Tuesday, August 18, 2009
For those who read my blog often you know that Vito has an unhealthy obsession with Coulee. ((of Crazy and Little))
It has gotten to the point where he cannot come on walks when we go together because he barks. The whole time. He barks even more at the river- and will not shut up. Even on leash he will bark. It is awful, and very annoying.
When Wendy dogsat him while I was at Nationals she emailed Stanley Coren to see what his thoughts were behind the "why." He actually replied and said that the barking could be an effort to bring Coulee out of the water and back into the "pack."
I think that it is Coulee's movement and excitement that get him riled up. Coulee is a fetching machine and is very fast. Vito has always loved to chase things (cars, sheep, birds, bugs) - he just gets really into it when he is chasing Coulee and feels the need to be loud....
Whatever the reason it needed to be stopped.
On Sunday Wendy and I took Coulee and Vito to the river. Clicker in hand I sat in the mud and click/fed every time he looked at Coulee. Barking or Not. Once we had that down I gave him a bit more leash and C/T for moving towards her, barking or not. Once we got to that point I started C/T for responding to his name while moving towards her. And then I started making it hard. I started C/T for moving towards her, but not barking. We were down there for a little over half and hour and it went very well. Near the end the barking was super minimal and he was learning that he could play, but not bark.
I am excited that he was starting to understand what I wanted. I really hate getting mad at him, but when we have all the dogs down there, I can't be focused on just him, or just on preventing the barking. Wendy and I have planned to go again this coming weekend. I am hoping that after a few sessions we can start including him on the less exciting walks to start, and build up to the river fun!