Note:  The author has had no veterinary or medical training. She has merely documented her experience with her dog's health problems. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before acting on any information you see here.

The following notes may be helpful in training your dog. We didn't know what we were doing. We were especially confused because Amie didn't feel well. The veterinarians kept saying she needed more obedience work, which is probably true, but I was certain that something else was wrong.

My mother, at age 78, should never have taken on the project of a new puppy. She couldn't bend down easily and was never quick enough to train Amie well. While Amie was paper-trained, she also used several spots in the house as evacuation points. When she was almost a year old we went to a new dog training class together and at least we were able to train her to walk on the leash. When my husband, Jeff, and I took over, we realized that this was a basically untrained one year old dog who was deeply in grief and resented any of our attempts to gain mastery.

That first month after my mom died I read about 20 books and viewed a few videos on dog training. There are several things I learned of value.

Later I saw a dog trainer on TV who thought that there must be a better way to train a dog than harshness and yanking on a collar. We bought his video and felt such relief that we could, in fact, bond with this dog without force, pain, chin-bops, collar yanks, screaming. I regret knowing so little and have to forgive myself for the mistakes I made in training Amie, that poor soul. The
following are some tips we learned the hard way and we hope they may be useful to you.

Mostly training Amie was a trial and error process. We knew we would rather have an unruly dog than train it using pain. We read everything we could about training, asked questions of veterinarians and others who had dogs. Most of what we learned we learned by accident. I kept looking for a tape or book that teach a person how to train a dog through play, but never found it.






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