Today, Jamie and I went out to a Flea Market that we will call “The Swap”. Everybody in the family got a little something. When we were on the way out, we saw a stand with dog collars and treats, so we stopped to purchase some goodies for Maggie. Jamie got a great pic of her with her new collar on. I think the hot pink goes very well with her coloration.
After I purchased the items, the owner of the booth and I struck up a conversation. It turns out that she knows the people who run Maggie’s dog school and the “Alpha Male”. I had inquired about a different type of prong collar that Laurel had shown me in my home, and I was taken aback when the woman told me that “that product does not exist”. I didn’t want to argue that I had seen the prong collar I was inquiring about, and I dropped it.
I had mentioned to this lady that I was still having an issue with Maggie jumping. She told me, “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” (that’s never a good start) and then proceeded to tell me that if “you are still having issues with your dog after all that training, then the problem is you. Your dog does not respect you. She thinks, ‘Oh, I can do this because she’s not going to do anything about it’. And if you want her to stop jumping on people, you need to put your fists together like this (puts fists together) and club her right in the head. Put her to the floor and she’ll start to respect you.”
I was horrified at this idea. Jamie and I quickly said our goodbyes and left.
It bothered me all the way home. When Jim came back from work, I discussed the conversation with him. He told me that he didn’t believe that Maggie did not respect me. He also said that we treat Maggie as part of the family, and like to play with her, and sure if I clubbed her in the head and put her to the floor then she might get more obedient, but our play time would stop.
I don’t believe that Maggie doesn’t respect me, and I know that Maggie loves me with all her heart. I am sure that, compared to professional trainers like the Alpha Male, I’m a big ol’ softie. All I know is that when I am sick or when I am down or when I am sad, my dog is at my side with a wag of her tail and a kiss for me, any time of day or night. And I guess if that means if she’s a tad bit jumpy, I’ll live with that. Laurel and I are working with Maggie on not going nuts when I’m answering the doorbell, and we are using positive reinforcement, not brute force. I’d much rather give a pat and a treat then a punch or a kick. Just the idea of clocking Maggie one on the skull with my fist makes me shudder.
In that regard, Maggie had quite a nice first Halloween (you will recall she was at Boot Camp last year). She spent some time in the crate when we had company and when the doorbell first rang, but later came out and was a real lady with everyone.
We had a bit of snow, which was Nature’s “Trick” so I have lots of “Treats” left over. What a bummer! But Maggie showed a good deal of restraint when the trick-or-treaters came to the door. She would bark, and wag her tail, then retreated and “sat”. What was funny was, she expected a treat herself after every ring of the bell (“guarding the house”)! So she got into the holiday spirit.
I think Maggie has made great strides and Jim mentioned her good behavior yesterday as well during our conversation together.
Thank you for all your love and support of Maggie. We love her very, very much.
Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!