Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Damn It I Missed Bark

Kate has a little quirk known throughout the South Bay dog parks as the Damn It I Missed bark. Whenever she misses the ball, which happens to be a lot, she barks. It goes a little like this…

Ukiah from 2halves on Vimeo.

If she’s really excited, it’s more like this

Untitled from 2halves on Vimeo.

Now, this has never really been an issue. I mean, who cares, right? A little woof-woof never hurt anyone. However, about a year and a half ago we changed our exercise routine. When my office mate went on maternity leave my work schedule had to change. Gone was the in at 6 out at 3 sched. Since I refuse to do the dog park thing during peak hours, we changed to AM runs. 6:30 AM runs. And since our dog park runs right behind a residential neighborhood and people’s back yards are like right there, the barking had to stop. I just can’t be that dog owner.

I tried yelling at her for barking, praising her for being quiet, little time outs, treats, nothing worked. I ended up just managing it by running them individually as the barking tends to be Bella-inspired. This works, but it also means that they either get half the amount of exercise or we stay at the park twice as long. And, contrary to what the dogs may think, I actually do have other shit to do.

I decided to try walking her down. She barks, I just head right at her. Not fast, but no saunter, either. End up meeting her about half way. She sits in front of me looking confused as to why I am no longer in the throwing spot. I quietly explain that she needs to STFU and turn and walk away. Four times I did this. Barking stopped. She finally made the connection. Woots for Kate.
I would say she is quiet about 97% of the time now. When she does have a slip it looks like this…

Throw the ball

Eye on the ball

Overrun the ball

Damn-it-I-missed bark

Shit, did she hear that?

My bad

At least she seems to be getting it. :-)


  1. You got some good action shots. Go go go....we are tired just looking at you
    Benny & Lily

  2. Yay, for training breakthroughs! I love how you figured it out just by trying something new. Sometimes it's just all about creativity.

    Great action shots like these make all the stress worthwhile as well. Congratulations!