Monday, February 9, 2009


Maggie had to be introduce to the 'training collar' yesterday - which is basically a big chain collar with prongs that press into her neck if she pulls. It looks like a horrible torture device, but after the week she had, I just finally resolved myself that she needs some serious training for her to be the nice, family dog we want her to be. And honestly, she's been very responsive to any other training we've actually taken the time to do, so, I guess it really comes down to me being disciplined myself.

One morning last week I asked Seth to do the honors, and take her out. He'd been gone a few minutes, which is not unusual...but suddenly hearing another adult voice down in the basement WAS. I panicked wondering what happened and by the time I got out to the living room, a sobbing Seth was coming up the steps, Maggie bounding behind. I asked him what happened, and through his heartbreaking sobs he told me that Maggie took off and went running through the neighbors yard, and up to her porch - the whole while dragging him behind, yelling "Help!". I felt horrible for both sending him out and not hearing him (definitely could have won "Worst Mom of the Year" award that day!); thankfully, our neighbor did hear him, and returned both him and Maggie. And that put an end to Seth being able to take the dog out.

Then yesterday, I sent Bryce to simply hook her to her tie out in the back yard. Not even walk her around the yard....just tie her out. About a minute later we see Maggie tearing down the sidewalk out front (which runs along a busy road) with Bryce charging full-speed after her (though nowhere near catching her!), in his pajamas, no less. (She seems to prefer to do all these antics when we are in PJ's to not only make it aggravating, but embarrassing as well). We lured her back with the offer of ice (her favorite treat) and then she spent quite a bit of time in her cage. Since Todd was the one that retrieved her from outside, I'm not sure what other punishment she may have received - and I'd rather not know! (He doesn't have quite the affinity for animals I do, which translates into no compassion either.)

All that craziness was enough to make me realize I need to seriously work with this girl to bring out her potential, or pay for it by having an enormous, hairy, strong brat on my hands! So - Maggie - meet the prongs.


Aunt Linda said...

Even though those collars look awful, they work nicely. We had them for our Great Danes...they were well behaved, but if they decided they wanted to take off to investigate something, there's no way of holding them back! The collar did the trick nicely without a lot of pain to the dog. They learn quickly that if they behave, there is no pain!

Holly said...

Labs are smart - and I know what you mean about taking the time to train them! We didn't do so well with that with Jane and are paying for it now! But since we're being more consistant with her training, she's doing well. Also, I think it must be a dog thing - Jane always ran when I was in my PJ's hair a mess, teeth unbrushed! I feel you're pain!