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  • Tanner Strong

Arlo | Golden Retriever | Los Angeles, CA | In Training

Meet Arlo! He's a three year old Golden Retriever here for our Two-Week Board and Train Program! He is loyal and friendly, although sometimes a little too much of the latter! He loves to jump on people, get in their face, lick, and smother them with love! The only issue is he doesn't know when to stop! He has a great foundation with his commands, however he lacks the impulse control to hold his positions for longer than a few seconds. Waiting his turn to go through the door is also a big problem for Arlo. He tries to rush through with no respect for those threshold boundaries. Over the next fourteen days, we will advance Arlo's obedience commands, teach him his manners in and out of the house, work on his impulse control in distraction-heavy environments, and show Arlo how to be the best pup he can possibly be! Stay tuned for Arlo's two week transformation!


Pupdate: 2/18/2024

After picking up Arlo, we stayed at the park to get to know each other! Arlo has an excellent understanding of most of his basic commands, although I'd like him to be a little more responsive. He was a bit distracted looking for dad while we were there, so this could have caused some hesitation.

Arlo is extremely sweet, and he resisted the urge to jump on me when we first met, but then succumbed and jumped up at me a few minutes later.

Arlo is great at walking on his leash, but he pulls forward a bit, and struggles to maintain a perfect Heel position.

After we got home, I let him sniff around my place so he could start to get settled in! He also sniffed my personal pup, and I believe they're going to become good friends!


Pupdate: 2/19/2024

Arlo and I did most of our training today at Home Depot in order to avoid the rain! He was feeling a little nervous when we first got there, but I'm not sure if that was from the sounds, the small aisles, the rain or people. Either way, Arlo worked through some commands around these distractions! Walking by them, sitting near them, and simply existing in the same space started to get a little more comfortable for Arlo! Walking by the creaky carts and loud machines, or standing around with the person he was skeptical of seemed to clear Arlo's mind almost completely.

We spent most of our time working on his Heel, and his Come To Sit. After he got used to the space, his Heel started going quite smoothly! For Come To Sit, I want Arlo to come to my right side, walk around my legs, and sit at my left side with his ears at my knee. He's getting the motions down pretty quickly! He's been fairly responsive, and super willing to learn! Great job, Arlo!


Pupdate: 2/20/2024

The weather forecast predicted heavy rain all day, so I decided to take Arlo to the mall instead of our outdoor training spots. As we arrived at the mall, I could see that Arlo was already feeling a bit nervous. Being a social dog, he loves meeting new people and exploring new places, but the sound of the rain and the unfamiliar surroundings seemed to make him uneasy.

We entered the mall and stayed inside for most of our training session. I made sure to keep Arlo on a leash at all times, as I didn't want him to get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the mall. At first, he was hesitant to move forward and kept looking back at me for reassurance. But with some gentle encouragement and lots of positive reinforcement, he started to walk with more confidence.

One of the commands that Arlo has been struggling with is the "Heel" command. He tends to pull on the leash and walk ahead of me, which can be dangerous in crowded places. As we walked around the mall, I made sure to practice this command multiple times. At first, he would get distracted by people passing by or the smell of food from the food court. But with consistent correction and praise, he slowly started to understand what was expected of him.

The "Come To Sit" command has also been a bit rough for Arlo. He is a friendly dog who loves to greet people, but sometimes his enthusiasm can be overwhelming. So, whenever someone would approach us or walk by, I would use this command to make sure he came back to my side. It took a few tries, but eventually, he started to come back to me and sit without any hesitation.

One command that has always been solid with Arlo is "Place". This command requires him to find his designated spot and stay there until released. As we walked around the mall, I would randomly give this command and he would immediately go to his spot on a bench or stool, he would often want to break his command immediately after performing them. This was a great reminder that consistency and positive reinforcement are key in training your dog.

Another interesting aspect of our training session at the mall was that I didn't give Arlo any treats. Usually, I use a dog's kibble as a form of positive reinforcement for good behavior. However, at the mall, there were a lot of distractions and I didn't want him to become too focused on the food. He responded well to just the exposure and positive reinforcement through praise and affection.

