Jump to content
BC Boards
geonni banner

Why all the barking?

Recommended Posts

I have looked at a fair number of videos of Agility and Flyball, and I am frankly horrified by the bedlam of barking. Especially at Flyball competitions. I can chalk part of it up to breed characteristics. I see lots of Shetland Sheepdogs and various permutations of Jack Russell Terriers. I never knew a Sheltie that wasn't a natural blabbermouth, JRTs too. But they can be taught to chill out. So why is it encouraged/ tolerated? Are the dogs quiet outside of the competition venue? Do they carry on during practice runs at home?

 

I see the same thing in Police Dogs in patrol cars. There is a steady stream of "Bark!... Bark!... Bark!" issuing from the back of the patrol car. Not a perp in sight. Car simply cruising through town. I was told by one person that the barking keeps the dog ready for action, so it is tolerated. OY! The patrol officers must have ears of steel, or very good earplugs! :rolleyes:

 

So why all the barking? And how do you, flyball handlers, etc. cope with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I echo your feelings, one of the reasons I would never play flyball with my dogs is the noise. At agility training we have one aussie that does not shut up, it drives both Brody and I slightly insane. Well me slightly and him lots. All the other dogs are well mannered with just the occasional woof. Oddly my trainer hates barking dogs in agility yet she seems un-bothered by flyball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dogs are not allowed to bark in their crates. I despise handlers who allow their dogs to bark like idiots in their crates and do nothing about it.

 

But in the agility ring? Whatever. If they bark, they bark. If they bark because they are arguing with me, that gets stopped immediately -- Luke will bark at me if things go wrong in Chances and I'm trying to send him back out and he's not immediately clear on where he's supposed to go.

 

In general, Luke barks when I'm a fraction late with a command. He's telling me I'm stupid, and he's right. He also barks coming down the dog walk because he doesn't enjoy stopping, which he is supposed to do. He'll also bark in the weaves sometimes -- or usually more of a grunt/whine due to the effort he's putting into them.

 

I don't think Kaiser has ever barked in the ring at a trial. Sometimes in training he gets really hyped up and makes the cutest noise.

 

Secret is a barky, barky dog -- But not so much in agility yet.

 

So long as the dog's barking doesn't interfere with the task at hand, I don't do anything about it.

 

Truthfully, if it were ONLY the dog in the ring barking at trials, it wouldn't be annoying. But when you have 50 dogs on the sidelines barking, it gets a bit out of hand. So lesson learned -- Keep your dogs quiet in their crates. If you can't, crate them in your car. I've done that -- Luke used to be just HORRID when I first started to run Kaiser in trials. So I put him in the car before it was Kaiser's turn. I think he figured it out, because now Luke can stay in his crate at trials and doesn't make a sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, the barking is one reason (perhaps the only reason) you will never find me at a flyball tournament. I can't stand barking dogs, even my own. As Karissa said, if it's just one dog barking on an agility course, that's one thing, but a whole group of dogs barking would send me 'round the bend!

 

Geonni,

There was a discussion about barking police dogs, but beyond remembering that it occurred on this forum, I couldn't even begin to tell you where to find it.

 

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In general, Luke barks when I'm a fraction late with a command. He's telling me I'm stupid, and he's right.

 

That's when Dean barks, too, not when I'm late, but when I am completely unclear and he has no idea where he's supposed to go. I'm happy to say he hardly does it anymore, which shows I'm improving.

 

I always laugh when he does it, though. I can see he's confused, he turns to me with a pointed look on his face and then, "WOOF!!" Just one bark, but it's rich with the tone of "What the HECK are you DOING?"!!!

 

I'm glad that neither of my dogs bark when they are doing Agility, but I am always happy when the dog ahead of Maddie barks on course. For some reason, she always runs with more enthusiasm when the dog ahead of her was barking. Bonus!!

 

Maybe that's why the Flyball people want the barking? Maybe the hyped environment increases the dog's speed and drive? I'm speculating. I honestly don't know. That much barking isn't my thing either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Geonni, one of our members competes at flyball events quite regularly, when she comes to the sheep and cattle trials her dogs are quiet, so it does not have to carry over. I've only gone to one agility trial, couldn't take the barking myself. One of my friends goes to an agility trainer near Des Moines, seems that barking is discouraged there too. When we were working dogs down south last weekend Ricky started barking in his crate when I went to work another dog, talk about simular to fingernails on the chalkboard, it did not last long.

 

Deb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dog barks on the flyball lane. I let him do it, it doesn't bother me. It means he's revved up and having fun. *shrugs* If it bothered me, I'd make him stop. He does not bark in his crate, only on the lane. I'd say 90 percent of the dogs on our team are also quiet in their crates, and the ones who act up are told to knock it off.

