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Old 06-02-2009, 09:29 PM
antipunt1's Avatar
antipunt1 antipunt1 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: ca
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Default Lady at the Dog Park: *A Rant*

Hey Chazhound; before I begin, I'd like to warn readers that this is 'mainly' a rant... in case you're not into that sort of thing

Though I suppose there is 'some' technical application in this story. The main points in summary I guess are:
1. The rant about the lady in the park
2. Question: What to do about Wanta's random/seemingly-irrational barking.

Basically I'm a little upset at myself for being somewhat sloth-minded. Also, in times of pressure I get really fuzzy-minded, which is also a real bother. But essentially I was at the dog park today, and Wanta got scolded. Or I suppose you could say I got scolded; a little bit of both actually.

There's a lot I can say I personally did wrong. Wanta started to bark at -something- at the park. I wasn't sure what it was...usually Wanta likes to bark at big dogs (whenever she does that is, which is rare altogether), but today, she started barking at certain people, or a direction, I -don't even know!-. She just kept barking and didn't stop. The politically-correct thing to do was to do what most people at the park do at this point in time: make it seem like you're trying to do something about it. But the problem was I was really 'somewhere else' today so I just slowly walked up to Wanta trying to see -what it was- that she was barking at. Occasionally she does this schizophrenic style of barking (at nothing), but today was the most lengthy/confusing. I mean, most of the time when this occurred in the past -at least- she was barking at another dog to 'go play'. But today just ...'barked schizo-style' for about 2 minutes incessantly. It made no sense to me at all.

By the 2 minutes mark I started to get a bit nervous (started to register that this wasn't too good of a rep for Wanta). The important thing to note here is that in the last couple of months at the park (and for her entire life from puppyhood), Wanta has displayed minimal aggression towards anyone. She runs from threat, is somewhat easily startled, and is extremely gentle/friendly with children/adults (even more so with children). In other words, I can say pretty objectively that Wanta isn't an aggressive-dog and if anything, leaning more on the weenie-side. This is only bolstered by me joining this forum since she was young, and asking incessant questions to make sure she was socialized properly as a pup.

But Ms. Lady comes over and says "you know, you really shouldn't let your dog bark at people like that". Already, I was a little peeved, but since I get flustered by confrontation, I tried to avoid conflict and say something like "Well, I don't know what my dog is barking at". In short, I wanted to resolve the problem, and locate the source of Wanta's barking (even now, I still don't know however).

At this point, she has to add (rather high and mightily too), "Well yeah, You really should tell her to stop, because she'll think she's the boss". At this point, I was upset at two points. a) 'um...tell her to 'stop'? How exactly is that a miracle solution? b) believe in the dated-alpha-dog theories

The problem is I got even more flustered and just said something completely-useless like "oh...well..I don't think that's the case".

Ms-Lady has to go on in a sing-song/pompous voice: "well...just saaayinnng, cause someone once told me the same thingggg...and she turned out to be aggressive".

Then she goes over to Wanta and makes the most futile move ever....

*Wanta barks*
"...No..." <----general situation I expected...
*Wanta keeps barking*

My logic was to find the source of the barking, which was why I didn't really focus on 'telling Wanta to stop'.

At this point I just let out a flustered-silent-ish "well...she's really gentle..she even plays with kids..". Basically a -horrible- comeback. It was only until after I fled the park that I started getting mad in my car. I didn't say any of the stuff I thinking in my head. Nothing about alpha-theory being flawed. Nothing about Wanta's true personality (this was like 2 minutes of barking out of 4 months of dog-parking). I just lost due to wussiness...

It's going to be nerving to have to see her again (which will probably happen because I go almost every day). I hated seeing Wanta looked-down upon with such injustice. There was a kind lady though, and she kept telling me it was ok for Wanta to bark. I told her that even though the other lady was pretty silly about it, she was maybe being -over- lenient, because incessant barking is still a potential problem (alpha-myth aside). She seemed concerned that I was going to 'punish Wanta', especially after this incident. She kept going "Ohh, don't be too harsh with the dear", etc., but I smiled politely and said "Don't worry Ma'am, I'm not that silly" (indirect reference to the fact that I didn't believe in ineffectual punishments, much due to what I learned here)

Sorry for the mess of text. I just needed to vent this out to people who would 'understand'. But on a more level-headed discussion, I really need to learn what went wrong here. I can't stop her from barking if I don't even know what was causing it. I can imagine me telling her she was wrong, and then proceeding back to my 'perfect-dog' who would keep dodging me (I don't have an effective recall) and keep barking at.....something back there. (almost every person near that bench felt they were the target, and eyed Wanta with such judgmental-stares).

But I have to be fair. I -should've- at least made it -at least look like- I was saying "No Wanta! No!" for the sake of face....but I didn't. I also need to 'understand' what happened, because I still don't. Why did Wanta bark at seemingly-nothing for such a long period of time? Why does she sometimes bark off into the distance at 'nothing' at home (but not for long periods of time). Her eyes kept shifting from target to target like she was struck with paranoia (and it started out of nowhere). I suppose I should dig this problem from its roots by trying to make sure Wanta's schizo-bark-streaks stop before they become habitual. Or according to the Lady, 'make Wanta feel like she's boss'.

Thx in advance
Breed: Chihuahua/Dachshund Mix
Name: Wanta
Sex: Female
Age: 10 months so far
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:37 PM
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sisco16 sisco16 is offline
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I personally only have one dog that is okay at dog parks but ive found that if the best thing is giving the dog a time out on the leash and walking away from the people in the park bothering me, or if the problem keeps going i remove the dog from the park and we leave. Its hard alot of people at dogparks do not understand normal dog behavior.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:56 AM
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smkie smkie is offline
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^^^^^^^ Best Advice EVER.

