The PetSafe Ultrasonic Indoor Bark Control System emits a high-pitched noise when it detects a dog barking. Unfortunately, this noise is not enough of a deterrent for the vast majority of dogs and doesn’t lead to a permanent reduction in the barking.
The correction on the PetSafe Indoor Bark Control System is an ultrasonic tone inaudible to humans and audible to dogs. The tone is meant to startle the dog and deter further barking. In practice we find that it deters only a small fraction of dogs. The PBC-1000 is more likely to work on highly submissive dogs with only mild barking tendencies. More assertive dogs are likely to ignore the sound and continue barking.
Another issue is that the correction is also indiscriminate. All animals that can hear the sound feel the correction irrespective of whether it was them causing it. This is problematic if you have multiple animals in the house. It is also much more difficult for a dog to learn that the correction is associated with their barking if it is triggered by sounds created by other dogs or even people.
We are sympathetic to owners that don’t want to use electric stimulation for their dogs. However, the correction needs to be a strong enough intervention to deter the problem behavior. If the intervention is too mild as is the case with ultrasonic correction devices, you aren’t sending a strong enough message to achieve the desired result. In our opinion, owners are better off with something stronger like a shock collar that will immediately get their attention and stop the behavior. A shock collar might be a much harsher intervention, but you only need to use it a few times for the dog to alter their behavior. With the sound and spray collars – it is like you are constantly nagging the dog and the message never gets stated clearly.
The PetSafe PBC-1000 Indoor Bark control uses a built-in microphone to detect barking. The device has limited range because it is a stationary pod that is positioned centrally in your house, rather than a collar worn around the dog’s neck. Beyond 20 feet the microphone has trouble picking up all but the loudest barking. This means most homes require several PBC-1000 units for full coverage.
The bark sensor is also prone to false alarms. In particular we found loud noises (e.g., children yelling and clapping) could trigger the unit to start correcting. This would be a more serious issue if the correction was not so mild.
The PBC-1000 Indoor Bark Control uses a single 9V battery inserted into the back of the unit. The battery life is a respectable 2 months. No battery is included in the unit, which seems odd and is a bit frustrating. Even if it will cost a little more, we think manufacturers should include a battery with electronics so you are ready to go as soon as you take it out of the box.
The PetSafe Ultrasonic Bark Control System also includes a manual correction mode. By pressing the button on the top of the unit, an ultrasonic correction is emitted. This could be useful if the dog is exhibiting unwanted behavior beyond bark such as jumping on the couch or pestering visitors. Again, this feature would be a bit more attractive if the ultrasonic correction was actually a sufficient deterrent for dogs.
The PetSafe Indoor Bark Control System (PBC-1000) suffers from a number of problems, most notably that the ultrasonic correction is just not a strong enough correction to deter most dogs from barking. It is also indiscriminate, and therefore corrects all animals nearby not just the barking dog. Finally, the microphone sensor has a limited range and is unable to consistently distinguish between loud sounds and barking.
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