There will also be less possibility of him scattering his dirt anywhere around the house.

Chewing and nipping is always a problem among dogs. You must act quickly upon first sign of these behaviors. Saying “no” firmly usually do the trick and will save your new pair of shoes from being feasted by your Labrador.

Labradors are usually quiet but excessive barking is inevitable. Although barking is helpful in signifying danger, you still don’t want your dog to bark loudly at everyone who enters at your door or to just bark every time he wants to. To do away with excessive barking, do not encourage barking and growling especially during play. When he is barking and you want him to stop, give the command “stop” or “no”. When he stops, praise and lavish him with attention. Ignore him if he continues barking. He will eventually get the message that he is being praised when he stops barking and will understand when is the right time to bark and not to bark.

Most dogs enjoy being mentally and physically challenged. However, just like children, dogs have short attention span. They easily get bored to training sessions especially if they are doing the same trick over and over again for hours. To deal with this, make your training period short and as much as possible, vary the tricks or lessons. Make your training period enjoyable. Show your dog that you are happy spending time training him. This will motivate him to do well and be obedient in training because naturally, dogs want nothing but please their owners.

As soon as basic Labrador training is accomplished, it is best to move on to the next level such as agility and retrieving training. There are many training facilities available to teach you and your dog correct training method. These working dogs with good work ethics are naturally useful especially if well-trained so be sure to apply only the best training techniques.

Richard Cussons is not just a writer but also a great lover of dogs. Discover more about Labradors at this site dedicated to Labrador dogs.

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Labrador Training and Stopping Puppy Barking

May 2nd, 2011

Don’t believe that Wagging tails are an indicator of mood. You can figure things out by watching his tail, but don’t believe it will tell you what he might do next. If his tail is  underneath, it shows he’s  uncomfortable or scared.  Straight out behind him means he’s feeling at ease. Sitting on it indicates he’s in the process of learning.

We are going to teach you through these articles, the “recall” or “come” command, through the installation of a conditioned reflex. Reflexes can be used to teach anything, but we will use them for “recall”, or “come”.

Dogs can and do learn and UN-learn anything in four properly conducted repeatings. These four repeatings can be carried out in four different places with four different settings. For example when your dog hears a new command, he has no idea what is being asked of him. The second time, he begins to understand. The third time, he completely understands, but dogs being dogs, he is going to resist. This is called a learning plateau.

Learning plateaus require a few moments to sort and file information, not unlike your computer. I get easily frustrated with these computers, because unlike humans and animals, I expect a command to be followed immediately. Commands need to be sorted out to go to memory.  Just like when your computer asks, “do you really want to delete this file,” your dog does the same.  This happens usually on the third request, or instance, of trying to teach or break a behavior.

So, when your labrador thinks about the new behavior, praise (non-physical praise) and patience, are needed because it takes time to learn. Now although your dog may fully understand what you are trying to get him to do now that you’ve shown him 3 times, this means he’s certainly going to try to go against you. His job is to oppose you. So he will need to think things out at this stage and he will need praise, despite what he may be thinking.

You see he’s going to think about the idea, then look at you, then the idea and back to you again. So stay with his thinking, and re-enforce it with praise. Non physical praise only.

You simply can’t second-guess what he might be thinking. Presume nothing. Allow his choice to dictate what you do next. He’s going to continue one last time at having his own way.

There are only two choices he can make. He’s either going to do it correctly, for which you’ll continue praise, and wait for the forthcoming opportunity to test him out, or, he’s going to do it wrong, for which you’ll continue to praise until you are sure he got it wrong, for which you’ll perform the correct move to re enforce the desired behavior, while continuing to praise, non physical, of course.

Guidance and tips on labrador training by Wendy Nova so your pet behaves the way you want. Can be used on puppy labradors as well as older pets.Here is a video of good labrador training

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Labrador Training - Jumping on Furniture

April 30th, 2011

Deciding whether or not your Labrador is permitted admittance to the furniture is a pretty important decision. If you have a big dog, it’s an even bigger deal.

Furniture access is a concern of high importance for two reasons: firstly, because it’s mighty inconvenient to have to struggle for space on your own couch; and secondly, because it strongly relates to the matter of dominance, which is of the highest importance as far as a harmonious dog/owner relationship goes.

