Citronella anti-barking collars are humane methods to prevent anti-social barking behaviour. However, they are expensive to buy, and may not be needed for very long. Therefore Mount Hutton Pet Hospital has purchased some to hire out on a weekly basis to the general public.
How does the collar work?
The collar has a small microphone inside. When the dog wearing the collar barks, the microphone immediately sets off a short spray of citronella vapour. Whilst citronella is a pleasant smell for humans, dogs don’t tend to like the smell. The dog quickly associates its barking behaviour with the unpleasant smell, and avoids barking in order to avoid the smell. It is not an electric shock collar.
Are there any side effects?
No. Citronella is not a medication; it’s just an odour. There are no residual effects. Dogs can still make quiet noises that won’t set off the collar.
How long does it take?
This can depend on how quickly your dog learns. Normally, a few days of constant use or several sessions of episodic use is all it takes. Younger dogs tend to be more impressionable than older dogs. It is important to supervise the first few sessions.
Also be aware that other dogs might not like the smell; we have heard of cases where companion dogs chew the collar off their friend! The minimum hire period is 2 weeks to ensure your dog gets a good chance to learn.
How long will it last?
Some dogs learn their lesson the first time and don’t need a refresher course. Some dogs learn not to bark whenever they wear a collar – any type of collar! Some dogs require occasional “top ups”, when they figure out they aren’t going to get sprayed anymore – usually in a couple of months. In any case, it is always helpful to look at the reasons why your dog is still barking, and then minimize them. Are they territorial? Are they lonely? Anxious? Are they bored? Can you provide other activities for them? The less stimulus there is for barking the better. Please give us a call if you wish to discuss these matters.
What if I need more time?
If you need longer than the 2-week initial hire period, you need to let us know ASAP. If there is a waiting list for the collar, you will have to join the back of the queue. There is no limit on how many times you can hire out the collar so long as it is in good working order and all payments are up to date. Daily fees will apply, so that others wishing to use the service are not inconvenienced.
How do I hire the collar?
Call us on 4947 1311 and book the collar. There may be a waiting period. If so, we will call you back when the collar is available.
Can I have an account?
No. All money must be paid before the commencement of the hiring period. If an additional hire period is agreed to, all fees must be paid upfront before the commencement of the hiring period. The deposit cannot be used instead of payment.
What happens if my dog destroys the collar?
The deposit is then not refunded in order to help the practice buy another collar so other people can still use the service. If the collar is damaged, but still not working, a proportion of the deposit will be retained to cover repair bills.