I Solved My Dog’s Barking Problem

When my tiny dog lets loose, it’s a mix between an air horn and the first seconds of a high speed car collision.

This is way off the normal subject matter I write about (masculinity and culture) but I’m thinking a LOT of people struggle to get their dogs to stop barking too much and I’m here to show you how.

This is my little cutie pie, lovey dovey, seven pound Toy Poodle, Pomeranian mix. Her name is Lillyput. I love her with all my heart. She is a deeply affectionate, caring little personality.

Also, over the last three years, her barking increased in volume and frequency. She can now take the paint off a battleship with that bark. Seriously. When she lets loose, it’s a mix between an air horn and the first seconds of a high speed car collision.

We tried treats. We tried a firm “no.” We tried water squirt bottles. For years, we tried these ideas and many more. “Is it anxiety?” “Is it that she protecting the family?” “Is she trying to run the household?” And still, the barking fifty times a day. Often, she would let loose when she was sitting on our laps. Lilly was a jump-scare, heart attack machine and we could not stop her barking no matter what we tried.

I went online and googled the issue. I found dog training services for $200 an hour who would come and help us out. I found bark shock collars and other weird shit. But this thing I’m about to tell you? I did not see this anywhere online in my searching and I’m hoping to remedy that with this post.

Here is the solution:

This is what a women in the lobby of our building told me about. She called it a “shaker bottle.” It’s a small empty water bottle with a dozen or so uncooked black beans in it. You can use ball bearings, or BB’s or pebbles. It doesn’t matter. But this thing? Magic.

In two days, Lillyput dailed back her barking by 95%. When she barked, I shook it loudly for two seconds and said, “no.” The look she gave me? “What the heck was that?!?” It turns out shaker bottle is king of all barks.

And there’s more. A few days after my discovery of “shaker bottle, king of all barks” my sister and I are talking on the phone. I asked her how her two Rhodesian Ridgeback pups are doing. “Our boy dog tore all the rubber off the front bumper of my car. He ate part of the house paneling. We may have to give him up. We’re tried everything to get him to mind but it’s just getting worse.”

“I have something you can try,” I said.

I checked in a few days later, and she said, “It’s still getting their attention. They stop doing what I want them to stop doing. Amazing…..” And she sent me this picture.

So, there you have it. I still use shaker bottle once in a while when Lillyput barks but it’s so much better now that an occasional bark doesn’t even bother us. It’s always much briefer and much less hysterically loud.

We love these animals. It’s heartbreaking when we can’t figure out how to get them to shift their behavior. I just wanted to share the solution that worked LIKE MAGIC for us. I hope it helps you, too.

Author THE LITTLE #METOO BOOK FOR MEN https://www.amazon.com/dp/0983466963 Writer/speaker on inclusion, masculinity. BBC, New York Times- http://remakingmanhood

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