Does It Work? Bark Off

WILMINGTON, NC (WSFX) – If you've got a dog that barks - whether it's yours or your neighbors - this story might be for you.

You may have seen the Bark Off on TV.  It promises to quiet a dog's barking via ultrasonic sounds.  The product claims to reduce your dog's barking in a humane way.  Just place the Bark Off in the area where your go usually barks and turn it on.

We asked Lauren Thomson to try it on her dog Gus.  Gus is a Chihuahua mix, but he's got a bigger-than-life bark.

"He'll just bark at people," said Lauren.  "That's the biggest problem I have with him and it can be embarrassing sometimes."

Lauren says Gus will bark when they're out on walks or when the doorbell rings.  No matter what she does, she can't get him to stop once he gets going.

The device, which is about the size of a remote control, is turned on with the flip of a switch.  There's a high and low.  Lauren said she "went all out" and put the device on high.

It didn't work.

"He was confused," said Lauren.  "He didn't know what was going on.  He didn't know whether to bark at the person or at the ground."

Just down the road, we asked Diane Gallagher, the owner of Dogtrain, to check it out.

"I bought something like this for my mother who lives in Tucson," said Gallagher.  It worked briefly on the neighbor's dogs and then did not anymore. "

Gallagher has hung a wall of fame insider he business with former barkers, jumpers and chewers.  She said she doesn't think much of products like the Bark Off for a couple of reasons.

"The whole point of a correction is to interrupt the behavior, teach the dog a better behavior and not keep pushing the point," said Gallagher.

Her solution is simple and cheap—lemon juice.

"This works pretty well for most dogs," said Gallagher.  "There's always going to be some sterling exception to any rule, but by and large, this stuff works really well."

Perhaps the only lemon in Lauren's house is the Bark Off, though she's more optimistic that it could work.

"If you continue to use it, then it might slowly kick in," said Lauren.

We paid about $10 for the Bark Off in the As Seen on TV aisle at a big-box store.  It didn't seem to work, but as Gallagher said, there is always an exception to the rule.

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