Monday, March 8, 2010

Bark Busters

We stumped the professionals. We stumped them so much that they didn't charge us. Our dog is an original. In fact, we could visibly see that the trainer, M, had his confidence knocked down a few pegs before he left. He was shaking his head and rubbing his temples on the way out the door. The Story:

M got here and gave us a little presentation on the type of training they use for dogs. He explained that their approach is passive and doesn't require ever hitting or swatting at the pup, which is just what we were looking for. They have these little toys that have a link of chain in them, when you throw them or shake them they make a high pitched jingle. We were instructed to use these with a Err or Baaahh sort of sound instead of 'No'. I felt super silly, but did my best.

So anyway,the first tackle was jumping. We cured that in about two minutes. Just by throwing those little toys near Maggie and saying Baaahh. Then we worked on sit and stay. She needs a lot of work there, but we got down the exercise and were told to practice. By this time the trainer had been here over two hours and he wanted to see how she walked on a leash. Well, she didn't.

We hooked on Maggie's leash and she just dug in her paws and wouldn't move. It didn't matter how hard you tugged. She even let S drag her in the street. M, tried squirting a little water near her feet to keep her moving, but she didn't even care. They we tried "water bombs". We took little zip lock bags and filled them with water. When she wouldn't move me said "Baahh" and threw the water bomb on the ground near her... she couldn't have cared less. We tried to get our dog to walk for almost an hour. She totally won. Nothing M did or tried even remotely made a difference.

Once we all got back inside we were suppose to go over the contract. 795.00 for a life time contract that includes between 1 and a million visits to our liking in order to have her trained the way we want. Anything from obedience to tricks they cover it. M even does some protective training because he use to train police dogs if we want. (we don't) So we sit down and M says "listen, I can't with a good conscious charge you. The truth is, I have only see this resistance one other time out of eight years and 5000 dogs trained." then he further explains "I am not confident that we can train her the way you want. Next week I think my wife should come out, it might be that I scared Maggie and now she is resistant to me" then he says "If that doesn't work we can't take you money, what we can do is recommend a different type of training with another area trainer". He apologized up one side and down the other.

Here is the thing though: We were okay with it. By that evening we had fixed two major problems. One the jumping, and two, constant barking outside. We had a sitter that night and she said that Maggie was fine. In fact, the baby gate we use to block her out of the TV room wasn't even moved from the side of the freezer - where we store it! Then yesterday it was wicked nice out. There were golfers galore. We only corrected barking once or twice. We didn't' even have to use words, we just shook that little toy. One thing M said was that I shouldn't walk Maggie this week. He said that we can't give her the opportunity to be in charge. I'm going to miss our little walk/run every morning. But I do agree with him.

So in the end, I feel confident we picked the right trainers. And I am sure next week will work better. Can you believe they didn't charge us? I can't. I mean this is a home run business of a husband and wife. I am sure 795 bucks this week would have been nice for them.

Oh well, better run. I have a life to live...


I hope life can only get better said...

That is so nice they did not charge you. Sometimes you just meet nice people. Your dog and my dog make a great pair. My dog is totaly clueless....enough said

Jamie said...

Wow, that is awesome of them! And how awesome that that quickly you got Maggie trained on at least SOME things! Hope his wife is able to work some magic.