Is An Ultrasonic Dog Deterrent The Best Option?

Is an Ultrasonic Dog Deterrent the best option?

Aggressive behavior in dogs can often be linked to dogs that are acting out genetically encoded, biologically driven prey drive, or protective aggression.  These motivations have been bred into the dog for many, many generations.  The dog’s predecessor, the wolf, has been around for over one million years.  It is believed that the breeding for what we now identify as a domesticated dog started somewhere around 11,000-16,000 years ago.  Before that wolves had to depend on their hunting and protective instincts to survive.  This implies that for at least 984,000 years only the wolves that exhibited skill in hunting and those that were protective survived to breed and pass on their genetic material.  Each generation naturally selecting for survival skills and reinforcing the probability for the behaviors to be expressed.  Nowadays domesticated dogs don’t need these traits as much.  Most dogs are now considered pets and don’t work as hunting companions, pack animals, or as protection for the home.   Nowadays, in some instances, these traits have become something of a problem, manifesting as an undesirable behavior.

Is a training aid the best option?

Some ultrasonic dog deterrents are marketed as training aids.  An ultrasonic item may be considered an aversive when used as a training aid.  An aversive is something a dog finds unpleasant.  The dog should find the aversive unpleasant, only unpleasant, but not threatening.  If the ultrasonic sounds emitted are found to be merely unpleasant to the dog, how would it work as a dog deterrent?  When being run down by a dog acting out aggressive predation or protective aggression, is a training aid the best option?  When faced with an aggressive dog, the person is not simply trying to get the dog to sit on command.  The person is faced with a biologically reinforced behavior.  The dog’s body produces dopamine when a dog acts out some of these behaviors.  The behavior is automatically reinforced.  Sending a signal that the dog may find merely unpleasant may not be the best choice.

Is an ultrasonic dog deterrent the best over distance and outside?

The frequency of this type of deterrent weakens more rapidly over distance and is more directional than lower frequencies.  It can be difficult to maintain distance from the dog and aim well enough.  Also, the short wavelengths of high frequency sounds make them more susceptible to reflection and scattering.  Having the signal blocked or scattered isn’t helpful when trying to keep aggressive dogs at a safe distance.

Can you hear it now?

Considering that the aggressive behaviors are instinctive and biologically rewarded, is an ultrasonic dog deterrent the way to go?  When using this type of deterrent how do you know if it is emitting a sound?  Some variations include a light to indicate that the product is on.  How is a person to know if the light is the only thing working or if the device is actually making a sound?  Most people can’t hear ultrasonic sound, so is the functioning light the only known working property?

People seem to find the idea of ultrasonic dog deterrents to be novel since they emit a sound that is not within the human hearing range.  The novel aspect of a product doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice though.  Make an informed choice.  The best choice is the Sound Defense.

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