One of the cool things about shopping on driveways is the way you can try things out for a comfortable sum of money. Perhaps I’m simply not a very daring person, but if I’m going to try something iffy, I prefer not to spend large sums to do so.
Hence my purchase on Friday of a device that purports to stop unwanted barking from your dog. For fifty cents.
I love my dogs, you know I do, but I’m the first to admit they can be loud. Zoe is quite vigilant and misses nothing. She monitors every passerby, every squirrel, every neighborhood cat, and lets us know they are there. Edward is alert as well, but he’s lost most of his hearing. So he depends on Zoe to let him know when to bark. I never worry about burglars sneaking in, even knowing that Edward at least would help them cart off the silver (if we had any).
So on Friday Judy and I were at a very nice sale. I was talking to the husband about music and looking through his fifty-cent LPs, and she was talking to the wife about dogs and such. We gathered a few items to buy, and she showed me a still-clamshell-packaged item. Bark Off, it said. I asked if she was going to buy it, but no, Buddy’s not a barker. She tossed it to me. Does it work? They didn’t know, hadn’t tried it on their terriers. Take it for fifty cents. Ah, they spoke my language.
Brought it home, wrestled it out of the clamshell. (We actually have special scissors for that onerous task.) Put in a battery, turned it on. The gadget is supposed to emit a high sound your dogs can hear but you can’t, which is a pretty sweet setup for a scam. And the reviews online are very mixed but definitely tend to the negative, that it simply doesn’t work.
Someone passed by the house, and the dogs barked. No reaction to the device. Heck, fifty cents wasted. Then something made them bark again, and Zoe immediately stopped. She looked around for whatever it was she heard, then came and laid quietly near me.
Same thing happened a couple more times. Then Edward barked at something and Zoe didn’t join in, so he stopped. And the rest of the day was quiet.
I could hardly believe it. On Sunday some people went by the house – twice – walking a couple of dogs, and my guys did not bark. Talk about the ultimate test!
I imagine a lot of dogs would not be deterred from barking by this thing, but Zoe is very sensitive to noises (we have to wrap her in a thunder shirt during storms and fireworks) and definitely smart enough to make the connection between her barking and the sound. I’ll leave the device off most of the time and just use it as an occasional reminder. She certainly did not react fearfully, she just stopped barking. My fingers are crossed that the effect will be long lasting, but any quiet day is a good thing.
I just wonder if I’m going to have to start worrying about burglars!