LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Incessant barking by your pups can easily cause a headache or frighten guests in your home. The BarkOFF is a dog training aid that supposedly emits sounds that only dogs can hear to get them to stop bad barking behavior. The BarkOFF is designed to be coupled with training and rewarding your dog for good bark-free behavior, in order to end nuisance barking for good.
Our test brings us to the home of our producer Shawn Herndon and his wife Alicia. Shawn has had trouble controlling the excess barking of his two Chihuahuas, Koko and Kara.
Shawn says, "They like to let you know they're there. And they let people know they're not welcome. They bark a lot at any prompt, but they're not mean. They're just yappie."
The BarkOFF is an ultrasonic training aid that claims to put an end to annoying barking in a safe and humane way. The unit requires a nine volt battery, which is not included. It operates by use of an ON/OFF switch. The unit has both a high and low sensitivity setting. According to the instruction manual, this setting controls the unit's ability to pick up barking noises. The low setting claims to detect a bark within a range of roughly ten feet, while the high setting is supposed to pick up a bark within a range of roughly twenty feet. For our test, we leave the unit on high sensitivity due to the size of the rooms in the house. The unit is supposedly inaudible to humans and activates by barking; however, we are able to pick up a faint hissing noise and clicking from time to time.
With the unit on and a few barks from the dogs, we can tell that the dogs notice something is different in their environment. They continue to bark and actually look somewhat afraid of the BarkOFF. We change locations with the BarkOFF a few times and try to affirm good barking behavior as suggested, but after a short pause the dogs continue to bark.
Shawn says, "We have two boxes that lead up to the window so they can use it as steps so they can look out. That's where they do the majority of their barking, so if it doesn't work there, it's probably not going to work anywhere else."
So we leave the BarkOFF with the Herndon's for a week as suggested by the instructions. We return one week later to find out if the Herndon's have had any more success with the BarkOFF.
"After a week of testing, this product isn't something I'd spend money on. It didn't seem to help at all; in fact it just seemed to annoy the dogs. I don't want to cause them any discomfort without any effect," explains Shawn.
Since every dog is different, results with your dog may vary greatly, but our test finds that the BarkOFF sounds the alarm on a NO for this week's "Does it Work?" test. The Bark Off cost us roughly $10 at a local store, plus the cost of a 9V battery.
Company Statement from TeleBrands on our BarkOFF test:
"Like other bark control devices currently being marketed, the BarkOFF is to be used as a training device to prevent nuisance barking. When the unit is in the on position, it emits sound waves in the ultrasonic frequency to calm the dog and prevent nuisance barking.
The product should be turned on ONLY to prevent nuisance barking. It may take at least one week for certain dogs for the product to be effective. The product should still function the same even if there is more than one dog. Personality of the dog comes into play as well and the product can effect different dogs differently.
TeleBrands always offers a money back guarantee.
These types of products have been on the market for ten years now.
The BarkOFF is to be used a training device and should also be used in conjunction with positive reinforcement methods used by dog owners.
No evidence that such devices have caused harm to either people or animals.
For BarkOFF to achieve the desired results, the product should be used within a 20-foot range. It is best suited for indoors as sound waves are less affected by outside influences (wind, cars, etc)."
Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.
Check out the other products Jeff has tested by clicking here!