No bark collar for sheltie...

junebug1961May 21, 2012

Hi folks...

One of my friends has a sheltie she got from a rescue six months ago. The dog is six years old and rather deaf from scar tissue in her ears.

The dog barks a lot- when she is at the living room window and when she is out in the back yard. My friend is bothered because she can't "tell" the dog to knock it off, she has to go over to her and tell her. There is a recently added sheltie puppy as well. From what I've heard, shelties tend to be "barkers".

My friend just purchased a no bark collar for the older dog...I feel badly for the poor girl! I told my friend I feel it's inhumane, but she says she has no other options. I'm not a dog owner, so I don't really know a lot about these collars.

Any sheltie or other dog owners with some advice or knowledge of these collars? These dogs are never walked, just allowed out in the back yard.

To top things off, my friend doesn't even really like the dog. I almost wish she'd give her back to the rescue. Sigh. Awaiting your responses. Thanks in advance!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Hmmmm.....If she is annoyed by barking, adding another sheltie is NOT the answer. 2 will only be more chaos. You can teach a sheltie not to bark but barking is in their nature. In fact, they are (were) bred to bark to drive sheep and other livestock, and to alert their charges. And more shelties will only add to the choir. :)

Bark collars are not really cruel although rather unpleasant and can actually affect a sheltie psychologically, IME. There are citronella bark collars available which, IMO, do nothing. I also find that a dog will learn to ignore the buzz and/or bark when the collar is off anyway, not to mention, can become more annoying to catch to collar! A dog with impaired hearing would, I suspect, have even more issues with this type of collar. I would suggest to debark the dog if a qualified vet is available. Not many vets do this procedure and it doesn't come without risks.

What else can she do?.....learn to live with the barking and lots of consistency with training and exercise, or return the dog to the shelter and return the puppy to the breeder. Pick a different breed.

If the former....welcome to the world of shelties! They are an amazing, albeit, intelligent, comical, feisty, energetic, and noisy breed of dog that will give you their life without asking, and will be your constant, loyal shadow until they leave this life. Such is life with a sheltie. Or five. :)


    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Ginny. I'm glad the collars are not cruel.

The whole story is complicated. My friend had two older shelties, one of whom was an abused rescue. The oldest dog died last November from bone cancer. My friend got this latest rescue dog immediately to keep the remaining dog company. The remaining dog from the original duo passed away suddenly last month, so the puppy was immediately purchased- I think because the deaf rescue dog just isn't that appealing to my friend and she wanted a dog she would bond with.

The deaf dog is a lovely, sweet girl.

My friend lives in town, so the barking outside is a big issue because of neighbors.

None of her dogs were actually trained that I could see. I think it might be worth a try to attempt that.

Thanks for your response. :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If she's shocking the dog every time it barks, then yes, it is inhumane. When used correctly, the owner would only use the beep/warning tone on the collar when the dog needs to be corrected. The shock should not need to be used more than once during training and sometimes not at all if a correction (distraction) is given by the owner at the same time a beep warning is given. Ginny is correct that to continually shock a deaf dog that's barking will lead to psychological problems.

She's trying to stop the dog from doing what comes naturally to the breed and if she isn't home enough to work with the dog, then try to get her to return it to the rescue. They would much prefer the dog be returned than subjected to the collar.....and an owner that doesn't like her.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ann, she described it as a collar that gives a "gentle" shock at first, increasing in severity if the barking continues. I don't think she's using it as a training device, it's purely as a barking preventative.

I'll talk to her. She is not at all fond of the dog and I think the dog would be better off elsewhere. Wish me luck...I think she'll be very embarrassed to return the dog after this amount of time.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I volunteered with a large rescue and learned that it's not that uncommon for people to feel so embarrassed to return a pet they've adopted that they'd choose instead to take the animal to the pound.....where the initial rescue group would have to pay and save the dog again...if it was found before the pound euthanized it! It didn't matter that we'd stress they return the dog if things didn't work out, plus we even had them sign papers that they 'would' return the dog before finding it another home.
One sad case: a dog that was adopted from us was euthanized after the owner learned the dog would lose it's eyesight. The shelter was devastated.

