Archive | 6:49 PM

Day 306: new bling for brady

3 Nov

Brady has a new necklace.
It doesn’t have a lot of bling but it sure does buzz.

We borrowed the shock collar in order to help get Brady in line.

As Brian, our trusted veterinarian and cousin pointed out — Brady doesn’t have anything negative to make a positive choice. He knows neutral and good. That’s it. And he gets the same treatment for making a good decision or doing nothing at all. So there is no negative consequences for bad behavior (and we’ve tried everything from bribing him with food, to ignoring him to saying “bad dog”)….

Until now. It’s enough to break my heart. I can barely hit the “beep” button without wincing. And that’s not even the SHOCK button.

The collar comes with two options — a beep and a buzz.

We are supposed to say a command.  Then if he doesn’t do the command, we are to beep. Then, if he chooses to ignore us we are to buzz. Yes, shock.

And it shockingly works.

Brady is one smart dog, albeit crazy energetic, and it didn’t take long (less than 3 shocks) for him to figure it out.

Now all we have to do is push the beep button and he gets in line. FAST. We don’t even need to go near the shock.

If he jumps up on the counter to steal food — and won’t get down to our voice commands —  we beep.

If he jumps up on us when we walk in the door — and ignores our voice commands — we beep.

If he doesn’t respond when called — you get the picture.

It’s hauntingly awful and helpful at the same time.

It makes me think back to my parents spanking us as little children. All they had to do was just mention the idea of a spanking and we would get in line.

I thought it was awful then.
I still think it’s awful now.

And now look at me!
Pushing a beep button, threatening a buzzer shock.

The first day we tried the collar, both dogs ran away. It was actually due to a downed fence line from Superstorm Sandy. But as we trolled the streets to look for our pups I cringed, thinking Brady probably had enough. It was as if I could hear him panting as he ran down the street barking, “I am out of here!”

We found both dogs enjoying a field trip through the neighborhood, and thankfully, Brady was still excited to see us.

To be fair, we tested the shock collar on our arms first, just to see what it felt like, before strapping it on our little puppy’s neck. It’s not terrible but it will make you jump right out of your shoes. And it will also make you want to avoid it at all costs.

Argh. The perils of puppy parenthood.

The good news is, that in less than a week, he is much more obedient and still a very lovable doggy. Still fun loving, smily and cute — and so much better behaved.

I fear I will rot in hell for doing this to my dog. On the other hand, I feel like it’s been the only thing that will allow Brady to share our home with us (and guests!) in a happy, peaceful way without puppy paws knocking you down at the front door …or stealing your food before you get a chance to eat it.

Oh, dear Brady.
I will pay for a psychologist when you’re older and you can blame it all on me—because I promise it all comes from a place of LOVE.

Come here, Brady. Sit. Good Dog. 

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