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Barky Dogs – Humor Goes a Long Way When You’ve Got One

by on January 25, 2014 - Leave a Comment

To all those out there with barky dogs – this blog is for you. I love my dogs, but their barking is, well, pretty nerve racking at times. Having 4 dogs, and all terriers (3 Schnauzers and a Westie), you can imagine the kind of barking that occurs throughout my household. In addition, I work in a dog-friendly work environment, so there are plenty of occurrences throughout the day that send the whole pack into a barking frenzy.

dog-barkI have been using the term “no bark” for as long as I can remember. The words appear to have absolutely no meaning to my dogs, unlike the word “treat.” Now that word causes them to stop dead in their tracks and stare unwavering at me, one paw restlessly pressing the floor up and down, until they are finally rewarded with a treat.

With all of this, I have begun to view barking as talking. It is a fact that they are, after all, communicating something when they bark. When they bark, I talk to them. Here’s an excerpt from one of my conversations with Jesse, my Westie –

Jesse: (At the door) “BARK, Bark, bark bark bark. BARK BARK BARK! (Westies are very barky)

Me: “Jesse! Bark, BARK?”

Jesse: (No barking. tilts her head to side and just stares at me.) My translation: “What the heck are you barking at?”

Me: “BARK, BARK! Wooooo, Oooo …. (I have all of the Schnauzers attention now, too).

Here’s another, with my barky Schnauzer, Wes –

Wes: “Yip yip, bark, yip yip yip, bark, bark, yip yip …” ( …yep, he’s still barking). Envision his ears flapping and the front half of his body lifting off the floor with every bark and yip. He is doing this in front of the window).

Me: “What’s that you say, Wes? Timmy’s fallen in the well? Or was that, Timmy’s feeling well?” (Spoken with enthusiastic inflection)

Wes: (He stops barking and looks at me. He leaves the window, trots up to me and sits directly in front of my feet. Waiting. And waiting. Still waiting. So I pet him and add a “Woof” for good measure). And he trots off – away from the window he was just barking through.

If there really is something going on, something that they can smell, well, speaking dog just doesn’t work. Then again, sometimes it does work, and it makes them forget momentarily what they were barking at. This confirms my theory that sometimes dogs bark at nothing. A noise is heard from the left side of the house, and they all go racing to the front door on the right. And this is when dog speak works for me. It gives me comfort knowing that, when I am at my wits end with the barkfest, a little humor goes a long way!

This post originally appeared on The Artful Canine’s Blog Site. If you’re not reading this via email or RSS feed from The Artful Canine’s Blog Site, it may have been stolen.

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