As we continued our training session, I could see Arlo slowly coming out of his shell. He started walking with more confidence and even seemed to enjoy the indoor environment. He wagged his tail at people who walked by and even wanted to greet some! It was heartwarming to see him overcome his initial nervousness and become more comfortable in this new setting. That being said, his owner has stated that he usually struggles to refrain from jumping and licking, so it is important to find a balance where Arlo is comfortable, but not overly excited!

Throughout our time at the mall, I also made sure to take breaks for water and potty breaks. It's important to remember that dogs can easily get overwhelmed in new places and it's our responsibility as owners to make sure they are comfortable and taken care of.


Pupdate: 2/21/2023

A trip to the park was just what Arlo needed today! After the rain we've been struggling with, he was ecstatic to be outside for some training!

Despite being around some people and other dogs, Arlo did not exhibit any of the nerves or anxious behavior he has been showing the last few days. This leads me to believe that it was either the poor weather, or the indoor spaces that make Arlo uncomfortable, but we'll continue to explore new environments to see what makes him tick!

We worked on each of Arlo's commands today, and I tried dropping the leash. Allowing the leash to drag gives me some idea of how Arlo might perform off leash while still having access to the leash should I need it.

His ability to heel, even without leash pressure has improved dramatically! I still needed to pick up his leash for our recall command a few times throughout the day, however.

It was nice being able to dive into the day with Arlo already nice and confident! We'll work hard to make sure Arlo shows this much confidence no matter where we go!


Pupdate: 2/22/2024

For today's training session, we went to Montebello Mall! I wanted to expose Arlo to this new environment and work on his commands in a different setting. As soon as we arrived, I could see the hesitation in Arlo's body language. He was not nearly as anxious as our last time at a mall, but still not quite comfortable right off the bat.

I started off by giving him some time to acclimate to the space. I let him sniff around and take in all the new scents. Then, I began our usual training routine. Arlo's commands were great, he could Heel, Come To Sit, Down, and maintain his positions for much longer than before, but I could tell that he was still a little nervous being indoors.

It's important for dog owners to understand that training is an ongoing process. Just because a dog has mastered certain commands in one environment does not mean that they will automatically understand them in another setting. This is why exposure to different environments is crucial for a well-trained pup! Arlo is doing great at generalizing these feelings and overcoming them, but still needs plenty of exposure!

I wanted to push Arlo even further and get him as much exposure as possible to these indoor areas. So, we worked on a new command – the Under Command. This command teaches a dog to lay down and stay under a designated area, such as a chair or table. Keep in mind, this is considered one of our advanced commands, and usually wouldn't be taught in our Two-Week Board and Train Program, however Arlo has advanced so quickly, I decided it would be appropriate to try to show him something harder.

At first, Arlo was a bit confused by this new command. He had never been asked to go under something before to my knowledge. With some patience and positive reinforcement, he quickly picked it up. I started by giving him the command and guiding him under a nearby chair. Once he was in position, I praised him heavily and then said, "Free!" which is his release word.

As we were about to take a break for lunch, I decided to put Arlo's new command to the test. I wanted to see if he would stay under my chair while I ate. To my delight, he did just that! Arlo laid down under my chair and stayed there until I finished my meal.

This was a huge accomplishment for both Arlo and me. Not only is he working toward mastering a new command, but he also showed great progress in his confidence and ability to handle new environments. Great job, Arlo!


Pupdate: 2/23/2024

Today was a big day for Arlo, he finally went off leash for the first time at the park!

We started our day on the leash, as usual. As we reached a quiet area of the park with fewer distractions, I took off his leash and started going through his basics. To my delight, he performed each command flawlessly.

Feeling more confident in our training, I decided to add a new command to our off leash repertoire, Send Away To Place. This is a more advanced version of his Place command, except I'd like Arlo to find his spot without me walking him up to it! As you can see in the above video, he started nailing this command fairly easily.

Again, it's important to keep in mind that this is one of our more advanced commands that we don't usually teach within our Two-Week Board and Train Program, but Arlo has advanced quickly and happened to be ready for this.

Arlo's first taste of freedom at the park was a memorable experience for both of us. It was a reminder that with dedication and proper training, we can give our furry friends the freedom they crave while also keeping them safe and under control. And as for Arlo, he's looking forward to more off leash adventures in the future!


Pupdate: 2/24/2024

Arlo and I went to Santa Anita Mall today! He did very well with each of his commands!

