This page is part of Section Two:
the Your Neighbor's Dog section of

Remote, Sound-Emitting Anti-Barking Devices

They don't seem to work worth a damn, but remote sound-emitting anti-barking devices are, essentially, noise-blasting gizmos, fueled either by batteries or by AC power. The devices contain built-in sensors that respond to a nearby barking dog by releasing a piercing, high-pitched sound that some canines find intolerable.

Of course, hitting a dog with noxious sound waves every time he vocalizes has the potential to reduce the animal's rate of barking precipitously. And if, instead of using the ultrasonic frequency, you blast out an overpowering, fully audible tone that penetrates his owner's home, that is more likely yet to have an effect.

Using a Remote, Free-Standing Sound-Emitter to Quiet Your Neighbor's Dog

The type of emitter used for quieting your neighbor's dog is called a "freestanding" sound-emitting device, although, why is not exactly clear, since they are not actually freestanding at all. Rather, you must attach the thing to a platform, in a position that creates an unobstructed line-of-sight running directly from the device to the ear of the dog.

Any buildings, foliage, fences or the like that come in between the device and the ear of the dog will make it less likely that the instrument will have the desired effect on the animal. For that reason you may need to mount the device up high, pointing down into your neighbor's yard. That way, the sound can be projected in a straight line over the top of any fences or other barriers that might otherwise block the sound waves from a direct line of travel.

Some freestanding S.E.D.s produce only a single tone, that is fully audible to both dogs and humans. There is a different type of free-standing, sound-emitting device that also contains a second setting, one that will cause the machine to emit a noxious, ultrasonic sound that can be detected only by dogs, and not by humans.

The Dog Owner's Reaction and the Police Response

You have to wonder how your neighbor is going to take it when you start blasting noxious sound waves over the fence at his dog. On the Barking Dogs Forum, you'll find a letter from a BD.N reader who was suffering at the hands of a heartless neighbor who was keeping several barking dogs in his backyard.

The neighbor denied that his dogs were barking. But the reader proved otherwise by mounting a sound-emitting device in his backyard that shot a burst of God-awful retaliatory noise into his neighbor's house and yard, using a tone that was audible to both man and beast. And with the device in place, it happened again every time the neighbor's dogs barked.

The dog owner called the police. I gather that he was of the opinion that noise - blasting into one's home from a neighboring yard - is an intolerable irritant.

The police officer who responded to the call, however, simply told the dog owner, "As long as your dogs are quiet, there won't be a problem." To the best of my knowledge, that was the end of both that particular barking ordeal and the end of the dog-owner's attempt to restore the previous paradigm of I'll- be-the-one-to-make-the-noise-while-you-suffer-in-silence.

Pretty much everywhere, when it comes to anything to do with barking dogs, it is the unofficial policy of the police to have minimal involvement and, therefore, to do as little as possible. As a result, there is an extremely strong tendency for law enforcement to accept the status quo, and simply drive away at the end of every barking dog-related call, leaving everything just exactly as they found it.

For that reason, if you handle it right, there is a good chance that the police might accept your decision to blast your neighbor and his barking dog with an audible tone. Although, undoubtedly, they would be more likely yet to accept your intervention if you were to activate the device using only the ultrasonic mode, which is inaudible to humans.

Nonetheless, you never know. If the cops fail to see your point of view, or they don't like your attitude and you refuse to take the thing down, they could probably find something to charge you with. So tread lightly.

You would do well, however, to remember that the police could prove to be the least of your worries. People who keep barking dogs tend to be belligerent, and the odds are very good that such a person will grow more truculent yet when you begin responding to his barking dog with a reciprocal blast of noise that agitates his family and/or distresses his dogs.

But They Just Don't Seem to Work

This website has received such consistently negative reports about the effectiveness of remote, sound-emitting, anti-barking devices that we have chosen not recommend such products and we have removed all links to retail outlets. Links will be reestablished if and when the manufaturers of the products in question can show that the devices work as advertised.

This page is part of Section Two:
the Your Neighbor's Dog section of