Answer: A shock collar that works!
Okay, so hears the saga of the SC.
The SC arrived in the mail last Friday night. YIPPEEEEEE! It had to get a good charge before being used, so it was plugged in over night. Saturday we were gone branding, so Saturday night came the test.
I let Jack out and watched him take off. I yelled, "Jack, COME!" He didn't...until I pushed the lowest level once. That dog lowered his head and came right to me! WOO-HOO! VICTORY!!!
Yea! I got him responding to my command "Come" immediately! I would have to wait until time permitted to teach him to stay in the yard. That same evening The Prairie Daddy decided it would be fun to take Jack out with him on the 4-wheeler to check water since the SC had a remote that The Prairie Daddy could use to keep Jack around. I thought, "SUPER! Jack will get to go get some energy out!"
The Prairie Daddy returned later. No Jack. "Where's Jack?" You see, the SC only is effective if you're paying attention to the dog and use it to teach him things like "stay." Oops.
Monday evening The Prairie Daddy was out checking water again. I let The Prairie Kid out with the dog in the yard and said, "If Jack tries to leave the yard come and get me really fast!" This worked the first time. I went out and yelled come and gave a warning and he came right back! Yipppeeee! Victory again!
The Prairie Kid let me know a second time that Jack left the yard...this time he was too far and I couldn't get him back. Oh well, he'll eventually return.
I then got on the phone and as I was chatting I checked outside. No child. So, I walked around the house and yard. No child. I went in the house and yelled for him. No child. Uh, what happened? My child doesn't take off! Where is he? I got off the phone, called The Prairie Daddy, pulled on my sexy irrigating boots and headed out. The Prairie Daddy said he'd head back to help look. I couldn't see my child anywhere. I prayed. As I wandered in the field next to the house yelling I saw the 4-wheeler pull over and The Prairie Daddy picked up The Prairie Kid who was up at the corrals (which required him to get past a cattle guard and walk 1/4 mile). Oh boy was I not a happy camper! (Did I mention that The Prairie Kid was in his pajamas with no socks and cowboy boots? Later, I found out that he went through barbed wire and got 3 holes in his brand new pjs!)
When we got home I tearfully told The Prairie Kid that it scared me when he left and he burst into tears. His little spirit definitely felt the impact of a scared mommy. I wasn't mad at all, just wanted to make sure he knew that we loved him enough to care about where he was. But he still needed consequences so he spent awhile in his room.
The Prairie Daddy took the remote for the SC with him. Jack was found chasing a herd of deer (remember, BIG NO-NO!). The Prairie Daddy pressed the button...nothing. Again. Nothing. And after realizing it wasn't working he drove the 4-wheeler up fast and grabbed Jack and put him on the 4-wheeler and brought him home. Jack spent time in his "room" too (the kennel). Great, both my kids were in solitary.
So, I thought the SC must have needed a recharge. I plugged it in and the light didn't come on. I knew that Jack had gotten partially wet but these things are obviously water resistant, says so right in the package. But not only was it not working, the clip that holds it on the dog was already broken! WHAT? I JUST GOT THIS THING!
Now we're SCless again. I have no clue how long it will be before we'll get a replacement (and if they're made that cheap do I even want one from the same place?). Sigh.
I do have to say that Jack is still obeying my command to "come." I just cannot be outside all of the time with him to keep him in the yard. Oh well, at least I cannot complain that I am bored, right?