If you came here searching for the best dog training tools for barking, I’ve got you covered.
First, though, I’d like to ask you a favor; please amend that search to include the word “humane.”
Anti-barking devices are a dime a dozen, but very few of them are what one would call dog-friendly.
So today, we’ll focus ONLY on force-free and pain-free tools to stop your dog from barking.
Let’s begin with what makes a tool humane versus cruel and go from there.
Humane vs Cruel Anti-Barking Tools
I’m going to put this in incredibly simple terms. If a device causes your dog pain or suffering, it’s cruel. Period.
Ask yourself, “Does this tool feel like punishment?” If the answer is yes, it’s the wrong tool.
Let’s go over some of the common devices that use punishment-based methods of training, starting with the worst of the bunch.
These collars are exactly what they sound like. When your dog barks, they deliver a shock. In other words, they electrocute your dog.
I know that there are proponents of shock collars who claim they’re wonderful tools when used correctly.
I will never, ever, ever agree with them. Bottom line, shock collars are cruel and do far far far more harm than good.
So let’s just cross shock collars off our list of humane dog training tools for barking and move on.
Since citronella is toxic to dogs, I’m going to put them in the “not humane” category as well.
The ASPCA does say that the minimal amounts used in the collars are typically safe, but I’d rather err on the side of caution.
Besides, in my experience, they don’t really work.
Before I knew better, we used one for my boy Coop (who is, sadly, no longer with us).
Not only did it not work, but my other dog learned that if she barked in his vicinity, he got blasted, so she did it…often.
I kid you not, she thought it was funny. Poor Coop did not, so we retired the collar and I learned the right way to train a dog.
Collars designed to blast a high-pitched frequency in your dog’s ears when they bark are kind of a grey area.
Dogs have sensitive ears, and these collars tend to get louder and more painful the longer your dog barks.
It’s a vicious cycle. Your dog barks at a squirrel and gets blasted with noise. The noise startles him so he barks louder.
The noise gets louder so he barks in pain, which is met with a higher frequency, more pain, more barking…you get the picture.
So, in collar form, I’m going to say no to noise-makers. However, you’ll find some alternatives below if you feel like this is the way to go.
If pretty much every popular anti-barking collar on the market falls into the “not humane” category, what’s left? Let’s find out.
Humane dog training tools for barking
We’ll start with the most human dog training tools for barking and go from there.
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
1. Your firm voice
Your firm voice is by far the most humane anti-barking device, but it takes a lot of work.
You need to train your dog when it’s acceptable to bark and when it’s not.
For example, maybe you’re okay with her barking at strangers knocking on the door but not so much with, say, a leaf flying by.
It’s hard, I know. Believe me, I know.
- 100% humane
- Strengthens your bond with your dog
- Doesn’t rely on external stimuli, so your dog can’t “get used to” it.
- Take a lot of patience and hard work.
- Not an immediate solution.
I highly recommend checking out Zak George’s dog training videos as all of his methods are force-free and pain-free.
2. Dog Training Clicker
Clicker training is a fantastic reward-based method that helps “mark” correct behavior and teach dogs what’s expected of them.
You’ll need to do a little groundwork first to teach your dog the “quiet” command during a regular training session (in other words, when your dog isn’t barking).
Check out the video below to see what I mean.
Later, when your dog barks, issue the “quiet” command. The very moment he stops, click the clicker, then reward him.
Why the click? Why not just go right to the reward? Well, most of the time when my dog is barking, she’s across the yard, so “quiet” is followed by “come.”
If she gets the treat when she arrives by my side, she has no way of knowing if she’s being rewarded for not barking or for coming.
The click “marks” the correct action. Does that make sense?
Features & Pros
- 100% Humane
- Reinforces positive behavior
- Comes with a treat bag and
- You have to be present
- Not an immediate solution
- ★A brand new happy communication mode with the pet. Great for training puppies and young adult dogs!
- ★Fits nicely in your hand, it has elastic wrist strap so you don't drop it.
- ★Button presses easily and comes right back up without getting stuck, good sound, not to loud or soft.
- ★The Clicker can not only train the dog but also the cat, bird, chicken, sheep and even mouse.
- ★100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE & LIFETIME WARRANTY. Don't miss!
3. Handheld Doggie Don’t Device
While I’m not a fan of anything that’s designed to hurt a dog’s sensitive ears, this one is fairly humane overall.
See, rather than attaching a collar with a mind of its own, YOU control the timing and duration of the sound.
- Completely controlled by you
- Doesn’t go around your dog’s neck
- Loud, even to you.
- Still potentially painful to your dog if he’s too close
It’s loud, in the sense that it will hurt your ears as well! That said, if you use it while your dog is across the yard and just give it a quick tap, it’ll startle him enough to stop.
Keep in mind, though, that it works best when you also give a command like “no barking.”
The goal is to get to the point where your command combined with the sight of the device is enough to curb unwanted barking.
- STOP BARKING AND BAD BEHAVIOR: Stop unwanted barking, fighting, jumping, biting, nipping, chewing, whining, begging, and leash aggression
- PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR PET: Use while walking, running, hiking, and biking to protect yourself and your dog from aggressive animals. Can also be used for personal protection when threatened
- LOUD NOISE WORKS: Device produces a very loud buzz noise (more than 100 decibels) that you and other animals can hear. No shock, so humane. Effective on all dog breeds and other animals
- EASY TO USE TRAINING TOOL: Push button and say command. Loud noise startles and distracts dog to stop unwanted behavior. Eventually, simply showing the device will deter bad behavior
- INCLUDES REPLACEABLE BATTERIES: 2 lithium CR2 3.0v batteries included. Batteries can be replaced. Lightweight and easy to carry with included wrist strap
4. MODUS Anti Barking Device
Need a humane way to stop barking when you’re not around to push a button? The MODUS is a fairly good option.
