I wholeheartedly believe in training collars. Not necessarily a bark collar, but a remote trainer. Bark collars go off EVERY time your dog barks. Sometimes there is a reason to bark so I don't like those types. A remote trainer is a collar that only goes off when you hit the button. It can beep or shock whichever is necessary. Our dogs learn very quickly that if they hear a beep and they continue their bad behavior (barking, digging, putting feet on counter, etc) that they will be shocked. It is amazing how well it works. I will admit that it doesn't totally stop the behavior. They are smart enough to know when they have the collar on and when they don't, but it sure helps to teach them to stop and think before engaging in bad behavior. That and it can be used for all sorts of behavior issues-not just barking.
We got a citronella bark collar for chatty little Bones. I think that if we'd learned to use it properly, it would have worked better. Bones still howls when neighbors pass by the fence, but she at least stops when we check on her, and the barking (if not checked by me or my boyfriend opening the back door) isn't as persistent as it once was. The collar was a bit spendy, and she did tend to go through citronella spray canisters more quickly than we liked, but if you order the supplies off pededge.com or similar, that's at least better than getting one in a pet store and paying their mark-up.
We made the mistake of just putting the collar on her but not supervising her with it on very vigilantly, not being there to reinforce with no bark commands, and just letting her run around our fenced back yard with the collar on for hours at a time. Any training tool alone won't be as effective as the tool plus attention, I believe.
i cant for the life of me figure out how you could get your dog to stop barking without some sort of punishment, or inconvenience for doing it. ie muzzle? or yelling 'bad dog' or swating them etc. which seems just as bad as an electric stimulation.
the bark collars can be assisted with verbal commands. but it sounds like you just want your dog to stop barking when you arent there.
I would say wait it out, or consult dog behavior specialists.
but dont throw out the idea of an electronic collar just because you think your neighbor doesnt use it right.
sheesh. I use electric training collars on my beags FULL time and quite honestly i know it has saved at least one of their lives.
some of the bark trainers use a bad smell spray when the dog barks. etc.
We taught the quiet command (doesn't always work i'll admit when someone is leaving the house BUT if its just doing anythign else he will settle down) with a clicker just say QUIET when they bark it should stop them atleast for a moment and give a treat, extend the time and u should be fine in a few weeks