You’ve got a dog that just keeps barking

Here’s the deal: You’ve got a dog that just keeps barking when you leave him in his kennel run or in the back yard. You’ve already exercised him and you know that he’s not barking at anything in specific.

Let’s face it: Sometimes dogs just bark because it’s fun. And then it becomes a habit. And then your neighbors start complaining. Even if you correct the dog when you’re home, your dog is smart enough to learn that he doesn’t get corrected for barking when you leave for work. And that’s where the bark collar comes in.

Innotek’s No-Bark Collars deliver a safe, instant message that barking is off-limits. Controlling your dog’s barking has never been safer or easier. The No-Bark Collar is also safe to use around other animals because the stimulus can be activated only by the bark of the dog wearing the collar.

These things really work! I’ve used them for the last 10 years, and I honestly don’t know what kennel owners did without them. (Hint: Lots of sound insulation!)

Please read at the link below for a description of the different bark collars that we offer.



Recommendations For Buying A Remote Electronic Training Collar

At the link below, you’ll find the remote electronic training collars that I recommend. It is important that a remote electronic training collar (an “e-collar” for short) have at least the following features:

– Seven levels of stimulation. You must have the flexibility to adapt the motivation of the stimulation to MATCH your dog’s temperament. Three levels of stimulation is usually not enough.

– A range that is practical for off-leash training. If the e-collar you’re using only claims to have a range of 50 yards, the reality is that– in the park– the range won’t actually reach this far. – The transmitter should be small enough to carry in your pocket.

– The manufacturer should prove itself to be in business for the long run. This is evident by excellent product support and a willingness to stand behind it’s product.

– The remote electronic training collar should have intelligent engineering. Some e-collars demonstrate a noticeable lag time from when you press the button to when the dog feels the stimulation… and so your timing (and the dog’s association) will suffer. And this means that your training results will suffer, too. The e-collars that I recommend below do not have this “stimulation lag.” Read more at: Adam’s Guide To Buying A Remote Electronic Training Collar


More Questions On Training With The Electronic Collar

1a. WHY should one use an electronic collar rather than clicker, treat or other methods not involving any pain?

The first time I heard about dog training with an electronic collar, I imagined the Electro-Shock Treatment scene from the old Frankenstein movies. But once you open your mind and move past the negative hype and cookie-trainer propaganda, you realize something rather startling… dog training with an electronic collar (if done correctly) has absolutely nothing to do with pain.

1b. BUT don’t electronic collars “shock” the dog? And doesn’t this cause pain?

This is a common misperception. A quality electronic collar has a variety of stimulation settings that can be set to match your dog’s temperament. Instead of causing a “shock,” the collar instead delivers a small amount of low level stimulation. Proper use of the electronic collar should not cause pain or submission.

2. WHEN should the electronic collar be used, rather than clicker, treat or other methods?

You don’t need to use an electronic collar to train your dog. People have been training dogs for hundreds of years without the electronic collar. However, people have also been writing books without word processors for hundreds of years, too. I think the analogy is fitting.

Personally, I use a modified working dog approach because my clients demand maximum results in a minimal amount of time. Now, many will argue that to do this you need to cut corners or apply undue pressure on the dog. However, if you look at the facts, you’ll find otherwise. Remember, 99% of my clientele at South Bay K-9 Academy are civillian pet owners. At an average price of $600 to $900 for a dog training program, these people would NOT BE HAPPY if their dog’s personality was broken and their best friend came home sad and neurotic.

So, any training approach or tool that does not produce a happy, trained dog would quickly put us out of business. I find that if you properly use an electronic collar and understand the fundamentals of timing, consistency and motivation, you can fix certain behavior problems faster than with any other dog training tool. And fast, reliable off-leash obedience can literally be obtained in hours, rather than days or months.

The electronic collar is an amazing tool if used properly!

3. HOW should such collars be used for best results and to assure least amount of pain?

I think it depends on the handler’s skill. If you’re a beginner, simply use the collar to fix problem behaviors that you would never want the dog to do. For example, if your dog is digging in the trash, you should first set the electronic collar to an intensity level which fits your dog’s temperament. Next, leave something tasty in the trash can. When the dog goes to dig in the trash, you should stimulate the dog with the electronic collar transmitter.

