Tuesday, April 23, 2013

First Bark

Everyone is in a great mood this week (for many reasons) but one is that the sun is out and claims have been made that we should reach 70 degrees. This is big news in our area - gladly accepted.

As I have stated before, our sleepy town is growing and I am just amazed at all that it has to offer my puppy and me now, which it never offered Haddie and me. I have to remind myself that once we exhaust our zip code, I will have to branch out and go to the neighboring cities like I did with Haddie to give Kolby those experiences too.

Kolby and I hit adventures early this morning. We went to the new and improved, much larger, Ma and Pa hardware store and meandered through the aisles. It was so fun. Kolby loves to check in while walking, which makes it easy to keep him right beside me. Hoping this early training will stick and he will continue his awesome loose leash skill without fuss as he grows.

I keep visualizing an 80 pound, tall, handsome black dog next to me - perfect motivation. There is no way I can fib in not having a loose leash - this has to always be top priority.
I had him pose for this picture. You would think by now he would be used to the camera/camera phone as we have taken hundreds of photos of him in the short month and a half of being together. But, he can still be easily distracted by it. In this case, he would not hold his Sit for anything. My guy, who thinks Sitting is the only way to go through life, would pop up just as I got the camera up and ready.

Eventually I became the Human Pez Dispenser and held treats to continue to encourage Stay. He must have interpreted it as a form of teasing, although I felt they were being offered quickly enough, because he let out a Bark! right there in the cute home interior section of the store as he was looking at me. I gave a swift Don't correction and he did not repeat.

He has made an amazing turn-around in his barking. What started out consistent and often and annoying his first few weeks with us, he has learned to channel into a very quiet, don't-talk-unless-asked puppy. He has proven that he has really been showing restraint and working hard at maintaining silence, because today's outburst shows it is still in him.

Ohh, Kolby - your First Bark in public wasn't as embarrassing as I had imagined it would be, but let's keep this your one and only. Those treats will keep coming for awesome behavior, I promise.


  1. I had my first bark in public with my CCI service dog this morning... rather mortifying although I was alone on my walk and I think I'm the only one who heard it! He doesn't have a speak command, and nothing in the 2+ months I've been with him has been bark-worthy... until apparently a guy hanging out across the street? No idea what that was about, besides showing me that he can indeed bark sometimes. Needless to say, had to use the quiet command for the first time ever. So I sympathize with you!

  2. Sometimes I think a quick Bark is okay as a warning - maybe he sensed something with that person across the street. I know "technically" they are only to do it on command, but I don't know - I would kinda like a ONE-bark warning. Hopefully your boy will not make this a habit. =)