In September 2015 we met with the fourth trainer, Nick.  The first meeting was considered an aggression evaluation.  We left Liezel in the car as instructed and this worried me because she hated being left alone.  Leaving her alone would result in her anxiety being high, drool on the windows, scratches on the doors, and panting, lots of panting.

We told Nick everything I posted in my first blog post.  From 8-weeks to current day.  He explained a lot about only being able to train aggressive dogs to a certain point (based on each individual dog). That her predisposition to being nervous could not be trained out of her.  But he was confident that he could help to some extent.  My goal was to be able to go to classes with Liezel, take her for walks, and if at all possible compete with her.  At a bare minimum, classes.  Remember, she’s a working dog and working dogs must have mental and physical stimulation.

He told us to go get her.  As expected, she greeted him with barking and lunging.  He took the leash from me and held it as we continued talking.  The very first thing he said was “Get a prong collar on her.”  He sold them, so we bought one and put it on her.  He continued to hold the leash and when she reacted (aggressively or fearfully) Nick gave a quick correction and said “Stop.”  The correction was a light tug of the leash.  It was enough to get her attention, but not to hurt (I tried it at home on my own neck).  He rewarded her with food if she looked up when he said her name.  Correction and reward – this was new.  At the end of our hour meeting, Nick said “This will be an easy case.  I see no reason why you won’t be able to take her to classes and even compete with her.” Cue tears.

*We were not to use the prong collar until our next meeting with Nick.  If you know anything about prong or e-collars, or even invisible fences, the human must be trained on how to use them correctly.