How I Trained a Strong Willed Dog

How I Trained a Strong Willed Dog

Have you ever had a dog that constantly tests you? A dog that will look at you when you give a command with an expression that says, “What’s in it for me?” A person who will obey for a while, then back out or adjust your command to suit their needs?

I call this type of dog STRONG WILL. and the first time I met one happened to be my fifth and current dog.

My first childhood dog was a Toy Manchester, Mickey, named after Mickey Mouse, which my mother chose because of his size. The next dog, Pooky a pound mutt, was a gift from my brother when Mickey died. I was again gifted with a dog, an Irish Setter puppy, as a wedding present from my husband. Sterling and I were inseparable friends and I was heartbroken when she passed away at 15 years old. It was two years before I could love another dog. I chose a golden retriever, Lacey, who lived to be 13 years old. The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life was putting her to sleep. Ebony, THE STRONG-WILL DOG, came into my life a few months after Lacey’s death, when my two children decided their mother was too lonely without a dog.

Did you know you can shop for dogs online? yes You can search all animal shelters and rescue organizations and they include photos. After a few phone calls, we drove 90 miles just to SEE a sister trio of Black Lab/Border Collie puppies. Ebony came to me.

I had to look him in the eye. There was something different about the look he gave me. I was soon to learn that the mischievous meanings behind the eyes were an indication of her STRONG WILL.

The first thing I learned from Ebony was that she needed to be watched CONSTANTLY like a toddler. One thing after another was chewed up or destroyed in record time. Now, I know you’re thinking this is just a puppy, and rightfully so. But as Ebony did this destruction, she looked at me with ‘those eyes’. They focused directly on me and then moved away as she ran off with her prize, luring the chase.

The good news is that Ebony cured me of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I started taking her for 2-3 mile walks every day to tire her out so she would nap and I could get something done. It has now become a daily ritual that provides me with rays of light physically, emotionally and spiritually. I no longer need my lightbox. Those eyes track my undivided attention if we’re late for our morning walk.

I taught her the basic obedience commands at home first with a leash and then without. I started teaching her the “come” command with treats when we were out for a walk and she was running free. She was happy with this game for a while. One day when I called “come” she looked at me, looked around and decided she had better things to do. I was no longer the alpha dog and that was NOT good.

Having trained four dogs, I have never encountered this problem. I started my research and decided on the SportDog remote e-collar. It was very easy to do because she was already trained to work with an invisible fence after her many episodes of escaping from the yard through the blackberries.

Ebony learned quickly and garners lots of praise on our frequent walks. But she knows, and I know, that any chance she can get, she’ll insist on doing it her way. Of the five dogs I have bred over 50 years, Ebony raises the bar for the title of STRONG WILLED DOG.

#Trained #Strong #Willed #Dog

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