unmistakable, earth-shaking booo-wooo-wooo-wooo that is Clarence’s wakeup call
to the entire neighborhood.
neighbor or threat. Feet firmly planted,
tail curled high, head thrown skyward, warm up growl and he’s off to the races
of psychological distress to anyone within a two-mile radius. He goes from
sound asleep to sonic boom in 0.3 seconds.
humane practices when it comes to dealing with Barkley’s barking.
with the dog’s owner. You can offer the
names of positive-reinforcement trainers in your area. To locate one visit: https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/find-a-trainer. Barkley can be taught rather easily to bark
on cue, and to be quite on cue. Animal
behaviorist and world-renowned trainer, Dr. Patricia McConnell, and Clicker-Training
Expert, Karen Pryor, both offer detailed instructions for teaching the “bark”
and “quiet” cues in their books and DVD series.
beginnings with humans as part protector, part hunting mate. A defensive, alerting bark was a desirable trait and still remains so today.
for a checkup to rule out any health issues that may contribute to the barking. Is the dog uncomfortable and trying to communicate that to his owner? The vet
can check for common disorders and offer advice to deal with the barking. I should note that medication is sometimes prescribed for extreme vocalization cases, mostly due to anxiety. Medicating Barkley should be a last resort reserved for circumstances where other options—behavioral modifications and training--have been unsuccessful.
bark out of frustration and boredom. Offer to help walk the dog or locate a dog walker for the owner. If Barkley is bored there are many fantastic toys on the market today to occupy dogs while owners are away from home. A Kong filled with softened kibble and frozen overnight will provide a distraction and mental stimulation when Barkley is alone.
during cold weather may help. Some dogs are conditioned to happily pass the day outdoors while their owners are at work. Others suffer severe separation anxiety or simply crave being near their family at all times. If Barkley is the latter, offer to purchase a crate so he can stay safely indoors when his family is away or busy with chores such as cooking dinner. It would also be
wise to suggest that Barkley be pottied, exercised and trained on a leash to
avoid any self-reinforcing barking behaviors while outdoors.
protect his flock & family. If so, you are working against genetics--years of ingrained behaviors, that where once or still are desirable. A working dog like a Great Pyrenees needs a job. The
Working Breed does well at cart pulling and backpacking, and it gives a sense of accomplishment and mental stimulation. And, the old adage a tired dog is a happy dog can translate to a tired
dog is a quiet dog.
not utter a woof for the first six months that we had him. But at nine months of age he found his voice! And it seems that another pyr in our family, Zeus, began barking almost to himself around the age of two. When Clarence hit the two year mark his barking ramped up and is still going strong at three. I’m hoping he follows Zeus’ path and begins to settle in to a more quiet way around his 4th birthday.
are doing something they are not allowed to do, like sitting on the couch. He also barks when he wants to walk by one of the other dogs to another location. Zeus
is a sweet teddybear who does not assert himself with his brothers. His barking signals us to “help” him walk past the other dog. Zeus also barks when outside to alert us that he wishes to come inside. All of these vocalizations from Zeus are distinct.
He and Supermax are my two alert barkers—if they are barking it’s time to check things out.
is imperfect and ongoing. We are still working on putting bark and quiet on cue.
We work on physical and mental stimulation and eliminating self-reinforcing
barking behaviors. We remove a stimulus that contributes to barking when possible and reward for good behavior, never punishing for undesired behavior.
It will not insult me to hear that my dog is bothering my neighbor—some
days he bothers me too.
these so called solutions it is best not to approach the dog’s owner until you have regained composure or contact your local animal control officer and calmly explain your situation. The officer is best equipped to visit the neighbor and pass on your concerns, and offer
solutions that will ease life on both sides of the fence.
There is no instant cure that will guarantee you a pleasant night’s sleep, no matter what the electric collar package promises. By using an electric correction in the form of a sound-emitting device or suggesting that your neighbor attach a shock collar or citrollena-spray collar to Barkley you will indeed have a behavioral modification. The modified behavior will not result in Barkley remaining quiet. Barkley will learn to bark “around” or through the annoyance or discomfort of such devices. If Barkley is a working dog such as a Great Pyrenees, prized for their protective attributes, he will bark no matter the pain level. Barkley may become fearful or aggressive because of such devices. If he does stop barking congratulations (sic). You have suppressed a natural behavior, a communication and a warning. The HSUS has proven that only 4 out of 8 dogs who were subjected to electric collars of all types stopped barking. Some dogs became servely fearful and aggressive, increasing the chances of a dog bite.
psychologically impair and harm the animal, causing more behavioral and health problems in the future. This is surgical abuse and not an option. Any vet that offers this procedure does not have the animal’s best interest at heart. Remember the veterinarian creed: Do No Harm.
owner cannot control the disruptive behavior and extreme, inhumane measures are
being considered it is best for Barkley that another loving home be located. There are many rescue organizations located through out the country. A quick internet search will locate a rescue that will safely rehome Barkley. Perhaps even a home with fenced acreage so nearby neighbors will not be bothered by his barking.
the owner to continue training, provide exercise, mental stimulation and to
control self-reinforcing behaviors. It also takes patience on the part of neighbors and family members. Yes, we all have a right to peace of mind and a solid night’s sleep, but trying to place ourselves in the position of the frazzled dog owner may go a long way in neighborly relations and Barkley’s health.
For more information on behavioral issues such as barking please visit:
http://www.clickertraining.com/ Karen Pryor
http://www.jeandonaldson.com/ Jean Donaldson
http://www.turid-rugaas.no/UKFront.htm Turid Rugaas
http://www.stanleycoren.com/library.htm Dr. Stanley Coren