Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Your Subtitle text

Doofus & The Prong Collar

Doofus and The Prong Collar!
by Diane Jacobsen

I had RRs for 32 years and up until one dog in particular, never had any use for prong collars. I have never had any dog that I raised that needed the prong collar to get their attention, nor to hold their attention.

This particular dog we named Doofus and then changed it temporarily to Dreyfus when we showed him to prospective adoptive parents, only to return to Doofus as they went out the gate without him. He originated in Auburn, CA, close to where my daughter was living. The call came from the pound saying he had one day to go and he was such a nice example of the breed and such a lovely temperment. I sent Lauri in to look at him and determine if he was indeed purebred.

After the last time I drove 3 hrs to pick up another "shining example of the breed" only to find a 20", 45 lb adult male with a long coat, snipey nose and perfect ridge, I have a tendency to question the judgement calls of the animal control people. She called from her home and said she had picked him up and he was "awfully big, but looked pure". Her tale of 'picking this dog up' only was a forerunner of his potential.

He was in the jail, looking forlorn and repentive. Found as a stray roaming the streets, killing garbage cans.

She said okay, he looked pretty good and seemed to love the kids, so she would take him. She is young and naive, so when they suggested that she pull her VW up to the side door to load him, she suspected not. They attached her to the dog and while one opened the kennel door, the other stood by to open the side door. She said her feet only touched the ground when Doofus was firmly implanted in the backseat of the VW, wedged between the two kids and slurping like mad.

The trip down here with a larger than life dog of about 10 months of age and mental capacity of a 6 week old pup, was of no problem. She had kept him for a week to determine that he had no manners, had not been leash trained, unless full speed ahead constituted training, and was a generally good tempered dog. He was as most dogs are, pretty traumatized in coming here. A kennel full of dogs that were just like him (well almost like him). It was apparent to me that the RR was a primary factor, but either Rotty or Mastiff was a visitor in either his mommies or dads pedigree. Pretty soon he adjusted and learned the pastime of fence fighting with the adult male dogs.

I put a chain choker on him and decided that it was time to evaluate the lack of training and correct this oversight. There was an eye opening experience here and it wasn't his! I snapped the leash and he went. I snapped harder and then flat jerked up enough to lift any dog I've ever had trouble with. He licked me and took off again. After 1/2 hour, my arms were a foot longer and I had not made a dent into his "training" session. I had a prong collar that another rescue dog had come in on and I (of course with disdain) informed them that there was never any need to use 'that' piece of equipment on 'any dog'. I retrieved that, thinking possibly I had been somewhat premature on that evaluation.

The prong collar let him acknowledge that I was indeed on the other end of the leash and that he might listen to me, if he was so inclined, but still did not really ever get leash trained. He was just so thick skinned and bullheaded that whatever I did he took as a minor set back. Believe me, the day some backwoods guy from way back in the hills came through my gate and thought Dreyfus (Doofus) was the most beautiful dog and actually walked out with him, I did a bigtime celebration. I had him 3 months and 40 lbs more. He was about 30" at the shoulder and weighed approximately 130 lbs. I was not unhappy to see him go. My arms were permenantly stretched several inches from the sockets and I swear that I will never again take anyones version of a purebred RR, sight unseen.

So I am willing to say that the prong collar is a tool and that like all tools, it has a place and a purpose. It is like any tool. When used correctly it is extremely useful. When used incorrectly, can be dangerous to the dog. I sent it down the road with Doofus!

Click HERE to return to the Humor Page


Website Builder