Friday, February 12, 2010

maybe a doggie solution

by David Howie

After Knightly got out again on Saturday and Monday, I was at a loss what to try next. I didn't really want to put plywood sheets over the fence to keep him from using the rails to jump over. And even if I did the gate and the sections on either side, he'd always be able to jump over anywhere else as soon as he figured it out.

And I didn't want to put an electric wire across the top. I thought this would solve the problem because he really doesn't like being shocked (he won't come near our deck where we have an invisible fence), but it'd be a hassle and look funny (although probably not as funny as the plywood).

But then Kendra suggested a shock collar. I could put it on him and zap him a few times and he'd probably never try again. And no construction or permanent fixtures on my fence. Plus I have a friend who has a shock collar system, so it's no expense either.

I called my friend, "John" (names have been changed to protect the guilty), and he said it was no problem to borrow his system, but it was older and he thought the batteries wouldn't hold a charge any more. I figured if I got him new batteries, we'd both come out ahead. But he called the company and they told him something to try. John called me up and said he was pretty sure it worked because he put the collar on his son and he felt a "little tickle". I figured he was kidding and said, "On your son?" He said, "Yeah, I would never put it on myself!" I realized he was serious and it just cracked me up. (Disclaimer, it was on the very lowest setting and his son just held the collar up to his hand. There was no danger, but it was hilarious the way John told it.)

So I got the collar and remote control from John on Wednesday. I put it on Knightly that evening, let him loose in the yard, and went inside by the window with the remote. Knightly ran around checking the yard out for just a minute and then went right to the gate. I waited until he jumped right up to the top (like there was a wire there) and hit him with the highest setting. He yelped real loud and went racing around the yard barking. It was kind of amusing - not seeing my dog get zapped, but seeing his reaction. I kept watching another 30 minutes or so, and he never went near the gate again.

Thursday morning I put the collar back on him and watched him while I ate breakfast. He went close to the gate and looked hard at it, but didn't try to jump at all. I was hoping to reinforce the lesson. Thursday evening we did the same thing a third time. Again he came close to the gate, but never jumped on it.

So I really have high hopes that this will work. I'm still leaving him tied up in the yard when I'm not around to watch (and correct). Thanks to Kendra and John.

PS I took a bunch of pictures of Knightly in the snow this morning. Hopefully we'll put some on soon. He didn't like it at all at first but realized it was good to eat, and then he was all over it.

1 comment:

The Williams Family said...

What a funny story. I can't imagine why "John" would even tell such a thing! Haha