Thursday, July 12, 2007

Barking up the wrong tree

Ok so we have a problem. The neighbors that live below us have been trying to sell their condo for several months now. In March they moved to Kansas where they bought a house thinking their FL one would have sold by then. It didn't. Anyway, for the last few months they have been showing the condo but we never saw anyone moving in. We assumed there were no contracts being offered. Then a few nights ago our neighbors randomly arrived back in town. We were thrilled to see them, as they are a wonderful older couple that Jaxon simply adores. Then it happened. While having a conversation with them on the night of their arrival we learned the truth. Apparently there have been contracts. Two in fact that made it to the final stages but fell through. They fell through, not because of a failed inspection or financial discrepancies. They fell through because of our dog...Bailey. That night we learned that Bailey barks when we leave him home alone, which goes without saying, happens a lot. They have had people back out of buying their home on 3 occasions because of our dog. 2 in the later stages and 1 early on. We feel awful. They have asked us to muzzle him but we simply can't. It feels inhumane. We have tried moving him to different rooms and playing the radio or TV to muffle outside noises. But to no avail. Even today Nathan received a call at work from our neighbor saying Bailey had been howling ever since I left ( a few hours before) and that they had a showing for their house coming up in a few hours time. SIGH.

So we are trying to figure out what to do. We have thought about those collars that zap a dog when they bark but again, that sounds cruel to me. Maybe we need to take him to doggy training? Any ideas? Anything that has worked for you and your canine pals? HELP!?


Blake & Tara said...

Dog training might help. They essentially train the dog (and you as the dogs parents how to enforce) to stop barking. It requires finding a good trainer, but it can be done. Someone I work with has to take her golden to a kennel each day for the same problem.

Good luck! Let us know if we can do anything?


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't think twice about using the shock collar. These aren't made to electrocute the dog, they just simply give him a slight shock to say "hey, you need to stop this now". What's more inhumane, giving him a little shock to stop the barking or eventually having to give him up because all the neighbors complained to the housing association?

Iz said...

From what I've read, most dogs bark like this because they are simply lonely or anxious. I know this sounds crazy, but what about a companion dog for him? If he has a playmate he loves, maybe he won't be so stressed that you're gone. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Bethany
I can't believe you didn't contact your aunt, the dog person in our family!!!
Anyway, it sounds like Bailey is having some separation anxiety. There are books and trainers that can give you some ideas of how to deal with that situation. I think the easiest would be to take him to doggie daycare (you laugh, but dogs want friends too!) on those days they are showing the condo. How boring to be alone all day when your family is out. Put yourself in his place. He's a very intelligent dog, he needs stimulation to be happy and when the family isn't there he's sad!
Love you! Aunt Carole

Orval Osborne said...

Dogs are demanding as well as rewarding. We have two dogs. I say "we" because I am a committed family man. But I would like to say that "I" don't have any dogs, my wife has a dog and my (youngest) daughter has a dog. But when the dog owners are gone and the dogs are causing a problem, it looks like they are my dogs. Like when they get out of the house. We can't get mail at our house because people kept letting the dogs escape, which doesn't take much time. The dogs bark at night, probably at the neighbors cats, who walk on our fence. Fortunately my wife is a lighter sleeper than me, so in this instance, justice is done.

So, for you, all I can offer is that after we started walking the dogs, and not just on the leash around the block, but taking them where they could run like crazy off leash, then the dogs behaved better.

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