Our vigilant shelties like to sit in our front room and monitor the neighborhood, barking to warn us about all the “menacing” people, children, and other dogs whenever their walks take them past our house. This barking drove my husband and I nuts, but our attempts at stopping it had never met with success. Eventually, an anonymous (slightly threatening) note in our mailbox about their barking motivated us to call Janet for some professional help. She came over, witnessed how and when the barking occurred, devised a solution, and taught it to me within one hour. We just signal to the barking dogs that they should be quiet, and then systematically enforce a time-out if they continue to bark. In only one day of our implementation of Janet’s solution, the dogs got the message. Within a couple weeks, two of our neighbors spontaneously remarked that the dogs were barking less; one of these neighbors even mentioned that she thought the dogs had been somewhere else for a couple weeks! Our guys still like to sit and watch the world go by, and they (being shelties) still love to exercise their vocal chords. Now, however, when we tell them to stop, they stop and settle down! (As I am writing this, one of them started barking. I said “quiet”, and he stopped and trotted over to sit next to me…) We’ve seen some positive changes as a result of our adoption of Janet’s solution. For one thing, because he is barking less, our younger dog (who tends towards nervousness) became much less anxious around the house. Once he realized that being the canine alarm wasn’t his job, he allowed himself to relax. Furthermore, the positive solution Janet suggested made us feel closer to the dogs. Modifying OUR behavior modified theirs, and working on this issue with them reinforced our bond with them. 

Jennifer Gerwing - Ally & Frank

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