Tell her not to be embarrassed and if it's a reputable Sheltie rescue they will gladly take the dog. If they don't, then she should contact another Sheltie Rescue.
The dog is well aware that she doesn't like it and that in itself may be causing some of the nervous barking.

That type of collar is not a's a cruel correction.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 5:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a heart-breaking story, Ann! The shelter the dog came from is a very good one.
I'll talk to my friend tonight when she gets home.

I imagine you're correct in that the dog knows she's not exactly adored. Too bad, because she really is a sweetheart. I know she could find a wonderful forever home if she's surrendered back to the rescue.

Thanks so much for your feedback.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 5:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

june, I have no dog experience but my neighbors here in urban St. Paul adopted a rescue hound that barked all the time. In desperation they tried the bark collar and the problem was gone within a very short period. I don't know much about any issues of controversy around it, but I do know that for the 15 years I lived next door to these neighbors I found them to be wonderfully caring pet owners to their several rescue dogs.

I hope you can convince your friend to do what's right for the sheltie. Any unloved (and unwalked!--why?) dog makes me sad. . .

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Marita, I'm so glad to see you again! My friend is definitely NOT a dog walker. Why, I don't know. She is an active woman and I made her drag the dogs out for a walk when I was last there.

There are three people in my neighborhood who take their dogs out for walks three times a day. Unfortunately, they are in the minority. The rest of the dogs bark out of their windows all day long.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Whether your friend uses the collar once or often it's inhumane to punish a dog that is BRED to bark especially in that manner.

It may be a little costly, but a dog behaviorist may be able to help teach the dog with gentle and loving techniques that won't break its spirit and cause it harm.

As blunt as it may sound, she has no business getting another dog, especially of the same breed when it's obvious it's the wrong breed for her situation.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Junebug, I hope you have had a chance to speak with your friend about this. It is always better to hear sensitive views from a friend than from an angry neighbour. Bless your heart for caring. :)

I am lucky to be at home 24/7 with my dogs and I live in a very dog friendly neighbourhood, not to mention I have had the same neighbours for mnay years. In fact, we live in a very sheltie thick area. My dogs bark as all shelties do although probably not as much as they have little to bark about when I am here all the time. That said, they can even get to me if they are having a particularly energetic day and none of mine are debarked! :)

Many of my puppies have been adopted by previous sheltie owners who said they would never have another dog than the one they grew up with or the one who passed away. Many of these new owners lives have changed considerably since they last owned a sheltie, or at least a young or deaf one. I have often heard back that they will never have another sheltie and kids at the same time again! They go together but they make a lot of noise! :) My daughter being one of those owners and she grew up with a sheltie! Generally, the older dogs are a bit quieter and more settled as are my senior dogs. I can't imagine how it must be with a deaf dog and a puppy!

I hope your friend can come to an acceptable compromise both for her family and the dogs. I don't think a bark collar will do any good and may actually add more anxiety to an already anxious dog. Debarking surgically may not be the answer for an aurically scarred dog. Ear, nose and throat are close and scar tissue is thick. Perhaps there is a sheltie rescue in your area. I have worked for sheltie rescue in the past and still do on a less hands on level. We know shelties and are generally more understanding of their "specialness". Lol! It is a sure sign of strength and character to surrender a dog you know is not a good fit for your family, IMO and IME. :)


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have shelties. They bark, it's their nature to bark & herd people/animals around. Your friend can't train it out of her new dog, sorry to say. She may be able to reduce the barking but it's an older dog & will likely bark till she goes to the rainbow bridge.

Perhaps your friend could crate her dog when she's not home to watch it. But I believe a shock collar won't solve this behavior, it's just too ingrained. She needs to return it to the rescue group if it's such an issue.

