Electric Collar

Obedient dogs?

When it matters. But I try to give them orders only when it matters or I’m simulating a time when it matters. I’ve never had a dog from a breed that really liked doing tricks or lived to please its owner. Most of my dogs have been working dogs which means they have a brain already wired for a job. Only Dusty T. Dog gets joy from obeying me. But there was an exception.

Cheyenne T. Wolf (the husky in front in the photo above) was a completely untrained and very stubborn Siberian husky. Lucky for me, she was also friendly. When she came to live with me, she knew NOTHING. When she jumped up on the kitchen counter and opened the door to the cupboard, I knew I had a problem.

I found a professional trainer. She was reluctant to take on a husky saying, “They can’t be taught. I don’t even like the breed that much.” Well, what trainer would? Finally she agreed and Cheyenne went to live with Lisa for a month. Lisa got NO where with that dog for the first three weeks then, out of a kind of rebellious desperation, she put an electric collar on her. She had to work at that, getting the pointy-zappy things to the skin through Cheyenne’s thick ruff of fur. And out they went.

Cheyenne responded not just WELL to the E-collar, but happily! She LOVED it. She really GOT it. She walked at heel and got treats. She sat and got a treat. She did tricks and got treats. When Lisa brought her up to my house to show me how to work with her, Cheyenne was a happy dog. I realized she WANTED to do things right but somehow voice commands weren’t penetrating her Siberian husky skull.

She did tricks. All I had to do from then on to make my stubborn wild girl obey was put the collar around her neck. She didn’t even need to be zapped, in fact, I never even brought out the hand device that was my end of the training program. If the collar was on her, she started showing off and obeying like it was the greatest thing in the world. She LOVED that collar. It occurred to me that Cheyenne was just not an aural learner.

Dusty T. Dog went to the same trainer, but not so much for obedience training as to have a shot at becoming a well socialized and less fearful canine companion. He LOVES obeying. It makes him so happy to do what he learned to do. Bear is another creature completely from any dogs I’ve had before. She learned everything I had to teach her pretty much the first time. She does what I ask about 90% of the time. If she doesn’t, she has a reason. Sometimes her reasons are good and sometimes they’re pure whimsy like, “C’mon, Martha, I want to run around out here and hide behind this lilac bush just a little longer.” What matters to me is that the time she ran off, she came to me the moment she saw Dusty and me, before I even called her.

I don’t think I’d like an obedient dog or a dog who depended on me to know what to do. I have always enjoyed being surprised by some of the really wonderful things my dogs have done because they wanted to. ❤


17 thoughts on “Electric Collar

  1. I have absolutely no idea how to care for a dog, I never had one. An elctric collar seems strange to a non dog person like me, but I will probably have to revise my opinion. Cats are easier, they do what they want when they want to and just come running when they are hungry.

    • I don’t think most dogs need an electric collar to be trained. Cheyenne is the only dog I’ve had (out of 20!) who needed a training aid like that. Cats ARE easier, definitely.

  2. That’s probably why we’ve always liked hounds and terriers and field dogs and others who, like yours, have a job wired into their brains. They are all geared to think on their own.

    I’m not sure what makes Duke tick. Mostly, I think it’s trying to become number one dog and get ALL the attention. We’re working on it. Just about when I was beginning to wonder if this dog is beyond me, he started to show signs of “getting it.”He’s smart and he wants what he wants and often ignores us. I, on the other hand, have a temper. Usuall well controlled at this point in life, but he has put me to a test. This is why people our age aren’t supposed to have babies. We are too old for that shit.

    And just when I reach the point of “I’VE HAD IT,” he seems to know and suddenly, is perfect.Duke is a test of my dogsmanship!

    When you wrote yesterday, “I’m tired of my dogs,” I was thinking “I know the feeling!”

    • Hardly ever happens and my dogs didn’t really do anything to deserve that. I lost my temper at Bear just for wanting (needing) out. Totally unjust response, but 98% of the time I’m a patient dog owner. She forgave me.

      • I don’t think they ever really deserve it, but we are just people. They are just dogs. They have their needs, we have ours and they do not always coincide. Duke is very pushy, though. I can deal with most of it, but he starts to bully the smaller dogs and I won’t have it. These days, though, when I call him on it, he backs down. That is a HUGE improvement.

      • 🙂 You’re just clarifying his role in the family. He probably needs that. Maybe you need to give him a less regal name such as “Jester,” “Minion,” or “Serf.”

    • Dusty had a bark collar but it became apparent he’d rather have a sore on his neck than stop barking. It was for the neighbors, so I just took out the battery and left the collar on. They were seldom home and he really didn’t bark all that much EXCEPT when they were home because NO ONE was supposed to be in that house. In Dusty’s mind, they were intruders. And they were assholes.

  3. I so agree Martha, “dogs know”. They know who to trust, who not to trust, who to be wary of and who needs their love. They are intuitive that way. I didn’t have dogs for long in my life, having lived a great deal of it in apartments, and that I would not do to a dog. But I love them. For the “short” time we had dogs, they were a delight a nuisance at times, but most of all very precious. And I agree, they have their moments, we have ours, and it only becomes an issue when the two “moments” clash. hehe

  4. A Husky who jumped on the kitchen counter and opened the cabinets! She was smart in a whole ‘nother way, Martha. Who is the dog behind her. Beauties, both of them.

    • I did that with my two huskies. I should write a blog post about it (but I probably have). The second year (we went back for a refresher) Jasmine smelled the snake, and ran out to the parking lot and tried to jump into someone’s red pickup. That was funny because the first year I’d had a red pickup (didn’t the second year) and there were already dogs in there. She wasn’t going to do it again. She was going to avoid the snakes and the avoidance training. 😀

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