I got a call on a backyard dog, apparently too bossy as an adolescent to be inside, according to the owners.  The dog was barking a lot – especially at dogs on the other side of the fence on 2 out of the 3 sides of the back yard and at passer-bys in the front room facing the street, when the dog was allowed inside. 

The owner was fed up which, by way of interpretation, meant that the dog was literally one vet visit away from having her vocal cords severed to prevent the nuisance barking.  This poor dog was extremely frustrated and insecure with her back yard status.  After all, it was HER backyard!  But she was constantly being reprimanded for being vocal with the neighborhood dogs.

I discussed the need to have the dog be inside on a regular basis and the relevance of the earn-to-learn program.  That is, for everything she wanted, she had to at least do a sit and a down as well.  I also explained that having the dog on a leash when in the home WITH the owners (never on a leash inside when alone or unattended!) could help them establish better control with the dog.  Dogs are much more compliant when on a leash or line.

Happily, this young dog is now in the house full time and can still bark fluently, but only on an approved, limited basis.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children.

Jim Burwell, Jim Burwell’s Petiquette