Welcome to The Levi and Cooper Chronicles. I'm the 'Cooper' and my baby brother is the 'Levi.' We're not siblings in the literal sense of the word. He's a miniature schnauzer and I'm a miniature poodle but our differences go far beyond our breed. You see, I'm the famous angel dog who blogs from the Rainbow Bridge. Well, not famous down on earth but up here in doggie heaven all canines get to do whatever we like and I like blogging. We dogaroons up here can also gaze down through the magic water under the bridge and keep tabs on our humans. Isn't that cool! After I discovered the magic water, I decided that little Levi---who got adopted into the family shortly after my departure from earth---could use a guardian angel. When he blogs he types in pink and when I put my two cents worth in I type in blue.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bad Boy, Bad Mom

Over night, my good two shoes brother turned into a bad boy in training. He found his voice. Literally. And he decided that barking is fun. It started in the morning after he'd been outside when he found Dad still asleep. Bark! Bark! Bark! Translation: "Get up and play with me." He was thinking if he couldn't get the canine-to-human mental telepathy going right, he'd try something more direct. But Mom intercepted his action, shooed him out of the room and then she played with him in the living room. "Fetch. "Drop it." "Good boy."

Later on, Mom was helping Dad with his shower and Levi was in the kitchen behind the baby gate when he decided to try out his new vocals again. She ignored him and he laid down to contemplate what he'd done wrong this time. His first venture into Barkland had brought Mom running and all things being equal, she should have come running again. He couldn't figure it out.

The afternoon brought more barking. The hole he tried to dig, the stuffie that wouldn't move, the cut green bean our dad dropped on the floor all seemed like barkable situations to little Levi. But the big-time barking party came at puppy socialization class. He talked to the other puppies and they talked back before they all got freed from their leashes.

During the question and answer time at class Mom asked how she should handle my bad little barking brother and the instructor told her to ignore him when he's barking during play. When he's barking and not playing she's suppose to distract him by calling him over to do a 'sit' or 'down' and then give him a treat.

The instructor admonished Mom when she found out that Levi isn't being crated at night. To defend herself, she tried to explain that he is crated in the car with no crying or whining and he's as good as gold when she puts him in the laundry room behind a baby gate at night and when our humans go away. Still, no excuse was acceptable. Mom told Dad on the way home that they are too old to lock a dog in a cage with no food or water. If something happened to her, it might be two days before anyone found them since Dad can't dial a phone or go get help. At least with free-feeding and no cage, Levi would have a chance. Bottom line: Levi is going to make Mom into a liar at the next puppy class or she's going to flunk out of puppy parenting if she doesn't lie. Poor Mom! She wants a well-mannered dog but she questions if there really is only one way to achieve that. Except for his recently discovered barking skill, Levi truly is a goodie two shoes so my money is on Mom doing it her way. ©

Photos from puppy class


parlance said...

I agree with you about the crating! Hey, you're paying for the puppy classes (I assume). I'd just tell the teacher about your situation and that you can't crate him.
On the matter of the barking, we accidentally did something that worked a treat with Penny and barking. When she barked we would close the nearest door so that she was separated from us. She hated it. I'd stand on the other side of the door and wait for 30 seconds of silence and then I'd open the door and say 'good girl!' It worked beautifully.
Later I added saying, 'Stop that noise!" in my teacher voice as I closed the door in her face. (I was a teacher for thirty-five years, so that phrase came naturally to me!)
If I say, 'Stop that noise!' to her even now, three years later, she will immediately stop barking.

Maggie & Mitch said...

I can't give advice about teaching a pup not to bark seeing as mom constantly calls me Chatty Cathy! I'm a very vocal girl! I always have something to say! Good luck to you, Levi!

Love ya lots,

Emma the Golden Girl said...

and the Canine Kids said,
What adorable photos from puppy class.
Our Mom never crated us at night either even though every expert in the world says you should. Somehow we all survived and are housebroken.
We still love to bark!