Please Don’t Bark! (continuation of “The Big Test”)

AKC Test CollieWe came back into the building just as it was our turn. Into the ring we went. First heeling, then greeting a friendly stranger with a dog, sit, down, stay, come when called…Reese did perfect! She was attentive, well behaved, she made me proud!

Then it was time for our down-stay. The evaluator sat in a chair in the middle of the ring and I asked Reese to lay down next to her. “Please don’t bark, Reese,” I said, then I gave her a firm “stay,” handed the evaluator the leash, and left the room. With my fingers crossed, I waited. The seconds slowly ticked by. One minute. Two minutes. We’re going to do it!

And then I heard it. A bark. Oh no. Another bark. Please Reese, no more. But it was too late, I could just picture her, staring at the evaluator and asking her to play by bark-bark-barking. Sure enough, 3 grueling minutes were up, I walked into the room and Reese was sitting up, head back, barking her head off. I approached the evaluator and she apologized but said she could not pass Reese, she shouldn’t bark that much. I know…

Disappointed and frustrated, I packed Reese and Elsa into the car and we left without a certificate. But I wasn’t defeated. Prior to leaving I learned a little trick on how to stop a dog from barking. A trick that seemed so easy, it was almost too good to be true. We retake the test in 3 weeks. This time, we’ll be ready…and Reese will be quiet…

AKC Training with Reese

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