I do not have an anti-bark dog collar. I once had a friend who had anti-bark dog collars which she said didn’t work on her dog that barked, but badly affected her second dog that didn’t! However, I have invested in an anti-bark device to keep in my pocket when out walking my dogs, in an attempt to deter other dogs attacking mine. This is my first introduction to one of these devices. There is no way of us hearing what it sounds like to a dog, as it is ultra sonic and the human ear cannot hear it. However, I have experimented with it, and it turns one of my dogs into a submissive wreck; the other just ignores it! Frustratingly, as with my old friend, the one that is affected is the more sensitive of the two dogs, and the better behaved.
For my own reasons, I quite often walk my dogs separately. They are German Shepherds, and I am not so strong these days. Over the years they have suffered several attacks by staffie-type crossbreed dogs owned by some of our local thugs, and have become very defensive when an uncontrolled dog runs over to them. After a recent attack by yet another staffie crossbreed I called the police, who didn’t want to know unless a human had been injured. To that I retorted that next time, I would aim my boot at the offending beast and would probably sustain a personal injury after that. Would they then do something about it?
I called the local dog warden for some advice. I had hoped he would know who the owner of the offending dog was, as there must have been lots of other complaints, surely? Mr Dog Warden said his hands were tied. He had to have concrete proof before he could prosecute. He would need to come out with me and personally witness an attack, as there were no cameras in the parkland area where I regularly walk my dogs. Well, I replied that I would be very pleased to have company on all my future dog walks, but he might have to wait months before such an attack took place again. I suppose, on average, my dogs have had twenty or thirty similar attacks in the eleven years that I have owned them.
I was almost made to feel by the dog warden that it was my own fault that my dog was attacked. I shouldn’t walk my dog in a remote area. I wasn’t aware that this was a remote area, just a pleasant area of parkland, with an asphalt cycle track-cum-footpath through it, from where I live through to the local trading estate. Thus, it is classified as a public area, and dogs are supposed to be kept under control. I walk my dogs there to enjoy the peace of being out of the town area, amid woodland and parkland. The dogs enjoy it more as well; they can have a good old sniff around the rabbit holes and mole hills, and we can all breathe good old fresh air unpolluted by the passing traffic in town.
The day of the recent attack there she was, my dog, walking innocently along on a long lead, because she is old and unable to chase after squirrels or rabbits like she used to without collapsing. From the woods at least a hundred yards across the park, suddenly bounded this brindle staffie crossbreed barking furiously. My dog barked a warning, as she is prone to do these days after several similar attacks. The other dog, alternately barking and growling, stood her ground, teeth bared, in front of my barking dog. Then she took a leap at my dog’s throat. Meanwhile, her owner was trying to call her off, but she took absolutely no notice. He had another similar dog with him; this one was on a lead. He was therefore unable to come close and pull his dog off mine, in case the second dog joined in the attack. I was helpless at the end of my dog’s lead, shouting at the offending dog, but probably thereby inciting my own dog to bark even more in her attempt to protect me. Fortunately, the attacking dog eventually backed off, and returned to her owner. No visible serious damage was done by those terrifying teeth, but my dog was seriously stressed.
The danger being over, my dog collapsed and started eating the grass around her. This was followed by her vomiting. She was deeply stressed, and this was her way of dealing with it. I walked her slowly back home, but every few yards she would collapse again, followed by more grass eating and vomiting. Next time she is attacked I fear she may have a heart attack. This prompted my call to the local dog warden, who advised me to invest in this anti-bark device.
Well, it works. My own dog, the one that was attacked, is petrified of it. The very sight of it turns her into a gibbering wreck. That should improve things next time she sustains an attack. She will just lie down and submit, no doubt! I have yet to find out if that will deter an uncontrolled attacking dog.
I wrote this article as an assignment for Helium.com under the subject “An Introduction to Anti-bark collars”. Surprise, surprise – they deleted it the next day!! They obviously don’t like people arguing against what we are supposed to be writing adverts for! Ah well……………