April 25 2010

Roscoe’s Barking Balance

So anyway, I’ve mentioned here before that Roscoe has this weirdo thing he needs to do pretty much every night. I call it ‘Getting His Barks Out’. Usually around 7PM he’ll come up to me and just stare at me with this desperate look. I know what it is. He has to bark. But he won’t bark unless I give him the greenlight which is either me barking at him first or blowing in his face. Either one will set it off. Then I’ll sort of push him around or talk to him or whatever and he just barks and barks and barks. I’ll say, ‘Get em out… Get em all out…’ And he’ll bark bark bark. Until I’ve had enough and then I give him a treat. Barks out.

I’ve wondered if it’s pent up frustration over the fact that he can’t talk. Or maybe it’s just his idea of conversation. I don’t mind it once in a while but for years now he’s had this barking issue. But recently, I decided to not give in every time he requests to bark. Sometimes I’ll deny the bark. To let him know that he’s not the boss of me. Plus, it’s annoying alot. So for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to train it out of him. One night barks. Next night– no barks. Or less barks. Or whatever. I don’t feel bad about it because he’s the friggin luckiest dog in the world (except for the no-balls thing).

Anyway, once in a while Roscoe will get in a fight. I always break it up right away of course. And he’ll very rarely start the fight. It’s usually some a-hole dog who keep biting at his back legs or trying to flip him on his back or something. Missing the f-off signals. Rarely, any bites happen at dog park. This is sort of like bullshit posture fighting. There’s a stage before they actually want to do damage and go into the red zone.

But here’s the thing, when I took Roscoe off his barking ritual– he started getting in more fights. And last week, he started a fight with some dog that I wasn’t being a dick! (yet) I just saw Roscoe kind of— be the dick! Just launched in! I took him out of the park right away and was like, ‘WTF dude! Pre-emptive strike?! That’s not cool! It kind of freaked me out.’ (Although I do believe that dog was probably gonna be a dick soon).

The only other thing that’s changed recently is his bark denial. So I immediately reinstated Roscoe’s 7PM barking schedule. I let him get his barks out as per usual. And for the past three days there’s been no fights at all. He seems happier. I honestly believe that pent up whatever that involves getting his barks out leads to an emotional stability and drains aggression.

So I guess I’m stuck with it now. Roscoe doesn’t really ask alot of me so I figure if this is something he needs– I should just give it up. Because if the alternative is him being the dick dog at dog park and starting unnecessary fights… then it’s me that’s actually being the dick.

ok bye!

PS. Magnets are in the mail. + Here’s a video a made a while ago of Roscoe barking to Radar…


oddtodd7 says:

fuck test

Anonymous says:

I would love to see a video of that ritual.

oddtodd7 says:

Thanks for the suggestion. I posted one up..

hebba says:

Dude? You listen to Britney SPears? You’re a 40 year old guy for crying out loud! It’s like Rosco isn’t the only one without a set! 😉

oddtodd7 says:

lol actually..

Your neighbors says:

Yo, the “bark it out” ritual…not cool. Some of us have day jobs and like it quiet. And, can you cool it with the britney. This ain’t chelsea. yeah. thanks.

Anonymous says:

eh, forget your (fake) neighbor, he can be a good neighbor and put up with a mild day-hours annoyance

amber says:

it’s probably a good bonding experience too! barking with him and playing for a little while. it’s like a kid, you know? you gotta talk to those pups!!

Cross says:

Maybe roscoe is just barking to get the treat….

Sunny says:

‘On your radar’ not ‘operator’, listening to it here suddenly it made sense after all these years.
Isnt doggie park for dogs to bark and get doggie anger our?

Anonymous says:

Roscoe is a dope 🙂

Anonymous says:

we’ve had retired racing greyhounds for years now, and they have a daily ritual. as dark approaches they stand by the back door anxiously awaiting being let outside to run. the hounds race like hell for 10min and then come sleep for 15hrs. curled up like a cat. people don’t realize how little space, time, and care these dogs need. anyway, without their few minutes as darkness approaches, they are prone to barking and nervousness. maybe roscoe just needs to go outside for a few minutes to unwind before nightfall?

R N says:

Looks like Roscoe has some anger issues. Good thing that he is doing something about it.

Mr Bill says:

If you didn’t want noise you should have gotten a snake or some fish. Dogs bark, chew, pee and sh!t everywhere. It’s what they do.

Try this, let him bark once for his treat and give it to him. That’s all he wants is the damn treat anyway.

Al says:

As a multiple dog owner, i’d have to say just let the lil’man bark. So long as its in a semi-structured manner as it seems to be. With the younger pups (which roscoe still still pretty much is) I always considered it a good day so long as nobody ate anything of mine.

Katherine says:

This is so funny to read! My cat meows for about ten full minutes every morning. For no reason! She just waits until I’m awake and just mews and mews and sort of makes these weird cat “almost-talking” sounds for a while while I pet her and play with her and her string toy. Then she’s fine and quiet the rest of the day. No idea why. She’s a healthy and happy cat; I think she just needs to talk it out every day. When I’m out of town, she’ll do the same thing with my friends who cat-sit.

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