Never Yell At a Barking Dog – The Better Newsletter #16


Years ago, I signed our Jack Russell Terrier up for obedience training.

At our first session, he was so excited to see all his new buddies, he wouldn’t stop barking.

So, what did I do?

I yelled, “STOP BARKING!” (Yes, I know how ridiculous that was!)

The instructor came over and gently pointed out, “It doesn’t do any good to yell at a barking dog. He just thinks, ‘Great, now we’re both barking.’

Instead, try staying calm and modeling the behavior you want him to follow.”

Gee, I thought I was taking my dog to school, turns out I just got a master class in behavior modification and pattern interrupt.

In life, we often find ourselves in situations where our initial reactions might not be the most effective.

Sometimes a simple shift in our approach is all it takes to bring about a more positive response.

So, the next time life throws a metaphorical bark your way, follow Gandhi’s advice and “Be the change you wish to see.”

After all, the key lies not in controlling others, but in mastering the art of responding rather than reacting.


  • Practice Responding (instead of reacting): When faced with challenging situations, make a conscious effort to respond calmly rather than reacting impulsively. This can apply to both personal and professional scenarios.

  • Be The Change: Instead of focusing on what others should do, lead by example. Demonstrate and reward the behavior you want to see in yourself and others.

Here’s to being better.

Until next time,
Sam Horn

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