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Monday, February 11, 2008

Enough with the Barking!

Cheyenne looking innocent
My frustration levels rises. I wonder where in the world she learned this behavior and how did it come to this. What am I talking about? Cheyenne's new annoying bark.

Barking is a normal way for dogs to communicate and I am all for communication. Normally though, Cheyenne will let out this single high-pitch bark only when needing to go out for potty or when she can't get to something she wants. I understand the former reason and the latter is usually reserved for those times I hide bits of their kibble around the house and there is one that is just to difficult to get. But now that high-pitch "Mommy come here" bark is being use for when she is bored and wants someone to play with her or give her attention.

Our smart Labbie knows that this particular bark will get us to come running to her side since we don't want her to have an accident in the house. However, we will now find her laying in her spots around the house and just letting out a single bark to see if we will come running... and running we do because this type of bark is so high-pitch that it could be nothing short of an emergency... right?

*laugh* Darned if you do and darned if you don't come to her side. How are we going to train this out of her? Well, there is no other way then to get her on a specific potty schedule and ignore all the other barks until she realizes once again that the bark is only for emergencies and not to trick us into falling to our knees to give her belly rubs or throw a ball for her.

Let's just pray that my eardrums don't burst before she understands the difference between truly needing us at that moment and crying wolf...



Blogger Kate said...

Hi Shannon, this is unrelated to this specific post, but I've got a few questions for you.

Obviously you are all for having 2 labs, but can you tell me the benefits of having two as well as the downside?

My fiance and I are looking to get Diesel a little brother when he is about a year and a half old.... I am a little worried about having two large dogs, but at the same time, I just love him so much, and can't help but think how great two would be.

However, I also wonder how rough it might be with TWO labs when we decide to have children...

Would you recommend getting another boy, or would a girl be better. Diesel is fixed, but I worry about him humping a girl all the time - he constantly tries to do that to his 8 year old shepard/lab mix cousin...

Thanks for your advice!


February 11, 2008 7:55 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Great questions! :)

Some benefits of having 2 Labs:
1) Bonding
2) Learning pack hierarchy
3) Playmate
4) Helps alleviate stress when left home
5) Loads more kisses and love

Some things to consider when having 2 Labs:
1) Higher vet/food/toy/daycare/etc. bills
2) Sibling rivalry
3) Difficult to get alone time
4) Backseat of cars shrink :)
5) More poop/dog hair/dog smell!!
6) Can be easier or harder to train the 2nd one

When we got Dakota, our breeder told us "one Lab is like one tornado and two Labs are like 10 tornados)". Do not get a Lab for Diesel because you feel bad for him or want to give him a playmate - get a Lab because your family wants one. Also, make sure that the Labs are at least 1 year apart in age and dont assume that the next Lab will be as good or bad as the one you currently have. Dakota and Cheyenne are complete opposites... Dakota was easy to train, housebreak, and is a complete mush. Cheyenne is a ball of fire, is more difficult to train, and took forever to housebreak.

If you do plan on getting another one - I recommend not another male. Although you are afraid Diesel will hump her to death, a female is better because it takes away the possibility of male-male aggression and Diesel will get tired of it after a while. Honestly, Cheyenne will hump Dakota when playing but Dakota would NEVER allow another dog to even come close to that... when Dakota has had enough of Cheyenne trying to dominate, Dakota lets her know. :)

Hope that helps! Keep us up to date!

February 11, 2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Thanks for the advice!
And don't worry, we wouldn't be getting another lab just to have a playmate for Diesel - if I didn't have to work, and we had the space and money, I would have a whole housefull of labs if I could!

February 11, 2008 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 2 1/2 year old chocolate lab which will be 3 in June. He doesn't hardly bark at all unless he's playing or speaking for treats. We have is leash by the door and when he wants out, he will bump his leash. Is that normal? I thought he would be more vocal, especial if he needs out. Did I mess up in the training somewhere? Someone strange can come to the door and all he does is try to push is butt through to see who it is.

February 11, 2008 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Steph said...

I have a 9 mo. old chocolate lab male. He has always been a barker! Every morning when he's ready for us to get out of bed, he barks non-stop. Then he follows me to the bathroom and barks at me while I go potty! When he wants to play or attention, he will bark at you and sometimes act like he's gonna bite us! How do we get him to stop this annoying behavior?

February 12, 2008 10:19 AM  

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