Re: Barking in obedience
To me in depends on what you mean by vocal. A bark here or there is not a big deal (actually it might even be looked on favorably as enthusiasm for the work), but constant barking or whining during the exercises can be a problem.
From experience, it's something you should suppress if you can. Our girl is a screamer. It's in her genes and she is high in the prey drive. We've worked on it, and worked on it and Anka is now to the point where she'll bark at the commands, but will remain quiet through the exercises. It is worse in the obedience during protection where the drive is even higher and is still an issue that we are dealing with. Working with food, which she has lower drive for, instead of her ball has helped.
I would agree that in general it's drive leaking. It's not necessarily that they're not thinking, but they're not putting 100% in the action, they're letting some of it go with vocalization. There are other ways that dogs do this besides vocalization. I've seen a couple dogs (mostly Mals, 1 Shepherd) that let their excess energy/drive go into chattering of the mouth, or quivering of the body. A vocalizing dog is generally more likely to break position and become imprecise.
Now that isn't necessarily a HUGE problem as long as it doesn't get out of control but if left unchecked, as the drive builds in the dog it gets worse. In competition a dog that barks or whines excessively WILL lose points for restlessness and lack of control, even if the exercises themselves are perfect. I've seen dogs get murdered in the OB (not as much in the protection) with the comment that the exercise needs to be more calm. They pass because the exercises are satisfactory but they lost a lot of style points. So I guess it depends on what your goals are, as to how much or if you try to alter the behavior.
Bianka vom Eisernen Loewen IPO3, CGC, TC 1-3-08
Cade vom Eisernen Loewen IPO1, CGC 3-25-09
D'Artagnan (Tag) vom Eisernen Loewen BH 2-2-10
G Aiko von Burkndeiros SchH 3, IPO3, FH, TC, KKL2 9-17-02 (Retired)
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.