If the stimulation is motivational, your dog will never dig in the trash again. Now, you may be wondering what I mean by “motivational.” Motivation is best understood through the analogy of a police officer giving a speeder a ticket.

If the dog trainer is the police officer, and I’m the speeder… the concept of motivation suggests that the ticket must be expensive enough to convince me that I don’t want to get any more tickets. If I’m driving home from work on a Thursday night, and nothing good is on T.V. and nobody is waiting for me at home… then a police officer can give me a $2 ticket, and it will be motivational enough to convince me to stop speeding. However, if I’m driving home on Super Bowl Sunday, and I’m late… and I’ve got $50 bucks riding on the game… then the police officer’s $2 ticket will no longer be motivational. So what does the police officer need to do? He needs to give me a $200 ticket.

Now, how many $200 tickets do you think I need to get before I decide to never speed again?

That’s right… just one! If, on the other hand, my last name is Trump and my first name is The Donald… then a $200 ticket isn’t going to be motivational. So, the police officer will need to match the motivation of the ticket to my sensitivity level. But since I’m just an average working Joe, if the police officer insists on giving me a $50,000 ticket and then pulls me out of my car and slaps me on the head with his night stick… I also won’t ever speed again. But I probably won’t ever drive again, either. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to hate police officers, too. So, the electronic collar allows us tremendous flexibility in matching the correction to the dog’s temperament. And we can do it in a way which doesn’t involve jerking or pulling or being physical with the dog. But it is the handlers responsibility to know his dog, and not issue $50,000 tickets, when a $2 will work just as well.

4. WHO should use such collars? Any pet owner? Only trainers? Only skilled trainers? WHO should never use such collars?

Any intelligent dog owner can use an electronic collar for avoidance training (such as digging in the trash, climbing on the bed, digging holes in the garden, etc…) Advanced handlers and professional dog trainers can easily use the electronic collar to polish obedience routines, build faster response to commands, and increase reliability. And experienced professional dog trainers can use the electronic collar to correct certain types of handler and dog aggression. Sometimes just the texture of the electronic correction can be motivational for a dog, where physical corrections won’t have any effect.

5. Are there any breeds they should never be used on?

Everyone thinks that their breed is special… that their breed has certain “quirks” that make training more difficult. Greyhound owners think that their breed is harder to train because Greyhounds run faster. Chow Chow owners think that their breed is harder to train because Chows have a stronger defensive drive. Whippet owners think that their dogs are harder to train because they have skinny necks. And Komondor owners think that their dogs are harder to train because they were bred to be independent workers. But the truth of the matter is that the breed of dog is highly irrelevent.

The real question that dog owners need to ask is, “What type of temperament does my dog have, and how should I match the motivation level to fit my dog’s temperament?” If I happen to be working with an Australian Cattle Dog that has a very soft temperament, maybe I’ll set the electronic collar intensity setting to level 1, low. The beauty of the electronic collar is that you can match the intensity level to your dog’s temperament. This means that, even if you get excited and overreact, your corrections will still match your dog’s temperament. So the possiblity of over-correcting your dog is actually less likely with an electronic collar than with any other type of collar.

On the other hand, if I am working with a second Australian Cattle Dog that has a very hard, dominant temperament, perhaps I’ll set the collar stimulation level to 4 or 5. So you can see, it’s not the breed of dog that matters as much as it is the temperament of the dog.

6. Are there brands of such collars to be wary of?

The electronic collars I use and recommend are made by Innotek and Tri-Tronics. There are other collars on the market, but I’ve found these to be most reliable and offer the best customer service. Don’t buy an electronic collar from your local pet store. These are usually cheap collars that are made overseas. They have poor engineering and low reliability. Even with the Innotek and Tri-Tronics collars, we’ll often receive collars that don’t work properly.

In most cases, the collars simply won’t produce any stimulation, or such an abnormally low level of stimulation that they’re obviously not working properly. But this will happen with any type of hardware. I’ve found that Innotek and Tri-Tronics are highly responsive to their customer base and offer speedy repairs and refunds.

