So Pickles has the sit part. The staying action is the issue. He will be 2.5 years old tomorrow. He has calmed down considerably from last year and even a few months ago. He is growing up and beyond the most lovable dog in the world. Unfortunately, he is so cute that it is hard for me to stick to a punishment. I don’t like to yell at him or hit him. It’s just not in my nature. Not to mention my cousin beat his dogs and I would hear the yelps from across the street… very traumatic for even a 24 yr old. Ha.

Mike took his dog to this place K-9 Basics. It is a couple of retired police officers who decided after years of working with the K-9 unit why not start an obedience school. When I retire, I’d like to start a dog sanctuary for old dogs, dogs whose owners can’t have them anymore for any circumstance, and dogs whose owners passed away. Anyway, Pickles isn’t horrible. He is super smart but lately he escapes when the door opens and run across the street or behind to the next street. Its super dangerous and my mom say’s he’ll break my heart one day. Very true.

Getting back to the post story, today was Pickle’s and my evaluation. They have a group evaluation at noon on Saturdays. Perfect minus the part where I still did not sleep in past 7! I was going to be a half hour early and decided to take Pickle’s for his first drive-thru car wash. He was not a fan. He was super freaked out and attempted to crawl under my seat. His eyes were wide and his tail was glued between his legs. We did make it out alive and continued on our way. I had to exhaust him somehow… devil.

We arrived 15 minutes early and I walked Pick around. A guy with a 4yr old black lab came and then a 4 month old chocolate lab. Super cute. I was also happy the 4 yr old lab was more rambunctious than Pickles was. We were called a few minutes after 12 to head into the training barn. We were met with a few other awnry dogs – a pug, Maltese, another golden, the black lab, and puppy chocolate, and two dogs who could not behave but their owners were able to sit and stay. The owner, Brian Berg, began with his spiel about how amazing his dogs are because they are properly trained. Pickles could not sit still. The owner asked me to make him sit and I attempted. He did sit then he told me to down him. Um ya I pushed his back to the floor and he sprung right up like he was on top of a trampoline. I was laughed at and I laughed too. He told me he’s got the sit part its the stay action he does not understand. No, the little rat understands it, he was just getting me back for putting him through an inside super soaker bath without able to play in the water. He then said petting your dogs to get them to be still and calm was not correct. It’s only reinforcing his anxiousness and the petting is a reward for acting like a crazed nut. So noted. I smoothly attempted to stop petting him but I was caught – boo me again. He talked some more and his dogs were there super behaved and really amazing.

Their style of training is to use a stimulation. A little vibration that catches the dogs attention. It is in no way a shock collar. We were asked to hold the collar in our palm and he would press the transmitter. We were told to speak up when we felt something. I finally felt it at 22. Others felt it at 30, 33, 27 and so on. I used to get stim for my dying muscles during softball season back in my glory high school days and it’s nothing unless it’s on a super high level- ouch. He then put the collar on pickles, asked me to take off his prong collar and just use the choker collar. Pickles aka 2 Chainz walked happily away from me and began to sniff around. He began pressing to find out where his level of attention would be received at. The other trainer asked the black labs owner where he thought his dog responded at, he said 10, the trainer said 8. I was shocked, but even more shocked when I answered 12 and Brian said no, 99. Another laugh from the crowd. This bull did not feel a thing! However, I must say it was absolutely amazing to see him hold pickles leash with one finger and guide him through a series of sits, stays, comes, and gos. I was sold… this child needed major help from these people and I was ready to sign up.

Then came the price. They offer unlimited lifetime training classes and offer 9 classes a week. I would typically be able to attend Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays between school, working out, and my sanity 3x would be my limit per week, as well as daily nightly training at home. So here’s the deal. It is $615 for the training- it’s done in groups. The collar is a whopping $267 because sharky over here was on the smaller model and he needs the big boy model for an extra $25. No big deal there- however over $900 is a big deal. Especially for this abused poor one-on-one aide. The price is outrageous and equals 33 pairs of jeans or 9 half marathons, 2 Goofy challenges, 2 car payments, 900 iced coffees, 40 monthly gym payments… I mean you get the point it’s a lot of freaking money!

The trade-off is an amazingly well-trained dog who will be able to frolic around, chase butterflies, eat dandelions, and not get yelled at, or hit by a car. The end. So… my options are as followed:

1. Suck it up, eat the money, and pray Pickles lives until he’s 45… and not in dog years.- live a happy, well behaved life.

2. Attempt to continue training him on my own and get no where and lose my voice and a few more shoes.

3. Buy the collar on Amazon for just over $200 and have Mike teach me what he knows and pray it works.

Option 3 sounds like the perfect middle option without breaking my bank account or Pickle’s neck. It’s a huge decision and I only have 3 days to decide or they bump the price up anotherrrr $100. Jerks – understandably so…everyone’s gotta make their bread. I prefer 5 grain.

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