Hi my faithful reader(s?).
So much has happened, one event setting off a painful chain reaction. My last post talked about Crystal’s new distressing behaviour of baring her teeth and nipping- kinder word for biting – three times. All males. Next to be unleashed was a rising torrent of barking at visitors. First uncontrolled incident was Larry, my occasional tenant, who uses my home as a layover during his extensive travels from his family in Labrador. She didn’t hear him arrive at 3 a.m., but when he stirred at 7, she went into crazy bark mode. Larry is an old hand at sled dogs, and he couldn’t quiet her. I didn’t know what to do. Her barking continued unabated until he exited the front door.
Next came Chris, an overnight guest in from the country because of an early flight for a ski holiday. She, too, is dog owner, and horse owner. Crystal took great exception to Chris, barking without end. We tried ignoring, enouraging, putting her in the bedroom, and finally I held her tight on the sofa across from Chris. Crystal stared her down, breaking out into barking with each movement Chris made. This went on for 2+ hours.
The next morning, as Chris and I got up, Chapter Two. Horrible unabated barking while Chris showered and packed up. I tried calming Crystal in the other room, without success. Tenant came upstairs to complain. “I don’t know what to do”, was all I could offer.She owns a Great Dane x Akbash. Quiet Scoobie.
We exited the house, me barely dressed, unwashed etc, under a wave of frantic barking.
When I returned alone, Crystal was her sweet loving self. Until mid-morning, when Brad came up from downstairs.
“You have to stop that barking,” he said, and vowed he’d get herstopped in two minutes.
He proceeded to do the Cesar Millan “submission hold”, pinning Crystal’s legs and neck on her side until she “released”. Then he straightened out his arm, placed her legs-up along it, and she went limp.
“See, she’s perfectly relaxed.”
And, I had to admit, she WASN’T barking. A couple hours later, Brad brought Scoobie and a dogwalker with a boxer and one laid back minpin to the house. When Crystal tried to hide behind a chair, Brad yanked her out into the group, and said I have to “socialize the hell out of her, and show her who’s boss.” Again, I had to admit she wasn’t barking, and the second she started to growl, Brad poked her and sounded a Cesar “zzzzzzzzzzt”. Even tho many websites dismiss this method as incorrect, I couldn’t argue with the result – no barking.
The next day, Roch (whom Crystal has seen several times) and Eric arrived to tile the bath. Those four days Crystal barked everytime they went in or out the front door, to wetcut the tiles. It wasn’t a “hello” bark, it was more of a snarl. I tried saying “no”, I tried positively re-inforcing the moments when she stopped.
To be continued…