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5 Top Citronella Collars For Dogs To Help With Excessive Barking 

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on May 22, 2023
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The best citronella collars for dogs provide a more humane solution to excessive barking. Instead of delivering a shock, these spray bark collars emit a gentle puff of dog-safe citronella or other approved oil to stop that barking. From not liking the spray action to thinking the smell is unpleasant, your dog will associate naughty barking behavior with something they don’t care for and hopefully stop with the bark fests. But what should you know about these behavior modification tools before you buy one?

Our buyer’s guide will list the factors you should consider and answer the most commonly asked questions about citronella collars for dogs. And to make the choice even easier, we’ve compiled a list of spray collars dog parents find the most helpful. But here are the first tips to keep in mind: don’t put all the work on a citronella bark collar. Consistent training and positive reinforcement techniques are also necessary to achieve lasting behavioral changes. Talk to your veterinarian before using a spray collar to discuss strategies that will work best for your dog.

The 5 Best Citronella Collars for Dogs

1 – bubbacare Citronella Bark Collar

bubbacare Citronella Bark Collar
  • For small & medium dogs
  • Three sensitivity levels
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Waterproof design for rainy days

The bubbacare Citronella Bark Collar accommodates different dogs with different sensitivity levels for barking and adjustable spray volume. The collar is made of durable and adjustable nylon to withstand everyday wear and tear. It’s also rechargeable, making it environmentally friendly and cost-effective. And two hours of full charge gives you up to seven days of use.


  • Rechargeable to save on batteries
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to use


  • Not for large dogs
  • No spray included, must purchase separately

2 – PetSafe Spray Bark Dog Collar

PetSafe Spray Bark Dog Collar
  • Designed for small-to-large dogs 8 pounds & up
  • Adjustable up to 27-inch neck circumference
  • Comes with two spray refills
  • Recharges with the included USB cable
  • Average charge lasts 40 hours

Another decent spray collar option, the PetSafe collar uses unique bark-sensing technology to prevent outside noises like other dogs’ barking from causing a correction spray. It comes with one unscented and one citronella refill cartridge, providing thirty-five sprays each. Charge via the included USB cable for up to forty hours of use.


  • Water-resistant
  • Long battery life
  • No disposable batteries
  • Includes refills
  • Easy setup


  • Some reviewers complain unit never worked or only for a short time

3 – PetSafe Elite Little Dog Spray Bark Collar for Small Dogs

PetSafe Elite Little Dog Spray Bark Collar for Small Dogs
  • Designed for small dogs
  • Comes with 1 citronella spray can
  • PetSafe RFA-188 battery included
  • Nylon collar adjusts to 22-inches long

Like the larger option above, this small dog bark collar uses Patented Perfect Bark Control to sense sound and vibration and activate only when your dog barks. It sprays a gentle and safe burst of citronella-scented spray meant for little dogs. The collar unit holds an estimated thirty or forty sprays. Refill cans are available for purchase and provide up to four hundred sprays. The nylon collar can be adjusted for necks up to 20 inches around.


  • Waterproof
  • Spray included
  • Unscented spray refills are also available


  • Expensive
  • Can be tough to refill

4 – bubbacare Citronella Dog Collar with Remote

bubbacare Citronella Dog Collar with Remote
  • Two modes: remote control & auto bark
  • 3 adjustable spray levels
  • Soft, silicone collar
  • Rechargeable collar battery

This bubbacare citronella dog collar offers remote control and auto anti-bark modes. And the remote control can be used within five hundred feet of the collar. Choose from low, middle, or high spray levels depending on your dog’s tolerance. The silicone collar can be adjusted for dogs of any size and breed. The collar battery is rechargeable, while the remote operates with 2 AAA batteries.


