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|This page was last updated June 29, 2007.
Since Risa had no obedience training
when she arrived, I knew I had to start
teaching her. I'd never trained a dog
before but had read books and seen TV
shows on how to do it. Believe me, nothing
beats actually doing it. I got some books
and started reading even more since I
actually had to apply my knowledge now! I
tried many different ways of training with
Risa. I found positive training to work best
for us. It's possible Risa may have been
abused but it's safe to say you cannot give
a harsh correction or yell too loudly with
her. She will shut down and not do
anything at all. That made for some
frustrating times indeed.
The photograph above shows the main four training tools I've used on Risa. On the left is her martingale collar
(limited slip collar), then her prong (pinch) collar, her clicker, and a bag of treats. The most effective tools for Risa
have been treats and the clicker. All I have to do is pick up her clicker and I have her attention. She knows that
clicker = food/fun. I trained her to sit, down, shake, high five, and wait on my own before starting classes. All of
those were trained positively with treats since I didn't have any instruction with the clicker yet. Once I learned how
to train Risa with the clicker, she only learned faster. She loves to learn and is happy to work alongside me.
Initially, Risa knew no leash manners and was pulling on walks. It was frustrating and made walks no fun. So I
went out and bought her a prong collar. The pulling stopped but if I didn't use the prong, she behaved just as she
did before. I hadn't taught her how to walk nicely alongside me. She only did so with the prong collar to avoid a
correction. The prong collar is a wonderful training tool but it doesn't work for every dog. It didn't work very well
for Ris. Now I walk her on her martingale collar. I can give subtle corrections with it if I need to and, because of it's
ability to partially close, is good for preventing her from slipping her collar.