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Bark Collar: A total fiasco

I bought a humane bark collar that used a high pitched sound for bark correction. According to the directions, if Shelby only wears the collar in the car, then it should only correct her behavior in the car, and Shelby will know that it's OK to bark elsewhere.
So I put it on her, and we went for a drive. On surface street, Shelby usually whines. This triggered the bark collar. But she whined so much, that the collar was constantly going off. It was driving me nuts. Almost as nuts as the whining.
I have a video of what it was like. Shelby whines about that much on any car ride, so I don't think the collar caused more whining.

Usually, when we get on the freeway, Shelby calms down, and everything's calm until we exit the freeway. However, even on the least sensitive setting, I found that the noise of the wind resistance was enough to trigger the bark collar, as were potholes. I'm sure this left Shelby pretty confused. She was being a good girl, and the collar was still going off.

Prior to the bark collar, I tried using a spray bottle. Shelby was soaking wet, and I found it impractical when I'm driving alone. It's fine if Steven is driving, but it's simply unsafe for me to pay attention to spraying her while the car is moving.

I'm going to try the collar again, this time, just around city streets. I'm not sure how long it's supposed to take for Shelby to catch on. I hope it's not long.

April 6, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

I love your website and I don't have a pug at all...I have two mutts...anyways, was wondering if you put Shelby in the front seat (I know it's not a good thing for both kids and pets), would that stop the whining? Maybe crack open the window for some noise distraction?? Good luck!!! =)

Posted by: Cathy | Apr 6, 2006 6:07:08 AM

moxie doesn't bark in the car, but she whines constantly. fortunately or unfortunately we don't own a car, so we're usually on the bus or the subway, which, unbelievably is totally fine with her - i'd think riding somewhere quiet and sunny with a view in a vehicle that doesn't shake your organs all over would be NICER! gee.

also, after i too suggested the spray bottle i almost immediately realized how impractical that would be while driving, pretty much as unsafe as trying to drive while listening to her whine & trying to calm her down.

maybe you should have gone with the lemon/herb/whatever spray bark collar? that way you wouldn't have to listen to more noises! i looked up these things and they are expensive [to me, at least] so maybe there's no room for a second type of bark collar.

but keep us posted on how it all turns out, good luck, and be quiet shelby, we all love you!

Posted by: stephanie | Apr 6, 2006 8:22:48 AM

poor little girl!i feel so bad for her if she whines and barks! she sure doesn't like car rides!hopefully things will get better soon for you guys!good luck and keep trying!

Posted by: dana l. | Apr 6, 2006 8:37:08 AM

I just can't believe that Shelby doesn't like car rides. Spaz and Marty (both pugs) love car rides... The thing that really gets them is when they can't see the driver or be near the driver. I've just had to give up safety and let them ride up front in the passenger seat and hang their giant tongues out the window. They think it's the greatest thing since spray cheese!

Posted by: Laura | Apr 6, 2006 9:23:01 AM

Winnie, I don't know if you feel this is an option or not, but have you thought about not making Shelby wear the doggie seat belt? That way she can roam the whole back seat. If you crack the window, and are street driving, she'll get to smell all sorts of stuff. My older pug whines like Shelby and also does the crazy crying, like your earlier video. But only when we get close to home. Maybe with the freedom Shelby will get distacted. Good luck & please keep us posted of your progress!

Posted by: h | Apr 6, 2006 10:44:36 AM

Some of the pet stores in San Francisco (Bow Wow Meow-which also has a store in San Carlos) rents the citronella collars because they are pretty expensive and they let you rent it to see if you like it/and or it works and will put the money for the rental towards a purchase. A friend of mine used one for her pug and it was very successful.

Posted by: anne | Apr 6, 2006 10:47:08 AM

poor baby! I'm anxious to hear what works - moe had barking issues as well. but of course moe has lots of issues!

Posted by: Kara | Apr 6, 2006 12:11:05 PM

I don't get it! My pugs love to ride in the car. They go bonkers for it. Gadget is a little bit scared to actually jump into the car, but once you get him in, he's great.

Gizmo hops right in and loves it. He'll even fall asleep.

Posted by: Matt | Apr 6, 2006 1:27:29 PM

I have tried to take Buster out of his crate for car rides and he reacted like Shelby has: consistant whining, barking, and trying to charge for the front seat. I won't let him roam around the back seat as he would charge for me up front (he has separation anxiety) and I would worry if we had to stop fast, he would fly. I ended up putting him back in his crate and the whining and barking stopped.

Good luck with whatever you find works for Shelby!

Posted by: Chris | Apr 6, 2006 2:11:26 PM

OH MY GOD!! Just let her roam the car! She wants to be near you! How can you stand the whining and crying?? Doesn't it just rip your heart out? It does mine!! She wants to be up front with you!!

Posted by: Lisa | Apr 6, 2006 2:42:47 PM

Here's the addy for Rescue Remedy. It's to holistically mello your dog or cat for car rides, vet visits, or any high anxiety time.

Its what every one on my pug group swears by and most of them are vets or vet techs that use natural w/ no side effect products for thier pugs. I have not tried it as Bunkin is pretty mello already and doesnt fidget too much in the car. But give it a whirl. Its cheap (10-20$) so if it doesnt work than you arent out a ton of money. And theres no risk of addiction to the product Or adverse side effects.

http://www.carefreepet.com/product_detail.html?recordid=130&cat1=dog

Posted by: Marie | Apr 6, 2006 3:03:16 PM

You could try a citronella collar. It releases a puff of a scent which is unpleasant to dogs whenever they bark. That might work and bother you less than the noise collar. :o)

Posted by: Sarah | Apr 6, 2006 6:14:34 PM

Dear Winnie, Although we love Shelby --
your safety, as the driver, is very important to both of you. Therefore, please try any suggested technique that does not add further noise/sound alarms that may trigger Shelby's distress calls.
We hope your fans can help find just the right agent to help calm Shelby's nerves.
Love you both!

