BarxBuddy Review: Does It Really Work?
The BarxBuddy Training Device is an ultrasonic dog whistle that intends to be your solution for a dog that barks too much.
The device uses two settings to grab your dog’s attention, making it more versatile than a simple dog whistle.
In our review of this device, we’ll talk about how it works, tell you how effective dog whistles really are, provide the device’s pricing and return policy, then give you our conclusion about this device’s effectiveness and value.
This device is a handheld whistle that runs on a 9-volt battery. It has two settings on it: sound, and sound and light. To activate these settings, you’ll press an “On” button that will emit an ultrasonic sound or sound and light up to around 49 feet away.
The sound setting is intended to be the first step in your training. Whenever your dog barks, press the on button and the whistle will emit a sound you can’t hear but your dog can.
This sound grabs their attention and makes them stop whatever they’re doing, in theory. If they don’t respond to the sound alone, you can switch to sound and light and try again.
If your dog stops his or her barking, experts recommend giving them a treat to affirm the behavior. Continue to use the BarxBuddy until you sense your dog has changed their barking behavior.
This device is a welcomed relief if you’re a dog owner with a pup that barks incessantly. If you have young children who take naps, roommates or easily annoyed neighbors, barking becomes even more of a problem.
A device like this one gives you a simple way to train your dog not to bark when they shouldn’t bark.
You also get the added benefit of a sound/light combination that stubborner dogs may require.
In addition to this, an ultrasonic device doesn’t cause your dog any pain, making it a gentler alternative to spanking your dog or using a bark collar that shocks them.
To understand how you can effectively use a whistle like BarxBuddy to bark train your pup, we reached out to Russell Hartstein, a certified dog behaviorist and owner of L.A.-based Fun Paw Care.
He sees three clear advantages to dog whistles as compared to using your voice or a clicking device to train your dog:
- Humans can’t hear them
- Higher frequencies can, at times, travel farther than other sounds
- Dog whistles have a distinct sound
So, if you decide to use BarxBuddy, you have the assurance that it won’t disturb sleeping children or grouchy neighbors, you have more range than if you were using your voice or a clicker, and your dog won’t be confused by what the sound means.
However, using a dog whistle isn’t simply about the advantages. You can’t expect to take your BarxBuddy home, turn it on and stop your dog from barking.
“A whistle by itself is irrelevant,” Hartstein said. “It’s how it’s used, the methodology and whether or not the whistle actually emits the right sound. And, it’s a matter of if the end-user is skilled enough to use the whistle and not harm the dog.”
Training your dog not to bark is more than simply activating a whistle when he or she barks. You need to identify the situation that causes the dog to bark. Then, when that situation arises, activate the whistle and reward your dog with a treat if he or she doesn’t bark.
It goes deeper than this, too, Hartstein told us. If your dog barks whenever someone comes to the front door, then you need to implement proximity training. Start by having someone stand far enough away from the door so that your dog doesn’t bark. Use the whistle, then give them a treat (snack, belly rub, etc.).
Then, tell the person to come slightly closer to the door and repeat: whistle and treat.
Continue to do this until the person at the door can walk up and knock without causing barking. At this point, Hartstein said, your dog associates someone coming to the door with something good happening to them.
What makes a dog-whistle purchase more involved than you may think is not just the structure and consistency you need to use it well, but the commitment to rewarding your dog in the future when they don’t bark.
For this reason, BarxBuddy’s dog whistle won’t be worth the investment for most people.
“How many parents will train their dogs appropriately and efficaciously? The answer is: pretty low,” Hartstein said.
You have four purchase options ranging from $39.95 for one device to $114.95 for four devices. Shipping is free and will take three to five days to arrive at your home via USPS.
BarxBuddy gives you a 30-day, money-back guarantee for your purchase. The fine print says you’ll need to call the company at (213) 337-856 or email them at email@example.com to initiate the return process.
The address to which you’ll send your return is: P.O. Box 521717, Phoenix, AZ, 85072-2171.
Because training your dog not to bark requires more than just a cue like a dog whistle that implements a light, too, the BarxBuddy offers no real advantage over other whistles.
In fact, the BarxBuddy is considerably more expensive than the top-rated dog whistles on pet marketplace Chewy.com.
Achieving success in training your dog not to bark isn’t a matter of finding the best whistle, either. It’s about devoting your time to systematically and methodically training your dog to see a bark trigger (mailman, trash truck, etc.) as a sign of good things to come rather than something to be afraid of or nervous about.
If you don’t have the time for a structured training program, buying the BarxBuddy Training Device or any other dog whistle will be irrelevant. Simply blowing your whistle when your dog barks won’t solve his or her barking issues, Hartstein said.
Should you realize that you don’t have the time to bark train your dog, Hartstein recommends finding a dog behaviorist to help you. A good source of local certified behaviorists, he said, is the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Other reputable certifications include Fear-Free Certified and Pet Protection Guild membership.