The day I fell in love with a senior dog in a rescue group

Today I woke up and did my morning meditation, stretches, and grounding exercises to get me focus for the day. I wrote in my journal and sent myself some positive information. After getting dressed I headed to a rescue group where I volunteer.

As hot as it was today I knew I was not going to be outside for long. I entered in the rescue, signed in and went immediately to the dog run. As I walked up and down the aisle full of energetic dogs eager to come out and play or attack me, I noticed a dutch shepherd who looked very focused. I love the look of a focused dog.

The first thing I noticed was that he was 7 years old and was a black dog. I thought to myself that this dog is old and I should probably check if he has any medical issues. Once he was cleared I took him to play in the yard. We played fetch with a ball and ran around the yard. He knew the command sit so I asked him to sit each time.

He doesn't really know any other commands, but I see the potential this dog possesses.We will work on that. He would stare at me as if asking what to do next. I thought he would soon run out of energy being that he was older, but quite the opposite happened. We walked and he was full of life. He was my partner for the day. I was excited and it gave me a rush of energy.

We found some shade and sat down and relaxed as if we had just finished working a construction job and was on lunch break. I was always one to say I'd rather a young dog than an old dog, but I'm not so sure that's the case all the time.

Of course a young dog is usually more energetic, but not all the time. It also depends whose adopting the dog. They might not want a dog that's energetic. The older dogs usually have more health problems. They usually have behavioral problems if they are in these situations. They have a shorter life span left.

And with all this in mind, I am now rooting for the underdog. These dogs are a victim of circumstance. They can be great dogs with a dedicated owner.

The crazy thing I find about people that want puppies is that most of the time these are the dogs who later end up being that old dog in a rescue group or shelter. A puppy is a blank slate, but it is also a lot more work. If you mess up you can only blame yourself. 

I don't want to discourage anyone. I'm just saying if you aren't into any dog sports where you need a young healthy dog that you can train then consider an older rescue dog. They are not all the same. Just like humans have diversity, so do dogs. I left the rescue group feeling like I had made a new friend. I just hope I impacted his life as much as he impacted mine.

What they want to ban is what I love

It maybe out of ignorance. Actually I'm sure it is out of ignorance that a lot of people want to ban one or the other of these two things. The two things I'm referring to is a Pit bull and an e-collar. Both of these items hold a special place in my heart.

My dog, fats, its like a son to me. He is my partner, my buddy, my road dog. I ve been with him since birth and he is 10 years old. We have gotten to know each other likes and dislikes and trust each other.

My dog has aggressive tendencies. As I am a dog trainer now we work on managing his aggression and getting to the root problem. Sometimes I get mad at myself because i caused him to add to the stigma of aggressive pit bull due to my negligence.

I take full responsibility for his actions. How did he end up like this you ask? Well it all started when I was younger and thought I was cool. So if you thought you was a bad ass then you had a big pit bull by your side. I thought it was cool that my dog was game and ready to step to anyone who came near him. People would come by my house and he would lunge at them. He doesn't do this anymore, as far as lunging ( unless you get him excited and he thinks you're playing).

Now I hate when I see pit bulls wild and not in control. They are beautiful dogs who will work to earn their keep, but it is us people who ruin the dog and the dog's name. I deeply regret my ignorance and now fully understand what I did.I now dedicate myself to helping other not make this same mistake.

I remember when I was working in Petsmart and this guy had this big pit bull pulling him. He had the same swag I did when I was younger with my dog. I could tell he didn't understand that these dogs need leaders. They need to be guided what to do.

Anyways, he was walking down one of the isles and his dog was meeting a husky dog about the same age (8 months). The guy with the pit bull was not noticing signs that his dog was trying to dominate the husky. I turned my back for one quick second and I hear growling as I turned back to see the husky cowering back after being snipped by the pit bull. The owner did not notice, but he promoted this behavior.

The same behavior I promoted with my dog 10 years ago. I work hard now everyday to train my dog so that I can make his life as fun now on that I couldn't 10 years ago. I don't have to avoid places being scared he will bite someone. This usually only happens around kids because they always want to do something weird to the dog like grab his tail.

Avoidance is never the key. You have to face the fear and/or problem in order to get over it. I will always promote pit bulls and never let someone who doesn't know any better tell me otherwise.

The E-collar

I was taught first under the positive reinforcement only training. In order for you to understand let me quickly explain the four quadrants of operant conditioning.

The first one is positive reinforcement. This is when the dog does something I like and I reward with a treat of some sort. The second one is negative punishment. This is when I remove something the dog wants in order to get the dog to change the behavior.

The third one is positive punishment. This is when the dog peforms a behavior I don't want and then I give the dog a correction.

The fourth and final quadrant is negative reinforcement. This is when I put pressure on a dog and they learn how to release pressure. This last one is what e-collar training is about. 

Why do some people want it banned? The same as why they want pit bulls banned-ignorance. They don't know how to use the tool. Now in their defense there are people who misuse the tool as well as train pit bulls in aggressive ways, but there are many things they are not considering. 

1. Off leash freedom

Many people don't realize that they can have off leash freedom if they take time to train the dog to the ecollar. It's important to note that I would never put an e collar on a dog and crank it to the highest level and press the button if the dog misbehaves. That is not teaching. That is abuse. I always teach the dog the language slowly. 

2. Low level stimulation

I use low level stimulation. Most times people can't feel the stimulation. It's too low, but the dog can feel it. All the only positive trainers will say it's inhumane, but they can't even feel it. They would ask me if I would put it on myself. I tell them I have and that they should watch my video on it. 

3. Break a dog's attention immediately

If a dog is too focused on something you don't want them focused on like a cat or another dog then you can use this to immediately stop it before the behavior erupts. If your dog is too far away then you wont be able to correct them in time.

This goes along with off leash freedom. Also if my dog is 50 ft away and I need him to come immediately then I can communicate with him what I expect.

These are just a few. Both of these changed my life. My pit bull I wouldn't give up for the world and the e-collar has really upped my level of training and the results I could get. I am thankful for both and I enjoy doing what I do.