After moving recently, we’ve acquired new neighbors and their dogs. Sounds like fun, right? The problem is, one neighbor’s dog doesn’t get a lot of attention from his family. This dog (hereafter referred to as Pupper) gets bored, and bored dogs bark. A lot. So much barking. Our family needed a solution, and we found the perfect fit: Dog Silencer Max from Good Life.
What’s the Problem?
Our family homeschools, and my wife and I work from home. We are always here. Our kids enjoy sitting outside while doing school, and I need a lot of quiet in my office to work, as I often work with difficult audio files. Pupper’s family are normal busy people who make the choice to leave their bored doggo outside all day. Now, the practice of keeping a dog indoors or outdoors is their personal choice. Unfortunately, it can (and does) have an effect on others, especially when the pup is outside all day. Pupper barks for various reasons that we’ve been able to identify. Here are the most common ones:
- Another neighbor’s dog moved.
- A neighbor has a cat who mews just loud enough to be heard outside.
- He wants to play with our kids when they want to sit quietly on the porch. (Attention.)
- He dislikes weeds rustling in the wind. (Either defensive or boredom.)
- He sees the neighborhood skunk. (Boredom/attention/defense.)
- He doesn’t want anything in his yard. (Home defense.)
Now, we can’t know whether some things are defensive, and we know that defensive behaviors aren’t quieted by training, as they’re instinctive rather than habitual. We aren’t out to do the impossible. Just to get Pupper in a place where he doesn’t bark from boredom.
What’s the Solution?
Usually, hands-on training and attention can cure most unwanted behavior in a dog. This is great if you’re working with your own dog, but isn’t appropriate to do with someone else’s dog. So, a non-invasive training solution is needed. Something that won’t hurt the dog is crucial, as is something that doesn’t take constant work on our part, as we’re very busy. So I did my research and found that an appropriate tool would be one that used high-pitched sound to correct the behavior. For this, I turned to the Dog Silencer Max.
What Is the Dog Silencer Max?
The Dog Silencer Max is a device that listens for barking and responds automatically with a high-pitched ultrasonic wave. It is either plugged in or battery operated, and it is fully automated so you don’t need to babysit it. It also includes a sensitivity control and a remote so you can trigger it manually.
Does it Work?
Short answer, yes. Pupper’s barking reduced significantly over the course of a week or two. Now, we hear him bark once or twice a week. Most of the time, I don’t even realize he’s there. No more boredom barking! Pupper’s habitual barking is also completely gone. He doesn’t bark just because he’s used to barking, which is a relief, to be sure.
What Else Is Needed?
You can plug it in, but batteries are an option. You’ll either need to hang it or find it a stable flat location to position it.
For best results, a little extra training can’t hurt. Stubborn or less bright dogs won’t stop barking, or may take longer to respond. If the dog wants attention but only gets it while barking, it’s good to give the doggo some extra hands-on attention when he’s not barking. A good belly rub and a treat go a long way, especially once he’s learned to sit patiently until you’re ready to interact.
Are There Side Benefits to Using the Dog Silencer Max?
Absolutely. Pupper’s family is more responsive when he does bark. Since it doesn’t happen so often, they take his concerns more seriously. Pupper also has learned not to bark just because our family is outside, so we’re all more comfortable enjoying the nice weather when it’s here. Also, our other neighbors’ dogs bark less often. I gather that this is connected because Pupper used to start the area sound-off which used to lead to prolonged bouts of barking. Since he’s not instigating it, I keep forgetting how many other dogs are in the area.
Another side benefit is that you can use the silencer as a general training tool. If your dog jumps on people, or someone’s dog keeps coming into your yard and peeing on your flowerbed, you can just use the remote control to discourage unwanted behaviors. Since this doesn’t require interaction, one can safely and discreetly correct dogs without teaching the dog to only behave if the trainer is there.
What Are the Limitations?
There are a few major limitations which mean you must really pay attention in order to make the silencer start working effectively.
First, it’s a line-of-sight device. It has a narrow range of bark detection and resulting correction. If the silencer is not pointed to the place the dog is most likely to bark, with a clear line of sight, this isn’t going to work.
Second, the silencer does not address underlying issues. Any time Pupper is afraid or defensive, he’s going to bark. That’s normal, and the silencer can’t soothe those concerns. If he’s hungry, cold, or wants inside, he may still bark for his humans.
Third, the Dog Silencer Max is not recommended for young puppies, and may not work effectively on older dogs. Young pups still have developing ears and are sensitive. Older dogs may have high-frequency hearing loss, and won’t respond because they can’t hear it.
Is it Worth the Cost?
Yes. Oh, yes, yes, yes.
At a range of 300 feet, the Dog Silencer Max is worth the $129 price tag. If your problem is, quite literally, closer to home, then you may have a better experience using other products from Good Life. Though, that is still too expensive for me to go full-blown Oprah and buy them for everyone! Instead, I’ll just encourage everyone with a dog to get one, for the good of all quiet-loving neighborhoods. You know, all of them.
A sample was provided for review purposes.