04 April 2009

This is a dog training tip but actually probably not really a tip because that sounds like it might be useful as opposed to polyester bear rugs.

Remember when I was all obsessed with Gustavo's barking, like SUPER OBSESSED, and I think that might have been when a bunch of readers switched back to reading knitting blogs because mine was like, about barking. And doesn't get more boring than that. Team Small Dog Lady, all freako about barking again, could be reading somewhere else about how Leonard Cohen, Canadian, used to be a monk.

Just as an aside, while I wrote that Gustavo was alternating between tearing around the living room and jumping up on the bed to bark at a bucket across the street he could see out the window.

Yep. A bucket.

So how did I solve THAT barking? Meaning, not bucket barking but agility barking? Well, sort of like Leonard Cohen became a monk. Had to quit smoking and shave my head and learn not to hate all the super irritating other monks.

I don't especially even love Leonard Cohen, Canadian or not. He's from the Sixties. Revered poet of singer songwriting. Gary says, for the educated, when I quizzed him on who loves Leonard Cohen.

"Like doctors?" was my question. "Doctors love Leonard Cohen?"

He shakes his head and starts to wander away. He hates these kind of quizzes.

But how cool is it that you start out a rockstar and end up a monk? Can you start out a horse trainer and end up an artist then end up a graphic designer then end up a horse trainer then end up someone with their own swimming pool? Do you think monks ever swim in pools? Don't you think Leonard Cohen probably has a pool? He's Canadian, though. I think it's too cold for pools up there.

Which makes me realize, I was talking about a bucket. That kind of barking is sort of funny and he stops when you tell him to. Not like agility barking at border collies. And I would never, ever shave my head. I do not have a profile that supports baldness.

So one way to quell the barking was to eliminate Gustavo from Dirt Nite. Just like that. His behavior there is abominable. He doesn't run his normal manic fast there, and stuff spooks him. It was weird. So I just eliminated him for a while. Poof. Gone.

Well, banished to the car. How you like them apples of dog training?

He misses out on Dirt Nite valuable training time. A minus. But it's weird, having beloved speedy dog pick this one place to be both weirded out and just be so over the top screamy. Kind of freaked me out, honestly. So that's working for now as a fix and I'm not freaked out and Gustavo isn't barking. He has to just practice with his valuable teacher of dog training, yo. His special teacher, me and my hair brained dog agility ideas. I know. You shake your head right now, and a tear runs down your face and you weep for Gustavo. She doesn't read the Clean Run! But he doesn't care, because he is busy barking at a bucket. And I let him listen to Dee-Lite instead of Leonard Cohen.

So at our friend's practice field, where we have been stopping a lot on the way to work for Proyecto Dos y Dos, I have this new anti-barking method that sort of works, and I don't know why, but I'll take it.

You have to do it this way, in case you try it for yourself.

Otterpop sits on the table. Not tied up. She just stays on the table. So you need an Otterpop that just stays on a table.

Ruby sits on the grass, tied up to the fence. Sometimes she lays down in the sun and has a little snooze, even. If she's sound, she gets a little turn, if she's lame, she just gets to lay there. She loves to lay in the sun, tied to fences. I'm not sure how she helps the not barking because she doesn't bark. But she's just so cute.

Gustavo sits on a chair. Like one of those plastic K-mart chairs. Patio furniture that is stunning if you live in an aluminum mobile home with stained sheets for window coverings and you have area rugs with pictures of bears on them that are made of material that shocks you if you rub it the wrong way. And those area rugs are hung on your walls as object de arte with red plastic thumb tacks. And you enjoy Leonard Cohen but perhaps don't LOVE Leonard Cohen, and you never did quit smoking and you don't know any monks. You know those chairs. Sorry if those are YOUR patio furniture and you do not live in an aluminum single wide.

They are super agility chairs. I have no beefs with those chairs, although I wouldn't have one for my patio. Actually, maybe I would. But I would wish it didn't look like that.

When Gustavo sits on his chair, he doesn't bark. Maybe just a little. But nothing over the top. Not like before. And Otterpop has to be on her table and Ruby just wherever. And they are actually, not border collies. But it's just nice and quiet with just sort of happy barking.

And that's how I trained him not to bark so much.


Anonymous said...

that interview w/ leonard cohen was pretty damn funny...some of those one-liners! we need ysb one of these nights...but along w/ dog show season it's bike race season. same fabulous cities...madera, etc. we can listen to l.cohen and drink G&TS!!!! tash

Elf said...

As always, your enlightening dog training tips clearly strike a universal chord.

Anonymous said...

hmmm. I thought the photo was just a tad scary. and Leonard Cohen was never a *rock* star. Was he?

team small dog said...

Isn't Leonard Cohen a rock star? Just not a flashy rock star? I dunno. Because according to quiz results I do not fall into Leonard Cohen demographics. Aging hippies that may also be doctors? And Tash? Still not clear on that.

Edie said...

I heard the Fresh Air interview with Leonard Cohen as we were coming down from the mountains the day after my brother's funeral. It's something I would have wanted to share with him... though he would have thought that the fact that we were listening to U2's "Beautiful Day" as we drove through the mountains, looking at the beautifully snow-covered trees and thinking how perfect it all was... well, he would've thought that was pretty cheesy and perhaps we should listen to Leonard Cohen more and maybe even shave our heads.