Save My Dog!
July 24, 2007 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Save My Dog! I'm 3,000 miles away and my dad is gonna put her down because she's old and barks constantly when in the back yard and its pissing off the neighbors. He bought an 'anti-barking collar' (whatever that is) and if that doesn't work... any ideas?
posted by Gregamell to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
I'm afraid the big green will need some more info...type of dog...what area is the dog old, is the dog outside all the time?

There are probably several available options other than being put down.

Local rescue services, change in dog routine, etc.
posted by iamabot at 5:14 PM on July 24, 2007

I assume there's a good reason you can't take care of your dog yourself?

If your dad really can't (or is no longer willing to) take care of her, then I agree you may need to consider a rescue service. If she's a purebreed, many (most? all?) AKC breed associations have rescue services (here's the Scottish Terrier rescue, for example). They have rescue coordinators literally from coast to coast.

Even if she's not a purebreed, there should be local services you should be able to contact who won't put her down. Where is your dad/dog located?
posted by scody at 5:20 PM on July 24, 2007

I'm pretty sure an anti-barking collar is a collar that delivers an electric shock when the dog barks.
posted by GleepGlop at 5:21 PM on July 24, 2007

I have an idea: don't leave the dog outside in the backyard alone to bark all day. Most humane services, animal experts, dog whisperers, etc. agree that leaving the dog to yelp in the yard all day is inhumane and inappropriate. Just think - you are forcing the dog to stay outside, away from the family, and then (apparently) electrocuting it when it exercises its natural, normal response to that offense. If no one is home at your Dad's house to care for the dog during the day, I guess the options are:

-crate training (depending on age)
-take the dog and care for him/her yourself
-spend a few days with dog trainer to work on issues if you expect the dog to make un-natural adaptations versus the family making natural adaptations
-Really, I mean REALLY exercising the hell out of the dog so it has less pent up energy that leads to excessive barking (this has helped my MinPin a lot).

Myths about so-called outside dogs.
posted by bunnycup at 5:35 PM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]

Is she going deaf? My old dog went deaf and would bark from any loud noise she didn't witness the making.

Anyway, according to this advertisement for a stop-barking product, there are 3 methods used frequently to get a dog to stop barking.

1. Product advertised. Sprays Citronella scent in front of the dog's nose when she barks, which is unpleasant (but less unpleasant than getting a shock) for the dog. Dog ostensibly learns not to bark. Saw on old dogs and new tricks may apply.

2. Shock collar. Unpleasant for the dog. Dog ostensibly learns...

3. Debarking surgery. Interesting but potentially extremely unpleasant for the dog.

This page from the Sacramento SPCA has some tips on dealing with the issues associated with owning a barking dog. From the sound of it your father may not want to put the effort into the sorts of things suggested here, but maybe with the right presentation he could be brought on board.
posted by carsonb at 5:39 PM on July 24, 2007

If she is barking constantly, my guess is that it's because she's stuck outside in the back yard all day and is bored.

Fortunately, boredom is not terminal. In the short term, she needs more exercise, playtime and/or interaction with friendly humans or dogs. Dogs can be trained out of barking, but it takes patience - something I'm going to guess your dad is a little short on. Also, while it will not stop the barking, bringing her indoors once in a while will stop the neighbors from hearing her bark.

Given the fact that you're apparently unable to care for your dog, as a long-term solution I would recommend re-homing her with someone who is able to care for her. There are plenty of rescue groups around the country designed just for this purpose. If you post her general location (and breed, in case any breed-specific groups can help) I'm sure we can help you out.
posted by AV at 5:42 PM on July 24, 2007

Without knowing the full story.... Nth-ing dog rescue.
posted by matty at 6:28 PM on July 24, 2007

Call the local "whatever breed your dog is" rescue and ask them to foster the dog til you can get back. Um, NOW.
posted by _Mona_ at 6:31 PM on July 24, 2007

My dad had the debarking surgery done on our three English Pointers when I was a kid. All it did was make the dogs bark 5 octaves higher, which was, predictably, worse.
posted by 4ster at 8:54 PM on July 24, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. He is looking for another home for her. Email from my dad:

I have 6 calls. Two look very promising. One is a daughter, looking for a pet for her grandmother who lost her pet, and the other is from two gay guys, live in Chambersburg, looking for an inside dog. The grandmother has a house, and looks like a better choice, but Pebbles would be happy in either place..Wouldn't have Carly biting on her all the time. I gave her a bath to make her look presentable. Looks promising....
posted by Gregamell at 4:30 PM on July 25, 2007

Best answer: Pebbles just left for Williamsport. Family lives in the country, he's the outdoors type, big yard, kids are 4 and 6 and they all like dogs. They have a cat, told them if it didn't work out, to let me know and I'd take her back. Their Mom is home all the time, so Pebbles will have company. I think Pebbles will be much happier with a family, than me, who most of the week is gone all day. By the way, all of you are adults and I expect you to be a little more financially responsible for yourselves, than you have been showing, as of late. Dad
posted by Gregamell at 1:21 PM on July 30, 2007

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