As you probably know we have two doggos: Sir Duke Barkington of Charlotte and Lady Winifred Beesly of Atlanta, Duke and Winnie, respectively. Duke is a Standard Poodle and Winnie is a Doodle, part Great Pyrenees, part Standard Poodle. Duke is two years old and Winnie is five months old and Winnie is almost bigger than Duke, but don’t let him know that. And as of late, we’ve noticed she’s better behaved as well.
The night we got to the lake we opened the truck door and the dogs jumped out. Now, mind you, these are city dogs, as per their names. Duke grew up about five minutes from Uptown Charlotte, and Winnie is a mile from the Atlanta Perimeter. They are trained on a leash (as long as they are in a harness) and they have a doggy door that leads to a fenced backyard at home. They are used to sirens, and bustling traffic, and for the most part they stay away from it. Which is why it was so odd, that the first chance Duke got to run into the middle of H Highway and stand there, we were like “Da fuck, man?!” Damn it, Duke! We’ve been saying that a lot the last two days. Damn. It.
Winnie, on the other paw, has been allowed to roam freely, mainly because she sticks next to you like glue. She’s afraid of everything, butterflies, croaking frogs, and not getting fed on time. Duke, well his desire to stick it to the man outweighs his impulse control. Because of this we’ve decided to try a training collar with him. If you ask me, a training collar is a lazy parent’s friend. Don’t want to train your dog on commands? Just zap ‘em. Don’t want to be consistent with your expectations? Zap! It’s the equivalent of spanking a human child. Just so we are clear, no kid “deserves” to be spanked, it’s a reflection of you and how you are doing as a parent if you “have” to spank your child. And the reflection isn’t a pretty one, but that’s another post.
For now I’d say we’ve given up. Two years of positive reinforcements, stern “No, Sirs” and three to four hundred training treats hasn’t worked, so we will try this route for a few days. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, we will try something else. We’ve always said Duke will be a good dog one day, because one day he will. You can’t expect it to happen overnight though, training takes time, (unless you’re lazy and zap ‘em instead)! I suppose raising kids and raising dogs is pretty similar. Consistency, empathy, love, and positive reinforcement go a long way. Duke will figure it out, just like Jackson did (though Jackson has never been zapped, err, I mean spanked, a day in his life). If only I could figure out how to be as good a Poodle mom as I a human mom all would be good. Maybe someone needs to zap me…