Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Calling Cesar Milan

Cesar Milan, where are you?  Henry continues to see the rake as his enemy.  Out of kindness to my neighbors I attempt to train the guy to stop barking as long as I think they can tolerate the barking, then in the house he goes.  Ah, the silence.  What is it about a rake, a broom, a shovel, a hoe?  They are good and trustworthy tools.  This is a continuing challenge.  So, someone is not getting the training right .... could that be me?
  1. A viewer reassurance:  No rakes were harmed in the filming of this video.
  2. A viewer warning:  This could be Henry's Blair Witch Project video.


Now he is asleep on the floor next to the fireplace, exhausted from his rake attacks.  I am searching for Cesar during his naptime.  Training help please!  So far today I've emptied his favorite container of healthy treats - and am into the second tier of training goodies.  Cesars "tssss" and poke trick isn't making an impact either.

Maybe rakes really are evil and Henry is right.  Maybe I should not go back outside. Or at least, not go back outside alone.  After all, there is a rake out there.  The dead oleander and the 30 years of mulch accumulated around its base have waited this long.  What is another year or two when considering my safety?

Maybe I'm looking for an excuse.  Oh-my-gosh.  I cannot believe I forgot the skinned raw chicken leg popcicles.  They keep him entertained all the way through defrosting!  Crud.  There went my avoidance reasoning. Come on Henry.  Back at it.

From Cesar:  Sue -  read this over and over until you get it right!

photo credit: Warner Brothers
  •  Correct dog problem behavior and follow through. Tell your dog to stop barking using a look, a sound, or a physical correction. But don't stop there. Your dog may pause and then go right back to what he was doing. His body relaxed, but his brain was still on alert. Be patient. Wait until your dog completely submits before you go back to what you were doing.
  • Stay calm when trying to stop dog barking.
  • Constant barking can be irritating, but you won't be able to correct the dog behavior problem if you are frustrated. Animals don't follow unbalanced leaders. In fact, your dog will mirror your energy. If you're frustrated, he will be, too! And barking is a great release for that frustrated energy. Take a moment to curb your own internal barking first. 
  • Stake your claim to stop the barking. Is your dog barking over and over again at the same object, person, situation, or place? Then you need to step up and claim that stimulus as your own. Use your body, your mind, and your calm-assertive energy to create an invisible wall that your dog is not allowed to cross. Do it with 100% dedication and focus, and the results may surprise you. 
  • Stop the barking by challenging your dog mentally and physically.
  • Excessive barking is often the result of pent-up energy. If this is the case, the solution is simple: release that energy in more productive ways. Does your dog receive a daily walk? Can you make the walk more challenging with a bicycle, a backpack, or by walking on an incline? Can you provide more mental challenges, such as herding, agility training, or simple obedience games? There are many, many ways to increase the challenges in your dog's life. Find one that you enjoy that your dog can participate in safely.
So, I just want to say, "Thank you Cesar."  I read and reread and it was all I needed.  There has been a huge improvement.  Either I finally am doing what I should - or Henry is so tired from barking that he has given it up temporarily.  Either way - I'm going to pretend I'm doing it right.  That allows me to quit for the night with a feeling of accomplishment.


  1. I don't care what Caesar says you're not unbalanced at least not totally. I think Dr. Sadler has the solution.

  2. Slightly trickier (and more annoying for you) solution.

    Have the rake around A LOT, inside and outside, until he figures out that it is just a "normal" think like a chair. Of course, maybe this will make him start attacking other normal household items.......

  3. Great idea. And, bonus! If I limit it to inside 100% of the time I don't have to use it in the garden. Life is good.