How I Trained A Strong Willed Dog

Have you ever had a dog that tests you constantly? A dog that will look at you when you give a command with an expression that says, “What’s in it for me?” One who will obey for a little while, then sneak away or adjust your command to fit its needs?

I call this kind of dog STRONG WILLED. 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 for Mickey Mouse, which my mother picked for its size. The next dog, Pooky a pound mutt, was a gift from my brother when Mickey died. Again, I was gifted with a dog, an Irish Setter puppy, as a wedding present from my husband. Sterling and I were inseparable pals, and I was heartbroken when she died at age 15. It was two years before I could love another dog. I picked a Golden Retriever, Lacey, who lived to be 13. The hardest thing I have ever done in my life was to put her to sleep. Ebony, the STRONG WILLED DOG, entered my life a couple of months after Lacey’s death when my two children decided their mother was too lonely without a dog.

Do you know that you can dog shop on the internet? Yes! You can search all the animal shelters and rescue organizations and they include photographs. After several phone calls we drove a mere 90 miles just to LOOK at a sister trio of Black Lab/Border Collie pups. Ebony came to me.

I should have seen it in the eyes. There was something distinct about the look she gave me. I was soon to learn the mischievous meanings behind the eyes were an indication of her STRONG WILLED nature.

The first thing I learned from Ebony was that she had to be watched CONSTANTLY like a small child. One thing after another was either chewed or destroyed in record time. Now, I know you are thinking that is just puppy hood, and rightly so. But as Ebony did this destruction she looked at me with “those eyes.” They focused directly on me and then away as she ran off with her bounty baiting the chase.

The good news is that Ebony cured me of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I began taking her on 2-3 mile walks everyday to wear her out so that she would nap and I could get something accomplished. It has now turned into a daily ritual providing me with rays of light physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I no longer need my lightbox. “Those eyes” track my undivided attention if we should be late for our morning walk.

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

Having trained four dogs, I had never encountered this problem. I began my research and decided on the SportDog remote electronic collar. It was very simple to implement because she was already trained to an invisible fence after her many episodes of escaping the yard through the blackberries.

Ebony learned quickly and gathers many praises on our frequent walks. But she knows and I know that any chance she can get, she will push to have it her own way. Of the five dogs that I have raised over a span of 50 years, Ebony raises the bar for title designation of being a STRONG WILLED DOG. Dog Cooling Mat

Joanne Osband has been training dogs for over 50 years. After her successful experience with a remote electronic training collar with her recent strong willed dog, she decided to promote the collars by opening a store online where other pet owners can learn and purchase collars to assist with the training of their dogs. She is knowledgeable and extremely helpful in finding the right collar for you and your dog’s needs. Her service is excellent.


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