Monday, May 9, 2016

The Instigator

I have a feeling Barley and I are quickly moving up to the top of the "Neighborhood's Most Hated List" with the neighbor dogs and their owners.

Now that we've had many consecutive days of warmish weather, we've had a chance to see where all of the neighborhood dogs live. We've learned where we need to cross the street to avoid e-fences, which streets may have loose dogs that will prompt us to go in a different direction, and which houses have dogs on tie outs that we might not notice until we're right beside them and they're barking at us. 

That all means that Barley is walking beautifully through our neighborhood. I know where I need to get her attention before other dogs do and she just trots right along past the barking dogs (with the occasional snack, of course). 

In our old neighborhood, very few of our neighbors seemed to care when their dogs were barking. A couple neighbors would come out to quiet their dogs, but for the most parts, dogs started barking when they saw us and we could still hear them long after we were out of sight. In this neighborhood, dogs get about 10 seconds of barking in before someone comes to quiet them or take them back inside.

A few days ago, we were walking towards a house with a big hedge between us and the driveway. We could hear a dog barking and a woman calling the dog inside. As we got in front of the driveway, a man working in the garage said, "Oh. That's why . . ." to himself. I just smiled and waved.

A few days later, we walked by a house with a beagle and a bigger hound in the yard. As we approached their house, they started barking. I said my usual, "Hi, pups!" and kept walking, but before we'd even made it halfway past their house, the owners were out herding the dogs back into the house. 

As we kept walking, two dogs were in their fenced yard with their two teenaged kids. When the dogs started barking, one of the girls yelled, "No barking, Jessie! Shut up, Jessie! No barking, Jessie!" Before long, we heard the voice of a mom bellowing, "Nobody out here said 'shut up,' did they?" Followed by the teens saying, "But we were just . . ." and Mom responding, "Oh no. We do not say shut up in this house." 

Throughout it all, Barley just pranced beside me and smiled up at me as I told her to watch. It seems like we're getting everyone in trouble and pretty soon we might be hearing all of the neighbors' doors and shutters slamming shut every time we leave our house.

I don't mean to get everyone in trouble.

18 comments:

  1. Just a thought, but does Barley have tags that jangle at all? IME, dogs that bark at dogs walking by are reacting to the noise more than the sight. Neither of my dogs have tags that make noise, and while we do get the occasional dog that barks (three specific ones, all of which are dogs who are pretty much outside 24/7 and obviously super bored in their yards), we don't have any dogs who bark without being able to see the dogs first, and in the case of those dogs who do bark, we are generally able to get halfway across the front of their property before the dog notices us and starts in.

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    1. I'm sure her tags are part of the reason--but these dogs also bark and at and run towards people who walk by without dogs long before we ever get close to their yards, so I don't think it's the whole reason. I'm personally a huge fan of noisy tags, though, because Barley does react to the sight of other dogs--she might notice a jingly tag, but as long as I can spot them before she does, I can get her attention easily and keep her from barking or lunging. If she sees them first, even if they're silent, it's much harder to get her attention, so tags give me a chance to find dogs before she does :) I'm just glad we finally live in a neighborhood where people do something when their dogs start barking.

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  2. dogs bark at my dogs tags too

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    1. A lot of the barking dogs live in houses where they don't have a backyard, so they hang out in their front yards, so they notice everything that moves. I'm sure our tags just make us even more interesting.

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  3. I like your neighbors who seem to care if their dogs and kids are behaving. I do not think it is personal, just that if the dog is barking they loose the privilege of being outside. I laughed about the mom with the teens because we were not allowed to say "shut-up" when we were growing up. It was a different time though....lol.

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    1. In my head, I just kind of picture the dogs thinking, "There's that dog I got in trouble for barking at. That makes me mad. I'll bark at her" and starting the cycle all over again ;)

      I had to laugh about "shut up," too. I didn't know that was still a forbidden phrase for anyone! I definitely wasn't allowed to say it, either.

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  4. We got yelled at by a dog daycare once for walking Mr. N on the sidewalk in front of their store. They said it agitates the dogs. Um... in that case, it's YOUR responsibility to cover the windows so the dogs can't see out. They're horribly run. The dogs are in a room by themselves with no supervision a lot.

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    1. That is absurd! I think I would have felt compelled to take that walking route every day.

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  5. This is one thing I do not miss about living in a neighborhood!

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    1. Since all of the barkers stay in their yard, I don't mind it. It's great practice for Barley to keep her focus on me when there's all kinds of chaos going on around us--and it makes us enjoy our peaceful walks in nature even more ;)

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  6. Barley, it sounds like everyone's excited to hear you coming!

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    1. I swear, I can see it in her eyes that she's just thinking "I'm the good dog!" as she prances along.

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  7. We work our neighborhood the same way. Except in our neighborhood people rarely come out to see what their dogs are barking about. Which makes me a little nervous. I mean the bulk of them are in e-fenced yards and we do have coyotes and fishers in the area.

    One time, ONE TIME, a woman came out to call her dog off and I shouted, "Thank you!" She never responded, but I wanted her to know I appreciated it.

    I bet your neighbors don't mind so much, probably glad that Barley is not antagonizing them. Who knows, you might turn into the catalyst that gets them all out there walking their dogs. :-)

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    1. I was always nervous in our old neighborhood when people wouldn't come out and check on their dogs, too! There were often rogue dogs wandering the neighborhood and we have coyotes, too!

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  8. You're just providing them with training opportunities! (the kids too, apparently). :)
    Jan, Wag n Woof Pets

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    1. Haha! The moment with the kids was my absolute favorite--that was when I realized that we might be slipping lower and lower on the list of favorite neighbors because I know teenage girls can hold a grudge!

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  9. Hahaha, poor Bar! At least she is being good ;-)

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    1. And you've seen it first hand, so we have a witness!

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