Summer is here and so are all the barking dogs.

Two days ago was Memorial Day. Like every other day, I took my dog out for a walk in my typical urban neighborhood. It was a holiday and a nice day weather-wise here in Seattle. That means folks were out. Families were sitting in their yards, and front porches. And so were their dogs. As I walked along I heard dogs barking everywhere. I also heard a lot of  “No! Quiet! Come Here! Shut up! Tasha- NO!”  The humans yelling at their dogs were frankly more irritating than the dogs barking.

One of these dogs (let’s call her “Tasha”) was running/barking behind a small white picket fence. Her owner and a group of people were sitting in the yard. I asked the woman if it was ok if I gave Tasha a treat? She said yes. Tasha immediately calmed down. She went from a snarling, barking maniac to a friendly, begging wiggle-butt. The woman and her visitors couldn’t believe it. Really?

So, I have a project for all you folks with barking dogs out there… sit in your yard/porch (have a cocktail with you, if you like). Every time someone passes your house toss chicken/liver/hotdog at your dog. People pass, food comes flying from you. I don’t care if your dog is barking/snarling etc. just toss, toss, toss that food! Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. See what happens and report back to me.

This is generally an easy fix, folks. Stop yelling and start treating. It will make your summer much more enjoyable, really.

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