 

Alex doesn't bark during agility. I'm glad he doesn't, since agility requires more of me than flyball does, and it might be distracting? Sometimes if he's really excited, he'll give a little yip, but that's usually only in practice.

 

Oh, and he's overall a quiet dog at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found the barking at flyball tournaments very disconcerting at first, now there is a whole part of my brain that pretty much ignores it. Sometimes I put in ear plugs. Almost all the tournaments we go to are outdoors and that is much better than indoors. I would never encouraged my dogs to bark, I always try and keep them as quiet as possible when they are crated at tournaments right up until the race is starting, but all that barking just comes with the sport- my dogs absolutely love flyball to bits, they love to race other dogs, they love to tug and they go bonkers thinking about it. The very idea that they will be racing or even practicing, gets them incredibly excited. If we're at home and I say "hey, who wants to do some box work?" They almost mug me trying to get to the door and be the first one outside. When we take them to practice, they start barking a block before we pull into the parking area. Obviously, if your dog is super excited, they will be running faster and be driving more than a dog that's indifferent or otherwise not very engaged with what's going on.

 

Anyway, some of the handlers that scream are really much more annoying than the dogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chase has done the barking on the agility course when my handling isn't up to his standards :rolleyes: That has all but stopped since I'm getting better and quicker at letting him know where he needs to go. And that didn't really bother me too much, maybe because I knew it would stop or at least decrease once we started working together. Or at least I hoped it would. (My aussie used to growl at me to get out of her way.) One thing that drives me insane, and I can't even believe I have one of those dogs, is a dog that barks on the sidelines while watching another dog run. I think it's because Chase is very hyped up. I don't like it at all and have been been working hard to stop it. First of all, I don't need him more hyped up than he already is and I think the barking feeds into his frenzy and I just plain can't stand his yappy bark. We're working on keeping him further away from the action and relaxing and he is making progress. If he is in his crate and watching, no barking! He is a very quiet otherwise. You don't even know he's in the house.

I have a friend who lets her GSD bark like mad while he's in her truck. All of her shepherds have been like that. ugh My GSD's never made a peep in the truck and neither do my current dogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll echo the above comments, my guy barks his head off in the lane, but nowhere else. It's a "get them all rev'ed up" thing that increases drive and performance. In the agility ring, unless I mess up and confuse the heck out of him, he doesn't make a peep. On stock, not a sound. When I let him out in the morning, he runs the back fence and barks once at the invisible squirrel, and I never hear him again all day. Overall, a very quiet dog, unless he's in the lineup. It's all part of the game, so I let him have his fun. As soon as the race is done, he relaxes and we walk off for a drink (quietly) :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose it is different for everyone but you will be surprised how hard it is to get a dog to stop barking. In many cases they are the very high drive dogs. In my case it has been months of me trying to build drive so I let the barking happen if it means she is motivated I seriously am happy to let her bark incessantly. Which is a big statement for me as my dogs are not allowed to bark at home, not even one warning bark, zip nada nothing. Luckily my dog will only bark/whine /every noise in between when training or shaping a new behaviour. She is dead silent while running a course except for the occassional what the hell are you thinking bark. I have a feeling my puppy is going to be a barker but I will see how she develops. It is just a vent of many dogs pent up enthusiasm. And if you are involved in the sports and it is your dog then you probably wouldn't have an issue with it. Saying that there is a fine line between barking on course and barking in a crate or whilst waiting your turn. That is just a nuisance. As for Flyball it would probably be something the dogs are feeding off each other. The atmosphere is ridiculously amped up and that is kinda what the handlers want, the barking just comes along with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyway, some of the handlers that scream are really much more annoying than the dogs.

 

I concur. I'd rather hear dogs bark than handlers scream. Unless the A Frame was on fire or something. Then the screaming would not bother me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maya is a barker, she mainly barks from excitement and honestly l let her if it is her turn in the ring (agility, we don't have flyball teams here), in fact the first thing that let me know she was having anxiety the other day during class was that she did not bark (normally her barking is somewhat of a mild annoyance) she really only barks when it is her turn or if she is bored and wants my attention when she is waiting (we do a lot of focus work when she is waiting). She will bark in a crate if I leave (we are working on being quiet in the crate). So honestly if it means my dog is super happy and ready to work then I will let her bark in the ring, she seems to bark as we are getting set up for a run or ready to do something (once again excitment and anticipation), once we are in motion the barking stops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oy. I never thought about that noise. Barking dogs push my dog inch by inch over his threshold into reactivity. (Well, pretty much any over-the-top noise does that, but barking dogs just give him an aim for his reactivity!)

