Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shock and Awe

The training with our new dog, Ollie, has been going very well. He is responsive to commands, interested in us, and better behaved around strangers.

He is also still dog aggressive, especially on the leash.

This translates to barking, growling and lunging (with all 60 pounds of his muscular body) at passing dogs. I am barely strong enough to control him and the other day I fell into a neighbor's yard as a result. My head fell just inches from a piece of rebar sticking out of the ground.

My husband's patience is just about used up as this dog is far more work than he imagined, so we had to come up with a plan.

With the guidance and support of our trainer, we got a shock collar. I know it sounds awful, but it is so much more humane than the pronged choke collar we are currenlty using to get his attention. The shock is enough to be uncomfrotable, but not painful. Today, we meet with the trainer on how to use it.

We will then take every opportunity to go into crowded places so that he is exposed to many dogs and learns that showing too much interest causes discomfort. Our trainer rescued a labrador with similar aggression and rehqabilitated the dog, so we have the best teacher, in my opinion.

We have about 8 weeks to make it through the process before we see the results.

1 comment:

yertle said...

I am sorry that this process has been so hard. I am inspired by your and your trainer's persistance. It is a nice reminder to not give up on people or animals and that with the right training and support difficulties can be overcome.