The Constant Barker
Every venue has one, right? A dog that barks without cessation or pause, and sometimes goes higher, and higher, until you’re sure the dogs’ vocal chords are bleeding, because you know your ears sure are! A bark here or there is to be expected, and some breeds are just talkers (Huskies, yes I’m talking to you!) but there’s talking, then there’s barking. And if that dog is yours, it can be embarrassing and nerveracking, not something you need before stepping onto the course!
To spare yourself the embarrassment of having ‘that dog’, try taking your dog out of their crate (if they are in one) and playing a game of tug-of-war. Hard to talk with your mouth full! Another trick is finding your dogs’ favorite kong stuffing and giving it to them. Again, the mouth is full! When you get home, though, it’s time to start preventative training. Some dogs learn to only speak when spoken to, and a good ‘hush!’ command works wonders. Remember to reward the behavior you want – quiet!
My dog, an Australian Shepherd, starts barking when I take off her leash at the agility start line. She barks when I stop, and barks when we go. Then only time she did not bark in agility, was during a practice session and she had toy in her mouth – actually she did bark, but it was muffled. At home she’s a different dog. When the mail-person comes, my dog barks once, to let us know, then runs to her mat to receive her cookie.
I definitely do not have this under control, but here is one thing that I am working on that “might” be helping. My dogs are the absolute worst when someone comes to the door. When I start for the door, I will not proceed until they quit barking. They will quiet for a couple of steps, then start up again–which is when I stop walking again. The I wait for silence. The process starts again. Sometimes it takes a long time to get to the door, but the last 6 to 8 steps are usually quiet. It would be great if we had visitors several times a day–more practice!
LOL! I have been in your shoes, and wished for more visitors! Could you ask some agility buddies for help? Two or three of them could stop by your house in a day. That could get you a good kick start.
…Or, you could order agility equipment online and the UPS guy could visit 😉
My dog (Corgi) barks while running the course. In class they just said she is having fun, but it really is annoying. Any help to quiet this type dog?
Hmm… that is a really tough one. I know corgis and shelties often bark while working – hence the ‘having fun’ thing. I would probably train the dog to bark/hush. Seems counterintuitive, but sometimes if you put something on cue it can replace the behavior at other times – that, and you can give the ‘hush!’ command when the dog is on course!
Another idea which may frustrate both of you is to stop running every time she barks. Barking? Fun stops. I think that may be a little extreme, but it also may work.
Anyone else have any ideas, or experience with the ‘working barker’?