Noisy and unruly dogs can make your life miserable

Noisy and unruly dogs can make your life miserable. Even a friendly dog can be a nuisance if you are allergic and need to keep your distance. Training collars and deterrent sprays can help control problem dogs, but they aren’t always a good option if the dog belongs to someone else. A high-frequency device is advertised to be a humane way to deal with your or someone else’s dog, but do those ultrasonic dog deterrents work?

If you enjoy outdoor activities, you may at some point be approached by a strange dog. Walkers, joggers, postal workers, meter readers, and especially bicyclists often have the experience of an aggressive dog threatening them. It’s also common for neighborhood dogs to disrupt the peace with constant barking so that even an afternoon in your own backyard is unpleasant. It’s not always possible to get the dog owners to take responsiblity for their pets, so you may be considering ways to cure the problem yourself.

Obviously, a training collar isn’t an option if you don’t own the dog. And sprays can backfire; it’s hard to aim, the wind can blow the spray around, and dog owners get irate if they see you spraying an irritant into their pet’s eyes. An ultrasonic dog deterrent works from a distance, it doesn’t have to be precisely aimed, and it can be used in a more stealthy manner.

Ultrasonic dog deterrents work by emitting high-frequency sound waves at the touch of a button. People can’t hear it, but dogs — and cats — can. The sound annoys the animal, gets its attention, and makes it uncomfortable enough to turn around and move away. However, every animal is different, just as people are, and users have reported mixed results.

The first thing to realize when using an ultrasonic dog deterrent is that, obviously, a deaf dog or an older dog with impaired hearing won’t hear it. Also, the sound waves won’t work through a solid object, so fences, walls, or windows will block the effect.

Distance is an important factor in the effectiveness of a sonic device. It can work as far away as 50 feet, but is best at 15 to 20 feet. Since it doesn’t work well at a close distance, you can take it along when you walk your dog to deter menacing dogs without affecting your own.

Users have reported that the ultrasonic deterrent doesn’t work as well if the dog is just “lurking,” but the results are better if it is highly excited and focused on attack. Some say that a dog can become desensitized to repeated usage. These things suggest that dogs can tune out, and the effectiveness of the device depends on the dog’s selective hearing.

If it’s barking you want to stop, it may take a couple of short, repeated bursts with the sonic dog device until the dog makes the connection between its barking and the sound. Then it may have to be repeated over a period of days or weeks to get the animal to stop completely.

Some reviews report that sonic devices work better on large dogs than small dogs; others say it works better on small dogs than large ones. Obviously, it’s a matter of the individual dog, and as with anything, different people will experience different results. Overall, though, there are far more positive reviews than negative, so ultrasonic dog deterrents do work.

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