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Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:27 pm
by BighornTermite
Greetings, PBF people. Haven't been as active here as I used to be, but it's good to see that many of the experts are still around. My question isn't pit bull-specific, but I'm tossing it out there anyway.

Last weekend I was at a friend's house. She has an older male shih tzu and recently inherited an 8-month old small breed mix from a neighbor who had an oops litter. The two dogs got in play mode and started chasing each other around the house. At one point, the shih tzu made a sound--I wouldn't call it a bark so much as a single, excited, half-volume yap. My friend immediately stopped the play, grabbed the shih tzu's head so his mouth was closed, and said sternly, "No bark! No bark!" The little guy didn't bark again, and the friend explained, "I don't tolerate any barking." "Like, at all?" I asked. "Nope," she said.

Could be me, but I've never heard of that. Obviously excessive/inappropriate barking is to be discouraged--heck, one of the reasons I chose Zoey at the pound was that she didn't bark when I walked by--and rumor has it shih tzus can be yappy. But vocalizing (at least I'd thought) is also a key way that dogs communicate. Maybe it's all or nothing for some dogs in that they can't discern that it's okay to bark at certain times and not others? Still, trying to eradicate it completely strikes me as...weird.

Thoughts?

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:38 pm
by BabyReba
I have heard other people say they don't tolerate any barking, and I think it's insane. Dogs bark. It's one of the ways they communicate. It seems absurd to me to restrict barking completely. Though there are certainly days I wish my dogs would shut up ...

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:22 am
by BighornTermite
Thanks for your reply. Guess it's not just me. Part of it too was that the dogs were playing--they weren't over-vigilant watchdogs or hyper-sensitive to their surroundings or whatever. When my dogs play, they bark and growl like they're killing each other. And when I play with the dogs, I often provoke them to bark. It's part of how we have fun together. Sure, there are times we're out on a walk and they bark at another dog and I discourage/redirect them, but to me barking is communication. It made me sad to see it squelched.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:19 pm
by Celesteandthebullies
I like chatty breeds (GSD person) so it's even more absurd to me... go buy a fish or a reptile if you want something quiet. Or maybe, at least start with a breed that isn't known for barking.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:16 pm
by Red
BighornTermite wrote: It made me sad to see it squelched.


Did you say anything at all?
There isn't really any valid reason to grab a dog's mouth in the situation you described. All that the dog learned, and I am sure this is nothing new , is that his owner has this sudden aggressive behavior contingent to God knows what. Too much going on for the dog to even make an association between one thing and the other. As previously said, dogs communicate through vocalization and I can't see what the big deal is in some yapping in playing.Unless it is the kind of vocalization that indicates that behaviors are going to escalate and play need to be stopped, no need to over react. There are other pets for people who can't tolerate normal and non damaging behaviors such as a couple of barks a day.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:10 pm
by BighornTermite
Red wrote:
BighornTermite wrote: It made me sad to see it squelched.

Did you say anything at all?


I did not. The woman (I've only known her a few months) had alluded to showing her shih tzu and I didn't know if in show circles that's how it's done, etc. What's a good thing to say--to convince, not to judge--in a case like that?

And Celesteandthebullies, I agree. She needs a fish instead. That way she could keep it in a bowl and have silence and complete control.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:10 am
by Red
BighornTermite wrote:
Red wrote:
BighornTermite wrote: It made me sad to see it squelched.

Did you say anything at all?


I did not. The woman (I've only known her a few months) had alluded to showing her shih tzu and I didn't know if in show circles that's how it's done, etc. What's a good thing to say--to convince, not to judge--in a case like that?


Often, no matter how nicely you put it, some dog owners do not accept any input that is different from what they have been doing for a long time or what they think should be done with their own dogs. You are never in the wrong when something is unfair or inappropriate and you speak out for an animal, regardless the outcome.

