I love our dog Espn. I love him dearly. I cannot imagine a home without a dog.
Dogs provide unconditional love. They also provide entertainment.
There is a downside to dog ownership from vet and grooming bills, to having to clean up your dog’s waste. To be honest these things don’t bother me or my family. These things are to be expected, even if they can be pricey or gross.
There is one thing about our dog we really don’t care for, but it’s never been THAT much of a problem, until now – his barking.
For some reason our dog Espn will bark NON-STOP when he sees FedEx or UPS outside. He doesn’t bark at the mailman, the flower delivery man, the plumber or others. He seems to pick and choose who to bark at. It’s ALWAYS the FedEx and UPS drivers, and the pizza delivery guy (not the Chinese food delivery guy – go figure).
Sure, it’s annoying. Especially when you are trying to hold a conversation with the delivery person and the dog’s bark is literally echoing and amplifying in the hallway. But we deal with it.
We’ve lived in our condo complex for nearly 20 years (my husband has lived here closer to 25 years). Barking dogs has never been an issue. Suddenly the board posted a notice in all the building that they will now fine dog owners if their dog barks and “disturbs the peace.” Ugh!
Try telling your dog he can no longer bark at the people he’s barked at for the past 7 years, or else we will be fined. He doesn’t understand.
We thought briefly about a bark collar, but I don’t like the idea of shocking our dog every time he barks. It sounds painful and unnecessary.
We also considered a can full of pennies that we would shake every time he barked so that it could condition him not to bark (he wouldn’t like the sound). That would work, but it would also scare our cats and we didn’t want to do that to them.
What other options do we have?
Thankfully I was sent the solution to our dilemma to review – Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent.
The Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent is small black box that runs on a 9 volt battery (not included). Simply place the device in an area where you dog would bark (or be heard barking). Once it’s turned on and it senses your dog’s barking it will emit a high pitch, ultrasonic sound that only your dog would hear. The sound is not pleasant to hear, so your dog will stop barking. Eventually they will figure it out that whenever they bark they hear this high pitched sound and ideally they will stop barking.
Bark Genie allows you to set the frequency too so that it senses barking from close to the box, or several feet away. There are high, medium and low settings.
We set this up right away for our dog. Whenever he barked we’d notice a red light appear on the device and he would hesitate to bark. He was hearing the ultrasonic sound it sent out. We did not hear a thing.
Thankfully the sound didn’t seem to affect our cats. That was a concern of mine because I didn’t want to scare the cats.
The device worked a little too well. Whatever Espn heard sounded (to him) a lot like the squeaky sounds our television makes just before a storm rolls in. We have satellite service and sometimes when storms roll in the television will squeak and make high pitched noises (from the satellite service being affected by the storm). Usually it stops or the whole television service will shut down temporarily.
Why does this information matter you might be asking? Well you see Espn is TERRIFIED of thunder and lightening. When he hears the television make those sounds he knows a storm is coming and he tries to hide. We’ve had to yank him out from behind my desk (tangled up in cables and wires!), under shelves and other places. Storms scare him REALLY bad. He pants like crazy and shakes really bad.
It took us a while to make the connection, but I believe the Bark Genie is omitting the same kinds of sounds (even though we don’t hear them) making Espn believe a storm is coming. He’s not associating it with barking but rather a bad storm.
In any event he DOES stop barking – except he’s terrified.
Yes! The Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent DOES work to stop our dog from barking in a humane way. The unfortunate thing is that for our dog, the sound triggers his fear of storms. So for that reason we don’t keep the Bark Genie on 24/7. Instead we’ll turn it on when we know something (or someone) will cause him to bark.
The only thing I noticed about the Bark Genie is that sometimes it was triggered by other sounds, not just our dog barking. I’ve noticed the light change (red to green and vice versa) when talking close to the unit. I think it might be sensitive to loud sounds, not just barking. For that reason I kept playing with the settings and moved Bark Genie out of the way of where people would having conversations.
Aside from Espn’s irrational fears of storms, I think the Bark Genie works great and does what it’s supposed to do.
It’s also weatherproof so it can be used outside.
If your dog tends to bark too much, or you are trying to teach a puppy not to bark at inappropriate times, Bark Genie is a great alternative to painful bark collars or scary cans of pennies.
*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.