Free videos for the win!!!!
I am emailing to thank you, on behalf of myself, my family and our 6-year-old beagle Jake, for your wonderful videos on Youtube. We adopted Jake from a shelter when he was 3 years old. He had basic obedience training but selective listening. He was a leash puller and a jumper-up on visitors. Over time, he also became reactive on leash towards other dogs. We tried various corrective measures advised by our vet and a local dog walker — tone of voice, yanking on leash, treat training and holding his snout while reprimanding (this last felt dangerous). The reactivity progressed into full-on aggression and he was leaping and snarling uncontrollably at dogs as far away as 60 feet, to the point where he was breaking out of his harness. We live in Toronto and often walk on narrow city sidewalks…the situation was dangerous and untenable. Finally, as I struggled to control this behaviour one recent week, he turned and nipped me on the wrist in his rage to get at another dog.
I had heard about prong collars and conflated the concept with choke collars. I thought they sounded medieval, cruel, and likely to inspire more aggression. In desperation — we had reached a point where we were considering turning in Jake to a shelter or having him put down, much as we love him — I looked for a trainer to consult for intervention and help. Three out of four did not even respond to my emails/phone calls. The one that did respond did not seem like an effective fit for us. I found one of your training videos on Youtube and watched you introduce the prong collar to some unruly dogs in a park…it was a revelation.
The same day, I purchased a prong collar and my husband and I spent time learning how to fit it correctly and watching the way that you used it with other dogs. From the first walk, it has been night-and-day different. We have not had an incident of aggression since using the collar. We do not use verbal reprimands, we do not have to raise our voices and wrestle an out-of-control dog. Jake walks at our sides, adjusts his pace to ours, sits and watches quietly as dogs pass us by. No lunging, bellowing or snarling. We tried the collar on ourselves before putting it on him. We are confident that what we are doing is not cruel or punishing our dog. He is happy and enjoys his walks, and we no longer feel stressed and out of control.
Jake is also more responsive (while NOT wearing the prong collar) at home. He no longer barges through doorways before humans but sits politely and waits to be invited.
Thank you, most sincerely, for sharing your expertise the way you do. This has been life-saving for Jake and life-changing for us.
Deborah and Tom