How to Stop a Dog Howling or Whining

Author: Neil Smith   Date Posted:9 May 2014 

Is Your Barking Dog Also Howling and Whining?


At Bark Control Australia we often get calls from customers with dogs that howl, cry or whine.  Assuming, the simple response is to buy a bark collar to fix the problem.  However it is not usually that simple.  How a bark collar actually works will often have a big bearing on the overall success, when it comes to treating these specific problems.

But Why??  Surely an anti-bark collar will work the same for the howling or whining dog?  Not necessarily, and here's why...

Electric Bark Collars

Nearly all electronic barking collars are activated by a vibration sensor that picks up the robust movement of your dog's voice box when he or she barks.  Unfortunately whining, howling, growling etc often do not produce a strong enough movement of the voice box to actually activate the collar.  This is understandable as we would risk the possibility of collars activating inappropriately if the sensitivity levels on these collars were lowered.  We certainly would not want to risk activations from swallowing etc. just to enable them to pick up these other unwanted sound related behaviours.

Citronella Spray Collars

With citronella collars, there are a number that are sound activated.  Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of sound activated collars as they are more prone to accidental activations than vibration activated or ones that have both.  However they can often be an answer for howling dogs or whining dogs.  Providing the volume of the whining and howling is at a level to activate the sensitivity of the microphone setting.  One may argue that if the volume is not loud enough to activate the collar then perhaps you do not really have a problem.  I would say tell that to someone with a dog whining softly outside your bedroom window at three in the morning!


Stationary Bark Deterrents

These deterrents are also sound activated.  Unfortunately, in the case of these deterrents they often require the dog to be very close to the unit to pick up the howling or whining. Generally, they are not recommended for curbing this type of behaviour.


So what's the solution?

In most circumstances, we would recommend going with a basic citronella bark collar like the PetSafe Anti-Bark Spray Collar.  This collar is sound activated and inexpensive and a great starting point to try and stop this annoying behaviour.  Unfortunately, as with a traditional barking dog, a spray deterrent may not be strong enough.  In these cases we recommend the only reputable sound activated electric collar, the Dogtra YS-300.   Due to it's unique advanced sound processor it is the only sound activated electronic collar we recommend.  A NEW solution now available - we now have an electric bark collar with a specifically designed extra sensitive vibration sensor (great for headstrong dogs and/or multiple dog situations), called the Educator Bark Less BL-100 XS.  To discuss these collars further, please feel free to call our experienced staff.

So remember if your howling or whining is very loud then you will probably have success with treating the problem as you would a traditional barking dog.  However, this is not always the case and depends on the vibration caused by the howling for traditional electric collars or the volume of the whining for sound activated collars.  Unfortunately, it can be a bit of trial and error to find the right answer for you.  Please do not hesitate to call and discuss your howling dog with one of our experts.