Dogs are for life, as the line goes. But there come times in most dog-owners' lives when understanding and judging their dogs' psychology becomes next to impossible, when the barking of the dog you own can drive you, your family, and your neighbours up the wall. To the frustration of the incessant noise you can add the frustration at not knowing why your dog barks. Take all this, and the potent mix of frustration and lack of understanding can drive you to extremes in trying to get some peace. Many dog owners have, in recent years, therefore begun to invest in technologies such as bark collars for dogs. On the whole, and especially in the eyes of pet professionals such as vets and dog-trainers, these collars, if used wisely, are much more effective than surgery to remove a dog's vocal cords, or the barbaric method of using a painful shock or ringing sound to stop it from barking.

Dog collars have been around in some shape or form for decades, but recent technological innovations such as shock-based and smell-based dog collars have allowed pet-owners to train their pets much more effectively. This training, naturally, pre-supposes that the owner/trainer knows something about dog psychology – you will achieve nothing merely by buying a bark collar for your dog. For instance, encouraging your dog to stop barking once it has your attention, or the threat or need that made it bark has been satisfied or nullified, is often used by trainers. You could clap, whistle, or use a dog collar to make the dog stop barking once the stimulus has been removed. You could stop it barking by refusing to reward it after it barks excessively, or you could take it to a veterinary psychologist, who would be able to help you with your dog's personality.

Dogs express joy and anger, fear and distress, and a host of other emotions by their vocal apparatus – they even laugh – and you should take the time to learn the difference between these moods before you go out and invest in a bark collar for dogs. It is important to remember that it is not beneath your dignity to understand your dog. It is as much a thinking, feeling creature, in its own way as you are, and therefore what would repulse you, if done to you, would most likely cause the dog distress as well. It is for this reason that choosing bark collars for dogs is not a straightforward process.

For one thing, these are not manufactured according to uniform standards of safety. For another, many collars that are based on shocking the animal are merely intended to stop it barking for that time only – and may backfire if the dog decides that the collar is a threat, leading to more barking and aggression. Of the technologies out there, the most-used, and certainly the most painless, appears to be the smell-based dog collar – if you do invest in a no bark collar, look out for one of these.