Friday, April 14, 2017

The New Nemesis

Barley wouldn't be Barley if she didn't have a nemesis. After we moved away from the Jack Russell Terrier that charged our back French doors, that position was unfilled. Of course, the dino dogs next door make her crazy, but she's gotten better at coming back in when they come out or staying with me if I can get her attention before they do.

The dino dogs also don't come out much during the winter. Apparently not every dog loves snow like my dogs do, so we've seen very little of them over the last few months.

During that time, another neighborhood dog has graciously stepped up to fill the role of Barley's nemesis.


There's a man who drives a silver Jeep and takes his small, yappy dog joy riding through the neighborhood. Every day for the last month, this Jeep has driven by us--often several times on one walk--with the windows down (even on cold days!) and a yappy little white dog hanging out the window. 

Barley usually handles barking dogs in cars fairly well. But she's decided this dog must be defeated. She hasn't lunged on walks in years, but when this Jeep drives by, she lunges, growls, and barks. If I spot the Jeep before she does, we pull off to the side and stop, and I can keep that meltdown from happening--except she won't sit or watch. She stands with her whole body tense, her ears up, and the most intense stare boring into that Jeep. Most of the time, though, the Jeep sneaks up on us and I don't know they're coming until they're too close for me to get Barley's attention first. Even after their gone, Barley is on high alert the rest of the walk, constantly scanning for other dogs and making me work much harder to keep her focus.

We've yet to figure out where this Jeep driver and his yappy companion live and they seem to travel the entire neighborhood, not just the road by the lake, so we haven't figured out how to avoid our new nemesis yet. It's been a while since Barley's had a new training challenge, so we're working on tackling this challenge one day at a time.

Barley can only handle one crazy dog in her life at a time.

9 comments:

  1. Wow, that's a tough one because you can't anticipate when it's going to happen. And, it's not safe for a little dog to be hanging out of the window. I'm so sorry that there's a new nemesis... Does this guy drive by your house? If he does, maybe you can figure out a way to use that fact as part of your plan for desensitizing Barley.

    Our dogs are challenges, but so lovable, right?

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    1. Not being able to anticipate it is definitely the hardest part! I keep worrying about the little guy flying out of the window every time they drive by, too, because it's even more worked up than Barley is. We haven't seen him driving by the house yet, but we'll be on the look out. I think our dogs challenges make them even more lovable--hope Shyla's still doing ok after her bad experience!

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  2. Yappy dogs are always a pain,I'm sure in time you will get through this challange,xx Rachel

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    1. I hope so! Walks aren't nearly as relaxing when we're on the look out for this little pup!

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  3. Doesn't it seem strange that some people just drive around so much? Where are they going all the time? We have some neighbors like that. Luckily no dogs in them, but there is this one black pickup truck that Luke just does not like, and whenever it goes by the house he goes nuts (and he drives up and down the road a lot)! I think it's because they sometimes stop on the street to check their maple tree lines across the street from us. I have to keep trying to explain to Luke that he doesn't own the street. :)
    Good luck working with Barley on this. I guess we'd be bored if our dogs didn't constantly give us new stuff to work on, right?
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. Some of our neighbors drive around endlessly, too! I always want to ask them where they're going/coming from because we'll see them leaving when we head out for a walk and by the time we get home they're back and leaving for somewhere new! This person seems to just be driving for the sake of driving, though, because they just go up and down the streets in our neighborhood. It's about time Barley and I had a new training challenge, though :)

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  4. I have to wonder at the reason for the driver doing as they do. Maybe this poor dog can't be let loose on the pavements for fear of being eaten, or the owner too lazy to deal with issues or walking. Whatever, it seems like you are left to pick up the bits. It is a plus that this is a good training exercise for you though.

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    1. I wonder about it, too! Our neighborhood is pretty good about not having loose dogs, so I don't think they'd have to worry about it being eaten by anyone, but who knows! Thankfully, Barley really likes to train, so once she catches on to what we're working on, it shouldn't be too hard to work through.

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  5. I think Jeep guy and dog are creepy. Why would you cruise a neighborhood letting your happy dog annoy another dog and keep doing it? Because the guy is a creep. Bar is probably not barking at the dog, but the guy driving. Good judge of character.

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