I’m still not a fan of using devices like this when you’re not around to monitor and control them, but at least this one doesn’t go around your dog’s neck.
Instead, it sits on a table, shelf, or wherever else you put it. When it detects barking, it emits a high-frequency sound.
- Microphones can automatically detect dog barking up to 50 feet away
- 4 different power levels
- “Safe” for dogs and humans
- Still uses punishment as a deterrent
- “Safe” doesn’t mean “comfortable,” and the sound can still cause pain
- No way to know if it’s actually emitting a sound, since you can’t hear it
- Dogs get used to it fairly quickly and ignore it
I like that it has 4 levels, so you choose a sound that’s appropriate for your dog’s size.
However, I don’t like that there’s really no way of knowing if it’s actually working. No blinking light or any other indicator.
With all noise-making devices, you’re going to run into a problem where the dog gets used to it and simply doesn’t care anymore.
Plus, if you’re not around to give a command, your dog has no way of knowing what’s expected of him.
The sound may surprise him enough to stop barking, but without follow-through, it’s basically the high-pitched equivalent of yelling “shut up” out the window.
- 【GET PEACEFUL AND QUIET】Imagining a quiet home where you can relax with your own thoughts, get a good night's sleep. Thousands of people like you have used MODUS anti barking device to take back their peace and quiet. Using an ultrasonic bark control device can effectively prevent barking by your or your neighbor's dog. Provide a quiet and comfortable rest and sleep environment.
- 【AUTOMATIC CONTROL & 50 ft EFFECTIVE DISTANCE 】The sensitive microphones can automatically detect dog barking up to 50 feet away (also works on your neighbors’ dogs!). Then dog barking control devices will automatically blast high-pitched sounds that only the dog can hear. Once the dog stops barking, the ultrasonic bark control device will automatically stop transmits ultrasonic sound.
- 【SUITABLE FOR ALL SIZE DOGS】The ultrasonic dog bark deterrent has 4 different power levels of high, medium, low and test. Suitable for small, medium and large dogs. Test mode can be used to verify that the microphone and speaker are functional. You can manually adjust the power of the bark box with a simple knob. We recommend you start with the unit on low and then increase the power as needed.
- 【SAFE & EFFECTIVE SOLUTION】MODUS ultrasonic dog bark deterrent uses high-pitched ultrasonic sound technology. Ultrasonic sound is above the hearing range of humans, but it will make attention and stimulate to dogs. It is safe for humans and dogs. With its hanging rope or hole, you can easily mount this on a wall.
- 【SIMPLE DESIGN & SATISFACTORY SERVICE】The simple outlook of MODUS ultrasonic dog bark deterrent can be easily integrated in the overall environment of the house. The LED light will indicate the working and battery status, offering you an easy and cozy experience of dog training. MODUS ultrasonic anti bark device can be used on dogs from 6 months to 8 years old.
5. DogRook Humane Anti Barking Training Collar
If you really need to use a collar to stop barking, this is one of the few I’d feel comfortable recommending.
The DogRook uses vibrations rather than shock, so while it’s surprising, it’s not painful.
In fact, many owners of deaf dogs use these collars for all aspects of training, not just for correction.
- Humane and pain-free
- 7 safe vibration modes
- Still a form of punishment-based training
- The prongs can damage your dog’s skin if the collar isn’t fitted exactly right
While I still feel that punishment-based collars are the wrong way to go, I know some dog owners feel like they’re the only good option.
I’d rather you go with vibrations than shocks and sprays.
Like I said, this one is humane enough that deaf dog owners use it in positive training methods as well.
Just make sure you follow fitting directions very, very, very carefully. A wrong fit can damage your dog’s neck.
- HUMANE BARK COLLAR WITH 2 MODES - in 96% cases help decrease (eliminate) dog's barking by automatic performance with 7 safe stages of sound (beeps) and vibration. Beeps and vibrations are switching automatically based on the amount of dog's barking, increasing after each bark.
- RECHARGEABLE VERSION - no bark collar works about 14 days with 1 battery life. Get a full charge in 2-3 hours.
- ACTION WITHOUT REMOTE - The collar works in automatic mode, in which sounds and vibrations are combined to effectively and safely stop the barking. At the first bark, there will be only a sound signal, at the subsequent barks vibrations are added to a sound signal. Usefull when you are not at home and your dog stays alone
- ADJUSTABLE FOR SMALL, MEDIUM AND LARGE DOGS - no shock bark collar is adjustable for dogs weighing 11 to 110 lbs with neck size of 9 to 22 inches. Adjust the strap according to the size of your dog.
- EXTRA PARTS - In addition to the automatic stop barking collar we have included USB cable, 2 types of plastic prongs, and 2 color covers. That allows you to customize non-shock bark collar and to give each of your dogs a unique design.
As you can see, the list of humane dog training tools for barking is fairly short.
I personally recommend #1 used in conjunction with #2. While they don’t give immediate results, they’ll work much better in the long run than punishing your dog for natural behavior.
Think about it, how would you feel if someone shocked you every time you spoke a little too loudly?