7. WHAT is the major objection to such collars? What is your reaction to that objection(s)?

I don’t feel that there are any rational objections to the intelligent use of the electronic collar. Most of the criticism of these training devices is built around the argument that, “People will misuse them.” But this is an age-old argument.

Dog owners must not decide to ban an otherwise safe and effective training tool simply because there are a few individuals who don’t bother to stop and read the instructions.

8. WHAT experiences, credentials, training or other do you have in the use of such collars? Do you consider yourself an authority on this subject?

As the [former] owner of South Bay K-9 Academy and the web site, , I’ve personally trained hundreds of dogs with the electronic collar. But you don’t have to take my word on the effectiveness of electronic collar training.

If you simply look at some of the top winning dogs in most of the American working dog sports, you’ll find dogs that have been trained with the electronic collar. Take Triple Crown Dog Training Academy, in Hutto, Texas, for example. Currently the largest dog training facility in America (if not the world) Triple Crown is the home of Scutzhund trainer Rob Dunn. Mr. Dunn recently placed in the top 10 of the World Schutzhund Championships with a dog he trained with an electronic collar. Or Keith Benson, who has a fine working AKC Obedience Golden Retriever that has been admired by the likes of Terry Arnold and Tom Rose.

My philosophy is that: If it works for the top trainers around the world… and then you are able to use it and get positive results yourself… then it’s definitely a tool you should incorporate into your bag of tricks.

9. WHAT obstacles/challenges face one in using such collars? And, separately, what obstacles/challenges have you faced in using such collars?

Although the electronic collar is a powerful tool, it should be used as a supplement to your entire training program, not as a substitute. The most appropriate use of the electronic collar is after you’ve layed a strong foundation of obedience exercises on your dog. I think the biggest mistake that otherwise intelligent people make with the electronic collar is: teaching the dog to be collar smart.

Many times, an owner will get lazy and put the electronic collar on the dog immediately before the training session. And then they remove the e-collar after the session. If you do this consistently enough, your dog will learn quickly that if he isn’t wearing the electronic collar, you can’t enforce your commands. Or that he only gets the stimulation when he’s wearing the collar.

To overcome or prevent this from happening, it’s important to put the electronic collar (and any other training collar) on the dog several hours before you take him out for training.


Adam’s Guide To Buying A Remote Electronic Training Collar

Adam’s Guide To Buying A Remote Electronic Training Collar
(Also referred to as an E-collar)

Below you’ll find the remote electronic training collars that I recommend. It is important that a remote electronic training collar (an “e-collar” for short) have at least the following features:

  • Multiple levels of stimulation (more than three).  You must have the flexibility to adapt the motivation of the stimulation/correction to MATCH your dog’s temperament.  Three levels of stimulation is usually not enough.  Often times, dog owner will find that with the cheaper e-collars that are sold at pet stores, the medium stimulation is too light, but the high stimulation is too motivational.

  • A range that is practical for what you’re training.  Generally speaking, the more range, the better– as most e-collars seldom reach the range that they claim, anyway.  When I recommend an electronic remote collar to personal friends, I usually suggest that they purchase one that has a one mile range, if money is not an issue.  If not, then get one of the others I recommend below and you should still probably be alright in most instances.  And if you’re just planning on using the e-collar for behavior modification issues around the house or for specific aggression issues… then the range on the electronic remote collar is really a non-issue.

  • The transmitter should be small enough to carry in your pocket.

  • The manufacturer should prove itself to be in business for the long run.  This is evident by excellent product support and a willingness to stand behind it’s product.

  • The remote electronic training collar should have intelligent engineering.  Some e-collars demonstrate a noticeable lag time from when you press the button to when the dog feels the stimulation… and so your timing (and the dog’s association) will suffer.  And this means that your training results will suffer, too.  The e-collars that I recommend below do not have this “stimulation lag.” Early in my dog training career, I thought I could save some money by using the cheap e-collars made in China and Korea.  I have three words to sum up my experience: JUNK, JUNK, JUNK!  Let me tell you one thing about e-collar training:  When you press the button, your dog MUST receive the stimulation.  E-collars that are poorly engineered will pick up other transmissions and accidentally shock your dog.  Or they will not work when you need them to.  But you will not run into such problems if you purchase a quality product from a top e-collar manufacturer.  (I recommend Dogtra, Innotek or Tri-Tronics.)