Your Labrador puppy knows that the furniture - in specific, your bed - is your domain. If he’s allowed up onto your own, private territory as a matter of action and whenever he feels like it, that’s yielding a pretty big point to him; especially since it’s rarely a two-way point (when was the last time you invaded your Labrador puppy’s own den and snuggled down for a nap in his bed?).

It’s advisable to be knowledgeable of these things before making a final resolution on furniture access for your Labrador. If you do decide to grant him unimpeded access, you’ll need to make sure that you’re extra-stringent with the remaining facets of alpha-dominance to keep him from getting an over-inflated sense of self-importance.

Usually talking, it’s a favorable idea to forbid your Labrador admittance to the furniture outright, until he’s at least 5 or 6 months old.

When a puppy’s growing up, he’s forming the foundation of his conceptions as to what constitutes suitable activity, and he’s figuring out his own seniority in the social organization of the house. If he’s allowed to leap onto beds, couches, and armchairs (the 3 most-prized pieces of furniture in the house for any Labrador) at will and from day one, he’ll have a misinformed view of his own ranking.

He won’t see it as the privilege that it is: he’ll see it as his God-given right, and something to be taken for granted. This does a lot towards equalizing your Labrador’s rank with your own, which - as far as your role as the owner goes - is emphatically not a favorable plan. To have a good relationship with your Labrador puppy, not only do you need to be the superior, but he needs to see that you are.

To prevent behavior problems from developing in adolescence, it’s commonly best to keep your puppy as humble as workable - which means that he needs to realize being allowed up ‘on your level’ is a privilege.

Rule number one, as far as this issue goes, is consistency. You must be consistent! Once you’ve made your decision as to whether or not he’s to be allowed up on the furniture, you will have to stick with that decision, or else - whatsoever that choice was - you won’t have a hope of enforcing it.

So, if he’s to be allowed up on the couch but not the bed, for example, he can never be allowed up on that bed - not even for a instant. If you resolve not to allow him up on any furniture at all, you must ensure that nobody counteracts your decision and invites him up there.

Bending the rules according to human whims and impulses isn’t fair on your Labrador. It’ll only befuddle him. He can’t tell the difference between an valuable new couch and a dirty old one, or between unsullied paws and dirty paws. This can have a prejudicial impression upon your own peace of mind (not to mention your dry-cleaning bill), and if you take that disappointment out on your Labrador puppy, it’s confusing and upsetting for him.

This is why, if you’re going to provide him any access at all, it’s a terrific idea to impose limits: to inform him that he can’t outright jump up as and when he chooses, but that he has to wait for an invitation.

Training your Labrador to join you on the settee is pretty simple. All you have to do is pat the space close to you, and - in a gay, warm tone - say, “Up you get!”. Most Labradors need little more assistance than this, and will be up like a shot before the 2nd syllable’s yet passed your lips.

The most crucial elements of Labrador training is showing your puppy what they can’t do. Hence, you’ll also need to teach the “off” command - this allows you to relax in the knowledge that, when you want some leg room, it’s there for the taking; and also reminds your Labrador, in no uncertain terms, that his furniture access is not a right - it’s a favor!

As is to be foreseen, most Labradors are less enthusiastic with obeying the “off” than they are the “up you get” command: on occasion, you may be required to utilize tangible force to confirm submission. Don’t worry, it’s not beastly in the slightest, simply highly efficient.

Here’s what you do:

* First of all, supply him with an irresistible alternative. Being told to get off a cosy seat to lie on the unadorned floor is hardly something he’s going to respond to with passionate obeisance: set him up for success, not failure, by giving him a comfy dog bed. You can create one yourself, out of towels and pillows, or you can buy ready-made dog beds in a variety of sizes and materials from the pet store.
* When it’s time for him to get off, point to the dog bed and say, “Off” in a calm, authoritative voice. No need to raise your voice or yell: use a no-nonsense, but enjoyable, tone. * If there’s no fast activity, do not reiterate yourself. Hold your arm pointing at the bed, and keep eye contact. If you have a keen Labrador, ofttimes it’s sufficient to only compound your expression (raising your eyebrows or tightening your mouth).
* Wait for 30 seconds (which can appear like an eternity!).
* If there’s no response after 30 seconds, you can resort to bodily enforcement of your command.

