When we first acquired our dog Odessa, we had trouble keeping her inside the chained link fence. It was a little too short for her leaping ability and she was constantly going over the top to follow ‘her’ children around (Jenny, Bob, Tim and Becky) – or to greet the neighbors or just to chase that nasty squirrel out of the yard — whatever struck her fancy. We were told that since she was a black lab, she was probably going to continue to jump the fence unless we trained her not to do it.
We talked about getting an invisible fence – you know – those fences you bury under the law and whenever the dog goes over the ‘fence’, it gets a little shock to remind it to back the hell up! We thought this was a little expensive and outside our budget – especially if we wanted to eat more than macaroni and cheese for the entire month (not that it would have bothered the children!). We had a friend who trained hunting dogs and he suggested that we try his dog’s training collar to see if that would work before we invested in the electronic fence. The only difference is that either Pat (my husband) or I would have to press a remote control to shock the dog whenever she got near the fence – instead of it happening automatically. We figured it was worth the try.
The first time I tried the collar was as Odessa was approaching the fence and getting ready to jump into the neighbor’s yard. I pressed the button as hard as I could which should have caused Odessa to stop in mid-flight at the very least — but noooo — she sailed right over the fence as if nothing had happened. It wasn’t like she didn’t feel the shock because she let out a small yelp as she started her ascent but it didn’t slow her down and actually acted like a rocket booster to get her over the fence.
We continued to try it, but with the same results — Odessa barely felt the small electrical shock and appeared to actually use the shock collar as a form of energy to fuel her flight. We talked to a few professionals and learned that what we really needed was the invisible fence because it didn’t just shock the dog, but it also gave her audible cues to avoid going near the fence – so that eventually we wouldn’t have to use the collar at all! So, after watching Turbo-Dog go over the fence yet another time, we invested in the invisible fence and put the training shock collar in a drawer to return at a later date to its original owner. The new fence worked great and Odessa finally stayed in the yard – even without the collar. She had finally had her wings clipped.
This would have been the end of the story except for the phone call I received at work a few weeks later. It was during the summer and one of them called to ask permission to go the pool with some friends. In the background I could hear the following – ‘ow, ooooow, ouch, OUCH! Okay – try again — ow, ooooow, OUCH!’ Perplexed, I asked what was going on – I was told not to worry about it — they had found the shock collar and the remote. They were simply testing it on Tim(my youngest son) by holding it against the top of his head and seeing if there really was a difference in the power level on the controls! They figured since it hadn’t stopped Odessa from jumping the fence, there must be something wrong with it — but apparently it worked just fine on Tim’s head!
The shock collar worked its magic one more time — because I turbo-boosted my way home on high power and managed to rescue my son from his self-induced shock treatments! There were no lasting effects — unless you count the fact that he now likes to jump the fence, chase squirrels and do crazy things!