Thursday, May 04, 2006

Why The Bark Collar Doesn't Work on BugEyes, and Other Important Tidbits

Suzie & Clew brought up an excellent question the other day: Why not use a bark collar on BugEyes? I do. It doesn't even phase her. If there was a way I could crank the voltage up, I would. Apparently the manufacturers were aware that some owners would get frustrated when the collar didn't curb the barking, and saw little dogs being electrocuted all over the U.S. So they wisely didn't leave the controls in our hands.

Instead, BugEyes wears the collar, and when she sees an occasion that is worthy of barking (such as a gnat walking on the ceiling in the next room) she will go into a conniption fit that sounds like this:

"Bark! Bark! Bark!" (then she gets shocked) "Yipe! Yipe" (pause) Bark! Bark! Bark!" (then she gets shocked) "Yipe! Yipe" (pause) etc...

The only solution is to either spend more time with her (beating her, perhaps? Or some inane form of positive reinforcement?) or locking her in a cage at the back of the house where her endless yapping doesn't drive me nuts. And if you're mad at her, and yell at her and grab her to put her in her cage, she may lose all control and pee. The Dog Whisperer would be stumped, trust me.

She is actually a very sweet, loving little dog. She's very loyal, and would obviously make a good watchdog for a nervous little old lady who is afraid of gnats.

Of course there are the tear stains. She gets these nasty slimy dark ox-blood colored stains from her eyes down to her mouth. They tell me it's something that you can't prevent, it's natural, and it's found often in the Maltese (she's a malti-poo but looks exactly like a Maltese). Why, oh why didn't they tell me this before I bought her?

I've tried everything on them, including a kit the vet's office sold me. I guess I'm just not dedicated enough, because I don't want to spend the rest of my life scrubbing her eyes every night with a caustic solution. So, we make do with the stains. Attractive, it isn't.

By now, you probably are seeing this:

Come to think of it, that's pretty accurate.

Anyway, everyone else tells me that she's a wonderful little dog and I should be grateful that I'm so lucky to have her. Strangely, no one has taken her home with them ... yet.


Grant said...

My dog was very smart, but made a terrible watchdog. She was actually stolen several times, although she always managed to chew through her ropes and return home. I solved that problem by putting a lock on the gate. People were willing to steal my dog, but couldn't be bothered to jump the fence to get to her. Note - this was not a purebred, she was a mix of German Shepherd, Bloodhound, and Chow.

mckay said...

i've thought the dog whisperer could make a whole reality series around my mutt-o-mixes.

re: the tear stains...just put her in a little doggie football jersey. she'll look great!

Heather said...

Yipping dog all day would drive me absolutely up the wall.

I work with a women who has 2 small dogs and we'll be on a conference call and they will start barking - it's so embarrassing. We have to stop the call so she can yell at them or put them in another room. I feel for ya.

clew said...

Awwe. Well, it was a good suggestion though! Some dogs are just vocal, I guess.

My dog's just the opposite. While he'll moan and grumble like Chewbacca sometimes, he VERY rarely barks. We had to teach him to ring a bell on the door to go out because he'll just stand there quietly and if no one noticed he'd just pee right there. And this is a big dog. LOL!

This is maybe a small dog affliction. My folks had some kind of dachs/spaniel mix who loved to let out a shattering bark underneath the table in the middle of a quiet dinner. We had to scrape ourselves off the ceiling many times. ;)

Paul said...

We had a half Sheltie, half Mutt that barked like your dog. Believe it or not, I watched her attack falling leaves—yapping all the way. Oh, and sparrows in flight. Shadows. Doorbells. Knocks. Other dogs. Cats and squirrels, of course. Sirens. Honking horns. Things that go bump in the night…you name it.

When she had about 5 years left to live, she went deaf and barked again no more. Hallelujah!!

Ed Abbey said...

Do vets do elective surgery on pets? I was thinking about vocal cord removal.

Fortunately, my dog Ted didn't learn to bark until he was five or six years old. But when he died a couple years later, I sure wished I could hear his bark again.

KristieD said...

my parents had a dog once that was dognapped. but he was such a pain in the ass, the people who stole him, brought him back and said they 'found' him.

EmmaSometimes said...

oh saur, you crack me up. I haven't owned a dog, but I can only imagine.

by the way, I would LOVE your opinion on this little diddy. Unbelievable.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Emma, I gave you a very lonnnnng opinion on it. ;o) The guy's a common troll, hon. Don't waste your brain space on him. I'd lay odds it's definately a "he", BTW.

