Overall Favorite: SportDog 10-R
Generally, we recommend the SportDog 10-R bark collar. We find electric bark collars like the SportDog to be the most effective in quickly deterring problem barking. The SportDog distinguishes itself with a dual sensor that has a very low rate of false alarms. The collar also uses a smart learning correction that learns from experience to set a correction level that is not too high and that is not too low. The 10-R is also rechargeable, making it impossible to miss. For dogs over 12lbs, the SportDog 10-R is the best.
Best Small Dog: PetSafe Deluxe Little Dog
For Small Dogs (5-20 lb) , the PetSafe Deluxe Little Dog bark collar is our top choice. The PetSafe Little Dog bark collar is half the size of a regular collar, lighter, and includes appropriately lower correction levels for smaller dogs. The PetSafe PBC00-12726 also uses a dual sensor system to detect barking. The only significant downside of this collar is the battery. Instead of a rechargeable battery, the PetSafe Deluxe Little Dog bark collar uses a proprietary disposable battery.
Best Citronella: PetSafe Big Dog / PetSafe Little Dog
Among Citronella bark collars, the PetSafe Big Dog and PetSafe Little Dog spray collars are our top choices for dogs over 40lbs and under 20 lbs respectively. These are the only two collars in the category that utilize dual sensor technology. And both are among the most reliable citronella spray collars. However, these bark collars suffer from the limitations of all citronella collars, being effective only on less assertive or mild barkers, requiring costly refills, and being prone to malfunction.
Ultrasonic Bark Deterrents
Among ultrasonic bark collars, we find little to recommend. Except in unique circumstances, ultrasonic bark collars are largely ineffective. The ultrasonic tone is an insufficient deterrent for most dogs, and becomes even less effective over time as the dog become accustomed to the tone. The ultrasonic correction is also an indiscriminate correction that "punishes" all dogs nearby rather than just the barking dog.