Walter is my Great Dane Puppy. As I’ve mentioned before, he is a stubborn, willful, demonic lovebug. When he was small, many of his “indiscretions” were tolerable. He would chew a shoe or three. He tore up a few books. He chewed many “unauthorized” things, as my husband would say. He still chews things, but that’s not the major problem. Now that Walter is 9 months old and weighs about 110 lbs he’s a bit of a handful. There is a lot of bouncing puppyness happening around here…in a BIG way!
From the time he was little, I have had a hard time teaching him to refrain from jumping. When I would come out of the bedroom in the morning, he would greet me with a big jump and lick. If I turned around, he would jump up and do this sort of slide down the back of me. If I didn’t walk out to the kitchen fast enough, he would nose me in my butt and literally push me along. I am a large woman, I am not easily pushed…even if I’m being steered by my nether regions.
All of this jumping was a pain when he was smaller, but at his present size, it’s dangerous. More than once he almost toppled me as I came through the door after a day away. He was immune to scolding. Pushing him away just turned it into a game. I was desperate. It became clear that I was going to have to do something drastic. I went to Amazon and placed the order. I felt a little sick to my stomach. In two days I would have a “shock collar” around Walter’s neck.
This collar has a beep and a vibration mode as well the dreaded shock mode. When it arrived I got it all set up and I tried the vibration mode. That was pretty attention-grabbing I thought. Then I took a breath and put the thing into shock mode. I touched it and yup, I got a shock alright. I wasn’t about to do something to my dog that I hadn’t tried myself first and I wasn’t going to use that shock mode unless it was an emergency.
I put the bright orange collar on Walter and set the remote on vibrate and waited for him to misbehave. He was a model canine citizen…for about 15 minutes. Then he tried to climb up to get the cat food. Keep in mind, I have poor Echo’s food on a shelf that is about four feet off the ground. Walter can now reach it fairly easily and there he was, starting his ascent. I yell “Walter, no!” No response and the climb continues. “NOOOO!” Nothing. Ok fine! I yell NO again and give him a little buzz with the remote. He stopped, looked confused, and came down to floor level. Awesome, it stopped him. He eyed the cat food again…suspiciously. Then he walked away. YES!!!
Walter didn’t forget about the cat food, however. A few minutes later he tried to get it again and I yelled “NO!” He stopped mid-track, but only for a second before continuing. The second NO was accompanied by the vibration again. He stopped and blinked and came over to me. Success! If I’d known buying a vibrator for my puppy would be so satisfying, I’d have done it months ago! Wait…that didn’t sound quite right…
Whenever Walter is in a frenzy of doing anything bad, especially jumping, he gets a stern NO and a little buzz. It’s enough to break the mood and calm him down as he contemplates the changes in his anatomy. After all, his neck never vibrated like that before!
The collar is doing wonders. I’ve never had to use the shock function, and I never will unless he’s killing the cat or doing something else that’s life threatening. He’s obeying when I say NO because he is paying closer attention. After only a couple of days, I don’t have to buzz him much at all. Yay for me! Yay for him, too! Hell, Yay for everyone in the house who has had to endure his over-abundant exuberance!
I will admit that the collar hasn’t kept him from finding those unauthorized items to chew. He’s always cruising around looking for something new to sample. A couple of nights ago I turned my back on him to talk to Bill. Suddenly I hear this long BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. I turn back just in time to see Walter spit the shock collar remote out with a very surprised look on his face. He had snuck up behind me, grabbed the remote and begun to chew. The damned dog had buzzed himself!!!