Thursday, July 16, 2009

Too Smart for Us

So, in an attempt to keep Berit from barking at everything, we finally succumbed and bought one of those citronella spray collars. It's sound-activated, and when she barks loudly, it spritzes a rather strong-smelling citronella mist up into her face. It's harmless, just startling, and it should hopefully (with much positive reinforcement) stop her from barking all the time at every single person that passes on the sidewalk behind the house.

We filled it up, tested it in the kitchen (blow into the microphone and it sprays) then called Berit over and fitted it on her and we all went out in the backyard to see if it would work.

First, we were out there half an hour and not one person went by the house. Usually, it's Grand Central Station back there between 7 and 9. Nada. Our neighbors out back (Greta and not-Greta) weren't outside, Willie didn't bark next door. No one. Hmph.

Then, two women walking by. Ah-hah! Someone to test this on. Berit always barks at walkers if they are talking. The dogs run to the fence...and do not bark. At all. Wha?

Moments later..a bicyclist! A worthy target for frenzied barking! One tiny, pathetic little woof, more of a mmmmrooo and nothing. They just ran along the fence and popped up to watch the cycle curiously. Something is quite wrong.

I'm beginning to think that she read the instruction manual when we weren't looking. She knows what will happen and she isn't going to bark at all!

It finally took a woman walking two dogs to get a real bark out of the beastie. She barked....ssssssst! and that just about set her back on her butt. Huh? What happened? Another bark, another spritz, and she's standing in the yard staring around suspiciously. We're all, "good girl! good quiet! good Berit!" and she is quite sure, I can tell, that we had something to do with it. We are eyeballed suspiciously, but she runs down to her normal barking position in the back corner...and doesn't bark.

This might work. We'll need to make sure she has it on every single time she's outside for a while (which might be hard, since as soon as Rowan sees the collar and weird box-thing on it, he is trying to chew it off -I imagine we'll go through at least one collar strap. We were a little nervous that she'd just figure, "oh. that's sort of annoying, but I shall bark anyway! Hah!", as some stubborn breeds are known to do.

Apparently she's a sensitive, delicate flower.

1 comment:

laurafingerson said...

That is hilarious! A spritz of citronella in the face?! I bet she did land on her tush!! I can just see you and Mark *not* laughing about it...tee hee.