“Ignore him, he’s just insecure.”

Dog owners know dog owners in their area – you can’t avoid it! You always run into that one person with that certain dog where you just can’t help but role your eyes a little bit.

Those annoying, constantly barking dogs drive me insane and I was never sure why other dogs don’t just give them a piece of their mind! But I’ve noticed the pattern and had to slap my forehead for my absent-mindedness (total brain fart!!). How is it that I’ve watched all of those Cesar Millan videos and didn’t see it?

The dogs that are constantly barking, are unstable. Barking is not a natural state for a dog (like some owners of barking dogs might have you believe…). As a matter of fact, dogs started barking the way they do now, after being domesticated. Wolves very, very rarely bark even if they live together with domesticated dogs who do bark.

So. When I’m walking through the woods and I come across this certain lady with three little, amazingly annoying dogs (I applaud their dedication) I notice that none of the other dogs they encounter acknowledge them. Dogs will look surprised for a second to have three dogs attack them  with tiny yips but they do nothing.

That’s because they know that the dogs are insecure, unstable, and have no manners. No dog wants to feed that energy by paying the dogs any mind, so they completely ignore them. Only because it’s constant yabbering.

If it were a dog who ran up with serious and aggressive body language and barked just a few times with some emphasis, that would be a different story. It’s funny how worked up people get about dogs who bark when they feel insecure (at other dogs, when visitors come, the typical scenarios…). Correct them and then ignore the behavior. No need to pet them to “calm them down”, because you’re not. Your pet means “Good boy! Keep barking like that!!” You reward dogs by giving them that kind of energy when they act unstable.

Once again my dogs were my best teachers. If you want to know how to react around certain dogs, get some balanced (heck, any dog who isn’t totally nuts) and see how they react in the situation. My dogs have taught me more than any educational material I have found – hands down!

So remember; observe, remember, compare.

photo: kittykittykittykittykitty.tumblr.com

Comments 2

  1. Hi there,

    I have one (at least) of those barking instable dogs. And it is a nuisance and I feel like a big loser walking with that dog. Since I got that one as a puppy so it was ME who did not prevent it from doing so. My pack leader (I have a pack of six) is a very unstable dog. And he has more than one fart in the brain. And the little one copied it from the older one. So far, so bad.
    I have tried a lot of trainers, but most of them can not cope with pack behaviour. Now I do a mixture of going out with the pack – on the lead. Or going out with only one or two of them and then I can have them running.
    If you say: correcting and then ignoring – what do you mean. If I push the dog to stop it (by saying it or moving towards him or whatever) and then he does not stop. Then I just ignore? Even if he keeps on barking? The interesting thing is: Most of the time, it is only one or two barking. The other ones are cooler. I am the weakest part anyway, I know that. But I am really willing to work on it for those 10.000 hours.
    I know you might not have the time to answer silly questions like this. But let me use the opportunity to say: My deepest respect and admirance for your pack-leading-role. I wished I could have a glimpse of that for me and my dogs!!!!

    Sunny greets from Germany!
    I will follow your blog and surely learn a lot,

    P.S.: The little hysteric dog is a Chinese Crested. The other ones are Peruvian Hairless dogs. Just as an information.

    Beene 🙂

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