INSIDE EDITION Investigates BarkOff Device
The commercial says, "We all love our dogs, but there are times you just wish you could turn off their barking. Well now you can with BarkOff."
The commercials sound amazing. An ingenious device that can stop your dog from barking by emitting an ultrasonic sound.
"Instantly get your dog to stop the nuisance barking," says the commercial.
But would it really work? INSIDE EDITION decided to find out.
Meg Lewis lives in Santa Ana, California. She adores her six very noisey Australian shepherds.
Lewis said, "I would love something that would just make the barking stop."
Her dog's go bananas anytime someone comes to the door. So we asked Lewis to turn on BarkOff to see what would happen. Guerrero then rang the doorbell and the dogs started barking.
INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero said, "Alright Meg, that didnt seem to go very well."
"No," said Lewis.
"What happened?" asked Guerrero.
"They didn't respond at all. It was as if we didn't put anything there," said Lewis.
Next we tried out BarkOff on Rosie, a 4 year old German short-haired pointer.
Guerrero said, "So the BarkOff is on. And it's on high frequency and Rosie is still barking like crazy."
Our last stop was the home of three more canine trouble makers. Los Angeles roommates Ali and Paige, say the yapping gets so bad at times, their neighbors have actually called the police.
Paige said, "It was traumatic. I cried because nothing's worse than someone telling you that your dog is a nuisance," said Paige.
"And you can't keep it," added Ali.
They hoped BarkOff would solve their problem.
Paige said, "To find something that would absolutely cure them from barking would be priceless."
Paige turned on the BarkOff and we knocked on the door. Their howlers didn't seem at all phased by BarkOff.
"The BarkOff had no effect on Lucy, Beja, or Brewster. None, whatsoever," said Paige.
INSIDE EDITION asked veterinarian and dog behavioral expert Dr. Bernadine Cruz to evaluate BarkOff. Incredibly, when we turned on the device inside Dr. Cruz's kennel full of dogs, they all stopped barking. There was silence. But unfortunately, that sound of silence didnt last very long as they quickly resumed their yelping.
So what's Dr. Cruz's opinion?
"BarkOff may have some salient features to it, but what I've seen seems more of a rip-off then a BarkOff," she said.
After all of our negative results INSIDE EDITION wanted to see if BarkOff was emitting any kind of sound at all. So we had it tested at an acoustics laboratory run by Dr. Robert Dooling at the University of Maryland.
Sure enough, he told us it does emit a high frequeny whistle that is not harmful to dogs. And to humans it would sound something like a high-pitched tone.
But just because that noise might grab a dog's attention momentarily, Dr. Cruz cautions, "Unless it's used for training and you're there and you keep working with them, giving them positive reinforcement, it's not going to work."
On the internet, we found lots of customer reviews. Some negative. Like "What a rip-off." And some positive, "This product works great."
But check out this testimonial posted at a website called barkoffreviews.org.
"Hi there. This is Cindy. I love my collie named Suzy. She use to bark a lot until I ordered the BarkOff device."
Strange thing about Cindy. We found that her photo had been downloaded from a stock photo website. If there really is a Cindy with a barking collie named Suzy, she sure doesn't look like the woman on the website.
BarkOff is sold by Telebrands, an infomercial conglomerate run by famed pitch-man, A.J. Khubani.
Guerrero caught up with him outside Telebrands headquarters in Fairfield, New Jersey and said, "A lot of customers are calling BarkOff a rip off."
Khubani said, "They are?"
"They are," said Guerrero.
"I'm not aware of that," said Khubani.
Khubani insists BarkOff works, but admits it can affect dogs differently.
"Well according to your commercial, it makes it seem like all you do is use this device and it works instantly," said Guerrero.
Khubani replied, "Well, the product does work for many dogs. It doesn't work on all dogs. So it really depends on the temperment of the dog."
The commercial doesn't mention it, but the instruction pamphlet that comes with BarkOff says you should,"be patient and give BarkOff a week or more to be effective." Well, all of our pet owners used if for at least a week and reported no improvements.
Telebrands says it has no affiliation with that website with the bogus stock photo we found and says they offer all customers a full money back gurantee.