An intrusion onto their territory. A way of greeting their humans. A response to hearing other dogs do the same.
Your pup barks for a multitude of reasons. And, while you’re likely thankful that they speak up when something’s awry, incessant or compulsive barking can be a nuisance for you, your family and your neighbors.
As such, you want to stop your four-legged friend from barking as much as they do now. One potential remedy you’ve heard of is a bark collar. But not all of these are created equally — some are kinder on your pup than others.
Citronella bark collars tick the most important boxes: they stop your pup from yapping, and they’re gentle on your dog. Here’s all you need to know about citronella collars, as well as our five suggestions for citronella barking collars to try.
Top 5 Citronella Bark Collars
Now that you know why to invest in a citronella collar for your pooch, here are our suggestions for which ones you should buy. Each one has something slightly different to offer you and your pet — read on to see which one would suit your four-legged friend the best.
1. Kaiercat Citronella Dog Training Collar
If you have more than one pup with a barking problem, the Kaiercat Citronella Dog Training Collar could be the one for you. One transmitter can control a pair of collars, so if your pooches bark in tandem, consider this option first.
There are more great features on this citronella barking collar, though. It’s waterproof, and its built-in lithium battery can be recharged and reused.
Finally, you can adjust this collar to match your dog’s barking volume. Once you turn it on, you can swap between high, medium and low sensitivity levels to ensure the bark collar is only reacting when it should.
2. Petsafe Spray Anti-Bark Dog Training Collar
The PetSafe Spray Anti-Bark Dog Training Collar has a unique ability to learn your dog’s bark. So, if your pup starts to yap, it will get a spray of citronella. Other dogs, backfiring cars and passing trucks won’t trigger the noise-seeking mechanism, though.
This option contains a rechargeable battery, which lasts for 40 hours of wear. You also get two separate spray cartridges, one that’s unscented and one with citronella. Both will give your pet just enough of a spray to snap them back to reality — and stop the barking.
Dogs eight pounds or larger can wear the standard citronella collar, and it extends up to a 27-inch diameter to fit pups’ necks of all sizes. There’s also an option for smaller dogs if your tiny pup won’t stop barking.
3. Barkrite Remote Citronella Training Collar
The Barkrite Remote Citronella No Bark Training Collar puts the power in your hands. Rather than firing citronella when it senses that your pup is barking, you press the button on a remote to make it happen.
Some dog owners will prefer a manual bark training collar because it is the most precise option out there. Even those with multi-step systems to verify that it’s spraying for a bark will mistake sounds from time to time. If you’re at the helm, though, your dog will only get the citronella when they bark.
Another great feature of this particular citronella barking collar is that you can give your dog a warning before spraying them. It has two levels of vibration that your pet will come to recognize as the precursors to a spray. It’s great for you, too — they’ll learn to stop with the quivers, saving you from having to smell a dog covered in citronella.
You can also toggle between two spray amounts. So, a light spray will leave your pet without as much of a scent, but can still get the job done.
4. Downtown Pet Supply Citronella Spray Collar
The Downtown Pet Supply Citronella Spray Anti-Bark Collar has a two-step verification system to ensure that it’s only spraying your dog at the right moment. It not only registers barking sounds, but it also senses the telltale throat vibrations that come with such noise-making.
This collar fits dogs as small as six pounds, and you can toggle it to fit necks of all sizes. It comes with a disposable battery, as well as your first cartridge of citronella spray.
5. Sumao Citronella Bark Collar
If you’re unsure about citronella-centric training, then consider the Sumao Citronella Bark Collar. This option has three training modes, with citronella spray being one of them. It can also use beeps and vibrations to stop your dog from barking.
Each one of these features is customizable, too. So, you can choose a louder beep, a softer vibration or a moderate spritz of citronella — it’s up to you.
Much like the other options on this list, the Sumao collar adjusts to fit dogs of all sizes. You can recharge the system in two hours, and that amount of energy will keep the collar and remote working for 10 days.
And, surprisingly, the remote has a range of 1,000 feet, so you can still trigger a citronella spray when your dog has wondered far off into the distance.
Now, all you have left to do is invest in the right model for you and your dog. In the end, it’ll all be worth it to have a pup that’s happy, healthy and well-behaved. Citronella bark collars are just one way to get you there.
How Do Citronella Bark Collars Work?
Before we divulge our favorite options, let’s better understand bark collars for dogs with citronella.
Citronella is an essential oil derived from the Asian grass plant. You’re probably familiar with its benefits for humans, particularly as an all-natural insect repellent.
As it turns out, citronella can also help you train your dog to stop barking. The essential oil proves mildly irritating to pooches’ noses. So, these collars sense when your pup is barking and mist a bit of citronella on their neck. The initial spray will distract them, as well the unpleasant scent that comes with it.
The hope is that, of course, your dog will start to associate their barking with the bad smell. Eventually, they’ll learn to quiet down before the citronella spritz comes.
How to Use it for Training
It would help if you used the citronella collar only when necessary. Let’s say there’s a particular time of day when your dog loves to bark, such as when the mailman comes, or the school bus drops off kids nearby.
Use the collar to train your dog to relax during these times, but never try and silence their barking completely. Dogs are social animals, and they use barks to communicate with one another and with you. It would be best if you let them make noise when they need to, but you can calm your dog’s incessant barking with citronella.
Supervision and Effectiveness
Finally, be aware that a tiny subset of pooches actually enjoys the smell and taste of citronella. As previously mentioned, you shouldn’t let your dog eat the essential oil, as it can be toxic in large quantities.
You should also be aware that a no-bark collar won’t work for a dog like this. If they enjoy the scent, they’ll associate their noise-making with what seems like a reward. In that case, you’ll have to find a new, all-natural method to stop your dog’s barking.
Are Citronella Collars Safe For Dogs?
Don’t worry — a bit of citronella won’t hurt your pet, and it will do little to affect the healthy environment you’ve created for your pup.
You shouldn’t let your dog ingest citronella, though. In large quantities, it can be toxic to animals.
However, the essential oil has been used in pet-centric products for years. Not only is it found in anti-barking collars, but people rely on citronella-based products to keep pests away from their dogs, too.
On top of that, many people consider citronella barking collars to be the kinder alternative to other options. For example, you can purchase a shock collar to buzz your dog out of barking too much. A spray of citronella is irritating to the senses, but it’s not nearly as painful as a shock.