Sunday, September 15, 2013

All Bark and No Bite

It breaks my heart a bit knowing that since Aiden came along, Parker doesn't get as much attention as he used to. Don't get me wrong, we still love on him, and try to include him as much as we can, but it's not the same. I'm not sure if it's lack of attention, coupled with the fact that he may want to "protect" the baby, and our house; but he's started barking a lot more than he used to. 

He looks sad, but really, it's the look of lazy.

We rescued Parker in September 2010, almost exactly 3-years-ago. For the first couple of years, I always told people that it was nice that he didn't bark that much, except for when he was in the backyard and he could hear neighbors outside (sorry neighbors). Even then, he'd stop reasonably quickly.

But now? It's just super annoying. He barks at the kids playing outside. He barks at neighbors coming home from work. He barks at neighbors leaving for work. He barks at people visiting neighbors. And he still barks at people in their own backyards. I often feel bad for our 'hood, and I tell him "It's their space, too, doggie! The whole world isn't your territory." I'm not sure he got the memo.
It's been worse this summer because we have the windows open most of the time, so it's easier to hear everything that's going on outside. I guess the one positive thing about the weather changing is that it might help alleviate our problem.

We did a session of dog training back in March 2011, but got a little lax with the up-keep. We've started to be on the ball more now lately, especially since he needs to behave around the baby. I've tried using bitter spray to deter barking in the past, but I'm not sure that I was consistent for long enough for it to be effective. I'm at the point where I'm actually considering a bark collar. I've always been against those in the past, because I've felt that it's treating a symptom and not the problem. But now I'm not so sure. With Aiden in the mix, it's going to be hard to try to correct Parker myself every time he barks incessantly.

Have you ever had a dog with this issue? Did you try a bark collar?

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