I think we won.

I have a friend who says "I think we won" as a sort of general expression of approvingness for things that have just happened. As in, we went to the dollar theater and watched Coraline and ate grapes and as we left he said "I think we won." Because it was a good movie and they were tasty grapes and we only paid 1 dollar each.

This week, Buzz and I won because the fence was fixed.

The fence along the back of the yard was only about 30" high and over the last month Buzz had figured out that he could jump it. Now, Buzz has no interest in running away, so he just jumped the fence to get a closer look at a squirrel. Or, like street-crossing chickens of lore, to see what was on the other side. He would zoom about the four adjacent yards then come to the gate to be let in within a minute. The problem, of course, is that Buzz jumps on people, wants to kill cats, and thinks all bicycles should be stopped. So, if people, cats, or bikes were to appear while he was loose...that would be trouble. For a few weeks now, I've had to leash Buzz while he's in the yard. Which is lame.

This week, with a lot of help from Tessa's food guy (he drove in posts and such), I zip-tied a 4' fence to the back of the 30" fence and now Buzz is contained. It is awesome.

By the way, the worker at Lowe's that helped me find the zip ties told me that what I should do was put a shock collar on my dog and that would teach him to stay in the yard. Yikes! Turns out this guy doesn't have a dog, has never had a dog, has never read a book on dog training, or have a real conversation with a dog trainer. Yet, he feels that he should advise me (a stranger) to use violence to keep my dog (who he knows nothing about) in the yard. I ended up having a somewhat long conversation with him about dogs and training so maybe I changed his thinking a bit. Because really, why solve a problem with pain when you can solve it with $26 of plastic?

Every morning since the fence was fixed, when Buzz and I go out back and I get to sit with my coffee and he gets to run about with his ball, I feel triumphant. I want to pump my fists. Yes, I think we won.


Dee said...

Argh! People advising the use of shock collars for all the wrong reasons chap my rear.
I almost wonder if he's bought into the "invisible fence" marketing- stay lazy, zap the dog and all your issues will be fixed without effort or training.
We do use shock collars- on fully trained hunting dogs in the field in case they come across deer and give chase, or follow a flyaway toward a large river or something else dangerous because we have yet to find a reward that's more interesting than prey, so we use negative reinforcement via the shock collar. But the collar is not for training (and staying in the yard is a training issue). Shock collars should be a specialized tool, used like a scalpel for a specific issue, not a sledgehammer to whack all problems to smithereens.

Good for you on raising your fence (and finding a cheap way to do it!) and not hurting Buzz to keep him in.

Christina said...

Maybe the Lowe's guy watches Cesar Millan?

Buzz's Food Lady said...

Dee-- Yes, I was quite surprised! I've always seen the shock collar as a tool of last resort, to be used by people who know what they are doing. In this case it is totally unnecessary!

Christina-- I does have that eau de Millan, doesn't it? Overpower and shut down the dog rather than (a) set them up for success and (b) use positive reinforcement!

Mary said...

I would have bought the collar, returned to Lowe's and put the collar on the employee. Then shocked him every time he did something wrong. When he asks you what he did wrong, you reply "Figure it out."

At least you were nice to talk to him. I hope he took something home from your conversation with him.

Anonymous said...

You lost me at "Coraline."

My old neighbors had an australian cattle dog that they "trained" with a shock collar. That dog would totally ignore them until they would yell out "That's it! You're gonna get it!" and stomp into the house to find the shock remote.

These are the same people that attempted to give me a lecture about how the pinch collars I used on my dogs for walks were "barbaric."