Posted by: Jade | Apr 6, 2006 7:07:07 PM

people that are suggesting winne let shelby roam the car - ARE YOU CRAZY??

pugs are not like those big dogs that just lie down and stick their head out the window. "wanting to be with you" means they want to be in your lap, licking your face, checking out what you're doing, which is all incredibly distracting and UNSAFE for your baby and you! i would rather hear a little whining that have to face facts & regret not restraining my dog after an accident that sent my dog through the windsheild.

please think about the HEALTH & SAFETY of your pet *before* you just let them do what they want!

Posted by: stephanie | Apr 6, 2006 7:47:30 PM

I assume you've tried feeding her.. a greenie, perhaps.

It could be worse. I had an old dog (non pug) who, in his old age, would poo himself in the car. He'd have to wear diapers.

Posted by: Randon | Apr 6, 2006 10:06:46 PM

Yes, we have tried feeding her. Treats used to work, but now it doesn't. I've tried multiple treats: greenies, jumbones, rawhides. I'm not sure why they stopped working.

And there's nothing like a little poop to put things in perspective :D

Posted by: Winnie | Apr 7, 2006 7:36:58 AM

At the end of the video, it sounds like she found out what it did and then "played" with it. *WHINE* *BEEEP* *WHINE* *BEEEP*

Posted by: Megan | Apr 8, 2006 2:52:32 PM

poor shelby! seeing her whimper just breaks my heart :-(

Posted by: angelica | Apr 8, 2006 4:56:41 PM

Stephanie,
Thanks for informing folks that failing to restrain a dog in a car is a bad idea. Here's an informative link on the subject:
http://www.merrynjose.com/artman/publish/article_583.shtml
Scary, huh? It made me realize that I don't have Seamus' crate secured strongly enough.
Susan

Posted by: Susan | Apr 8, 2006 5:28:25 PM

Man, Riley barked- no, SCREAMED, the whole way from south Florida to Toronto, Canada, this past December.
http://laserone.textamerica.com/?r=3905617
It was awful!
:)

Posted by: Riley's Mom Lauren | Apr 9, 2006 12:44:32 AM

I have a four year old pug named Jackson. He, too, whines in the car. He also whines and barks out of the car, in the house, on walks, before and after meal time... it seems almost constant. I have gone back to what I used to do when he was a puppy, and that is crating. I crate him at night, when he has to be home alone, when we have repairmen or other workers at the house, and when I'm doing something where I need him not to be under my feet (painting a room, carrying heavy things up and down stairs, etc.). His crate is cozy, and he has become reaccustomed to it. He doesn't give me any trouble about going in because he knows he will only be there for a short period of time, and if he behaves he will get a Greenie when he's let out. He just loves those Greenies! As for the barking and whining when he can't be crated, I got over my guilt and bought a full-on correction collar. I let it go automatically when I cannot use the remote, but when I am very close by, like in the car, I use the remote and give him a little shock when he whines. I was so afraid that it would hurt him, but I tried the collar on myself and it does not hurt... It's more of a tingle. It isn't comfortable, as in that it feels odd, but it definitely is not painful. I also have made the cargo area of my SUV Jackson's seat. He is belted and leashed and has the whole back of the SUV to roam, but he cannot jump over the seats and climb on my infant, toddler or me. Pugs are stubborn dogs. I've learned through trial and error that mine is happiest when he has a steady routine and constant, but gentle, discipline.

Posted by: Rachel | Apr 9, 2006 7:31:27 AM

I think you gotta go with a shock collar or smack it with a rolled-up towel. The only thing worse than that whining is my pug Bluto's snorting. And no way should a pug be allowed up front. It's a recipe for a serious traffic accident. Maybe a crate in the back seat would work.

Posted by: Jim Domnick | Apr 11, 2006 3:03:34 PM

Wow you sure get a lot of posts on this subject. And here's one from me!

I got the same beeping collar for Sammy a few months ago but Sammy barked regardless of wearing the collar. I ended up returning it after a week.

I hope you've gotten better luck than me!

Posted by: Cindy | Apr 26, 2006 9:48:00 PM

weLLL half the people on this site are sugesting greenies for the sake of all pug and other wonderful breeds DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT FEED YOU DOGS GREENIES THEY CAUSE INTESTONAL BLOCKAGE IN THE ARTERIES AND IN SOME CASES THE LUNGS GREENIES ARE DANGEROUS SOOOOOOO DANGEROUS FOR DOGS AND ITS A BIT WORSE FOR OUR SMALLER PUGS PLEASE WINNIE DNT FEED SHELBY GREENIES!!!!!!!!


http://www.pugsplace.com/postsurgerypics.htm
PLEASE GO HERE AND VIEW WHAT HAPPEND TO HER PUG AFTER ENJOYING GREENIES FOR A LONG TIME!!!!!!!

Posted by: karelle | Jul 8, 2006 10:29:10 PM

IF THAT LINK DOES NOT WORK THAN GO HERE AND LOOK A LITTLE BIT DOWN UNTIL YOU SEE A SMALL GREEN WORD THAT SAYS WELL
GREENIES
http://www.pugsplace.com/blog/cat_pugs.php

Posted by: karelle | Jul 8, 2006 10:31:40 PM

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