Posts Tagged ‘bark’

Pierson’s Bark Control Collar Experience

December 2, 2013
PetSafe Bark Control Collar

I bought this bark control collar, PetSafe brand, from Petco.

I really don’t like the idea of using “shock” collars in training. I don’t necessarily disagree with the use of a static correction collar so long as they are used responsibly and not exclusively. But I just haven’t been able to bring myself to use one. At least, not until this week. On Black Friday, I gave in and bought a bark control collar for Pierson.

I’ve been trying several techniques, including these tips on how to get your dog to stop barking. But Pierson just doesn’t get it. He wants to bark and when he wants to bark nothing has been working to stop him. Since I have roommates with a three-month old baby, I realized that I’ve got to take more drastic measures. I can’t imagine what it’s like for my roommate to finally get her baby to sleep, only to have Pierson bark at a falling leaf or some other trivial sound.

Another situation where it will be important for Pierson not to bark so much will be when I move. In a year or two after I get my degree, I will likely need to relocate for a new job. And I’ve decided that I do not want to live in a house. I want to live in an apartment where someone else is responsible for maintenance and for mowing the lawn. In order not to annoy neighbors, it will be important to keep Pierson from barking so much.

Pierson Petco Antlers Why

On Black Friday, Petco was giving away free antlers. I got a pair for Pierson along with his bark control collar. Pierson usually likes getting stuff from Petco, but not this time.

So now I have a new bark control collar with six levels of static correction. It is a PetSafe brand and I bought it at Petco. A testimonial printed on the box says it helps to dramatically reduce barking by the second day. Yeah right, I thought. We’ll see about that. But believe it or not, it has really helped.

It was so funny the first time Pierson barked and got a mild static correction. The box says the static correction does not hurt the dog, but may startle them. Startle is right. He jumped straight up in the weirdest fashion. I know I shouldn’t have laughed at him, but I just couldn’t help it.

By the end of the day, Pierson was being more careful about what he barked at. He still barks at certain things, but only once or twice, three times at the most. Or he would whine or give a quiet yip instead. Such wonderful improvement compared to his usual barking fits.

I don’t necessarily recommend a bark control collar except in extreme circumstances or when all other methods fail. In fact, I feel a little guilty about resorting to it. I keep asking myself, Is this method really necessary? Am I taking a shortcut to proper training? But on the other hand, I am really enjoying the peace and quiet. And he doesn’t seem adversely affected by it. He is still his happy go-lucky boy.

Have you ever used a correction collar? Tips? Advice?

Please note, this review was not sponsored in any way. I bought this product with my own money with the only expectation that it would help curb Pierson’s barking. Sorry I don’t have a photo of Pierson wearing the collar. It is difficult to see through all his fluff.

Wordless Wednesday – Pierson on Patrol

October 2, 2013

As a herding dog, my Pierson is always on the lookout. Inside, he keeps an eye out the front window for passersby, he listens for the UPS or FedEx truck, he is sure to alert me every time someone walks up our walkway. Outside, he mostly keeps an eye out for those pesky rabbits and squirrels. And even though he is in the back yard, he will bark at anyone he hears passing by the front of our house. Here are some photos of my Pierson on patrol, hard at work:

Pierson Keeping Watch on Porch 2

Pierson loves to sit on the porch in front of the steps so he can watch out for bunnies and other small animals. This gives him a good view of the yard and a quick way to get down so he can chase.

Pierson Keeping Watch on the Porch 5

Pierson sits here on the porch when he sees the squirrels living in my neighbor’s roof. I put this white lattice up because Pierson can fit through the railing. I was afraid the sight of the squirrel might excite him so much that he’d jump out without thinking.

Pierson Looking Out Window

When Pierson is not playing, eating, or sleeping, he is keeping guard. He likes to alert me every time someone walks by the house, especially if that someone is walking their dog.

Pierson Looking for Rabbits

Pierson is looking for those pesky rabbits that live under our shed.

What is Maya doing while Pierson is working hard?

Maya Sleeping on Porch Swing 1

Maya has no problem letting Pierson do all the work.

Maya Sleeping on the Porch Swing 4

ZZZZZZ

What is your dog’s job?

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Pierson Speaks

May 4, 2013

What is the easiest dog trick to teach to an Australian Shepherd mix? ‘Speak!’ Why? Because Aussies are already yappers. It was just a matter of finding things that triggered Pierson’s barking and saying the command to speak just before the trigger. Since it was too difficult to get someone to walk by my house or make a noise outside in order to get Pierson to bark, I found another trigger. Pierson also barks when he is happy. Meal time is one example. Another is when I blow in his face during playtime.

I discovered this while I was playing with Maya. In order to keep Pierson from interfering, because he can be a jealous bully when I play with Maya, I would blow in his face to keep him away. Pierson took the face blowing as part of the game. He got so excited about this game that he started barking.

So after playing with Maya, I decided to see if I could purposely provoke him to bark bu blowing in his face. After just a couple of tries, it worked. I’d say ‘speak’, then blow in his face. If he barked, he got lots of praise. I must have done this five times before I decided to just say the command without blowing in his face. To my delight, it worked!

I did three sessions of this, each less than 5 minutes long. By the third session, I was only saying the command. No face blowing. I did another short training session the next day to refresh his memory. Now, a week or so later, he confidently knows the command and is more than happy to bark. The real dog trick will be to get him to stop. 😉

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