Arlo, when he first came to us, would often jump up and lick anyone who came his way, unable to contain his excitement. While this may seem cute at first, it can quickly become a problem as the puppy grows into a larger and stronger dog. Arlo's owners knew they needed to address this behavior before it became a habit.

It was evident that Arlo had not only learned the commands but also understood the importance of following them. This is a crucial aspect of dog training. It's not just about teaching them tricks, but also instilling good behavior and self-control.

Aside from basic obedience, Arlo's training also focused on socialization. Dogs are social creatures, and it's essential for them to learn how to interact with other dogs and people. Socialization helps prevent fear and aggression in dogs, making them more confident and well-adjusted.

We're sure to expose him to different environments, people, and other dogs as often as possible. We're also teaching him how to greet people politely without jumping or being too exuberant. This has made Arlo a friendly and well-mannered dog who loves meeting new people.


Pupdate: 2/25/2024

Arlo and I went to Almansor Park today for our normal outing. It's also important, however, to work on dogs' household manners!

Take for example, when your furry friend excitedly greets you at the door after a long day at work. It warms your heart to see their tail wagging and their face full of joy, but it can also be a bit overwhelming when they jump all over you and try to rush out the door before you can even step inside. This is a common issue faced by many dog owners, but it's one that can easily be addressed through proper training and teaching of door manners.

First and foremost, teaching your dog proper door manners is a matter of safety. We all know how curious and adventurous our furry friends can be, and if they are not trained to sit politely at doors and gates, they may dart out and potentially put themselves in harm's way. This is especially important for homes near busy streets or areas with high foot traffic. By teaching your dog to wait for your command before exiting through a door or gate, you can prevent any potential accidents or injuries.

Moreover, having good door manners also reflects positively on your dog's overall behavior and obedience. It shows that they are well trained and respectful of boundaries. This can come in handy in various situations, such as when guests come over to your home or when you take your dog out in public. A well-behaved dog is always a pleasure to be around and can make your life as a dog owner much easier.

But how exactly do you teach your dog proper door manners? The key is consistency and repetition. As mentioned earlier, Arlo and I actively practice this behavior by playing a game where I open the door and he sits patiently until I give him the command to come out. We also do this passively by having him sit every time we enter or exit through a door at home. It may take some time and patience, but with consistent training, your dog will soon understand that sitting politely at doors is the expected behavior.

In addition to doors, it's also important to teach your dog proper manners at gates, fences and other thresholds. This includes waiting for your command before entering or exiting through a gate, whether it's at a park or in your own backyard. This will not only prevent any potential accidents but also instill good habits in your dog when it comes to respecting boundaries.

Arlo has done a beautiful job with his manners thus far, and you can his his progress in today's video! This doesn't mean we're done yet! As stated previously, the key is in the consistency! He still has plenty of room to improve, so we won't stop working on it any time soon!


Pupdate: 2/26/2024

Today, I took Arlo to Almansor Park for some off-leash training. It was a beautiful day (at first) and we were both excited to get to work! As we walked around, Arlo was engaged and responsive off-leash. He followed my commands, stayed by my side, and didn't wander off or try to go ahead of me.

I tried to take Arlo to the various environments around the park, not just the grassy fields! The first one was by the ponds, which Arlo didn't seem to have any issues with! The next challenge was when we passed by the basketball courts where some kids were playing. As much as Arlo loves people and attention, I was worried that he might get too excited and run towards them. He opted to stay calm and walked by my side without causing any disturbance. Once we sat down for a spell, I did notice Arlo wanting to turn to look at the basketball as it bounced, but using his Off command, he managed to pay more attention to me!

We use Off for anything we don't want Arlo to do. Whether it is jumping, licking, or paying more attention to distractions than me. He's done great with this so far!

Once it started sprinkling, we headed home and worked on his indoor manners for the remainder of the evening!


Pupdate: 2/27/2024

Today Arlo and I ventured out to the Los Angeles State Historic Park for some training.

As we arrived at the park, Arlo was excited to see all the other trainers and their dogs! Arlo was on his best behavior. He was a little excited, but remained attentive while we worked on his commands! I could see that he was happy to be around so many other dogs, but I made sure to keep him focused on me and our training goals.

