In my neighborhood nearly every other house has a dog who lives in the back yard of that property. Now generally I love dogs. They help keep the neighborhood safe and stave off loneliness for retired folks or parents once the kids leave and generally provide all kinds of benefits not just to their owners. That said, I think when a dog is permanently restricted to a small back yard and knows no other territory, it can become very territorial and bark excessively. I’m not claiming to be an authority on dog behavior here. Certainly there are dogs who bark even though their owners take them on walks and surely dogs exist who don’t bark very much even though they live exclusively in a small back yard. Long story short, here’s my problem and my solution to it: My neighbors dog barked excessively and for seemingly no other reason than wanting attention from its owners. He barked throughout the day and throughout the night in strange random patterns that are not conducive to human sleep. I tried talking to the owners and even they were annoyed by it but claim that the dog has always been “that way.” So I decided to take it upon myself to train the dog not to bark as much and I’d like to think I was somewhat successful.
How did I do it? I hopped on Amazon and ordered the DOGTEK Sonic Bark Control Outdoor Bird House. Yes, It’s a bird house with some electronic components in it that listen for loud noises like barking and then emit high pitch noise outside of the human audible range. Dogs apparently don’t like the noise and according to the instructions are supposed to be humanely trained not to bark as much over time by associating their barking with the noise they don’t like. I bought two of these “bird houses” from two different manufacturers. First I bought the PetSafe Outdoor Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent which looks very similar (also on amazon) and it appeared to work well after the first few days. Unfortunately it got destroyed in a storm and sure enough the dog barking resumed at night. So I bought the slightly cheaper DOGTEK Sonic Bark Control Outdoor Bird House to replace it and this one seems to work similarly well. Amazon reviews on both devices are mixed at best with some people swearing by the devices and some calling it total bullshit. I guess that’s to be expected as results may vary based so many variables.
Now before you rush order your own sonic bird house thingy expecting the same results, I should note that I think the device was somewhat effective for me because of the proximity to the dog. I’m just speculating here, but I think that if the device is more than a hundred feet away from the dogs territory it may have little or no effect. My back yard is separated from my neighbors by just a wooden fence and I was able to affix the device directly to the fence facing the neighbors yard. I think this may partly have been why the device ended up working for me. So, i guess if you’ve got thirty bones to burn and/or are running on 2 hours of sleep a night then try it. Maybe even consider hanging the thing in a tree near the dog.
Finally, one last thing. The DOGTEK Bark Control device eats lots of nine volt batteries. I finally got some rechargeable ones, so I can charge and swap them out instead of creating a mountain of toxic waste to sleep at night. I found that a nine volt battery lasts about 2-3 weeks with a lot of barking/noise on the medium setting and a bit longer if there is less barking/noise. Yes, this thing goes off if a helicopter or jet flies overhead or a loud motorcycle passes by. So I have a reminder set on my phone to swap out the batteries every three weeks.
Here’s a picture of the device for reference:
So, that’s it, hope it helps someone.