If used correctly and intelligently, these collars are safe and will not harm you or your dog.  Like any training tool, emphasis is placed on their correct and intelligent use.  Remember… even a nylon leash can be harmful if you attach it to the wrong end of the dog.





— Adam Katz, Author of “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!

(Please note: Model numbers change frequently.  Check with your preferred vendor to find the same or similar collars):

I’m currently using the Sit Means Sit e-collar by Sportdog.  You can buy the same e-collar that I’m using from your local Sit Means Sit franchisee.

The e-collars below are also excellent.  I’ve used them and continue to recommend them, although the model numbers have changed since originally publishing this page:


Dogtra 2000NC– This collar has a one mile range and both the collar and transmitter are waterproof.

  • Easy to use
  • Waterproof transmitter and collar
  • Adjust the level desired at the hand-held transmitter starting from a “zero” level graduating up to the necessary level in a linear progression (no steps or increments)
    using patented ” rheostat dial”.
  • Both “Nick” & “Constant” stimulation
  • Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries
  • 1 mile range
  • No external antenna on the collar
  • Available in a two dog model
  • U.S. Patents

This is a very powerful e-collar.  “Constant” Stimulation gives you plenty of stopping power and the “Nick” is mild but motivating.

The dial on the transmitter allows you to change the strength of the collar even as you are working the dog.

Dogtra 2000NC


Dogtra 1100NC– This collar has a 1/2 mile range and just the collar is waterproof.

  • WATERPROOF HOUSING – The dog’s collar is waterproof, the transmitter is water – resistant.
  • NON-CLUMSY FEEL – Ergonomic transmitter weigh 4.2 oz. – 3.1″ x 1.6″ x 1.0″
  • NON-EXPOSED ANTENNA – The dog’s collar weight 4.9 oz. – 2.75″ x 1.75″ x 1.4″
  • EFFECTIVE RANGE – Very efficient 1/2 mile penetration power
  • GLOVE-USE BUTTONS – A no-look feel during inclement weather
  • CONVENIENT LANYARD – Assists in keeping hands free for other activities
  • POSITIVE-ACTION” TURN-ON/OFF SWITCH – No chance for the dog’s collar to accidentally turn off while in the field
  • ONE CHARGER SYSTEM – Charges both the trainer’s transmitter and the dog’s collar – lasts up to one week plus with everyday use between recharge

The 1100NC – designed to “Go where dogs go” – superior results are achieved in two very important ways.

  • The necessary kind of electrical stimulation designed for rapidly moving, rambunctious dogs
  • A means to adjust the level of stimulation from a “zero” setting graduating upward to the necessary level and then downward in a linear progression using our patented “rheostat dial” design. (Priced to please while providing our new e-linear Training System.)

This collar offers features of the 1200 but at a price savings for those trainers whose needs are filled with a water resistant transmitter (vs. a water-proof transmitter).

“It took me awhile to figure out the difference between the 1100NC and the 1200NC that Dogtra offers.  For a price difference of fifty bucks, the only main difference is that the transmitter (the part you hold in your hand) is water resistant vs. water-proof).  Unless you’re into water sports, it’s not worth the extra fifty bucks, in my opinion so we’re just carrying this model for now.
— Adam.

Dogtra 1100NC


Dogtra 175NCP– This collar is designed specifically for ANY size dog
(including small breeds).

175NCP (Low to mid-range power unit)
The 175NCP is an entry-level companion dog trainer for small, medium or large breeds. This compact trainer has a 400-yard range, nick and constant stimulation modes along with Dogtra’s patented non-stimulating pager function. Features a durable waterproof receiver, water-resistant transmitter and rechargeable Ni-MH batteries.

Dogtra 175NCP

Below is the new Dogtra e-collar I’m currently using for my personal dog. (This was written back in 2008. Still a great e-collar, though…
and I’ve never had a problem with the batteries losing their memory)
It works quite well for the type of training environment I’m working in.
(Relative close-in distances and park settings.)

Dogtra 200NCP

The new 200NCP Gold bridges the gap between our popular pet trainers and our Pro line. It incorporates many of the features as our Pro-series at a more affordable price.

