a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Barkage

Saturday, April 03, 2021


SUMMARY: Who says what to whom and why?
From FB 4/2/21: A comment I left on a friend's post about how their dogs' barking patterns changed depending on who was home, dog or human.
4/11/21: Just added another paragraph (tagged inline). 

Dogs are insane. 

Chip barked enthusiastically at the dogs next door (next door on both sides of the yard) through a solid wood fence (he'd look through knotholes until he saw them). Not quite in a fence-fighting way so much as tail wagging and fur not raised, but still very barky and I hated it. I ended up putting up a lightweight solid fence about six inches from the fence on one side to chill him down a bit. Worked fairly well--although only on that side.

Chip, peering through a knothole at the neighbor's yard and wagging his tail.

I adopted Zorro after Chip had been here for over a year and while the don't-bark fence was still up, and Zorro never barked at the dogs next door, and Chip was more minimal. For months and months after Zorro arrived.

Dog window in fence! Awesome!

Then, because I eventually took down the fence on that side because it was a nuisance and Chip's barking had calmed, Chip started barking at that side again as well as the other side. But Zorro--still months of nonparticipation.

The antibark fence along the side. It's black(ish) and behind things, so you almost don't notice it.

This is what it is: Construction "chickenwire" with water-resistant paper.
Eventually, the paper does deteriorate and it starts looking crappy. 
But it worked for no-bark!
(Can't see it, can't smell it up close: can't bark at it.)

And then one day when Chip was barking, Zorro plowed through Chip and took up ferocious fence-fighting barking, and from that day forward, it was Zorro who barked like crazy at the neighbor dogs, even if Chip weren't the initiator. (Chip would still do it, but Zorro would often push him out of the way and take over.) 

Added April 11-- Just found this post from 3 years ago:

April 11, 2018: OK, for the nearly 3 years that Zorro has been here, he has not obsessively barked at the dogs next door. Chip has done that always given half a chance.  So--why this week has Zorro decided to take over that job?  🙁  (Chip the tattle-tale, was just in here letting me know that Zorro was misbehaving. Interesting dynamics around here.)

[I hope that I have photos of Zorro barking at the fence. Haven't found any yet, but I have *so many* dogs-in-yard albums without any tagging on the photos. But in the process I rediscovered an album with a ton of photos of Chip running through his tunnels. Which I then spent an hour editing and posted on Facebook. (No idea whether that link will work for anyone.) Not barking related, but such happiness!]

Since Chip died last June, Z has shown less and less interest in barking at the fence, and the few times when he does, it's for just a couple of seconds and then he's done. Was he taking care of Chip? Was he just trying to prove that he was tougher than Chip? Did he think that was a game for the two of them to play?

But he does bark to let me know if a dangerous entity is approaching my door, or parking in my driveway, or if a monstrous delivery vehicle (say, Amazon, UPS, ...) is threatening us anywhere on the street.

Dog minds are endlessly fascinating. 

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