  • Remote lets you catch your dog in action
  • Long-distance remote coverage
  • Collar is durable and soft
  • Adjustable spray volumes
  • For dogs of all sizes


  • Not very many reviews

5 – Kidstinct Citronella Bark Collar

Kidstinct Citronella Bark Collar
  • For small & medium dogs
  • Two spray volumes - small & large
  • Choose low or high bark sensitivity
  • Rechargeable battery

This choice of best citronella collars for dogs features a one-time beep warning before it sprays. It also allows you to adjust the volume & spray sensitivity functions according to your dog’s barking and reaction. Charge the battery for a few hours to get a week’s charge. The unit is water-resistant for splashing and rain, but not swimming. Made from sturdy nylon, the collar can be adjusted to twenty-seven inches.


  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Adjustable for comfortable fit
  • Affordably priced


  • Doesn’t include spray, must purchase separately

citronella collars for dogs

Buying Guide: What To Know About Citronella Collars for Dogs

When choosing a citronella collar for your dog, consider these factors to find the best option for you and your furry friend.


As you would with any dog collar, choose a spray collar that fits your dog correctly. The collar should be snug but not too tight, leaving room to slip your finger between the collar and your dog’s neck. Take your dog’s measurements to ensure a proper fit.

Sensitivity Level

Some citronella collars come with adjustable sensitivity levels, so you can set the collar to higher and lower levels depending on the frequency and volume of your dog’s bark. You’ll also want to see if the spray collar you’re considering can detect between the occasional bark and troublesome barking.

Spray Duration

The spray duration can vary between different collars. Some collars release a quick burst of spray, while others deliver a larger blast. Choose a collar with an adjustable spray volume to tailor the settings to your dog’s tolerance.


Choose a collar made with high-quality materials that can hold up to regular use and wear and tear from your dog’s everyday activities. Read reviews to see what dog parents say about a collar’s ability to stand up to their dogs in real-world settings.

Battery Life

Citronella dog collars are powered by rechargeable or regular batteries. You’ll need to decide whether it’s more feasible to choose an option you can recharge or just replace batteries when needed. Compare rechargeable spray collars to find the best battery life. For options that use disposable batteries, look for models that use more common battery types.

Ease of Refill

Look for a collar that’s easy to refill with citronella oil or other approved sprays, so you can quickly and conveniently replace the oil when needed. Refill canisters are easy to find at online retailers and pet stores. And refilling a bark collar is usually as easy as pressing the canister tip into the designated fill spot.

Brand Reputation

Look for well-known and reputable brands specializing in pet products to ensure the safety and quality of the product. The customer reviews and ratings will come in handy here, too, so don’t forget to check them out.

Related: The 7 Best GPS and Tracking Collars for Dogs

FAQs About Citronella Collars for Dogs

What are citronella collars for dogs?

Citronella collars are a type of bark collar designed to reduce or prevent excessive barking in dogs. Bark collars use different methods to stop barking, and citronella collars spray a burst of citronella oil toward the dog’s snout when they bark excessively. The idea is that the scent of citronella is unpleasant to most dogs, and it will distract them from barking. Thus, the collar is a corrective behavior tool that sprays to interrupt excessive barking. Citronella collars can help stop barking problems by providing a much-needed break in the pattern of regular barking. However, consistent training and positive reinforcement techniques are necessary to achieve long-term behavioral changes.

Citronella collars are considered safe for most dogs, as the oil is non-toxic, but it’s essential to get the right size collar before use and use it only under supervision. Additionally, it’s best to choose citronella collars over other types of bark collars that utilize electric shocks or prongs, as these can cause harm or discomfort to dogs.

Do citronella dog collars work?

Citronella dog collars can effectively reduce or prevent excessive barking in some dogs, but the collar’s effectiveness will depend on the individual dog’s personality and temperament. Some dogs may not be affected by the scent of citronella, while others may quickly learn to control their barking behavior when they smell it.

It’s important to note that citronella collars should be used in combination with proper training and other behavioral modification techniques to address the root cause of excessive barking.

Are citronella dog bark collars safe for dogs?