Features include water-resistant transmitter/waterproof receiver, half-mile range nick/constant stimulation and our patented non-stimulating pager mode along with Dogtra’s industry-leading durability. Rechargeable Ni-MH Batteries.

Dogtra 200NCP Gold

Dogtra 202NCP Gold (2-Dog Unit)


Recently, I have also been playing around with the Sit Means Sit Remote Electronic collar, by Sportdog… which I like a lot, too.

Owner Inadvertently Misusing His Electronic Collar

(Adam’s response are denoted below.)

[DAVID WRITES: ] Dear Adam:

I have read your book a couple of times, and have recommended it to several of the folks who attended the obedience class with me  (Which after reading your book I realized what a waste the class was).

Ok Ok, so I’m done sucking up for now.  😉

I have a 10 month-old Australian Shepherd named Belle.

I ordered the Free Spirit e-collar from Innotek and I’ve gotten her used to wearing it. I intend to use the e-collar to quicken Belle’s response to my commands only when she begins to test me, which she does when she decides that she’s tired playing, or just basically uninterested in anything I may have to offer her in trade for her obedience.

[ADAM REPLIES:]  Already my “Alert:  Danger Ahead” lights are flashing.  It sounds like you’re unclear as to what you’re using the e-collar for.  If you want to speed up your dog’s response to commands… this is primarily done with POSITIVE motivation.  If she’s already tired, then you should put her away and take her out later.

[DAVID CONTINUES:]  That said, I forged off the other day and began to test it while playing Frisbee with her.  I got the collar hooked up, and set on level 5 (And now you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Hmmmmmmm level 5 for a female Australian shepherd, hmmmmmmmmm.’  Yep.  Level 5, got the ‘ole  head twitch when I tested it and everything seemed fine.

[ADAM WRITES:]  You were playing Frisbee with your dog… why do you need the electronic collar for this?  Secondly… there are 7 levels of stimulation.  If you’re only getting a head-twitch at level 5… then something is wrong.  (See below).

[DAVID:]  Well, seems the connection was not all there on the test, and after a run out to catch the Frisbee and about half way back Dave says, “Belle sit” and she proceeds on her usual “I can go 10 feet before I actually sit (which is actually a down, but I’ll get to that in a second)” and Dave hits the button on the remote, and Belle screams out in pain (seems the connection is much better now), does almost a complete back flip, drops the Frisbee and runs for the door” I let her inside and she heads for the darkest most remote place she can find.

[ADAM REPLIES:]  Damn, straight!  I would, too.  This is not the proper way to introduce the collar.

First, you should have been circumspect to be working with the collar on level 5 from the first session.  I can almost guarantee what happened was that the collar was not making contact with the dog’s skin, but rather with the dog’s fur… at least until she started running around.  After the collar had a chance to settle, it then was right against the skin of the dog’s neck… and thus OVER-CORRECTING HER.  (Either this, or the collar was malfunctioning.)

Second, what you’re doing with the dog is not right.  Not at this stage.  You should not be playing Frisbee while first stimulating the dog.  And second, the collar should not be looked at as a device to TEACH your dog but rather to PROOF your dog.   (It’s a  common mistake… don’t feel bad.  I’d bet a dollar that your dog doesn’t fully understand the command yet… or his understanding is only situational.)

[DAVID:]  I coax her out with a ball and take the collar off and replace it with her normal collar and leave her be.

[ADAM:]  Big mistake.  1.)  You just taught her to be collar-smart and showed her that this e-collar is somehow related to the traumatic event.    And 2.)  You coddled her and rewarded her for this behavior.  Instead, you should have taken her out and continued playing… showed her that it was just a fluke.  And immediately worked her past it.  By letting her go into the house, you’ve allowed the experience with the park to brew in her mind.  You should have played it off in the same manner as if she’d stepped on a rock.  “Ooops… did that get you?  Okay… shake it off… let’s continue playing.”

[DAVID:]   She is pretty smart, it becomes apparent to me that she has made a connection  to this terrible pain to the following things:

“The pain is associated with her master, he should be avoided at all costs.” She figures out this is not the case after a period of time.

[ADAM:]  WRONG… she went into shock because she had no idea what the correction was for.

