A Well Behaved Dog Makes Everybody Happier!
Now if we can just do something about the kids!
The BARK TERMINATOR® STORY
In the early days of High Tech Pet, our engineers did one thing better that anyone else in the world. We were experts in the field of miniature acoustical generators. Our first product was the ultrasonic flea collar which, at a total weight of 8 grams, could generate a 130 dB pulsed output drawing so little electrical current to allow it to operate on a standard lithium coin battery for nearly 7 months. Back in 1986 this was the smallest, most powerful device of its kind anywhere in the world. And it still is! With that feat behind us it seemed relatively simple to manufacture a sonic bark control collar. It turned out, we had quite a lot to learn.
Dogs don't hear quite as well as we think they do. We started with the assumption that to stop a dog with sound the sound should be in the ultrasonic frequency so that dogs, with their exceptional hearing, would hear a deterrent sound with each bark while we humans wouldn't hear a thing. After trying this theory out on more dogs then we wish to remember, we found to our surprise and dismay that most dogs didn't care much about the high frequency sound. Then it occurred to us that like humans, a dog's hearing may also drop off as frequency is raised. If you've ever taken a hearing test, you may have noticed that as the sounds get higher in pitch, they also get harder to hear. Is this because the higher frequency sounds are not as loud? In terms of sonic output power, the answer is, no. The high frequency sounds are delivered with just as much power (volume) as the lower pitched ones. We don't hear them as well because our ears are just not tuned to the higher frequencies. The same is true of dogs. Yes, they can hear higher frequencies than we can but, not all that much higher. While a young person (that hasn’t been to too many rock concerts) can hear a sound at about 18 kHz (18,000 cycles per second) Your typical dog can hear up to about 21, or 22 kHz. Not all that much higher. And like humans, the sounds at those high frequencies do not seem as loud as the lower frequency ones.
What works for man also works for dogs.
So, before giving up on the idea, we tested the reaction of dogs to lower frequency, audible sounds. The same ones you and I can hear. We came up with a simple circuit that made an audible beep every time the dog barked. The results were immediately encouraging. About 80% of the animals stopped or significantly stopped barking. This lead to the birth of our first, actually THE first, sonic bark control collar.
In 1992 we introduced The Hush Puppy™ sonic bark control collar. We manufactured millions of these amazing little collars to the delight of millions of dog owners and the greater delight of their neighbors. Then we set out to improve on a good idea. We learned that we could speed up the process of training a dog not to bark by progressively increasing the amount of tone stimulus with each successive bark, in other words, the more the dog barks, the longer the training tone is sounded. This lead to the introduction of our SUPER HUSH PUPPYTM collar a fast-acting painless progressive sonic bark control collar. A huge success both in terms of its popularity and its effectiveness.
What about shock collars?
Having such great success with our painless sonic bark control collars we were quite surprised at the large number of inquiries we received from customers asking for anti-bark SHOCK collars. Our Hush Puppy and Super Hush Puppy worked so well we wondered why anyone would want to use shock to deter barking. We undertook a study comparing the results of shock vs. sonic in controlling barking. Here is what we found. About 85% of the owners of dogs wearing sonic collars reported that their dogs stopped or significantly reduced barking. When it came to shock collars, about 85% if owners of dogs wearing shock collars also reported that their dogs stopped or significantly reduced barking. Exactly the same! So, is there a benefit to the use of shock collars. Actually, yes. We found that sonic collars take anywhere between one and three weeks to achieve a significant result. Shock collars work much faster. So, this posed the question, "How can a company with a reputation for making humane, painless animal behavioral training products make a humane shock collar?" Sounds impossible. Well that's exactly what our crackerjack engineers needed to hear to get motivated.
Itroducing the BARK TERMINATOR®
The trick was to introduce a negative stimulus (shock) that will modify behavior without traumatizing the animal. Actually, quite a trick when you consider that the temperament of every dog is different. What one dog may consider to be a little tickle can be quite a "shock" to another. What we came up with was the first progressive stimulus shock collar. We installed a computer chip inside the collar that monitors the dogs barking pattern. A sonic tone is emitted by the collar when it detects the first bark. If the dog barks again, the collar emits a mild stimulus. With each successive bark the shock stimulus is increased allowing the dog to decides for himself how much stimulus is required to deter barking.