Monday, January 13, 2014

Thou shalt not ...

One of my favourite commandments is "Thou shalt not bark".  This commandment is not found with the original ten, but I think it would make an excellent "add-on".

For any dogs who may be reading this post, let me clarify.

While you are outside "doing your business", please be aware that barking is not part of "your business". One mild "wuff" or two is acceptable, but standing on the back deck yapping at our feathered-friends who are cruising the skies above our yard -- is not allowed.

Barking hysterically at the side gate, because you can hear another dog's dog-tags jingling as he is being walked up the street -- is not allowed.

If we go to the park to play ball, barking hysterically will not cause me to throw the ball:
  a) sooner,
  b) farther,
  or
  c) NOW !   NOW !   NOW !



Likewise, if we go into the woods, and no ball is present but you have found a "stick" that could easily double as a fence post,  please read the note above, and understand that bark, bark, barking will not convince me to chuck it for you.



What do you do with a dog that barks because you are not throwing his log ?



How do you change this evil, diabolical, nerve-shattering behaviour ?

NO.  You do not cosh him in the head with the log.  Though that response is tempting, he will simply see it as a new and wonderfully exciting game. You will end up on your arse in the snow, with the idiot-dog bouncing up and down in frenzied circles, barking "swing it at me again!  swing it at me again!".

Instead, when he barks, you simply bend down and clip on his leash.  Say nothing. Do not let him pick up the log. And continue with your walk.  The chuckle-head then has to stay by your side until you think he's gotten the point.  Once released, the silly ninny runs back, gets the log and drags it to you.



IF, he sits nicely, makes eye contact, and does NOT bark.  Then and only then, do you throw the log.



If the miscreant barks again, you repeat the leash thing again.  We went through this three times today. 



P.S.  Wendy wanted me to tell you that this post refers to Trey in its entirety, but I think you'd already figured that out.

19 comments:

  1. I like your attitude, Sybil, and the way you train your dogs. It is so annoying to walk along a quiet road past a house and have a dog run up and down, barking its head off and trying to get at you. Often the owner is present and can do nothing to quieten the dog. Again, the dogs are not the ones with the problems, but the owners.

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    1. Thanks Jackie. It maddens me too. There are several dogs on our street whose only exercise is standing in front or behind their house and barking. I just don't understand why some folk have dogs.

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  2. The first chuckle of the morning! I am printing this off and sending it to our neighbor's dog next time we have a morning barking session. Of course, he'll probably eat the blog.

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    1. OK, in defense of the neighbor's dog, he's getting better (I mean barking less) as he gets older.

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  3. I do love a good dog owner who believes in training their pet. It's good for owner, others and the doggie!

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    1. Thanks Sandy. Without training, life with an energetic, goofy, idiot dog like Trey would be unbearable. lol

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  4. I got a real laugh out of this. I know you are trying to train him but it is funny the way you write about it. Your life would be dull without his antics, and training would be boring.

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    1. Oh Bonnie, he is the light of my life. He is FIVE and acts like a pup. Wendy is a sober, steady, eight year old. She walks off lead which is good coz Trey requires my FULL attention. And he, like Sooki, is so darn photogenic !

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  5. Oh this is a marvelous post! Absolutely hilarious. I love your strategy, too. And for what it's worth, Trey's ball would be a hit here in Boise as it is Boise State football team colors! Gaudy blue and orange! Always easy to find,though, eh?

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    1. Glad you liked the post. Trey's ball is a "Chuck it". It's a brand of very durable balls. I love the colours as you say, it's easier to find in the grass.

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  6. Hilarious Sybil. You are such a sensible dog owner/trainer. I think, though, that in some situations, that the dogs are smarter, er I mean like to see who can outwit who. :-)

    The pits are so dang smart and often comical. I love their expressions.

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  7. Dear Dog Whisperer: I am carefully following your instructions. The Cowboy has been clipped to his leash and kept by my side for 24 hours now but I am still not certain he has gotten the point. I need a shower. Do you think I could let him off the leash for a half hour, just until I get the suds out of my hair, or would I do better to chuck him into the tub? Worriedly, Constant Reader in Michigan

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    1. Dear Constant Reader: In for a penny: in for a pound. You're all lathered up, surely you can spare some foam for the dog ! The Cowboy will smell real purdy when you're done.

      BTW -- how hard was it to sleep tied to a dog ?

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  8. Our new dog, Isabel, barks incessantly for nearly 20 minutes when we get home in the afternoon, and God help you if you go anywhere near the hook by the front door where leashes are hung.

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    1. Ya gotta set boundaries Les coz it gets less cute over time. A sharp "no" and a foot stomp when she barks. Then no further words if she keeps barking. Clip on the leash and tether her to yourself and go about your normal household stuff. Release her when she calms down. BTW do not stroke her or reward her for the barking. Don't touch her util she is behaving ... Good luck and congratulations !

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  9. When are dogs permitted to bark? Don't they need to sometimes? Just asking because I don't know much about dogs as I'm a cat person. My son and spouse have two large, unruly, elderly dogs and they seem to have given up on them as they are not on the same page when it comes to doggie discipline. The dogs are loved to death and get lots of exercise but little consistent discipline.

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    1. Good question. I don't mind my dogs barking if someone comes to the door. But I want them to shut up when I say so. "Unruly" really means "out of control". I know lots of people who fail to discipline their dogs, and I'm NOT talking HITTING. I'm talking about setting boundaries. Basically it comes down to who is in charge. In your son's house: it's the dogs. ;-)

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  10. LOL, Sybil. No one can accuse Trey of not having an exuberant personality!

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    1. Sadly, Trey has two speeds: sleeping and GOING FLAT OUT ! Without setting boundaries, he'd be a nightmare to live with.

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