PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – More than 77 million Americans own at least one dog, and many of them want to know how to get them to stop barking.
What if there was kind of a remote control that would allow you to turn off your dog’s barking whenever you want?
A new gadget called “Bark-Off” claims it can help, but Does It Really Do That?
KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Antkowiak is one of those millions of dog owners who could use some help controlling her dog’s barking.
She invited Dr. Mike Hutchinson, a veterinarian at Animal General in Cranberry Twp., to help test the product.
For her puggle, Tanner, the barking trigger is a knock at the door. It gets annoying, embarrassing and it’s not the way Antkowiak wants to welcome guests to her home.
This is exactly the kind of nuisance barking that Bark-Off claims it can take care of.
How does it work?
Ultrasonic sound waves are transmitted from the little unit after you turn it on. The manufacturer said when your dog barks, it emits a sound that humans can’t hear, but dog’s can. The sound is distracting enough to get them to stop barking.
It runs on a 9-volt battery, so you can move it to any room in the house, or take it outside for walks, or even on car rides.
The commercial claims it instantly stops dogs from barking. Although the package insert says it may take a week to realize full results, you should be able to see some kind of change in behavior right away.
It was time to put the product to the test.
“I’m [going to] leave it on high, so we have the broadest amount of protection, and all you’re supposed to do is turn the unit on and set it down someplace where the dog can’t get it,” Antkowiak said.
With Bark-Off activated, Dr. Mike knocks, and Tanner barks and runs to the door.
She barked only a couple of times and maybe seemed a little agitated. They run the test again with Dr. Mike inside and someone else knocking on the door.
“I didn’t see any change in behavior at all. I just saw the normal barking behavior right up to the door. I didn’t see any interruption at all,” Dr. Mike said.
So, Does It Really Do That?
“From what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t recommend it,” Dr. Mike said.
Dr. Mike took it home to use with his big dogs and noticed no change in barking behavior either.
He admitted he was skeptical about Bark-Off before he saw it in action, because neither he, nor any of the colleagues he checked with had heard anything about it.
Dr. Mike said because so many families have this problem with their dogs, if Bark-Off really worked great, he would be asked about it all the time, and all of his families would want one.