Oh that sound.  I grit my teeth as The Puppy Grady continues to bark inside his crate.  Just ignore him, I say to myself, he’s eventually going to stop. He’s had a long walk, eaten lunch, gone potty and still…




I can take it no longer.  “Quiet!” I yell and The Puppy Grady stops barking.  How I love the si-




The Puppy Grady is almost perfect.  He’s smart, puppy-funny, 99% housebroken and likes to snuggle.  Even Tucker, the elder dog-statesman of the house, approves of him.  But all my warm thoughts of The Puppy Grady instantly disappear when he barks, something that both amazes and irritates me.  It is a sound that I just can’t take.  In fact, I often refer to him as “The Protester” since most of his barking occurs while he is in his crate; crate time apparently being something with which he seems to disagree.


I thought I was crazy for being intolerant of my pup’s barking but, according to some information I read in Inside of a Dog, by Alexandra  Horowitz, I’ve concluded that maybe I’m not so crazy after all.  Here’s part of what she wrote:


…The bark is shouted.  While a calm conversation between two strollers in the park might register about 60 decibels, dog barks begin at 70 decibels and a stream of barks may be punctuated with spikes up to 130 decibels.  Increases in decibels, the unit of measurement of the loudness of sounds, are exponential: an increase of 10 decibels describes a hundredfold rise in the experience of the strength of the sound.  One hundred and thirty decibels is right up there with thunderclaps and plane takeoffs.

I now know why The Puppy Grady’s barking drives me nuts.

Still, the question of what to do remains.  A very knowledgeable dog trainer friend of mine said if I didn’t reinforce his barking (like opening the crate while he was barking, acknowledging him in any way, etc.), then he would eventually learn that barking doesn’t work.  Be patient and consistent, she suggested, and he will surely stop.


So while The Puppy Grady continues his protest, I’ll be patient and consistent.


And purchase some ear plugs.



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