Assistant dog needs to get a handle on the barking

She’s barking.

Our assistant dog, Caicos, is barking in our backyard after I specifically told her not to. Bark, that is.

At first, she was barking way out near the fence of our backyard, so I couldn’t hear her as well. But now she is on the porch, and she’s still barking.

What she is barking at I don’t know. But it can’t be too important because Shilo, our German shepherd who is also in our backyard, is not barking.

Shilo is a dog of few barks. Shilo is sort of like (Warning: Horribly dated TV commercial reference that only old people will understand coming next) E.F. Hutton. When Shilo barks, people listen.

The only time I don’t listen when Shilo barks is when someone rings our doorbell. When our doorbell rings, Shilo immediately assumes that whoever rang the bell is desperate to be let in so they can pet her.

Shilo is not the best guard dog in the world.

But she means well.

Caicos, on the other paw, is convinced that anyone who even comes near our house wants to break in and steal her dog toys.

It would be nice, I guess, if Caicos barked at people near our house because she wants to protect us. But it would also be nice if a potential Supreme Court justice didn’t like beer more than I do.

So I’m thinking Caicos barks to protect her dog toys.

Our German shepherd Shilo and our assistant dog Caicos standing at our backdoor wanted to be let inside. Shilo is on the right and Caicos is on the left
Caicos on the right with her “I wasn’t barking, if that’s what you think” look. Shilo on the left with her “Yes she was” look.

The thing is I don’t want to be one of those neighbors with barking dogs. So what I do is let Caicos get a bark or two in edgewise and then I open the door and holler at her to stop barking, and she does.

For a little while.

Then she starts barking again. So I open the door and holler at her to come inside, which she also does. Then I holler at Shilo, who was not barking and had made herself comfortable under the shade of one of the maple trees in the backyard, to come in.

When I holler at Shilo to come inside, she gives me a look that says, “What did I do? I’m just sitting here. I was perfectly happy until three years ago when you brought that (bad word) dog into my world. This is all your fault.”

For a dog’s look, Shilo’s look is a heck of a look.

I suppose I could just not let Caicos outside every time she asks, but I can never tell if she really needs to go outside of if she is just messing with me.

By the way, Caicos does actually sort of ask to be let outside. When she was still a puppy, Caicos quickly understood that, when I pushed on the handle of our back door, it opened so she could go out. So then, whenever she wanted to go out, she would stand up and push down on the door handle.

The first few times Caicos did that, my wife; our daughter, Emma; and I all thought it was cute.

Then, after a while, we didn’t think it was cute. It was annoying.

Caicos has what I would call an active mind, so she gets bored easily. When Caicos gets bored, she looks for a cat to try to eat. Then she annoys Shilo for a while, and finally, she walks to the back door, stands up and pushes down on the handle.

If I ignore her — and I usually do —she runs back to me and gives me a look that says, “Hey moron, I pushed down on the handle. You know what that means, don’t you?”

Caicos has a pretty good look her own self.

So I get up and go to the door. But before I open it, I tell Caicos not to bark. Then I let her outside, and of course, she starts barking.

In her defense, those dog toys aren’t going to protect themselves.