Update: check out this additional review of the Sunbeam Sonic Egg to see how well it works on whining dogs. I recently adopted a dog with separation anxiety, so I put it to the test with him.
Normally, my household isn't plagued by barking. I have four indoor cats who are relatively quiet and a pair of guinea pigs who only wheek like maniacs when someone opens the refrigerator door. The only noisy critter is my Quaker parrot, and alas, I haven't found a foolproof way to stop his screaming.
A couple of doors down there's a pair of dogs that bark constantly whenever they're outdoors. They bark when someone walks or drives past. They bark when someone opens or closes a door. They bark when a leaf falls off a tree in a forest one hundred miles away.
By now, I suspect their owner is immune to the constant racket. I tune it out during the day, but it's very annoying when the owner dumps the dogs outside at 7 a.m. on a weekend morning and they proceed to wake up the entire neighborhood.
When I got a chance to test the Sunbeam Sonic Egg, a humane device to control problem barking, I jumped at the chance. Could it really restore peace and quiet to my street? I was certainly willing to find out.
A Humane Way To Deter Barking
One thing I like about the Sunbeam Sonic Egg is that it works without hurting the dog. I love all animals and don't approve of the use of inhumane devices, like long-pronged collars, shock collars, and the like.
Even though the dogs down the street are a neighborhood nuisance, I don't blame them. They're a very barky breed, and I blame their discourteous owner who locks them out and forces his problem on everyone else within earshot rather than attempting to train them.
The Sunbeam Sonic Egg works by emitting an ultrasonic sound outside of the range of human hearing. Dogs do hear it, and unlike the tantalizing sound made by Hear Doggy toys, it annoys them enough to quiet them down. They learn that barking triggers the noise, so they stop in order to stop the high-pitched tone.
Be sure to buy a nine volt alkaline battery for this device if you don't already have one lying around the house. The battery door is a bit tricky to open until you get the hang of it.
Suitable For Indoor And Outdoor Use
The Sunbeam Sonic Egg is weatherproof and can be used indoors or outdoors. Initially I thought about mounting it outside, in my back yard, since it works up to 50 feet away. You can choose from three different levels of bark detection sensitivity.
Then I decided not to turn it on and leave it out because my next door neighbor has a dog. He's very well mannered, and I rarely hear him barking, so I didn't want to subject him to undeserved auditory punishment.
Instead, I read up on how to use the Sunbeam Sonic Egg, then placed it near the back door. I figured I'd just turn it on and pop outside with it the next time I heard an annoying cacophony of barking from the neighbor's yard.
Normally the dogs bark constantly, but now, just because I was waiting, it seemed as though they'd suddenly become mute. I waited almost two weeks before I finally found a day when the barking went on and on and on.
Eagerly, I turned on the Sunbeam Sonic Egg and ran out into the yard. I heard a couple more barks, then nothing. Silence. I wasn't sure whether to believe that the Sonic Egg had worked or whether to guess that the owner had coincidentally taken the dogs inside.
To make sure it wasn't just a fluke, I left the Sunbeam Sonic Egg in place by the back door, ready to run out and test it again at the next opportunity. This time, I didn't have to wait very long. Just two days later, the dogs were outside and making a huge racket.
Once again I ran out with the Sonic Egg, turned it on, and aimed it at the crime scene. Once again the dogs quieted down.
Okay, now I was two for two. If it worked a third time, I'd be convinced. The Sonic Egg took its spot near the door once again, and I waited for another good time to test it.
It took another week before the dogs went into one of their long-winded barking frenzies. I went outside, pointed the Sonic Egg in their direction, and they quieted down for the third time in a row. I was finally convinced that the Sonic Egg really does perform as promised.
A Sanity Saver
I don't leave the Sunbeam Sonic Egg on and outdoors because I don't want to irritate our well-mannered neighboring pooch, but I'll do it temporarily if the annoying neighbor goes through a period of leaving his pets outside. He was doing that for a while, but the frequency is much less now so perhaps he got hammered with complaints.
It's nice to know that I have a sanity-saving device if I ever have a problem. I remember mornings of waking up to a constant bark bark bark that made it impossible to go back to sleep. Now I have a secret weapon that assures blessed silence when I need it.
The Sunbeam Sonic Egg runs around $40 and doesn't come with a battery. It's made exclusively for Petsmart, and you can order it online if you don't have a store branch in your area.