 

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, Mary. Flyball=no place for a reactive dog. My Jackie would be an awesome flyball dog, but could NEVER handle the charged up environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm glad he doesn't, since agility requires more of me than flyball does, and it might be distracting?

 

Honestly, I don't even hear it when I'm running a dog. Most of the time if you asked me, "Did your dog bark during that run," my answer would be, "Uh.... I don't think so?" I'm always surprised when I watch the video back and hear how much Luke actually barked during a run. I guess I just tune it out.

 

I also don't tend to ever hear Kaiser screaming in the background. He has gotten so much better (thanks to the help of friends who "train" him while I'm running Luke) -- But I'm always surprised to hear him on video because I never hear him when I'm running Luke.

 

I don't know why/how I tune out these noises, but I overheard the announcer at Champs last year say that Luke was a "Sheltie cross" and it threw me off so bad that I totally flubbed up and we dropped a bar on a gorgeous run. Argh. Luke is a Lab/Shepherd and I was like, "Sheltie? A solid black 27", 80 lb Sheltie?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cressa will bark next to/near the agility ring. In the line up she is silent(unless the dog running made a mistake or is taking too ling then she might bark a little). Running the course she is dead silent. I just get evil looks or silent laughs if I mess up. And leaving the ring she is silent. The crate area she is quite. That and outside trial she is quite at.

 

I notice she will bark if:

1. Another dog makes a mistake on course or is just awful

2. I brought her over too early and she is bored.

3. If she is near the ring but can't see in.

4. If I talk to someone or sit still for too long.

5. If she wittness her cousin running. (He is a barker! ANd she will join in.)

 

Troy will scream in his crate if he is left behind. If I am there he is good or if Cressa is there he is good. Both of us leave... The world is gonna end. If he is leash near us he is ok. But in a crate seperated from us even if he can see us is torture. Oh and he whines on the line and all the wya to teh line. But runs quite and leaves quite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whim is a barker on course but if none of my gang carry on in their expen its corrected as quickly as possible as I dont like that. On course he barks with excitement and if Im slow in commands. The better I am the quieter he is. As long as he is listening we're ok, if he's arguing the run stops and we gather our brain and witts together and continue on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its loud yes, but when the dogs are barking in the flyball lanes it means they are hyped up and ready to go..I would never correct my dog in the lane when the whole point is that I WANT my dog hyped up and ready to go, not upset and nervous because they got a correction right before running! barking in the kenneling area is something else entirly and nobody in the club I was with allowed it, our area was always quiet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tweed had lots to say when he runs agility. He has lots to talk about when he played flyball too. At home, he also converses regularly.

 

Piper rarely speaks/spoke at agility or flyball, and neither does Dexter. Nobody has anything to say when they are in crates, the car or xpens at tournaments.

 

Agility with Tweed is an ongoing conversation at the start line / in class that goes:

 

Tweed: BARKBARKBARKBARKBARK

Me: Shut up. Shut UP! SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!!!

Tweed: BARKBARKBARKBARKBARK

 

It's been a very fluid discussion going on for about 8 years now. I think we secretly both like it.

 

Fortunately, since I speak very little when I handle, his barking is not an issue :rolleyes:

 

RDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago when I ran flyball with my dog, noise level was a big topic of discussion then too. Like someone else said, I was much more bothered by the screaming humans than I was the dogs, at least the dogs in lanes. I still hated dogs barking in their crates mainly because a lot of tournies tried to put the crate area away from the lanes so it was one place to get some peace and quiet.

 

Allowing them to bark while running is no different than people yelling at sporting events. Pumps up the adrenaline, simple as that. We didn't allow our dogs to bark inbetween heats and always tried to crate as far away from the lanes as possible to prevent it. If you think about it, let your dog be pumped up and bark all day long, its not going to have as much energy to run a good race.

 

For us, flyball was a short term sport. We only did it a couple of years, that was enough for us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I absolutely adore Flyball and two of my dogs compete (well one is in warm ups and the other is in training :rolleyes:). Most of the dogs don't bark during practice and if they do their owners quiet them... we do have a JRT who barks constantly but 1 dog out of 20 something isn't bad and her owner will stop her when she can. I've noticed that the dogs in their kennels at practice tend to bark less than the ones tethered to the fence (we practice in a softball field so they're not unattended). I do NOT tolerate barking in my own dogs at home, in the car, at flyball etc except for the occasional yip :D However, there is such energy and excitement at Flyball tournaments that a lot of dogs go bananas... my dog that's in warmups will sometimes try and bark at tournaments when other dogs are racing...just one bark to let me know SHE wants to be doing that... LOL. Most of my teammates wear ear plugs. I haven't had to do that yet but I may if it gets bad. I wouldn't give it up for the world!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...