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!