Why are Citronella Bark Collars not recommended for working dogs?

Bark Control Collars and Customer FAQ's


minutes read


12 Apr 2024

Q.   Hi, why is the citronella collar not recommended for working dogs please?  My situation is this: I have a Kelpie that "yelps" constantly when I start a quad bike.  She also runs and barks at the horses when entering paddocks.  She is quite a 'sensitive' dog so my thinking is a shock collar would make her world collapse.  I am after your opinion please.  Many thanks


A.  Thanks for contacting us regarding your barking Kelpie, and the best options for bark collars.

There are a number of reasons why we don’t recommend citronella collars for working dogs, but the main reason is that the vast majority of working dogs do not respond to spray collars, as they are far more driven by activity (sight and sound), than they are by smell.  This sounds like it rings true with your Kelpie as well as she is responding to the activity of the quad and the horses.

However, as she is a sensitive dog, we need to definitely take that into account.  Firstly, if you want to know how minimal the output of the bark collars are, please read this independent article by Clicking Here.

Another primary consideration is the manual set collars – this type of collar allows you to set the level of the collar to best suit your dog – so that it is not overwhelming for your dog, but it is also not soft enough for her to ignore it.  Here are some of the collars I would recommend you have a look at;

The BarkCollar by DogWatch - No Bark Trainer BT-7 - Waterproof, Rechargeable Bark Collar with Bark Counter!

The BarkCollar by DogWatch is the new standard in high quality no bark collars. The No Bark Trainer BT-7 is waterproof, rechargeable and also features a Bark Counter to keep track of your dogs barking activity!

E-Collar Technologies BP-504 - Rechargeable Bark Collar with Manual or Auto Correction!

The BP-504 is a waterproof, shock resistant bark control collar. This barking collar is designed for small to large dogs. You can set it to automatic or manually increased correction. Features include a 2-hour rapid charge battery!

DT Ultra Min-E Bark Collar - Small Sized Bark Collar Suitable for all Dogs!

One of the smallest and most versatile no-bark collars. Features Digital technology from DT Systems 8 manual set correction levels. Replaceable 6v battery with automatic shut-off for safety. Built-in magnetic On/Off. Fully Waterproof.

If you have any more questions about the article, or the manual set collars, please feel free to contact us via phone, 1300 668 931 or reply to this email.


Q.  Thank you for your reply.

My dog is very much sight/sound activated and appears to go into a different "zone" when barking at quad/horses. So now that you mention the issues with citronella smell being able to overcome her drive, I think her drive will be stronger than the collar smell.  Based on this, I think a shock collar would be more suitable.

I've had a look at the links you suggested but do u have a collar that can be remotely controlled?  I need the dog to be able to bark at people coming onto the property as she is my "doorbell". I also have another kelpie and I don't want his barking to set off her collar (he doesn't bark at the quad/horses). Hence, I would prefer to be choose to administer the "shock" only when I deem her barking unnecessarily.


A.  Thank you for your reply.  A remote dog training collar is a great option, and it now really comes down to the range you need, always aim for more than what you require – this way you are never caught short.  Here are some collars to consider;

SportDog FieldTrainer Remote Trainer - SD-425E - Ideal Short Range Pet or Working Dog Training Collar!

The SportDOG SD-425E Field Trainer is a waterproof and rechargeable remote training collar with 450m range. The SD-425E is perfect for short range training with pet and working breed dogs from 5kgs upwards.

Dogtra 200C Series Remote Training Collar - 800m remote training collar for 1 or 2 dogs from 5kg

The Dogtra 200C Remote Trainer is a waterproof, rechargeable dog training collar suited to pet breed dogs and responsive working breeds. This new Dogtra remote training collar system takes over from the Element 300M Series from Dogtra.

Also includes a FREE Training Collar Guide in eBook format.

Let me know what you think.  If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to contact me via email, chat or phone 1300 668 931