But if she has added a puppy to the family, she may as well keep the older one and learn to love the musical quality of the barking. I still yell at my 2 to quiet down, they pipe down for a minute then start up again if I don't remove them from the trigger. Keeping the drapes closed is one thing that we've found really helps keep them from too much barking. Yet the mailman still comes most days, and the paper, and OH NO there's that guy walking that little dog, on & on. Shelties bark, it's as simple as that. They more than make up for it with their intelligence & personalities. If she HAS to use one, ask her to watch the linked video, it has a great tip on shock collars.

Here is a link that might be useful: shock collar usage tip

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 4:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi folks...gosh, thanks so much for your responses. I was very frank with her in an email last night. She told me that the dog is loved now, and one of the family (so, she's not returning it). My friend said that she is just as unhappy about the collar as I am, but it's her only solution.

She then went on to describe how well it's working. The dog ran after a squirrel in the back yard, barked twice, and came back to the porch where she "cuddled" with my friend. All I could think was how the poor thing was probably totally freaked out. My friend thinks the cuddling was positive reinforcement for not barking, but I'm not so sure.

The neighbors haven't complained, as the dogs are not outside when people aren't home. The barking is maddening to my friend, and she says the puppy joins in when the older one barks.

Any more tips on what I can say to her? It seems so unfair that the dog can NEVER bark, or she'll be punished. I guess the former two shelties obeyed her when she ordered them to clam up, but this one is deaf.

This is just bugging me, and I want to help this dog out.

Thanks, all...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No. You all have given me plenty of arguments to present to her. Her husband works third shift, but if she wanted perfectly quiet dogs, she should have gotten barkless basenjis or whatever.

I will inform her that I STILL think that the collar is inhumane. The fact that the dog is deaf makes it doubly so. I imagine that I could contact the rescue from which she obtained the dog, but that would likely tear our friendship asunder. I just know that I hate what she is putting the dog through.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ask her if you can talk to the rescue for find out what their policy is and if they're interested in taking the dog back.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Im my humble opinion, Shelties are the perfect dog! Well My dear beloved Simba was pretty perfect,lol

My inlaws had two older beagles and they howled all the time! Then they tried a citronella bark collar! Everytime the beagle howled/barked, it let out a spray of citronella! And they caught on VERY quickly, bark = spray and they soon stopped! Soon all they had to do was put on the collar (with no citronella cartridges) and they didnt make a sound! They bought it on amazon. Just search Citronella bark collar , there is quite a few! These were older beagles who had barked/howled for the first 9 yrs of their life and it worked for them.

Best of luck! I miss my dear Sheltie!! Better name would have been Shadow. I swear I could have walked in the busiest streets in the world and Simba would never leave my side!! All the best

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm learning about Shelties here. I have a four year old rescue who is half Boston terrier and half Sheltie. Picture a Boston body with a sheltie face. He's very smart ,but his barking can be annoying. I want him to bark inside when someone is approaching the house. What I don't want is him barking at every dog we pass on our walk and at anyone who dares to walk down our sidewalk. lol..The dachshund rarely barks and when he does, it's s a deep throaty bark. The other dog has a really annoying one. I guess that's the sheltie in him. He knows he shouldn't do it..looks up at me with a wimpy face, but he can't help himself. He especially hates joggers.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 2:05AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How Do I Get Smell Out Of Pet Bed?
I got a really nice clean looking orthopedic pet bed...
Need some advice regarding my neighbor's dogs.......kinda long....
She has 3 dogs - 12 yr old Collie (some arthritis issues),...
Spray to deter cat scratching woodwork
Does the spray work? I almost bought a bottle at PetCo...
What cute/funny things do your cats do?
I have one cat who fetches and will bring me toys asking...
Bentley & Olivia
olivia has settled in so well with a flawless transition,...
Sponsored Products
Leucos | Reed Pendant Light
$594.00 | YLighting
Distressed Vanilla Wallpaper R1677, sample
Walls Republic
Tec Thermostatic Shower System, Round Head & Ceiling Arm & Jet Sprays
Hudson Reed
Lord of the Wing Bird House
Signature Hardware
Block Squares Flatweave Rug 5'3" x 7'5" - DOVE
$329.00 | Horchow
Bellingham Bark & Gold Six-Light Foyer Lantern
$584.00 | Bellacor
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™