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Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard Review 2024: An Expert’s Breakdown

Written by: Sara Seitz

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard Review 2024: An Expert’s Breakdown

Our Final Verdict

We give Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard a rating of 4.75 out of 5 stars.

Effectiveness: 5/5
Usefulness: 5/5
Range: 4.5/5
Build: 4.5/5

No one likes a barking dog, whether it’s yours or your neighbor’s. This is the issue Good Life set out to address when they started their Ultimate Bark Control line.

There are plenty of less-than-humane bark control options on the market. This company wanted theirs to be different. They wanted it to be effective but without causing the dog pain or increasing fear, which might exacerbate the issue in the long run.

Good Life’s first Ultimate Bark Control product was their Dog Silencer. Like most of their products, this device emits a high-pitched tone that startles the dog to distract them from what they’re barking at. Much like a dog whistle, this tone is within dogs’ hearing range but too high-pitched for most people to hear.

The long line of Ultimate Bark Control products is made to help you train your dog not to bark by consistently marking the behavior with an uncomfortable tone or vibration. Many of their products can even be used on neighboring dogs or free-roamers you encounter on the walking trail.

I had the opportunity to try an Ultimate Bark Control product, their handheld OnGuard device, on my own dogs.

Both my overly protective Dalmatian mix and my highly reactive Chihuahua have a tendency to bark. ALOT. After just a few days of using my new OnGuard trainer, my house got noticeably more peaceful.

Find out how this product works, how effective it was, and more, in my full hands-on Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard review, below.

 

About Ultimate Bark Control

Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard - product in its packaging

Ultimate Bark Control is a product line produced by a company called Good Life.

This Oregon-based company started in 2002 with a variety of different products made to improve the lives of home and pet owners everywhere. Today, their focus is their bark control and pest management products.

Their Ultimate Bark Control line includes automatic stationary devices, collars, and handheld trainers.

Which Pets Are These Products Best Suited For?

Ultimate Bark Control products are made for dogs who like to make noise (and for owners who don’t appreciate that noise). All their products can be used on dogs in the house while a few can also be used to help silence nuisance neighbor dogs.

Because these products don’t cause harm or inflict pain, they are suitable for adult dogs of all sizes. I even had success using my OnGuard device to help train my cat and my almost completely deaf Chihuahua.

The manufacturer does not recommend using ultrasonic products on puppies as their hearing is still developing.

What Products Does Ultimate Bark Control Offer?

Ultimate Bark Control has five different products made for training dogs not to bark.

  • Dog Silencer Max – A stationary sound machine that reacts automatically to barking to silence stubborn dogs in your yard or the neighbor’s yard.
  • Bark Control Pro – Similar to the Dog Silencer but more appropriate for sensitive dogs and shorter distances.
  • BarkWise Complete – This collar automatically vibrates or emits an ultrasonic sound to disrupt barking humanely.
  • Positive Pet Dog Training Collar – This collar emits a strong vibration when the remote is triggered, allowing you to disrupt bad behavior, such as jumping or begging, and help train more appropriate behavior.
  • OnGuard – This handheld device allows you to target bad behavior, including barking, by manually disrupting it with an ultrasonic tone.

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OnGuard Overview

Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard - product on the table

Here is an overview of the handheld OnGuard product that I tested out in my own home, including a look at its features, uses, and limitations.

Features

The OnGuard product is meant to be used as a handheld training device. Each time you press the button, the device emits a powerful ultrasonic sound. The speaker on the end of the device allows you to direct that sound to a single point, making this a great option for multi-dog households.

In addition to making an ultrasonic correction sound, the device also features a flashlight and audible alarm.

These two extra features make it very useful when you are out and about with your dog. The super-bright flashlight can light your path during evening walks or guide you around the campsite. And the alarm feature is great if you encounter unwanted attention from a stranger on your evening dog walk.

Uses

The main use of this multi-function tool is to help train your dog away from inappropriate behaviors. It works by pairing unwanted behavior with an irritating ultrasonic tone. While this tone will not hurt your dog, it is loud enough to get their attention to disrupt their behavior.

Anytime your dog engages in undesirable behavior, such as barking, jumping, chewing, or whining, simply point the OnGuard device at them and hit the button.

Once they stop what they’re doing to figure out where that obnoxious tone is coming from, redirect them to a more appropriate behavior and praise them.

OnGuard can be used in the home as well as while you are out and about. It is fairly compact and comes with a lanyard so you can carry it on your wrist.

It makes a highly useful companion for dog walks, hiking, and camping. Not only can you continue training your dog in these situations, but you can also use the ultrasonic feature to keep stray dogs and wildlife at bay.

Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard - using the product on ragz

Limitations

The ultrasonic tone OnGuard emits has a range of about 50 feet. The sound is strongest (over 105 dB) right next to the speaker and gets quieter the farther away your target is.

The sound cannot penetrate objects, including windows, so a direct line between you and your pup is key.

The device itself is well built and durable but care should be taken to keep it from getting wet. And, of course, don’t let your naughty dog chew on it.

In Summary

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Very effective at short-range
  • Can be used to disrupt multiple behaviors
  • Useful extra features
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Works on cats and wildlife too
Cons
  • Ultrasonic button is very sensitive
  • Not effective through windows or obstacles
  • Young human ears can hear the sound

 

Key Features

Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard - product with the torch on

Ultrasonic Sound

The ultrasonic sound this device emits is at a frequency higher than 20,000 Hz, making it too high for most adults to hear. Dogs, however, are extra-tuned into sounds in this range because they often signal danger. A twig snapping, leaves crunching—these are all sounds that register at high frequencies that our dogs’ ancestors knew to pay attention to.

