May 28, 2013
The White Dog Army and I have been practicing limits to group bark fests. I want the Army to do its job to protect our family but sometimes they get wound up and can't seem to turn off the song once they get started. So we have been working on the new command, "Enough!" which means you have had an opportunity to express yourself, now please stop.
And we have a new house rule: You can only bark as long as you can see what you are barking at. In other words you can be heard by the bike rider but once the bike is out of your line of sight you must stop. Every pup seems to be slowly getting the hang of the new rule...except White Dog, the exception finder.
White Dog barks as a person or objects enters her view from the watching chair at the front window. Then when they are past the frame of the window from that perspective, she climbs on the BACK of the chair and presses her body and face against the glass so she has a broader view in tha direction and can thus, continue according to the rules, barking.
Today she discovered a second loophole as the WDA sang its daily song to the mailman. The mailman disappears for only a brief moment while he drops mail at Becks and Daisy's house, then if she is fast enough, reappears at the side window next to the couch as he delivers to the back unit of Becks duplex building. Barking can continue longer!
Plus the entire WDA has already figured out that if they are patient, the letter carrier crosses the street and returns to their line of sight as he makes his way back to his truck which he usually parks at the edge of our property. That allows for an entirely legal round two of mailman singing!
I find myself thinking trying to think through every possible scenario when planning new rules and commands but find that an order like "No barking except for five seconds at the window unless it is some one at the door in which case you may continue for another 5 seconds except if it is dad or Michael and you know they are coming in and you can greet them inside..." somehow lacks the immediacy that is needed for effective training. Some days I feel like I should maybe stick with trying to maintain order only in the sock drawer...Eskie order is hard work!