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The Dog Whisperer

Thursday 7th March 2002, West Yorkshire

dogBarbara goes downstairs to shoo next door's dogs from our back garden but as soon as they see her open the back door they race towards her barking. Barbara bolts back inside.

A few moments later she tells me, 'I don't know who shouted at those dogs, but they went racing back next door.'

It was actually me who sent them packing. Seeing them rushing at Barbara I realised that I'd have to stop them in their tracks, so I flipped open the first floor studio window and bellowed;

'GOO - ON! Gerrr - OUT! Gerrr - out of the garden!'

They obviously hadn't a clue where the admonishment from on high was coming from and they ran back down the lawn, under the hedge and back indoors with their tails between their legs.


You've got to be emphatic with dogs haven't you? You've got to sound as if you mean it. I found myself using the same voice my dad used when he reprimanded dogs - and, come to think of it, he probably used it for reprimanding us on occasion too.

dogYou produce the shout from deep down near your stomach and deliver it, for preference, in a strong Yorkshire accent. Somehow dogs know what you mean.

Our next door neighbour rushed out in her dressing gown to see what all the fuss was about. Later her husband told me that he'd heard the shout even though he was indoors working at the front of the house. He hadn't clue hadn't a clue what was going on, or that it was me.

It reminds me of the short story by Robert Graves, The Shout, in which a man claims to have learnt an aboriginal shout that is so powerful that it can kill animals, terrify men and stop nature in its page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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