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Old 06-03-2009, 09:34 AM
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CaliTerp07 CaliTerp07 is offline
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It always amazes me how many people expect dogs to come pre-programmed to understand commands. Sorry...doesn't work that way!

Lucy likes to bark at other dogs at the park. She wants them to run so she can chase them, so if they are just congregating and not going anywhere, she'll run circles around them barking like mad. Luckily, the normal dog park crew is okay with it for the most part! If it continues for too long I'll usually go over there and do the PC thing of petting her and shushing her (which works for about 2 minutes!)

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Old 06-03-2009, 10:05 AM
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Zoom Zoom is offline
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If she's bothered by barking dogs at a dog park A) WTF is she doing there and B) she would HATE Sawyer.

Most doxies I know are loud-mouthed little things and if there's another non-herding dog barking in the park, it's usually one of them.

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Old 06-06-2009, 07:55 PM
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Tankstar Tankstar is offline
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I would have taken the dog out for a timeout. My dog barks at the park, but not at people. I would find that rude. but he can bark at dogs, balls, birds ect.

Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
If she's bothered by barking dogs at a dog park A) WTF is she doing there and B) she would HATE Sawyer.

Most doxies I know are loud-mouthed little things and if there's another non-herding dog barking in the park, it's usually one of them.
She would want to kill Blaze. Its the only place I let him be a wild guy with his barking, he barks and barks and barks.
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:04 PM
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smkie smkie is offline
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Posts: 54,561

I wouldn't be upset if someone's dog barked at mine. AT the same time i am not going to allow my dogs to do that to someone's else's for the biggest reason that barking annoys me to no end and i don't want it to start a habit. If they did, i would leash them until they figured out that barking was the end of playtime.

Go Petie Go Go Who Go!

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Side by side on the sofa sat three annoyed dogs and one smug cat
and then in came a little white cat
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:10 PM
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drmom777 drmom777 is offline
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Location: new jersey
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What is wrong with a dog barking at the dog park? Uncle Fred howls at the dog park all the time. He enjoys it. This is his park where he is supposed to be having fun. The other dogs do not mind.

I think this woman needs to go somewhere else or get ear plugs, unless Wanta's barking was causing all the other dogs to get upset.

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Old 06-03-2009, 11:16 PM
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smkie smkie is offline
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IT depends on how much in your face the dog is barking. IF it is non stop and beginning to stress the others out it is over the top.

Go Petie Go Go Who Go!

love comes in many directions with mary

Side by side on the sofa sat three annoyed dogs and one smug cat
and then in came a little white cat
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:08 AM
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FoxyWench FoxyWench is offline
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while i agree that if its causeing stress in the other dogs it needs to be stopped i also feel no problem with it otherwise (as long as the dogs not barking directly at someone and is doing it in play)

the barking into the distance/at seemingly nothing...
i hoenstly dont have an answer for you as to why, every dog ive met will do this once in a while, we have to remmeber their senses are much keener than ours, mabe they see/smell somthing in the distance, mabe somehting in the distance looks wrong to them...mabe a bag blows across a feild and they see it as something not right and spook, there could be any number of reasons.
ruby for example will wake from a dead sleep and stare off down the hallway with a low growl...jasper will stand there staring at "something" for a few minutes before suddenlybarking at it, but in reality theres nothing there, least nothing visible to my eye.

if her barking is getting long winded or seems to be agressive or spooked id simply put a leash on, walk her away form the situation and distract her for a few mins, get her mind off whatever shes focused on then let her go back to playing.

one of my BIGGEST pet peeves are people who try and disaplin or correct other peoples dogs...
its one thing offering advice or an opinion, its a complete other to walk up to a dog and person you dont knwo and TELL them there doing it wrong then tell your dog off...
(this also bothers me with people who asusme they can pet your dog without permission)
its not only common sence to NOT get in the face of a dog you dont know...but common deacency...just plain rude. (not to mention dangerous, the moemnt someone gets in my dogs face, ill happily put myself in theirs...

in this case id just shrug it off, shes obviously "one of those people" and next time she offers her opinion say "thanks but i dont use those methods, they dont work for us" and walk away...she has no rights to tell your dog what to do.

ruby is one of those dogs that is typically stubborn with selective general if someone other than me tells her to do something she kind of looks at me, if i give her the go ahead shell listen, if not youll be lucky lol.

i took her out to the park at once and she was sniffing around at the end of her flexie...
and some guy comes up and tells me i Cannot let my dog pull me where it wants to go (id stopped and was LETTING her sniff around...) and before i could resond he yells at her "COME!" she looked up, looked at me and then whent back to sniffing.
the guy stomps his feet and tells her to "get here now" she didnt even offer him a glance this time...
he tried a coupel more times and by attempt 3 (and in between each me trying to tell him i had told her it was ok) im already giggling at his obvious frustration over her paying him absolutly no attention. (he was also next to me and not remotly close enough to touch her in anyway...)
he eventually turns to me and goes "what breed is it anyway?"
i responded with "chinese crested" and his responce "no wonder shes not listening, she only speaks chinese"
the guy was deadly serious, and i just about FELL OVER as i blurted out, "no sir, there only called chinese cresteds, the breeds actually from africa"
his responce "wow then it must be even harder for her to understand people!"

he then insisted i make sure to "show her whos boss" because dogs that dont speak english are even harder to train" and he walked off...

sometimes im just amazed at how stupid some poeple can be.

the moral of the story...laugh at them, its good for the soul!

I wonder if other dogs think Cresties are members of some weird religious cult?

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