What’s Fido doing while you’re gone? Sleeping? Barking at the mailman? Running from room to room? Wouldn’t it be nice to know what your dog is up to?
There have been previous efforts to figure out what dogs are up to while their owners are away. Most commonly, owners set up video cameras in a room and then watch the video when they get home. While this provides really good visual data, it’s difficult to do. First you have to make sure you have a video camera. Then you need to prop it up to record the dog and make sure it’s out of the dog’s reach. You have to make sure the dog stays in that room only so you can see what happens. Last, you have to watch all that video when you get home to see what’s going on. Surely there must be an easier way…
And now there is! I am proud to introduce– the Bark and Activity Counter!
The Bark and Activity Counter is a little unit that slips on a dog collar. When you start a session, it measures a dog’s barking and activity levels over time. When you come home, you can plug the unit into your computer and see what happened during the day using the software provided with the unit. Was your dog active and moving around a lot? Were they barking? When were they barking and moving?
The unit provides all of this data on a time-stamped graph so that you can see what’s happening and when it’s happening. That’s one of the most helpful aspects of the product—knowing when all activity and barking happens.
This is phenomenally helpful in diagnosing separation anxiety in dogs. It is common for there to be a burst of activity right after the owner leaves—more likely to be caused by “separation fun” than separation anxiety. Activity drops off while the owner is gone but increases prior to the owner’s return, as the dog looks forward to the owner’s return. Barking and activity due to separation anxiety usually starts to increase as the owner prepares to leave home, remains high while the owner is away, and stops as soon as the owner returns. Knowing how long and when the barking and activity is occurring can help the owner distinguish between normal activity levels and separation anxiety.
It works well for those complaining neighbors too! If neighbors are complaining that your dog is barking barking barking all day long, this product can help! First, is your dog really barking barking barking all day long? If so, you should start addressing what is going on—is it separation anxiety? Is there something in the house that is keeping the dog aroused? If not, what time are they barking? Is the activity level high around 2pm, when the mailman stops by to drop off mail? Figuring out these things will allow you to be a good neighbor AND make sure your dog is comfortable. If your dog has separation anxiety, it might be time to enlist the help of a trainer and/or behaviorist. If your dog insists on barking at the mailman, it might be time to leave the blinds closed and turn the TV on to drown out the noise.
It’s also great for curious owners. What happens while you are away? I volunteered to test this product when it was in the developmental stages because I was curious. I’ve never had any issues with my dog, Sadie, but I still wanted to know. Was she active while I was gone? Did she talk to anyone?
I was shocked to find out… she does absolutely nothing. Not a single thing. According to the graph, there was a brief moment of activity in the middle of the day, where I can only assume she got up, shifted to the other side, and fell right back to sleep. What a life. But it’s really neat that I know that now!
Plus, I can use it now with Sadie when I visit a new place. I know that when Sadie is comfortable when I leave her, she sleeps. When I take her to a family member’s home and have to leave here there, I can use the collar to find out if she has increased levels of activity beyond what her normal levels are.
At a cost much cheaper than a video camera, the Bark and Activity Counter is a wonderful tool for any dog owner, trainer, veterinarian, or other pet professional. We will begin shipping the Bark and Activity Counter at the end of September. For wholesale customers, place your pre-book order by giving us a call at 800-601-6821, and push 1 for sales! For consumers, make sure you’re asking your retailers and expressing interest so they can make sure to have it available for you!