I’d Rather They Bark

My MIL’s dog Jonah is a yapper and really carries on. The fact that he’s hard of hearing doesn’t help any – just makes him bark all the louder, we think.

In anticipation of his being in her apartment downstairs, we borrowed a bark collar (one similar to this one, only not rechargeable) from a friend. We had misgivings about these collars, but our friend had used it successfully with his beagle, so we thought we’d try it. The collar, touted to issue a “mild correction” at the vibration of a bark, would be there in case his barking got to be too much.

Howie picked up a battery for it, but we weren’t sure how to turn it on/regulate it. There were no directions. Since Emma is a barker herself, we thought we’d try the collar on her and see if it worked.

It was horrible. She barked, then cried out loudly in pain and jerked back. Her cries made it “correct” (read: shock) her again, which only made her cry out again. It was horrible and I couldn’t get it off of her fast enough.

I felt so terrible at inflicting this pain on her! I bawled as I held her trembling body close to me and tried to calm her. Her heart was going a mile a minute and she was terrified. She had no clue what had happened, why she was hurting like that. It was just plain cruel.

We will never use one of these again, and will tell everyone who mentions wanting to try one to seek an alternative. There are collars which release a spritz of citronella, for instance, or others which issue ultrasonic tones – both of which are supposed to distract the dog without the cruelty of shocking it.

I still tear up when I think about the terrified yelps she made. I just felt really small at the thought of hurting my puppy-girl. She’s such a good girl, and hadn’t done anything wrong. 🙁 I think part of the reason it hit me so hard because of all the stresses these past few weeks, what with construction, my father, the impending scrapbook project, and all – it’s just been a doozy of a month or so, and I guess I’ve been repressing a lot. Once that tiny chink opened up in the emotional dam, it all came flooding out.

This entry was posted in Pets.

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