By using an ultrasonic tone, OnGuard taps into this instinct to pay attention to help disrupt poor behavior. And it does this without causing pain or harm. This makes it an effective tool for helping your dog learn to behave better without causing undue stress or fear.

Handheld

OnGuard is different from many Ultimate Bark Control products because it’s handheld rather than stationary and automatic. This makes it a great option for dogs who often bark in different parts of the house, as well as for owners who want to do more hands-on training. Being portable also makes it a good choice for training outside the home.

Multiple Uses

This tool is much more than a way to stop dogs from barking. It can also be used to stop other bad behaviors, such as jumping, begging, digging, nipping, chewing, and more. And thanks to the extra features, you can also use it as a flashlight and self-defense alarm.

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Is OnGuard a Good Value?

OnGuard will cost you about $50 when it’s not on sale. This makes it one of the more affordable training options in the Ultimate Bark Control lineup.

Compared to other handheld ultrasonic devices on the market, this one is on the more expensive end. But a quick look at the specifications of other products will tell you why. Most cheaper options out there max out at a range of 20 feet, while this one can reach distances of 50 feet.

Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard - side view of the product

 

FAQ

How do I know if the device is working?

In my experience, your dog will let you know by immediately stopping what they’re doing to look back at the device. But if you want a little extra assurance, a blue light on the top of the product will illuminate every time a sound is emitted.

Does OnGuard come with a money-back guarantee?

Yes, Ultimate Bark Control offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase or if OnGuard doesn’t work for your dog, you can get your money back.

What kind of warranty comes with Ultimate Bark Control Products?

All products, including OnGuard, have a 1-year warranty against defects.

Is ultrasonic sound harmful to dogs?

No, ultrasonic sound is not harmful to dogs. Using ultrasonic noise on your dog is no different than a human hearing a short loud tone at a lower frequency. As long as the tone is not sustained for long periods of time, there is no risk of hearing damage.

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Our Experience With OnGuard

I spent much of my twenties working as a certified dog trainer. My approach to all training, whether obedience or behavior modification, has always been based on positive reinforcement. Meaning, you get your dog to behave the way you want by rewarding them for good behavior.

Unfortunately, there are a few bad behaviors that are self-rewarding, such as barking, digging, and chewing. It’s hard training away these behaviors because whether the dog does what you want or does the bad behavior, they’ll be rewarded! In cases like this, using a simple (ie. not stress-inducing) correction can be useful.

But giving a dog a quick “eh-eh!” can be difficult when they are barking their heads off. That’s why I thought the OnGuard device might be a useful option as a simple and effective correction.

Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard - buttons on the product

Testing It on My Dogs

My dogs are both old and fairly well-behaved. But they do like to bark!

Ragz, my Dalmatian mix, is incredibly protective and likes to bark at everyone who walks by. Her favorite thing is to sit on our elevated deck and yell at anyone she sees. Papyrus, my other dog, is a Chihuahua, and I think that’s about all I need to say about that.

I started using OnGuard as soon as I got it out of the box. Each time I noticed the dogs go to the window or Ragz getting excited on the deck, I would grab it and get ready. The first time I pressed the button, both of them flipped around and stared at me in beautiful silence.

This was an especially surprising reaction from Papyrus because he is almost completely deaf. Apparently, he can still hear those high notes!

I continued using OnGuard every time they barked. Once they stopped and looked at me, I would call them over and reward them.

The website says that some dogs get it immediately and some dogs are slower, with noticeable results within two weeks. My dogs definitely got it very quickly.

One aspect of OnGuard that I didn’t anticipate was how it doubly reduced the noise in my house. Not only did it help quickly quiet my dogs down when they barked and reduce the amount of barking in general, but it also completely erased the need for me to yell at them when they barked.

This, in itself, helped make our home a more peaceful place.

 

Drawbacks

I did note a couple of things about this device. For one, the sound doesn’t travel through objects, not even glass. Which meant I had to open the deck door before I could use it on Ragz outside.

The other interesting thing is that my daughter, who has the strong, unsullied ears of a five-year-old, could hear the noise every time I pressed the trigger. Like the dogs, she did not like the sound!

But my only real complaint about this device is that the ultrasonic button is incredibly sensitive. I accidentally set it off more than a few times when picking it up or putting it in my pocket.

Overall Impression

Despite a few minor issues, I was really happy with this product. Within a few days, my house already felt more peaceful. My dogs were already barking less and I didn’t have to yell at them to stop when they did.

Interestingly, I also found that OnGuard worked very well to deter my rowdy kitten from scratching the furniture and attacking ankles.

As a former dog trainer, I would highly recommend this product as a simple correction device for self-rewarding behaviors. It is very effective and does not cause fear reactions or stress the way many punishment-based anti-bark devices do.

Ultimate Bark Control OnGuard - testing the product on papyrus

 

Conclusion

Training your dog not to bark can be a challenge, especially if they love doing it. OnGuard helps make this behavior less enjoyable without resorting to harmful punishment techniques.

It helped create a more peaceful world in my own home in just a few short days. Not only were both my reactive dogs barking less, but I didn’t have to yell at them anymore to get them to stop. I would highly recommend this product to any dog owner looking for a quieter, calmer way to deal with unwanted barking.

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