That said, explaining the importance of vocalization during dog to dog interaction is a starter. Dogs have to communicate during play, in order to keep things safe and be on the same page, so to speak. When a dog become pushy or can't read body language appropriately (such as in a young and/or rude playmate), the other dog might vocalize in an attempt to put a stop to what is happening. I have no idea why the dog in question "yapped" but there was a reason, whether it was excitement or something else. Perhaps the younger pup's play style was too much for an older dog, that can be a possibility.From your description the dog owner did not know why the dog vocalized or bothered to find out, but decided to intervene based on her dislike of a behavior that was most likely normal for the circumstance.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:40 pm
by BighornTermite
Red wrote:That said, explaining the importance of vocalization during dog to dog interaction is a starter.

I will try to do this the next time I'm over there. I was (am) glad this woman took in a second dog (the terrier mix) that otherwise would likely have been euthed. But still. If you're bothering to have them in the first place, let dogs be dogs.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:05 am
by Mooresmajestic
As a "show dog" person, I can say that zero tolerance to barking is not the norm. While barking in the ring is generally not tolerated, at home or out of the ring is a different story. If you have ever been to a show even as a spectator, you would know the dogs there bark... a lot. (Not you you, but general you.)

Also, if she really does have hopes to show the dog, grabbing the muzzle like that when it does bark is only going to ruin any chance she has in the ring. It will lead to the dog being face shy and could very well prevent a judge from checking the bite. Grabbing the muzzle or face of a dog in correction is a huge no-no in show dogs of any breed.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:04 am
by Jazzy
Personally I think barking is like talking...being mute is not normal or natural...however the amount, intensity and "style" of talking should be appropriate to the place, action and circumstances. :)

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:24 pm
by Enigma
Jazzy wrote:being mute is not normal or natural..
Honestly that depends on the dog, every dog is different and some dogs just don't bark that often. I can't even remember the last time Brina barked, she's not a vocal dog, she communicates diferently. And Jaka only barks if I provoke him in play, other than that and an occasional roo-roo he lets out, he's a quiet dog too. Even though I like quiet dogs, I've never discouraged them from barking, they are naturally quiet dogs. Because of that I never managed to teach them to bark on command, it's the only trick none of my dogs will ever learn no matter what I do lol

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:53 am
by BabyReba
Of my 3, only Tucker is mostly quiet. Doc barks like a fool when he is frustrated or when someone is at the door, and Button loves to bark. Sometimes he barks in play, sometimes he alarm barks, sometimes he barks at his ball. I think he actually likes to bark. If I need him to be quiet, I just redirect him to something else. I can't imagine trying to make him be quiet all the time. It would be unnatural for him.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:53 pm
by Jazzy
Enigma wrote:
Jazzy wrote:being mute is not normal or natural..
Honestly that depends on the dog, every dog is different and some dogs just don't bark that often. I can't even remember the last time Brina barked, she's not a vocal dog, she communicates diferently. And Jaka only barks if I provoke him in play, other than that and an occasional roo-roo he lets out, he's a quiet dog too. Even though I like quiet dogs, I've never discouraged them from barking, they are naturally quiet dogs. Because of that I never managed to teach them to bark on command, it's the only trick none of my dogs will ever learn no matter what I do lol


I stand corrected!

It's just my luck then to have always been around the dogs with big mouths and lots to say! lol

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:18 pm
by Amie
Oscar would go months without barking before Liberty got here. When she first came home, I could tell if a car door slammed three blocks away. They've each bent slightly towards the middle since then.

Re: Zero Tolerance for Even One Bark?

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:21 pm
by Mooresmajestic
My house is one extreme to the other as far as barking goes. Lucy has seriously only barked twice in the 12 years I have known her, and both times it was in the middle of a scrap with opossums and it was a singular "woof". Vi is in the middle. She is an alert barker. She woo-woos at car doors being closed, people walking by the house, and that cricket that farted 3 houses down. Sune is an excitement barker, an alert barker, an attention seeking barker, and a because Vi is doing it barker.

I still can't get any of them to bark on command though...