top of page
  • Writer's picturecristianoffleash

Armani | Pitbull Mix | North Hollywood | In-Training

Meet Armani! Armani is a 3 year old Pitbull mix coming from North Hollywood, CA for our 2 Week Board & Train program. Armani comes to us with a habit of pulling on leash, jumping on people, and eating anything from the ground that looks like food. Armani is sweet to the people he is close to but he's very unaware for most strangers around him making him curious to investigate their well beings just for passing by. Over the next two weeks I'll try my best to provide a positive experience for Armani and show him things he's never done or wouldn't think be possible. Check out his progress with me as his personal dog trainer!


Pupdate 11/21/2023

Today was the first day I met Armani and we made our way back to my side of town to start our relationship bond. Once we returned to my house we practiced our obedience training in the front of my house letting him burn some energy out since he was running back and forth everywhere. Once he started to relax I began petting him to see if he was ok with it. He would tense up at times but would let me pet him thoroughly except his paws. After we made our way for a walk around the neighborhood just to get more exercise. We made our way back but throughout our walk Armani would constantly try to mark everything along our path so I had to prevent him from doing this. While in the front of the house we practiced more of our heel practice and I introduced Armani to another command which is place. Place is used to have a dog objectively place themselves on a platform such as a dog bed, dog cot, and etc.

So far Armani seems to be doing ok and has been able to perform everything Ive asked so far but his heeling is out of place so we will continue to improve that and everything else Armani will learn!


Pupdate 11/22/2023

Today was the first day of our e-collar training at Wilderness park in Downey, CA. In the video above Armani and I are in an open area of grass letting Armani let out some energy. Shortly after I put on his e-collar I was able to start training him for proper obedience with better engagement coming from Armani. We started off trying to get his heel in proper ordnance since Armani has the initiative to pull excessively for every little thing. As Armani heads one direction I went the other to have him follow me and reward him for each moment he will.

Shortly after Armani started to realize what I was trying to teach him and was trying to correspond with me and the e-collar as I asked for his heel. In the video above the second video clip Armani is trying his best to stay with me at my side but keeps leaning into me or attempting to lead as we walk. Each time he tried to pass me I would use low level stimulations from the e-collar to redirect Armani into keeping a pace that consisted with my walking. When I ask Armani for his sit he's overreacting on the low level stipulations but quickly follows through and I'm able to praise him for listening. We continue to walk in the left turn heel and as we make each turn I say heel so Armani can understand what I'm acknowledging to him. We end the video by placing Armani on the bench near us and shortly after I break him for more praise. Armani is very impulsive when staying on a platform so I break him very quickly just to make it fun. We will continue to improve on his place and other commands throughout the week!

Second video is my E-collar explanation to help educate owners or viewers on the et-300 model designed by e-collar technologies.


Pupdate 11/23/2023

Today I took Armani out for an early walk in the morning. Before getting him out of his crate he's very vocal and cries until he's let out. I take my time opening the crate door slowly to keep Armani patient until the crate door is open entirely. He has tried running through each time but we work through this each morning to help stop his vocalizing from the crate. As we made our way back home we started training in the front of my house to focus on his down obedience command. Unfortunately Armani was very consistent about rebelling into his down and would keep himself stiff until he got what he wanted. I didn't want to pressure him so we focused on other commands which he had no issue with to perform.

Later on in the day we focused on his door manners to help educate himself on respecting the door as a boundary until being asked for his break. While practicing Armani had a few moments where he broke his position but with the assistance of the e-collar he was able to redirect himself towards the backyard to be placed into his sit. The more we practiced and the farther I'm able to travel away from him he's able to build his confidence. We will continue to work on more house manners and trying to motivate him into his down obedience command since everything else is picking up.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Pupdate 11/24/2023

Last night I took my time trying to work with Armani and his down obedience command. During our practice we tried most methods to help motivate Armani to go into a down but it was unsuccessful with Armani making attempts to bite me without much intent behind it. We did have 3 successful moments only when he would tire out from sitting he would down and I would praise him for that first moment. Shortly after I asked him to go down going to his face level with much motivation. After two minutes he went into a down so I followed up with asking him for down one more time. He waited about two minutes again until downing then we ended our practice.

Today we went to Hillcrest Park in Downtown Fullerton to expose Armani with distractions and smells coming from the park. We started off on a big staircase that leads into the park but Armani wanted to run up each time so we practiced just walking up the stairs so Armani could settle himself when going up. After some repetitions Armani started to follow my pace and we made our way around the park. Each time someone passed us Armani made it noticeable he wanted to investigate anyone passing by. This was perfect to teach him off since we had a lot of people pass by us today, even some with dogs. Each time his eyes made contact with someone else I would ask for his off obedience command. When he listens he will turn his attention to me or keep his head straight. When he starts to travel away from me I use the e-collar to redirect him and it worked each time we needed to use it today. By the end of the walk we passed by multiple people with dogs and passed by them with ease.

