DennisBeaverJuly 03, 2010 (Original publish date) • By Dennis Beaver

Some time ago, in response to a reader’s question, we looked at an interesting, high-tech device which stops dogs from what is referred to as nuisance barking, that non-stop yapping which ruins peace and quiet, and leads to thoughts of doing all kinds of painful things to the dogs.

(Usually, the dog owners are fully aware of the problem and pass it off with the comment, dogs bark, live with it, which in turn, can lead to thoughts of doing painful things to the owners, as well.)

Irresponsible neighbors who let their dogs bark all day and night risk being cited by animal control for violating local nuisance laws. The obvious problem with involving the authorities is destruction of good relations with neighbors. However, there is another way to legally and anonymously quiet Fido, and that’s with ultra-sonic bark control devices. The one we tested for that story is from PetSafe and is simply called Outdoor Bark Control. It resembles a small bird house and works amazingly well.

That article generated a great deal of reader response, and many bought the PetSafe unit, reporting back with glowing comments. As its range is limited to 75 feet, a number of readers asked if there are similar units on the market with a much longer range. We found one, and not only did You and the Law have a chance to test it, the manufacturer sent one for a client of ours who just happens to be an animal control officer.

“I took it to the shelter where we had over 100 dogs, and you can imagine the noise. When I turned it on, it was as if someone flipped a switch. They all stopped barking. My work buddies looked at me as if I was a witch. Talk about cool,” she said.

It is called the Dog Silencer Pro, manufactured by Good Life LLC, of Medford, Ore.

Ultra Sonic explained — and it’s not limited to barking dogs

Sean Moeschl, operations manager at Good Life LLC, explained how Ultra Sonic works.

“These devices listen for the sounds of a barking dog and immediately send out an ultrasonic sound — at around 22,000 hertz — which humans cannot hear, but which is an irritating sound for dogs. It does not hurt them, but gets their attention, as it’s a sound they have not typically heard before. With most breeds, there is an instant reaction, and the dog makes an association with this disruptive sound and barking.

“As it does not like the sound, it is conditioned to avoid nuisance barking. But these devices will not stop protective or instinctual barking, so there is no risk of the dog being silent while a burglar is breaking in.

“When it goes off, the dog’s ears may perk up, and it will look in the general direction of the unit. There is a range of responses, from curiosity, to being slightly alarmed, but it is a humane device and does not harm the animal,” he stressed.

“In most instances, you will notice a significant change in the dog’s behavior within seconds. While Jack Russell Terriers are a bit stubborn and take more time to react, we have not yet found a breed on which it will not work,” he points out.

“Most ultrasonic bark control devices have a fairly short range, but ours can reach dogs as far as 300 feet away. At the present time, we know of no manufacturer of similar products with such a range. Therefore, for someone who lives in the country, where distances between neighbors is several hundred feet, ours fits that need, and is sold with a 30-day, money-back guarantee,” Moeschl added.

Bugs, bedbugs, rodents and cockroaches

Over the past several years, a great deal of research has gone into finding non-chemical ways of eliminating or reducing rodent and insect populations. Ultra high frequency sound in the 25,000 hertz range, combined with electro-magnetic technology, and using Ionic generators have all been tried, with varying degrees of success as an Internet search will reveal.

Moeschl’s company has a device using all three, which we tested in a number of locations, and found it effective at keeping roaches away.

It is called the AT Pest Repeller and looks like a small, night light. I gave one to a restaurant owner, one to a friend who lives in a part of town famous for invasions of roaches, and one plugged in, here at my office.

In each instance, the difference was remarkable. I even unplugged it over a weekend to see what would happen at one location.

Monday morning was not pretty.

Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and enjoys hearing from his readers. Contact Dennis Beaver.