Citronella dog bark collars are generally considered a safe and humane method of discouraging excessive barking in dogs. The scent sprayed by these spray collars is unpleasant to most dogs and can interrupt their barking behavior. The scent is harmless and non-toxic, making it a safe alternative to other bark collars that use electric shocks or prongs.

However, like all products, citronella dog bark collars should be used responsibly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Certain dogs may react adversely to citronella or be particularly sensitive to the scent. Also, citronella oil can potentially sicken dogs when ingested or used topically in large amounts. But your dog will most likely do just fine with a citronella collar. When starting fresh with a spray bark collar, though, watch out for possible citronella dog collar side effects like vomiting, nausea, shaking, fast breathing, and excessive drooling.

Additionally, excessive or prolonged use of any bark collar can cause stress or anxiety in some dogs. It’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior and adjust the collar as needed to ensure it’s effective and not causing any harm. In general, citronella dog bark collars are considered a safe and effective tool for training dogs to reduce excessive barking. Still, they should always be used with care, caution, and proper supervision.

Do vets recommend spray collars for dogs?

The veterinary medicine world seems divided on the topic of behavior modification collars. But veterinarians who do advise the use of such tools certainly prefer the use of collars that spray rather than shock. However, citronella collars are not recommended for every dog and should not be relied on as the sole method for correcting inappropriate behavior.

Before using a spray collar, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer to determine whether it’s the right option for your dog. Some veterinarians may also recommend alternative methods for correcting your dog’s behavior, such as positive reinforcement training or behavior modification techniques, which can be more effective and longer lasting.

How long can a dog wear a citronella collar?

Citronella bark collar manufacturers will usually provide maximum wearing time, but typically dogs should not wear spray collars for longer than 8 – 10 hours at a time. Leaving it on your dog for longer periods could lead to adverse reactions.

Do dogs hate the smell of citronella?

That depends on the dog, but most dogs don’t like the smell of citronella as it tends to be unpleasant to canine noses. The scent of citronella is often used in dog products, including collars, sprays, and diffusers, to discourage barking, marking, and other unwanted behaviors. When dogs smell citronella, it can be an unexpected interruption to their behavior and a mild sensory distraction.

Citronella is derived from plants in the Cymbopogon family, and its smell is spicy and sharp, resembling a mixture of lemon, cinnamon, and peppermint. Though it’s not harmful to dogs, they generally do not like the smell, which makes citronella a useful tool for dog parents looking to correct specific unwanted behaviors in their furry ones. However, not all dogs may be affected by the scent of citronella, and it’s important to remember that using citronella-based products should be combined with positive reinforcement training techniques to achieve desired changes in your dog’s behavior.

What other oils can be used in citronella spray collars?

Typically, most spray collars use citronella oil, but other spray solutions that use lemon or water instead can also be found.

Does citronella stop dog fights?

Citronella is not an effective method for stopping dog fights. While citronella spray collars and other citronella-based products may discourage unwanted barking or marking behaviors, they are not all that useful in stopping dog fights, and the spraying of the collar could potentially make the aggression worse at that moment. These collars might help with aggressive behavior by spraying your dog when they exhibit the stress and anxiety that comes with aggression. But during a fight, don’t depend on the collar. In the event of a dog fight, it’s important to separate the dogs immediately and safely to prevent injury.

The best way to prevent dog fights is through proper socialization and training, which can help dogs learn how to interact appropriately with other dogs and humans. It’s also important to monitor your dogs closely and intervene quickly if any signs of aggression or distress arise. If you have concerns about your dog’s behavior or their interactions with other dogs, consult with your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance on appropriate strategies.

citronella collars for dogs

It’s important to note that citronella collars for dogs should not be your sole solution to excessive barking. Consistent training and positive reinforcement techniques are also necessary to achieve lasting behavioral changes. Choose a collar that fits your dog’s needs, and consult a veterinarian or professional dog trainer for guidance.

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