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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Books don't work, Shock Em.

Last night my sister LRK emailed me and asked me if I knew of any dog training books, as she had just gotten a new dog and that is "becoming a little turd". I assume this is a little dog because LRK lives in an apartment. So, I forwarded the email to Jen (she's the dog training book reader) and she emailed back, "Books don't help. Shock em. :)". I cannot express to you how much I love this woman. Here's the backstory:

So, when we got Lou...or when Lou got us, he was fairly aggressive. He wasn't mean per se but like to play really rough. We don't know where he came from (he showed up on our doorstep at about 6 months old) but it seems that he never received any training/discipline; he was pretty aggressive. He was/is VERY loving but when he played he liked to bite...HARD.

Fast forward about six months from when we got him. Jen and I had moved south and found some new places to take Lou to play. One place was a school with a very large grass area (maybe a few acres) that seemed to usually be empty. So, we'd take him there. We soon found out that Lou was MESMERIZED by soccer balls. He LOVES them and can/will chase a soccer ball for HOURS or until he can't walk anymore...whichever comes first.

The problem, we found out, was that when he got all riled up with the soccer ball he would want to jump on you and bite the hell out of you. He bit Jen a few times so hard that it left bruises and broke the skin. I couldn't take it and beating him into submission wasn't an option.

We talked about or options and started calling trainers. We called a few who had a few different methods. Being that we were looking more for a way to curb the aggression, we went for a guy named Chad Arberg of Pawsitive Canine
Chad came over and showed us how his training works. He brought an "E-Collar" and wanted to put it on Lou. I was a bit hesitant as I had always been an opponent of "shock collars". But, we were in a desperate situation and needed something, so I obliged.

For the uninitiated the collar isn't just a car battery with nipple clamps attached and a's got buttons and knobs and is adjustable for any dog in any situation. We have the Dogtra 1500NCP which has a buzzer that vibrates like a pager/cell-phone, a 1/200th of a second nick "stimulation" and a continuous "stimulation". Stimulation = shock. The stimulation can go from 1 to 100.

So, the first time he put this on Lou and nicked him to come, he started spinning in circles. He didn't know what the hell was going on. It freaked me out and I wanted to pretty much kill Chad. I looked at Jen and my eyes said, "Eff this, No way, get this guy outta here". Luckily, she had a cooler head and told me to just give it 15 minutes.

After five minutes of seeing this miracle worker do his thing I was on board. This collar in no way breaks their spirit, bums them out, hurts them, or any of the other things you might be thinking. Once Lou was comfortable with it (one or two days) he would get excited to see it because seeing it meant we were going somewhere to play.

Anyway, we worked on the aggression, the nipping and biting, and all sorts of other things and now Lou wouldn't think of nipping/biting. He's a very well trained dog, albeit still very energetic.

To anyone who might be having similar troubles/issues with their dog, I HIGHLY recommend this product and the training that goes with it.

Lou and Juliette agree to share space....


Anonymous said...


DJK said...

Oh no, that's HORRIBLE! Did you leave them with him or what? Oh man...I'm really sorry to hear that. Our experience was nothing but good. I'd be interested to know what happened.

DJK said...

Lost? or dead?

Anonymous said...

If you would like to know the details of this horrible accident,I would be glad to share it with you as well as see how Lou is doing:) you know the number