What Are The Issues With An Ultrasonic Dog Repellant?

Ultrasonic dog repellant devices have been around for years, but the research that exists on these products suggests that they aren’t effective at warding off aggressive canines. Using extremely high sound frequencies to chase away animals is not a new idea, but the technology has mostly performed inconsistently, with only a few animals really responding to such devices. Unfortunately, canines are not among these animals, and there are serious concerns that people who rely on them exclusively for protection might be at risk of an attack. There are alternatives to this technology, though, including devices that produce audible sounds.

What are the concerns with an ultrasonic dog repellant?

The primary issue with these devices is that there is no solid evidence that they work. For years, their manufacturers made major claims about their effectiveness, but in 2001, the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and forced manufacturers to start backing up those claims. Almost immediately, device manufacturers pared back their promises, suggesting that they didn’t have the research to back up their claims.

And the research is still inconclusive. At first, manufacturers marketed their devices to farmers and ranchers trying to chase away deer, coyotes, and other wildlife from their property. However, they didn’t succeed in this regard. Manufacturers also claimed that the technology could chase pigeons and bats out of buildings. However, pigeons can’t even pick up on extremely high sound frequencies, and bats quickly get used to the sound, after some brief confusion. Finally, manufacturers tried to sell the technology to homeowners, promising that it would rid the home of mice and cockroaches. While a device can temporarily deter small pests, the effect is unpredictable, and both rodents and roaches soon learn to adapt to the sound.

The fact is, to a canine, an ultrasonic dog repellant is just a simple noisemaker, and not anything special. Canines can pick up on these extremely high sound frequencies, and some learn to tune them out quickly. Most don’t seem to be affected at all.

Why is an ultrasonic dog repellant not as effective as advertised?

There are several problems with extremely high sound frequencies, and they can interfere greatly with how the device operates. For one, the higher the frequency, the harder it is to aim, as it emits in a smaller angle. This can make precise aiming difficult, especially when being pursued by an aggressive animal. Higher frequencies tend to be blocked out by obstacles, so a user can’t fire the device from behind a wall or fence. Finally, it’s always a risk relying on a device that the user can’t hear, as there’s never a clear sign that it’s working as intended.

Inconsistent performance and the technology’s limitations have driven people into adopting audible sound deterrence instead. Devices like the Sound Defense emit a powerful and overwhelming series of sounds that is intended to freeze a canine in its tracks, or cause it to run away. This works because the Sound Defense produces a novel series of sounds that come off as intimidating and repulsive to the animal.

Compared to an ultrasonic dog repellant, audible devices have had much more success and can reliably serve as an initial layer of protection against aggressive animals.

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