Tuesday, September 13, 2005

So much for citronella.

So, little Mittsy (yes, we've reverted to her name of origin...but I'm trying to shorten it to "Mitts," which sounds much tougher) barks quite a bit, maybe a little more than the average dog. When I told the dog adoption agency lady I was going to work on this, she recommended trying a citronella collar, which sprays the dog with a little blast of citronella each time she barks. I decided that if some basic training attempts didn't work, I'd try that.

Well, as it turns out, it's good I didn't. I called Mitts's previous owners today to let them know how she was doing. I said I thought she was doing better on the barking with a combo of positive ("good dog, you're not barking") and negative ("no, no barking") reinforcement. The previous owner said, "I'm glad to hear that. We had a really hard time with her. We even tried one of those citronella collars, but she liked the citronella, so she'd bark more just to get it to squirt her."

Freak.

2 Comments:

At 11:10 PM, September 13, 2005, Anonymous mike said...

Aha. I, too, have a bark-y dog, although in my case it's barking from some sort of abandonment issues. (She never does it when I'm around, meaning I was skeptical about reports from the neighbors for a long time.) I did shell out the $114 for a citronella collar. Hard to say if it works. She still barks. Does it actually spray her? No way to know. Does it affect her? Well, supposing that it does actually spray her, I guess not enough to stop her barking when she's really motivated.

 
At 8:38 AM, September 14, 2005, Blogger ohplease said...

Yeah, Mitts just has a (relatively) high need to bark at actually present things. "Bark! It's a loud truck driving by! Did you see that!" "Bark! Why are those goddam teenagers hanging out in front of the house!" "Bark! Who's that weird old Greek lady behind the house!" "Bark! I smell another dog!" "Bark bark! I hate unmuffled motorcycles!" "Bark! There are crows hopping around on the roof!" There's always a pretty clear cause, but oh, what a multiplicity of causes.

 

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