Camping is the answer.

Rules About Dogs

According to Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Corps of Engineers Water Resources Development Projects pamphlet, your animals should not emit noises. To be precise, Rule 327.11 Control of Animals states in paragraph (a) “No person shall allow animals to bark or emit other noise which unreasonably disturbs other people.”  That is not as strangely written as you might first think. We have a parrot; she barks. She also emits other noises, but more on her later.

I bring this rule up, because while we saw and were around many perfectly behaved dogs on the camping trip, there was one dog across from us that barked her head off. Now, don’t get me wrong; it was not her fault. Her name was/is Bailey. I know that because her owner yelled it about 857 times. He followed her name with “shut up” or “quiet.” None of this worked.

We are dog owners too. We aren’t camping with our animals yet, as Steph has her hands full with me, We aren’t quite ready to add the menagerie. While Steph would argue that I let our dogs behave like heathens, I would tell you they are all Canine Good Citizen graduates, but they do have a bit to learn about camping as they have never been camping either. I have added a couple of photos – one is of a beautiful boxer with perfect manners, always leashed (as he should be) except when I snapped this photo as he had just jumped off his person’s boat. His name is Lefty and he is awesome and never barked once and was very docile and friendly. He did pee a little on Steph’s foot, but I saw that as a sign of love and wanting Steph to be his. And the pamphlet has no rules about peeing on people.

photo of Lefty

I have also added a photo of two of our three dogs as I figure you may want to get to know the crew. Oliver is the big brown one on the left. He barks at inappropriate times. Mack is on the right. Mack only really barks if the other two start, and he often is facing in a different direction. He is too short to see out the windows of the house, and really doesn’t care enough to get up. He just barks for the camaraderie.

photo of dogs
Oliver & Mack

So, back to the rules of dog barking: it is not allowed. As an alert to danger, yes. Incessantly while an owner yells at the dog: NO! Let’s think of it this way. Your dog is barking. You start yelling at him/her. Yelling sounds an awful lot like barking, so could it be that in a dog’s mind, your yelling equates to barking and now it is just one big happy cacophony of noise!

So, better options:

  • wear your dog out – walk, jog, hike, swim or use mentally stimulating puzzle games. All would all be better than yelling.
  • redirect your dog – have them get a toy or play fetch. As soon as Oliver starts barking Sammie Girl the parrot says “Oliver! Get your ball!” It is very hard to bark with your mouth full.

Don’t get me wrong, our dogs (my dogs according to Steph) are not close to perfect, but I realize that and thus left them in the able hands of our pet sitter while I was out learning to camp. My dream is one day to camp with the pets – but we need to work up to that.

So know the rules are there to make all of our adventures better, safer and more peaceful!

Now – Get Out & Go!!

Love, Jen, Oliver & Mack

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