KristieD, Like "The Ransom of Red Chief" by O Henry (one of my fave short stories)! They'd def give back BugEyes, that's for sure!!!

Ed, I've considered vocal chord removal, but I'm being told that's cruel(???) by my boyfriend. Additionally, so far she came to me at $650 (to buy her) plus spaying fees and vet fees. She's easily cost me over a grand so far and she's only 2 years old. Do I want to sink MORE money into this poor investment?

Paul, if only there were a way to deafen her... Maybe I could make her little doggy earmuffs...

Clew, Maybe it IS a small dog affliction. They're so... whiny, needy, nervous, inbred... BoBo is very calm most of the time and rarely barks.

Heather exactly! And I don't want to be like that woman!!!

McKay, :D I never thought about the jersey angle. Maybe that will solve the appearance side of it...

Grant, how odd! Why do you think they wanted YOUR dog so much? Looks? Temperment? Have you ever thought to get her chipped or tatooed?

Jenn said...

My dog has some issues I would be amazed to see that dog whisperer fix. He seems to have this telepathic communication with dogs, and I wonder if the owners can really keep it up after he leaves.

Reverberate58 said...

My mother, bless her, got it into her head many years ago that she wanted a maltese. So being the good kids we were the 5 of us pitched in and bought her one. Then spent the next two years in dog hell. It is in their nature to bark at anything. Your gnat is a great example. We finally found her a new home with someone who had more time then we did for training. She was a handful. I sympathize with you!

Notsocranky Yankee said...

Wish I had a good suggestion for you, but those little dogs are always "yippy" aren't they?

Here's my best shot anyway...Does she sleep in a dog kennel? When I bought my first dog, the breeder told me the kennel is a great place for dogs because they feel safe there and they will not go to the bathroom where they sleep. Maybe you can put her in one of those when she is acting up and reward her with a biscuit when she quiets down. That way she won't pee while being punished.

p.s. Sorry I've been so bad with the comments lately. I read as much as possible but I just came home from 6 days on the road and I don't always have time to comment. I'm still here though:)

The Lazy Iguana said...

Rubber bands around the snout ought to work.

Senor Caiman said...


I showed compassion when you revealed you had serious hair product issues in the painting but I can’t just stand idly by while you make a mockery out of what the best-dressed dogs are wearing this year. I’m not far removed from a dog so I know that a dog wouldn’t be caught dead in a plaid sport coat this year, maybe in a sport thong but not a sport coat. May I suggest some spring pastels for the upper body cover-up?

Since you are fashion challenged let me tell you what I think looks hot a middle-aged, hot-bodied woman with hair issues, one of those long patterned skirts with the decorative Belgium lace with a tight white tank top. Aaaarh

No need to thank me, just make the changes. The dog is so embarrassed she can’t think straight.

Bryan said...

Saur, you probably wouldn't consider doing this, but we have a Beagle that just wouldn't shut up so we had her de-barked. We put off doing it for years but finally the neighbors called the cops and complained (her barking got on our nerves too) about her incessant barking, so we had to do something.

My first idea was to give her away to a good home, but my wife and child wouldn't hear of it so the only option left was to have her de-barked.

What a difference it made. Now there is actually peace outside our house and the neighbors don't want to shoot us now. Sure, some of the cuteness factor is gone because when she wasn't annoying anybody with her bark and growl the sounds she made were cute. But at least my daughter still has her dog.

Scott said...

Hey I heard that you can take your dog to a canine shrink that can prescribe meds that will tone them down with the barking.


Jamie Dawn said...

Barking, yipping doggies drive me batty!

The tear stains would also drive me batty.

Our huge dog slobbers and that drives me batty too!!

Ed Abbey said...

You paid for a dog! All my dogs have been free. They just show up at my door looking for a good home and I give them one.

mckay said...

have you tried a spray bottle filled with a mix of apple cider vinegar?

what i really recommend is one of these. It works GREAT on my shepard. It works two ways: you yell “NO!” and it sends out a dog-only-hears-it high pitched sound that they hate or you can put the unit w/in 10 feet of where they hang out and it will work automatically. A little red light goes off when the sound activates so now my shep is afraid of the red light on my remote control for the tv! But she’s quiet…

Flynn Hoadley said...

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All the best,
Flynn Hoadley
Petsafe Dog Bark Collar