Atlas (aka Gabe)
Atlas Off Leash!
Atlas running free as a result of eCollar training.
Atlas as a Mascot!
Atlas adourns the last two banners of See Spot Run training facility.
Atlas(aka Gabe at the time) was found as a young dog at the front of a rescue organization's gate. Some from the rescue believed that he would never find a home because he was too rough, too powerful and he didn't have flashy enough coloring.
I provided obedience training for Atlas, which included off remote/eCollar training. Most rescue organizations would never allow such a thing. They would claim that "shocking" a dog is cruel and unusual punishment. Let's contrast what his life would have been without me and my eCollar. He would have been confined 100% of the time. That means someone showing up once per day to clean his outdoor pen and put down food and water. Remember he was too rough for anyone else to handle. They certainly wouldn't have wanted to play with him. I would go to see him 2 or 3 times a week. The eCollar training allowed him to run loose on the 10 acre property and play in the creek bed. He could be 500 feet away from me and I could whisper his name and he would come running. His obedience became stellar in a short amount of time. I took him on a "Dog Walk for Cancer" event where he was probably the most well behaved dog there.
I also took him to Petco's and Pet Marts on weekends, in hopes of finding hime a home. I had him heel through the stores beside me while dragging his leash. I had him perform various obedience commands to bring attention to him. He would often sit calmly while children would pet him.
He is a dog that with the right relationship you almost never had to correct. I am commenting on the "right relationship" because some from the rescue did not have this relationship with him. Atlas at times would rough up some of the rescue volunteers and staff. I would not correct him for doing this.
These folks believed in Pure Positive style training only. Matter of fact the one lady even had claimed that she was taught by the "best trainer". This best trainer was some trainer back in her home state of New York that I had never heard of. I certainly wasn't going to violate her religion by correcting Atlas in front of her. After seeing a volunteer get "beat up" (rough play-bad manners) for a few minutes, by Altas, I would say, "Come On, Let's Go!". He would come over to me and trot nicely beside me in a loose heel position.
So some of you might think that I had to "correct the hell out of him" to get this behavior. Nope! No Way! The first time I met him, I gave him two or three firm corrections for inappropriate behavior. However I also rewarded good behavior. I was firm but fair and also kind and gentle when given respect back. In a very short amount of time I had a great relationship with this dog that translated into great obedience.
To be fair to the rescue, at one point they adopted him out to a lady that talked a "mean game". Apparently she had trained many Border Collies. Well his stay there was short lived in that she ended up frantically calling the rescue to retrieve him after two days! This same lady insisted she knew what she was doing and didn't want any help prior to the adoption.
Atlas in a Pan
Atlas, considered an "out of control dog" by some Pure Positive trainers learned this in just one session of clicker training.
Atlas did find a permanent home eventually, with a trainer friend of mine that lives in Chicago. Atlas now lives with both a dog companion and very young children. Remember this was the dog that was too rough for the Pure Positive trainer. Matter of fact Atlas is such a great dog that he has become the corner stone of the trainer's business. I don't think any trainer in their right mind would use an ill behaved dog on a banner outside of their business.
The woman that adopted Atlas isn't Wonder Woman nor does she have super human strength. Matter of fact she is a mere 5' 2" in stature. She does have a good head on her shoulders and absence of desire to do the stupid things as seen on TV. She just didn't take Atlas and dump him in with a bunch of other dogs. She took a slow methodical approach.
-- Daniel Audet