The Humane Physical Enforcement

Many owners drag their Labradors off by the scruff, which is effective in the short-term (provided your Labrador is of a build that you can physically handle). However, it’s not advisable - simply because, as a technique, it allows your Labrador to substantiate his refusal to obey you.

He can still dig in his paws and strain against your opposing move, which is both completely disdainful and counteractive to all the alpha-dominant behavioral teaching in the world.

It’s much more efficient to think intelligent: make him get off under his own steam, just by making the seat (or spot, or bed) awkward for him.

To do this, move your hand, palm-down, below his backside. Slowly slide your arm forwards, using it as a lever to gently pry him off the couch. It raises his bottom in the air by degrees, which is increasingly uncomfortable for him - sufficient to make him leap off the sofa of his own choice.

This is both more effective, and physically a lot less exacting, than dragging a reluctant Labrador puppy off by his collar: by making him want to get off when you ask him to, you’re strongly enforcing your compliance requirements, which is great for your portrayal as an dominant leader.

I knew nothing about Labrador Training until I decided to get 2 Labrador puppies. Then I did a lot of research and I felt confident that Labrador Training is actually quite simple. I was right… Labrador Training is simple, but this does not mean it is easy. If you want to read more about Labrador Training from somebody that owns 2 Labrador Puppy’s, Feel free to have a look at my Labrador Training blog.

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When My Dog Barks Too Much Is It Time to Give Him Up for Adoption?

April 30th, 2011

It’s normal for your dog to bark every now and then. However, when the barking has become out of hand as in just plain too much or even incessant, this is typically a strong signal that something might need to be corrected or is wrong. If this is the case, you need to step up and make a change in your dog’s life in order to change its behavior. Many dog owners love to cuddle and spoil their pets and don’t realize that while some of this is absolutely fine, lavishing constant attention does not teach the dogs what to do when they are alone, begin to feel neglected and then act out. Next time when your dog barks, before getting annoyed at his behavior, your should remember that it is not his fault for being so spoiled.

Make sure your dog is ready to handle you being away for a couple of hours or even more. Leave him enough food and water, but don’t leave more food than he is supposed to eat, as he might overeat out of boredom or stress for being left alone. It’s possible that you encouraged him to only be happy in your presence; when you leave, he will get bored and start making a lot of noise. He has soon learned that the world revolves around him and when he finds himself “abandoned” in the empty house he becomes distraught and starts barking-did you expect differently?.

You must understand that whatever you tell your dog, he won’t be able to understand, and that all he learns, he learns from your actions and attitude. When you go overboard and go on and on about how everything is going to be just fine and you will be back very soon, you are actually just making things worse. Also, when you get back home and look extremely content, he will understand that you are happy to see him.

If you own a dog that misbehaves and barks more than it should, then you should probably consider purchasing one version of bark collars - a device invented especially for these types of dogs. There are many options of bark collars for energetic dogs, and you can choose the one that suits your pet best; the bark collar that uses citronella is one of the most popular anti-bark collars and it will give great results in no time. It is a safe, harmless spray that goes off in front of the dog’s nose. They produce a citrus smell that some people actually enjoy. dogs do not and quickly make the connection and bark less. You don’t need to send your dog away when there are so many options for you to train it into behaving better.  

Many times when a dog barks is nothing more than a natural reaction. You can choose from many models of bark collars that can train your dog into barking less. Click here to find out more on the types of bark collars available.

Beliefs Regarding Labrador Training

April 28th, 2011

If you are planning to bring home a lab in the near future, then you better look for effective labrador training tips as soon as now. The internet is like a vast ocean of tips and information about this breed but sad to say, not all of these tips can be effective in helping you achieve your goals. Some are not even true to say the least. Many are just mere speculations that can add confusions to dog owners especially to inexperienced ones.

