Microphone Bark Sensor
A microphone sensor on the underside of the PetSafe Sonic Bark Control collar detects barking from the dog and triggers the sound based correction. Microphone sensors are generally prone to false alarms, because they have trouble distinguishing between your dog barking and other dogs barking or loud noises. To try and overcome this problem, PetSafe added a high/low sensitivity switch that lets you change the sensitivity level of the bark sensor.However, even in low sensitivity mode, the collar is prone to false alarms from the dog laying down and banging the collar on the ground, from drinking from a water bowl and bumping the collar against a hard ceramic bowl, and from dangling dog tags. This would be more of an issue if the sound only correction was not so mild. Given that most dogs don’t seem to mind the tone too much, the false alarms are not a big problem. But, they would be if the tone correction actually worked.
Tone Only Correction
The PUSB-300’s sonic control corrects the dog by emitting a high pitched tone. The tone is loud enough that it can be easily heard by adults. We find these tone interventions are not strong enough to deter a dog in an excited state. While some dogs clearly dislike the tone, it is not enough to stop them from barking, and in some cases even seems to facilitate more barking.
The only cases where we find tone-only anti-bark collars achieving results are with timid dogs that are mild barkers. We rarely see good results with compulsive barkers or with more confident dogs. For these dogs a static shock-based bark collar will produce better results because the correction is sufficient to actually deter and redirect the dog.
PetSafe Proprietary Battery
The PetSafe Sonic Control Anti-Bark Collar uses a PetSafe RFA-67 disposable battery. The battery costs $4-5 and last around one month. The battery looks like a black coin and screws into the collar. Turning the battery 20 degrees switches the collar off to preserve battery life. Turning the battery a further 20 degrees unlocks it and allows you to remove the battery.
The collar has no low battery indicator, so toward the end of the month you should either test the collar regularly or preemptively replace the battery.
Testing and Waterproofing
To test if the collar is working, simply bark or blow into the microphone sensor on the underside of the collar. The collar should make a loud sharp noise that lets you know it is working.
The microphone sensor for the PetSafe PUSB-300 and sensitivity switch are both completely open – so this collar is not waterproof and should not be used with dogs that will be swimming with the collar.
The PetSafe Sonic Bark Control collar uses the standard PetSafe red nylon collar band. The band is completely removable so that it can be washed or even replaced with another collar band (substitute collar bands must be less than 1 inch wide and 1/16 inches thick). The collar fastens with a plastic snap style buckle which allows you to get the collar on and off quickly. The buckle is a little flimsy so will not stand up to rough play from dogs that like to grab at each other’s collar.
The sound only correction on the PetSafe Sonic Bark control is insufficient bark deterrent for most dogs. This makes the collar suitable only for the most timid and light barkers.
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