Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Woof no more
One of Jonny-dog's less appealing traits is getting over-excited in the car. The noise he makes is not so much barking as screaming the moment his nose tells him the destination is in smell. Some destinations are more easily recognised than others and the humans in the car have to endure prolonged assault upon the eardrums. He then goes into extreme barking mode the second he's let out the car (of course he knows to go angelically quiet until you let him out) and keeps this up for approximately a minute, until he's a) watered the nearest tree and b) found a stick to carry. Once that's complete, he'll usually dive into the bushes for a crap and then walk placidly just ahead for the rest of the walk.
While I know this is classic dominant behaviour, I find it strange that he really only exhibits it at this time. Otherwise, he's an exemplary dog, but the moment he knows a walk or an outing in the car is in the offing he changes into the Hound of Hell. Rob and I have tried all sorts of ways to control it, but nothing seems to work. He's bitten me on a couple of occasions through being sky-high on adrenaline just before I let him into the car (both times when I was taking something from him) and Jess comes in for a lot of aggression too. At all other times he's the gentlest of dogs and much better mannered than spoiled little Jess!
So I finally capitulated and bought an anti-bark collar. If you follow the link you see that it was quite an expense, so that's how desperate I was (not quite desperate enough to call in the Dog-Whisperer though).
And it works!
No more woofing! We drove all the way to Ardentinny with quiet and it was almost eerie. The first time we tried it - yesterday evening - he nearly jumped out of his skin but got the message so quickly that I removed the collar as soon as the 'barking time' was over. The same today, only he didn't even attempt to bark. Quite amazing and definitely worth the sixty quid. Now if only they made an anti- jumping-up collar for Jess . . .