When Dudley's barking proved to be a nuisance, his owner found a creative way to teach him how to whisper bark.
Dogs aren't always the quietest creatures. They tend to bark, especially when they're left alone or get excited. And while that's generally fine if you live in a house, Dudley the dog and his owners live in a college dorm. Barking definitely isn't okay in such an environment, so Dudley learned to whisper bark.
Brian Gertler and his wife adopted Dudley after the pup was born in a stranger's barn. But they didn't realize what an enthusiastic barker the dog was until after they got him home. They live in a college dorm at Illinois' Greenville University, where Brian is a resident director.
After quickly discovering that Dudley barked out of frustration when they weren't home, and also barked out of enthusiasm when he wanted to play, they realized that they had to make some changes. Some students even began to complain about the dog's barking.
Luckily, Brian stumbled on a discovery that proved to be the perfect solution.
Brian had been teaching Dudley tricks, and one of those tricks was to speak on command. When asked to speak, sometimes Dudley would get lazy, uttering a whisper bark. Brian tried rewarding Dudley with a treat or a ball each time he made this whisper noise, and soon Dudley had learned to bark - quietly.
Check out Dudley's new bark below.
My dog and I have to whisper when we're playing at night...
Posted by Brian Gertler on Friday, July 14, 2017
Dudley still barks at full volume sometimes, mainly when he's playing with other dogs. But he uses his whisper bark in the dorm, which the students all appreciate. No one has complained about Dudley's barking since he learned his new trick.
Dudley's story is an excellent example of the power of positive reinforcement training. It's also inspiring that Brian worked to find a solution to the problem and realized that he could modify and encourage Dudley's natural behavior.
Barking is a common training issue with dogs, but an approach like Brian's might provide a solution to other dog owners in a similar situation.
Does your pet know any unusual tricks? Tell us in the comments below!
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