When we first got Blaze back in 2000 at 10 weeks of age, my husband and I were smitten. She was such a cute puppy and we were in love with her. When we shared news of our new family member with friends and family, we were informed that there was a dog trainer who trained every breed, but was great with Rottweilers. We were excited to go get her training started but when we spoke to the trainer they did not take puppies until they were 6 months old. So we anxiously waited and in that time, we enjoyed her but didn’t teach her anything. We were waiting for the experts.
When we got to class, they informed us we needed to purchase a choke chain, which we did because we were told to do so. When Blaze was continuing to pull me around in class (she was already quite big at 6 months), they instructed me to purchase a prong collar because she was not responding to the choke. So again, I did as I was told and purchased a prong collar. This is where our troubles began. She started to be very disobedient with the collar on. She would try to do the opposite of what I wanted, despite being a very bright dog. But that was minor. The real problem was that she started to become what they labeled “aggressive”. As soon as she saw that I was bringing the collar out, she would start to growl and snap at me. And any time I would “correct” her (quickly and sharply pull on her leash and collar), she would growl and snap at me as well. According to the instructor, I was doing everything that I should be, but Blaze was a very stubborn dog so I had to correct her faster and harder. When that resulted in her behavior toward me getting worse and more aggressive, I was instructed to “hang her up” by her leash and collar. This involved quickly pulling her up by her leash at arms length as quick and as hard as I could so that her front feet were off the ground and she was actually hanging there until she “submitted” or calmed down which I would then let her front feet back down to the ground. Needless to say, the behavior continued to get worse and worse. When asking the trainer what else to do, I had to continue to “correct her” being stronger, harder, quicker and longer periods of time.