Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rise and Shine


Today it's Shiner's turn. He's almost five months old now. 20-25 pounds. And look at those ears! He's vocal and makes a lot of sounds that sound more like a cat than a dog, but his favorite sound is his bark. Shiner LOVES to bark.

Next month we begin Obedience School, where I'm sure Shiner will try to make me behave. A woman affiliated with the group gave me a tip that - shhhh, I'm whispering so Shiner doesn't hear - seems to be working.

Each time he barks, I look him in the eye, point my finger at him, and say in a stern voice, "No bark!" Never smile. Always be taller. I found it doesn't work if he's in my lap or sitting next to me. Yesterday I learned it's now working if I say the words from another room.

It isn't an instant cure, but I've been doing this for less than a week now, and the frequency is decreasing. Not only do I need to say it on fewer occasions, but on each occasion I only need to say it once or twice instead of five or ten times.

There's also been a side benefit. Instead of barking a high-pitched, ear-piercing, "Arf!" to go out, most times he asks in quite a polite way. It's amazing - unexpected and wonderful!
Even better, it works with four-year old Wrangler. Shiner barks just to bark. Wrangler barks when people come into our yard or house. Or when the UPS or Fed/Ex trucks are on the street. Or sometimes when people are out walking.
With him, I found that since he's heard me doing this with Shiner, all I've had to do is say, "Wrangler, no bark," in a softer voice, and he stops.
Harriet, I love you!








2 comments:

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Our poodle isn't a big barker. He basically only barks when he sees a buddy outside on a walk. We're working on him obeying...consistency seems to be the trick, which is easier to say than to do!

Carol Kilgore said...

You're so right, Mary. It's often difficult or impossible to drop everything mid-bark. Or mid-whatever needs attending to.