Table of Contents
ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2011, Article ID 759379, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/759379
Research Article

An Evaluation of the Aboistop Citronella-Spray Collar as a Treatment for Barking of Domestic Dogs

1School of Psychology, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
2Behavioural Consultant, 52 Otumoetai Road, Brookfield, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
3Department of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Received 2 November 2011; Accepted 19 December 2011

Academic Editor: J. J. McGlone

Copyright © 2011 Rebecca J. Sargisson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The aim of our study was to investigate whether citronella-spray collars offer a humane alternative to electric-shock collars to reduce the barking of domestic dogs. The Aboistop collar was applied to seven dogs with problematic barking behaviour by the dogs’ owners in a series of case studies concurrently run. Vocalisation of the dogs was recorded in the problem context under baseline conditions, inactive collar conditions, and active collar conditions. The Aboistop collar was effective at reducing problem vocalization for only three of seven dogs and appeared to be most effective for dogs whose problem barking had developed more recently. The collar may be more humane than other punishment methods, but it did produce stress reactions which varied in severity across the dogs. Clinical Relevance. In our study, the collar was applied by the dogs’ owners in order to test whether the collar would be effective when used by members of the public. While the results here are preliminary, they suggest that the collar may be effective for some dogs, but not for others, when applied by dog owners for the treatment of problem vocalisation. Further research is required to determine whether the collar could be effective when administered by a trained professional.