BARK stops here, the

Ryan - The bark stops herePUBLISHING YEAR: 2000

SUMMARY: A set of tips to help reduce your dog’s nuisance barking.


01 Owner



The author: Terry Ryan is a widely read and prolific author of short, practical dog behaviour manuals. She is a well-established reward-based trainer.

Style and contents:  The book focuses on the symptom (barking) and works its way back to the any possible causes and solutions. An elegant approach.

It provides you with a micro-mini-nano-midget-pocket manual to barking cases: fifty short pages. It covers the usual motivations behind the barking, and breaks down the rehabilitation steps you could take to address it.

The gems

  • The illustrations were professional, funny, and informative.
  • The chapter on determining the likely cause/motivation shows an elegant process to pin point the root cause of the barking (p. 2).
  • Great tips on how to keep dogs quiet when you teach group lessons (p. 48), including the fabulous yoghurt cup muzzle (yup, you can guess what that is).

Possible points for optimization

Some advice was based on personal beliefs than solid reasoning, and smacked of, you’ve guessed it, the pack theory. Things like advising to eat before your dog does (p. 41), an excessive reliance on the NILIF protocol (Nothing in Life is for Free), empty references to leadership and exhorting the reader to get help if they have a… ‘dominant dog’ (p. 43). Of course, the book was written in 2000 and I am unaware of Terry Ryan’s views today. Besides, these views make sense in practice if you replace ‘being a leader’ with ‘giving boundaries’.

There are brief references to how the dog should behave in typical triggering situations like a walk (p. 46), but no step-by-step instructions on how to get there. You’d be forgiven for thinking it can be achieved just by wishing it very hard.

Using the gentle leader to shut the dog’s mouth was borderline disrespectful to the dog in  my view, as I have a more hands-off approach to behaviour. Having said that, don’t judge a man before you’ve walked in his shoes for a few miles and all that.

The verdict: This one’s a keeper. Whether you’re a professional after a condensed approach to help you crack a barking case, or whether you’re an owner who wants a few seconds of silence, you’ll find something in it. It is not exhaustive, nor does it claim to be, but it will give you a structured process as you work your way to the solution.

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Author: Ryan Terry
Genre: professional manual
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