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Shut Up, Rover!

Advice on how to debark your dog.

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Under the new code, dogs would be allowed to bark for only ten-minute stretches by day and five minutes at night. “Before you know it, Bloomberg will ask the birds to stop singing,” says Riverdale’s Bash Dibra, author of Dogspeak. Logan Hill spoke to Dibra about how to prep your pooch.

Can a dog learn when his five minutes are up?
No! You just can’t put dogs on a meter like they’re parked cars.

So how do you avoid a ticket?
You want to create positive short-term experiences for your dog. Leave the apartment for two minutes, then more. When the dog starts barking, come back and say, “No, be quiet.” But don’t reward him—people send mixed messages. Just put your hand over his muzzle and say, “Don’t bark.”

What else?
If the dog starts barking late at night, put him on a leash. He’s alerting you that something’s wrong, and you’re telling him that everything’s okay—you’re still in charge.

Aren’t there barkless dogs—like seedless grapes?
Some people say the African basenji is barkless, and we might see New Yorkers buying those. But they actually yodel and make a crying sound: woo-woo-woo-woo.

What about electric-shock collars?
The shocking only creates more anxiety, and sometimes it fries a dog’s brain. If you really like gadgets, you can use a water spritzer. But the only way to permanently stop barking dogs is to remove their larynx.

How do you do that?
You don’t do that! It’s inhumane!

What’s the solution, then?
There is one dog that you can teach to bark for exactly five minutes—it’s a robot.


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