[DAVID:]  “The pain is associated with her master, and any toy we are currently playing with” I admit it took me several hours to overcome this one.

[ADAM:]  It wouldn’t have, if you’d just continued playing with her.

“The pain is associated with her master, a toy and any command he gives, I.E if I have the ball in my mouth, and he tells me to sit, I should run for the hills”

Pretty much worked through that one also.

She doesn’t know what to associate it with.  That’s why it’s your job to: 1.  Admit that you screwed up.  2.  Take her back immediately and let her realize that it was just a fluke.  Show her this through experience.

[DAVID:]  “The pain is associated with any command” She’s still not sure of this.

[ADAM:]  She didn’t really understand the command in the first place.

[DAVID:]  “The pain is associated with being outside in the front yard” Got past that one also “The pain is associated with being outside in the front yard and her Frisbee”

[ADAM:]  Again… this is all WHAT YOU THINK IS IN HER HEAD.  She simply doesn’t know what in heck happened.  She’s just generally wary of everything now, and it’s you’re job to show her it was a fluke.

[DAVID:]  Her Frisbee drive is so strong that she got past this quickly. “The pain is associated with being outside, the Frisbee, and any command”

Hmmmmmm, still working on this one, the good news is that she will sit/down immediately now without any hesitation whatsoever whether she’s in fetch mode or retrieve mode. The bad news is once I introduce commands, she is still wary of what in particular caused the pain and will begin to take things into her own hands such as stopping half way on the fetch and go down, begin the retrieval and go down, etc, etc, all without me issuing any commands whatsoever. I’m probably pushing it somewhat, and will just play with her without any commands for a couple of sessions so she’ll get relaxed again.

[ADAM:]  Work her through it… without the collar.  If she goes down… then tell her again to go get the Frisbee.  Do lots of repetition and give her lots of praise.

[DAVID:]  Going back to that sit/down when she’s on the leash– in the house– I say, “Sit” and she sits.  When I say, “Sit” in a distance setting, she’ll go down every time.  She also goes down when I say down. I can do the “no no no no no no no no” thing while running up to her, and as soon as I arrive she’ll sit up in a nice little sitting position. I realize that this is not really a “dog problem” likened to what most would consider a problem, as I suspect most of your customers would be pleased as punch if their dog would do what Belle does. And to tell you the truth, I really could live with it, but it’s a matter of curiosity as to how to go about training her to only sit.

[ADAM:]   She’s not understanding.  Here’s what you need to do:

Put a 30 foot long line on her.  Stand back and stay, “Sit.”  If she lays down, then reissue the command, “Sit” and then lift the line straight up.  You can do this first with a 6 foot line if she needs to be pulled up into the sit position.  But basically, if you say, “Sit” and she lays down, then there should be tension on the collar until she sits back up.  Sometimes a quick flick upwards of the long line will feel to the dog like a correction upwards and get her to sit up by herself without having to walk in and make her do it.  (This is a very common problem, by the way.)

[DAVID:]  I suspect that I could do it with the e-collar, after I re-introduce it to her (she is wearing it again, although I have not started using it as of yet) by giving her a correction when she goes down, but it’d be real easy to over do it in this case, as she may stand up instead. How would you go about it???

[ADAM:]  No.  You don’t need the e-collar for this.  Teach it with the long line.  Later, once she’s doing it… you can start to synchronize the leash correction with the e-collar (on a very low setting… like Level 2).

And once you see that she completely understands the command with both the long line and the e-collar, you’ll be able to later start working her at farther distances with  only the e-collar.  Let me reiterate:  The e-collar should be viewed by the dog as an exciting opportunity to go out and work.  My dog loves it because it represents a romp in the park.  If instead, your dog is fearful or has a bad attitude about it.. .you can be sure that you’re doing something wrong… and you should find out what it is, quick!

[DAVID:]  I enjoy the dog, and as I work out of the house I have plenty of available time to spend with her.   Thanks for listening, and thanks for the book and the site.

[ADAM:]  Take it slow.  Keep it fun for the dog.  Use the e-collar for reliability and to increase YOUR TIMING and consistency as if you were able to run as fast as the dog.  It should be used in exactly the same way that a normal leash correction is used… but with the added benefit of not having to run yourself.  Good luck.