Monday, November 2, 2009

Chapter 4: Let the Training Begin

I had a lot of energy when I was a young pup, and my hu-mom, with no dog experience, didn't know how to walk me. Oh she tried, she hooked on a leash to my collar and I pulled her down the street. Next she tried a halti collar, and I absolutely refused to move with that thing on!

Since the walk wasn't happening, my hu-mom knew I needed exercise, so instead of the frustration of trying to walk me, she started putting me through a one-hour workout in the backyard every day. She would throw the ball, play tug, and anything else she could think of to get me to run around and get rid of some of my energy. Our play time eventually became a trick training time and I learned how to respond to a clicker. I knew that if I did what she wanted me to, I would get a treat -- and I loooooovvvvveeee treats!

Although my hu-mom and I had a great time playing in the backyard, she heard about "The Dog Whisperer" show on the National Geographic channel, and she learned the importance of "the walk." So, she strapped on the leash and tried again....and again.... I continued to pull -- afterall, I was just a young pup with lots of energy, and I wanted to explore the world! After much frustration on my hu-mom's part, she finally called "Nick" to teach her how to walk me.

Nick came to our home and the first thing he did was tell my hu-mom that I was using the wrong collar. He pulled out a pinch-collar and when my mom saw it, she broke down in tears. She thought it looked like a torture device and she DID NOT want that thing around my poor little puppy neck!

Nick explained how the "device" worked and placed it on my hu-moms forearm. He showed her how if I walked "nicely", the collar just sat on my neck, however if I started to pull, all she had to do was give a quick "correction" (that he demonstrated on her forearm), and how that would get me back on track to walking without pulling. He also showed her how it would feel if she used the collar and allowed me to continue to pull -- it was not pleasant!

My hu-mom saw that the collar could be "good" or "bad" depending on how SHE used it. Thankfully I have a hu-mom who loves me, so she agreed to use the collar in the "good" way.

Nick showed her how to walk and correct me, and after one session, we were a much improved team and able to walk -- and walk we did!

...what mom? time for a walk? Well I guess that is it for today folks. Check in again tomorrow for more from the Zoe-Chronicles. ~Zoe

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