Shock Collar Vs Bark Collar
Dog Care Tips · Dog Training Guide

Shock Collar Vs Bark Collar – What’s The Difference?

Last Updated/Info Checked on October 23, 2023 by Linda Michaels

Over the years, many devices have been introduced for dog behavior correction. A lot of them are categorized as training collars and this leads to confusion among dog owners.

Two of these are shock and bark collars which unfortunately are considered the same by many. This leads to a lot of dog trouble when owners use them without prior knowledge. 

But don’t worry, today I am going to dissect them and tell you their differences as I have used them both over the years for many reasons.

The major difference between a shock collar and a bark collar is the manual operation. Shock collars can be triggered manually from a distance, while bark collars have sensors to detect barking and correct the dog automatically.

Shock Collar Vs Bark Collar

What Is A Bark Collar?

This is a type of collar that goes around a dog’s neck and sends a vibration every time the dog barks.


It has special sensors embedded within that are only stimulated to the frequencies of a dog’s bark.

Don’t worry about the collar sending a vibration to your pooch every time there is some noise because that won’t trigger the sensors of such a collar.


The main reason a bark collar is applied to a dog is to regulate its barking tendencies.

It works through the principle of Negative Reinforcement, where a habit is associated with a bad outcome, and avoiding the bad outcomes serves as a motivation to get rid of the habit.

Some dogs bark a lot and that you may have noticed already. This gets annoying at times when the barking is done for no good reason and it just becomes a nuisance.

Also, people in your neighborhood start complaining about your dog and that makes things even worse.

So whenever you want your dog not to bark at strangers, other animals, or for any other reason, just put this collar around its neck and set it on.

It will send a gentle vibration to the dog when it barks which is surprising and a little uncomfortable for the lead.

Thus, the dog stops barking in order to avoid these vibrations.

Where most bark collars work by sending down a vibration over the dog’s neck, some may work through minor shocks.

You should check the intensity of such shocks on your hand before using them on your pooch to check if it’s tolerable or not.

Don’t apply a shock to your pooch that you cannot handle.

This is a totally automatic collar so it will work even in your absence, disciplining your dog.

When you think that your dog’s barking habits are required e.g for security reasons or you want to know if it’s in danger then either switch it off or remove the collar altogether.

I have tested bark collars on a couple of barking dogs like Yorkie, Pitbull, Chihuahuas, Huskies, Poodles, and GSDs. This results in an overall calm, composed, and a peaceful dog that only barks when you allow it to.

What Is A Shock Collar?

Similar to a bark collar, shock collars are worn by the dog and they are capable of sending a vibration to the dog. How they differ is that they can be controlled wirelessly via a remote and have additional features of sending a minor shock or producing a tone.


Although some shock collars come with a built-in bark collar feature many are only controlled through the remote.

You have different gradations for each option of shock, vibration, or tone. Just Select the most appropriate intensity and press the designated button.

Every collar receiver has a specific range for its remote to work in and that must be roughly estimated otherwise it won’t work.


A shock collar can be used to keep your pooch in check and prevent it from wandering too far.

You would need to be able to keep an eye on your dog and whenever it wanders further than it is allowed to, just send a vibration or minor shock so that it comes back.

You may however need to train your dog so that it understands what a particular intensity of vibration or shock means.

This would require some patience from your side and you may need to consult a professional dog trainer.

This collar can also be used to guide deaf dogs who otherwise need to be guided through tactile stimulations which are not always possible.

I have used this collar to stop dogs from fighting other animals, tearing down apartment furniture, or any other behavior modification you can think of.

It is a very easy and convenient way of long-term behavior modification as it also relies on Negative Reinforcement.

Which One Is Better? Shock Collar or Bark Collar

So coming to the entire point of this discussion; which collar is better? And by now I hope you would have guessed the answer. It all depends on your needs.

If you’re looking for a gadget to just fix your dog’s bad barking habits then don’t go for a shock collar as it is a little more expensive and more complicated to use than a simple bark collar.

However, if you want to train your dog at multiple facets then a shock collar with different features should be your choice. You should be ready to spend some extra bucks for it but it would definitely be worth your money.

The following table shows the main differences between a shock collar and a dog collar.

Shock CollarBark collar
Used for multiple behavior modificationsUsed to regulate barking only
Manual controlAutomatic 
Can be complex for beginnersEasy to use
Relatively expensiveCheaper 
Prone to human errorsAutomatism eliminates human errors
Shock Collar Vs Bark Collar Differences Chart

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some of the FAQs that I have received from readers.

Do shock collars work for barking?

Yes, you can use a bark collar that works through shocks and it will work automatically to correct your dog’s behavior even in your absence. Also, you can use a shock collar manually to train your dog out of chronic barking through negative reinforcement.

How painful is a shock collar?

Although they may sound gruesome and cruel, modern shock collars are anything but painful. These work by sending a mild shocking sensation down your dog’s neck that is enough to make it stop a certain behavior but will not damage the pooch’s body.
Although they may sound gruesome and cruel, modern shock collars are anything but painful. These work by sending a mild shocking sensation down your dog’s neck that is enough to make it stop a certain behavior but will not damage the pooch’s body.
You can check the shock intensity on your arm or leg before putting the collar onto your dog. Any intensity that is not painful for you will most certainly be tolerated by your dog as well.

How long can my dog wear these collars?

This is depended on the material the collar is made of and also on the collar’s weight. Most manufacturers advise not to use these collars for more than 3-4 hours consecutively at the start. 

Once the dog gets used to the feeling of a collar then you can use them for 8 -10 hours without any health issues. It is still advised to remove them before the dog sleeps.

Wrapping Up – Shock Collar Vs Bark Collar

Wrapping Up - Shock Collar Vs Bark Collar

Both bark collars and shock collars are used to train a dog. Where a bark collar is used to keep a dog from barking and works automatically.

On the other hand, a shock collar is used to keep a dog’s movements in check and also for many different purposes as explained in the article. It is controlled through a wireless remote.

Both these have their pros and cons. The choice to buy one should be purely a need-based decision.

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