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Sing along undesirable - advise needed!


RP3
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As some of you already know, I have been playing the Anglo for better or worse since 1996. I have acquired some wonderful instruments and even enjoy practicing. But something unexpected has drastically affected my relationship with the concertina. In late July, I brought home a wonderful furry new friend - our latest Australian Shepherd - Fintan. And to my shock, when I took my concertina out for some long overdue practice, with the first note my playing was immediately accompanied by the joyful howl of my puppy dog. I tried different pitch models, I tried moving to the other end of the house from the dog, but his impeccable hearing allowed him to chime in no matter where, no matter when. Since that day I have not been able to play a single tune unaccompanied. What do I do - short of parting with our otherwise adorable pooch?

 

Ross Schlabach

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10 hours ago, RP3 said:

As some of you already know, I have been playing the Anglo for better or worse since 1996. I have acquired some wonderful instruments and even enjoy practicing. But something unexpected has drastically affected my relationship with the concertina. In late July, I brought home a wonderful furry new friend - our latest Australian Shepherd - Fintan. And to my shock, when I took my concertina out for some long overdue practice, with the first note my playing was immediately accompanied by the joyful howl of my puppy dog. I tried different pitch models, I tried moving to the other end of the house from the dog, but his impeccable hearing allowed him to chime in no matter where, no matter when. Since that day I have not been able to play a single tune unaccompanied. What do I do - short of parting with our otherwise adorable pooch?

 

Ross Schlabach

 

I live in a dog household. We're basically our dogs' pets... no, just kidding. Our Dogs don't mind my playing anymore, it's a matter of conditioning. Either Fintan will himself eventually figure out that there is no danger attached to the "noise," or you can condition it into him (usual techniques, for example have your wife shush him as soon as he starts howling and reward him with a treat for obeying. Obviously you need two people to accomplish that. Timing is crucial as I'm sure you know).

 

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Can't the OP at least get in a bit of playing when another member of the household takes the dog for a walk?

 

This thread does give me an excuse to recount my experiences.

 

Pets' reactions are varied.

 

When I was a nipper, my grandfather had to take his cello to the end of the house furthest from where the dog lived. I don't remember whether that was enough to stop the dog howling or whether he howled anyway but was far enough away for his howls not to interfere too seriously with the music.

 

With my first cat in my present house, as soon as I started to play my concertina she would squeeze herself between the intrument and my body. I was never sure whether this was because she liked the sound so much or because she was trying to prevent me from playing.

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19 minutes ago, Richard Mellish said:

 

 

 

 

With my first cat in my present house, as soon as I started to play my concertina she would squeeze herself between the intrument and my body. I was never sure whether this was because she liked the sound so much or because she was trying to prevent me from playing.

 

We had a cat that did  exactly the same, pushing herself  onto my lap  behind  the concertina.  Sometimes  she'd   stretch  her neck  and stare into  the ends.

 

Current  dog  sings  only  with my  metal ended  wheatstone.. so  the  wooden ended  one gets played  mostly.  The dog  also  hated  the Hurdy Gurdy, especially  the  higher pitched  D/G....

 

Some people like to think the animals  enjoy  their music making....  I  have my doubts.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks to all for suggestions. Distance doesn’t help: he has good hearing and kicks off when I do! The conditioning option is the only real hope. So before I open the concertina case, I put on my dog treat pouch. As soon as I start playing and Finney starts to sing along, I tell him to be quiet. If He does, he gets a treat. Of course to give him the treat, I have to stop playing so he gets double reinforcement. So I am not sure who is training who. But at least I’ve been able to squeeze out a few tunes - in peace and quiet!

 

Ross Schlabach

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My 4 year old Labrador now just gives a couple of good, "Oh, we're doing that now," howls, then goes and lies down in disinterest.  Sometimes, if I'm playing  in the kitchen she will stare at the door so I let her out.   When she was a pup it was a constant sing along.  I basically didn't reinforce her at all negatively or positively.  I just ignored her.   Your mileage may vary.

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