Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mini and the Air Horn

Mini sleeps in a crate overnight. I don't know how she was raised (I have my suspicions that she slept in a hoomin's bed), but as Mark has got allergies, we have a "no critters in the bedroom" rule to keep the hair and dander level minimized in there.

In the past few weeks, she has started to wake up in the middle of the night and, apparently, get bored. Instead of going back to sleep, she has started barking.

So the question becomes, what to do? Ignoring it doesn't work, as the barking will continue for minutes on end. Going and hollering at her is a form of attention, which is why she was barking in the first place. So rewarding the barking, even with negative attention, isn't going to resolve matters.

I finally remembered a cheap little air horn I got a year or two ago. It operates with a plunger, so it never "runs out" of air. I went and dug it out of where it was stored.

A couple nights ago, every time the barking started, instead of answering with my voice or by getting up to reprimand (pay attention), the only answer was FWEEEEE. Even then, it took a couple minutes before Mini realized that FWEEEE was the only response her barking was going to draw. She stopped.

Last night, at about four AM I heard AR! AR! AR! from the crate. FWEEEEE went the horn. No more barking. A couple hours later, another bark. Another FWEEE. No more barking.

I think she "gets it" now. :-)

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