Like for example the exact age as to when training should begin. Old school tips believe that training should begin when the puppy is around six to eight weeks of age. But the puppies might have developed bad habits by that time. While it is true that basic obedience usually starts at eight weeks of age, labrador training for emotional attachment and socialization should start as soon as the puppy is able to observe and respond to the environment. During this period, a puppy learns how to interact with his litter mates as well as other animals in the house if there is any. It is also best to train your pup to get used to being handled early on to make grooming or vet check ups easy.

Another age-related issue is the popular quote, “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks” because it is believed that it can be difficult to instill knowledge to their mature minds. Known as one of the most popular breeds, this quote may not be true to them, even to other breeds for that matter. Dogs, regardless of age, can learn tricks and commands taught to them provided effective and appropriate labrador training tips will be used. The only limit however is their physical strength for older dogs may easily get tired compared to younger and more active ones.

After the age-related issues are the tools used during training. This rapidly changing world has a lot to offer, even to the four-legged ones. There are various high-tech tools specially created for training - electronic collars, clickers to name a few. Although of its promised benefit, some people still think that it can be cruel to use tools like electronic collar during labrador training because it may cause harm or injury to the animal. Yes, it can harm your pet if you do not know how to use it properly. To prevent risking your pet, better read, understand and follow the instructions on how to use a certain training tool.

Richard Cussons is fond of writing various article topics including dog training. Learn more about labrador training by visiting labradorsavvy.com.

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Some Reasons Why Bark Collars Are Perfectly Safe

April 28th, 2011

Before enlarging on whether dog collars are ethical or not, we should first try to understand the reason why dogs bark in the first place. Sometimes they have very good reasons for barking (besides the obvious that they are dogs and that is what dogs do!) such as being left outside or perhaps they are lonely, bored, hungry or thirsty. At times just being confined behind a fence is enough to stir their curiosity and make them want to know exactly what is happening on the other side of it.

Some dog owners even reward the barking with a treat or special attention. In this case, why do they expect their dog to shut up on command?

A bark collar is often regarded as something similar to a regular dog collar, that might hurt the dog by subjecting it to uncomfortable pressure. The truth is that a bark collar can come in many options, of which none is so dangerous as you’d believe. When you compare the different bark collars keep in mind a few things. Whatever collar you choose, it is much better than the alternative - debarking surgeries.

Debarking surgery involves removing a fold of tissue which is on each side of the dog’s larynx which tightens and vibrates with each bark. After being subjected to the surgery, dogs will not bark as loud as before. Even though you might be tempted to consider this solution, take a few minutes to think about it. The barking of a dog is not always useless. Sometimes dangerous situations might require your dog’s intervention. When attacked by other animals, like a pack of aggressive dogs, your pet uses barking as a warning signal. In addition, surgery isn’t successful in 100% of the cases and sometimes it only works for a few months. It is also an uncomfortable, even painful procedure.

Fortunately for both you and your dog, the anti-bark collar is a more reasonable solution to the barking problem. Among all types of bark collars, the one with citrus spray is the most recommended. It works because the dog really dislikes its smell and will tone down its barking when it smells the citrus. The hissing sound startles them and they are also not fond of the smell. Almost all dogs stop barking when the “hiss” occurs, as they know the sound will be followed by an unpleasant scent. Some university studies have proven the citronella barking collars are at least two times as effective as what are known as shock collars. However, you alone will decide what kind of anti-bark method you prefer. a zap or a sniff?!.

There are situations where dogs use their barking as a defensive strategy. If you are annoyed by your dog’s constant barking, there are plenty of bark collar varieties you can choose from. Please click this link for emore information on bark collar models.

Labrador Training - Early Foundation

April 27th, 2011

Puppies are adorable and sometimes we let them get away with bad behavior because we think they look too cute or don’t know any better. When you are starting Labrador training you can’t let your dog’s cute little puppy dog eyes get in the way of proper obedience training. You must be firm but not harsh, consistent and patient with the new addition to your family. Praise is the best way to help training along as well as lots of tasty treats.

Labrador training will be easier if you involve everyone in the family. This is because you need your dog to take commands from everyone in the family. Develop a pack mentality by letting the dog know that in its pack, your family, everyone else comes on top. This includes children, it needs to respect everyone in your family and take commands from everyone. Make sure everyone uses the same methods and commands as you do, so as not to confuse your dog.

