There’s a couple of pooches next door that really do have me barking mad. They start yapping at the drop of a hat and to make matters worse, their idiot owner howls and woofs at them . . . which of course sets them off even more.
So when John Clarke came up with his new Barking Dog Blaster last month, I couldn’t wait to try it out!
And guess what? It seems to work!
Of course, nothing stops them when stupid is goading them. But at other times, if they start barking and I can race over and hit the “start” button quickly enough, more often than not they cease with the racket and look around to see where that infernal noise (to them!) is coming from.
Mr Pavlov, you might just have been on the right track!
Well, so far so good. But (isn’t there always a but?) the delay in getting up, going across to the start button and pushing it quite often meant that the barking had ceased of its own accord.
This started me thinking, what if it could be triggered automatically – for example, put a microphone and amplifier in it so then when it sensed a bark, it fought back.
However, when I discussed this with John he told me he was one step ahead of me – in fact, earlier versions of this device used exactly that idea.
The downside was that any loud noise would trigger it – neighbourhood kids, traffic, low-flying aircraft, thunder, you name it – and the at-the-time- non-barking dog in question would be somewhat confused by the screech from the speakers – was it directed at him or wasn’t it? Scratch that idea.
OK, if we couldn’t have it automatic, what about reducing the time between bark and blast, some sort of remote switch, which could be kept within easy reach, ready to hit on the first bark?
This idea had merit – so much so that we actually promised it at the end of the article in September (boy is that dangerous!).
But in this case we figured it couldn’t be too hard – and so it proved.