Working in such close proximity to the other dogs was a tough step for Arlo, but he nailed everything we threw at him! He behaved exceptionally well around all the other dogs and followed through with each command, even in the midst of distractions. It was a testament to our hard work and dedication to his training. Great job, Arlo!


Pupdate: 2/28/2024

Arlo and I went to Citadel Outlets today for training! He did a great job with each of his commands, and behaved well, despite the hustle and bustle of shoppers and other distractions.

The Citadel Outlets is not only a popular destination for shopping and dining, but also an ideal place for dog training. With its spacious outdoor setting and variety of distractions, it offers a unique and challenging environment for dogs to practice their obedience skills.

As soon as we arrived, Arlo was already excited and eager to explore the new surroundings. I could sense his curiosity as he sniffed around and took in all the sights and sounds of the outlet mall. But after letting him sniff around a bit, I asked Arlo to come to my side and from that point on he was focused and his attention was on me!

The outlet mall also offers a variety of obstacles and challenges for dogs to overcome, such as navigating through crowds, walking on different surfaces, and encountering other dogs. This provided a well-rounded training experience for Arlo as he continues to work on adapting to different scenarios and remain calm in as many situations as possible.


Pupdate: 2/29/2024

Today, Arlo and I decided to take our training to the next level and headed to the iconic Santa Monica Pier. This is a great place to train because of the various distractions and crowds of people!

As we stepped onto the pier, I could see that Arlo was just as excited as I was. His tail was wagging furiously, and he sniffed around eagerly, but after a few minutes of warm up time, he settled down and focused on me. We started off with his leash on, just to get him acclimated to the new environment.

Once both of us felt comfortable, I decided it was time to take off his leash and see how he would do with his commands off-leash.

Arlo performed well on and off leash. He listened attentively to my commands and executed them with ease. Even with all the people walking by and other dogs barking in the distance, he remained focused on me. He even managed to hold his Sit, Place and Down commands for a bit longer than he has in the past, despite the new environment and all the distractions.

I have to give credit to the environment at Santa Monica Pier for helping with our success. The pier is known for its lively atmosphere, with street performers, food vendors, and tourists all around. There were also plenty of other dogs on the pier, which provided a great training opportunity for Arlo.


Pupdate: 3/1/2024

Arlo and I spent the day at Almansor Park! He was off leash the whole time, which he had zero issues handling.

He was allowed plenty of playtime today since he's been doing such an incredible job, however we also worked to progress his commands. We worked on a new command, which we call the Sit In Motion, where I ask Arlo to Sit while we're heeling, but without me having to stop walking. This is another more advanced exercise, but Arlo got the hang of it quickly.


Pupdate: 3/2/2024

Arlo and I went to the park today when it wasn't raining in the morning! After that, we spent the rainy day working on his household manners. The one in the above video is his food manners!

Food manners are an issue that seem to be a common struggle for most dogs, and let me tell you, it's not just about making dinner time less chaotic, but it's also a matter of keeping your beloved dog safe from accidentally eating something they shouldn't.

The first step in training Arlo was to teach him a little bit of impulse control. This is the ability to resist immediate gratification and instead wait for a cue or command from their owner. It's an essential skill for any well-behaved dog and can be applied in various situations, not just during meal times. Arlo came to me with a lot of his basics down, but one thing he struggles with is that impulse control. He would often want to eat his food immediately, jump and lick people and had trouble holding his designated positions for any amount of time.

To start, I used the Sit command and gently reminded Arlo whenever he tried to go for the bowl. This may seem simple, but it takes a lot of patience and consistency to teach a dog impulse control. I made sure to reward Arlo with his kibble and praise every time he waited for my command.

After several repetitions, Arlo finally understood that he had to wait for my cue before getting the food, which you can see in his video above!

Proper food manners not only make mealtimes more manageable, but they also keep your dog safe from eating dropped food or anything they shouldn't be eating. Dogs are curious creatures, and they tend to put everything in their mouths, so teaching them impulse control is a must for their safety.

In the second half of his video, I added a clip from yesterday when we were practicing his In Motion Sit, his Come To Sit and Come To Heel, as well as much longer distance recall. Going back to that impulse control, Arlo has improved greatly, and you can see his ability to hold his Sit position even when I walk greater and greater distances away from him!


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