Take your Labrador puppy out to meet new people and other dogs. You don’t want an aggressive dog. Exposing your dog to other people and dogs is a part of Labrador training that will allow your dog to be well socialized. Also start to bring your dog in the car or short rides even at this age. Drive to a grassy area that is not too far from home and let your dog out to explore and play. This way your puppy connects cars with something fun and will have no problem getting into the car.

Teaching your dogs to come when you call is an important aspect of Labrador training. One way is to keep whistling while your dog is eating this will make it associate whistling with food. Another way is to keep calling your dog’s name and whistling and when it comes over to you praise it, scratch it’s belly, and generally make a big deal of your dog. It will slowly begin to associate you calling it with a reward.
You must command respect from your dog. This means that you must nip all bad behavior in the bud before it becomes a problem. If something is unacceptable show his with your tone of voice and lack of attention. Labrador training is very effective when you use just your tone of voice. Labradors are very sensitive to this and they are intelligent dogs as well.

Patience is needed, as your puppies will not be immediately trained, you need to keep repeating sessions with your dogs everyday to get results. Remember that so that you don’t get frustrated. On the upside, Labradors are intelligent dogs that love to learn new things. Some Labrador problem behaviors like destructive chewing are a result of boredom. Labradors shouldn’t be left alone too much. They love human company and like to play lots, chew toys are sometimes not enough. So make sure someone is at home to play and entertain your dog.

Brooke Sunderland is a dog lover who has been a successful obedience trainer. Once you are clear and firm, Labrador training is easy. The advice in this article is commonly found in dog training books.

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Labrador Training - “Barking”

April 25th, 2011

Most Labradors, thankfully, don’t do excessive barking. However, if your Labrador does, please read on.

Let me ask you two questions?

1. What’s the quickest way to fall out with your neighbours?
2. What’s the quickest way to fall out with your partner?

The answer to both these questions is Get a barking dog.

Now like I said Labradors are not usually known for their unwanted barking but it can happen.

If your Labrador is doing excessive barking, you have to find out the reason why.

If your dog is sounding off an alarm, well that’s good and I don’t know about you, but I would if I was getting broken into I would like my little old Labrador to bark its head off.

It could be because your Lab wants attention on or maybe it’s just a greeting bark, it could be frustration, injury or illness related.

Worst of all it could be just compulsive nuisance barking

Lets understand here that You don’t want to stop your dog barking completely. If someone is intruding on my land, I want to know about it, having my Labrador barking out the front whilst

I am planting potatoes out the back is okay by me. If your Labrador has a barking problem ask yourself these questions

1. When does you Labrador Bark?
2. What does your lab bark at?
3. Does something trigger your dog off?

The post man, window cleaner,

If this is the case you can simply try and distract the dog by drawing the curtains. But in reality you have to reinforce to the dog that you are the No1 alpha leader.

And that you are in control of the territory that your dog is trying to protect. Too many time people often send out conflicting messages to their dogs.

In the past they might praise the dog for barking when someone knocks on the door only to tell it to shut up when they want to watch something on the TV two months later.

Wouldn’t you be confused I know I would.

Things to look out for:

If your dog has hardly ever barked and then suddenly starts to bark for no apparent reason it could be an health problem and you will be better off calling in the vet.

Anxiety in your dog can be controlled by giving it the correct commands.

A good example is every time your dog barks for attention you rise from your chair walk out of the room, or even quietly turn your back on the dog, doing these commands will show your dog that all his barking is a waste of time.

So keep the neighbours happy, keep your spouse happy. But above all keep your dogs barking under control and more importantly love your Labrador.

For more great Labrador articles visit my blog - http://LoveyourLabrador.com

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How Can You Stop Your Dog’s Annoying Barking?

April 25th, 2011

Many families have at least one dog in their household. Unfortunately, one cannot predict his dog’s behavior when it grows up. Loud, constant barking can drive anyone crazy, and many families consider the idea of giving the pet away.

Yet, dog barking can be useful in critical situations, where the house, or a member of the family is threatened. Dogs that are experiencing anxiety for any number of reasons will bark and whine. They also signal joy or excitement, or willingness to play. There is the bark that a dog lets out when he wants the attention of his master, and there is the bark a dog will voice when he is bored.

