Harry was about 9 months-old when he and his brother came to live with me and my two other dogs. I was told he was shy around men and also had a few medical issues, which he got over. But what was perceived to be shyness actually was distrust and aggression. We did training: positive reinforcement, clicker, treats. I even had a trainer come to the house to help, but even after two months he still couldn’t approach Harry unless I had him on a leash. He wouldn’t walk on a leash and he jumped up and around like a crazy dog. He didn’t like anyone except me and that was only sometimes. I tried for months using the Gentle Leader and no-pull harness. All this did was make him fight harder. He would actually bloody his nose and paws trying to escape. I was getting desperate. Nothing was working.
Life was pretty miserable with a dog that was out of control. For the first time in my life I actually had to consider euthanasia. This dog was just not responding to anything. By chance I heard a discussion about e-collars and did some research. I found Toni Drugmand and DOG-ON-IT. I called and explained my desperation and was told “sure, bring him for a demo.” So I muzzled him and went. I was impressed enough with her demo and we started attending classes. He was starting to calm down and listen but I was concerned about his attitude and demeanor. I wasn’t going to give up. If this was his last chance, I needed to be fair about it. One night about eight weeks into it, we were heeling in a group and Harry’s tail was up and wagging and he was having a grand old time. He got it! After that it was all a pleasure. He couldn’t wait to get to class and was a happy camper while he was there.
He is such a different dog these days. He is loving at home and looks forward to working and being invited to DOG-ON-IT demos. He needs a tune-up now and then but he really is an example of how the remote collar saved a dog by helping him understand the need to change. It has taught us both how to effectively communicate with each other. I am so thankful I never had to make that fatal choice.
Happy dog and happy owner! Thanks to Toni.