Indeed, this is the most frequent reason why dogs express themselves aloud. Being used to get attention all the time, they will signal their desire to be paid more attention with continuous barking. Of course, it is the fault of the person who owns the dog, rather than the animal’s.

Dogs always bark at other passing dogs, so putting the dog behind the house where he will not have to see other dogs passing is a good way to get him to stop barking. They also need to run and play, so make sure they have enough time and space to do so so that they can consume some of their abundant energy.

Make sure not to give in to your dog when it is simply barking to get your attention. You will actually keep on spoiling it, instead of educating it. You can start with light dog training, such as teaching it how to react at simple commands. However, do not use any aggressive means to make it shut up, like force or yelling.

Bark collars are common tools used by many around the world. Many people feel that these bark collars are inhuman and painful to the dog, but that is not the case. The bark collar comes in several versions, proper for any kind of dog. A bark collar may use mild electric stimulus, vibration, a sound at ultrasonic levels that only dogs can hear, as well as a citronella or lemon spray.

Each of the three versions start their mechanisms whenever the dog barks for a longer period of time. However, they do not harm the dog in any way. The collars only annoy the animal, but do it no real harm.

When you put the collar at your dog’s neck, make sure the animal is kept somewhere far from other sources of noise, such as screaming kids or other dogs on the street, so that the noise doesn’t interfere with its barking. If the dog learns to associate the discomfort with his barking, he will learn quickly not to make so much noise with his barking.

A great way to educate your dog is the use of a bark collar. When you put the collar on, keep the animal away from sources of loud noise. Read more about the use of a bark collar by clicking this link.

What to Do if the Neighbors Say the Dog Is Barking Too Much?

April 23rd, 2011

Having a dog that barks all the time may cause all people in your house and even in your neighborhood a lot of trouble. Permanent barking is definitely something that needs to be fixed quickly. Dogs bark for genuine reasons, such as imminent danger or stress. However, if you haven’t trained your dog yet, it might bark because it has nothing else better to do. They resemble to those annoying individuals who talk a lot even if they have nothing to say. In the case of human beings, they can be taught as children to mind their manners, and not talk at inappropriate times, or not to talk too much. Dogs, however, need to be taught good manners even if they already reached adulthood.

While there are a many methods to train a dog on how to stop barking, one method is with an anti bark collar. Some people dislike the bark collar because they imagine it hurts the animal. The reason why people might think that these bark collars might be harmful, is because they give the dog a shock when they bark. In fact, static collars are rather harmful. They even come equipped with a light sound that alarms the dog that it’s about to be shocked if it doesn’t stop barking. A bark collar isn’t uncomfortable for the dog either. These collars are made from good materials that do not stress the dog more than any other regular collar. They also come in more sizes, so that any type of dog could wear them. In addition, they are designed in such a manner that the dog cannot chew them.

Static collars are great because they teach the dog when the right time for barking is. This will bring peace to your household, and to your neighbors. Some dogs are simply too big and too active to keep in the household all of the time, and it does them well in their upbringing to stay outside, at least to go outside and play. Unfortunately, keeping a large dog outside, when it has the bad habit of barking all the time, can put a lot of pressure on your neighbors. This is why a bark collar is a great method to calm down your pet. It will not make noise anymore and it won’t disturb your family and neighbors.

If people in your neighborhood cannot stand the barking anymore and ask you to do something about it, you can let them know you consider buying a bark collar for your dog. One more great thing about a bark collar, is that it not only trains the dog barking excessively, but it trains the dog to bark only when it’s appropriate. There are more types of barking, corresponding to various situations; a rapid bark is usually a sign of danger and in this case the bark collar is programmed to shut down. This is because a dog usually barks sharply rapidly when there is danger near, or when it’s trying to alert the family of something. On the other hand, when the dog barks slowly, that means it is either bored or simply used to barking without purpose.

A dog that barks all the time can be a serious problem for both your family and your neighbors. The bark collar is programmed to react to the dog’s barking. If you want to purchase a bark collar click this link.