We worked in an open field at Hillcrest working on all obedience commands but when it came to his down obedience command we ran into the same issue and couldn't perform this outside. We did however perform a four minute sit on the place pad before breaking him. The last thing we did improve on is that when he is given his break he likes to just run past me so I started close to him and created distance to have him travel to me when given his break. He was more consistent by the time we left!


Pupdate 11/25/2023

Today I took Armani to the Outlets of Orange in Orange, CA. When we first arrived Armani heeled properly until he noticed all the people walking by us. When passing by people there were many moments to redirect him since he was very adamant about going up to people when he wanted. Being in an area like this made low level stimulation ineffective so we were in the medium to high range in numbers when using the e-collar. After some time Armani started to keep a better pace with me but would instantly react to anyone giving him attention. I had to take Armani to an area to work on better engagement with me.

In the video above I used a shorter leash since the longer one gave Armani too much room to run towards people at times. We took our time working on this bench with place and recall. After some time Armani started to settle and give me better engagement which is when the recording starts. Armani couldn't even keep his positioning the same as mine but once he started to do it more often we were able to work with some ease. There's a moment where a group is calling to Armani making him distracted but with leash pressure and the use of the e-collar he was able to redirect himself back onto his place. These things that happen are out of my control but always managing with obedience can always help direct through these types of situations.

While inside a store working on impulse control there was a woman who went overboard on just seeing Armani and went full mom mode to acknowledge him. This made Armani react immediately to jump onto the woman. I redirected Armani and the women apologized for acting out of pocket but informed me she has many pitbulls at home and loves to see them. Everything was fine after but I'm gonna take the time to work on his greeting manners with specific individuals who can help educate Armani with proper greeting manners. At home we were able to successfully perform down with somewhat a faster pace but Armani needs leash assistance still to perform the obedience command. We will continue to work on this everyday until he goes home.


Pupdate 11/26/2023

Today I took Armani for his walk early in the morning and he's been doing well at not reacting so badly when seeing other people with dogs as much. When walking by an open area of grass I let Armani have some free time running around enjoying himself. Once we returned home we started off with conditioning his down obedience command. I was really happy to see him try today and be more consistent when we initially started practicing in the front of the house. My parents had to clean up and set decorations so we took our training to the backyard.

In the video above is our practice with leash tension only. The goal for today was to have Armani hold his down for more than 5 seconds since he's very impulsive and will get up as soon as I create distance from him. I use my hand for sign language and create just a small amount of leash tension going towards the place pad to help Armani situate himself since he's used to these motions. As time progresses we will continue to improve on this since Armani has shown full confidence now to do this and won't cause conflict just for something so simple

We followed up with more training inside the house making sure Armani can control his impulses seeing food on the ground or being near anything that he might find interest in. He will often smell a lot of the furniture but seems aware not to mark or go potty inside the house. He has tried jumping on my bed each time I get on but has been redirected each time this happens and guided to a dog bed that he can lay on instead while out in my room. Armani and Hunter haven't met besides through the crate and each time they smell each other they are okay. Armani can overexcite himself when he starts to paw at the crate; so I often stop him from doing this and will ask him to place on the place pad. Overall Armani has been doing a lot better with working through his obedience but we still have many challenges this week coming up!


Pupdate 11/27/2023

Today I took Armani to a park in Los Angeles, CA to work around some of the other trainers with their dogs. When we first arrived we got to work and started training but as the other trainers started to pull their dogs out of their cars, Armani started to overstimulate. It was difficult in the beginning to get his attention at first since he will try to tolerate the e-collar as much as possible. We had to train for some time before finding the perfect moment where Armani is neutral and can be rewarded. Once he was given a break we returned to the area next to Amanda and Sheena and tried working again.

In the video above is our 2nd practice of working around Amanda and Sheena's dogs. Armani can break for the littlest things so we had to micro manage each step for Armani to keep the practice fun and positive for him. There are multiple moments he breaks position regardless which command it is but the consistency has always benefited Armani in the long run. We made progress today but will try to be around more dogs and other environments with dogs as well to desensitize Armani with this issue.


Pupdate 11/28/2023

Armani and I went to Cerritos Mall this morning to expose Armani to this type of environment. Once we stepped inside and Armani saw the people inside he started to get excited but at a decent pace with me. Throughout our walk Armani would try to lead in front of me or travel away so I had to redirect him each time he did this. To keep Armani from trying to lead I would practice left and right turns throughout the mall and walking back through busy sections of the mall.

When taking a break we sat in a section with seats near a store called Zara where most people travel through. I had asked Armani to go down and as usual he was adamant about breaking his position to walk around. He was redirected at least five times until he kept his position. We practiced extended sit which went really well with most people passing. As we made our way around the mall again there were a few moments people called to Armani but for each encounter I asked for him off immediately even if Armani eyes made contact with them. This helped Armani keep his pace with me and during the end of our visit Armani was more consistent with his obedience being able to perform with ease. We are going to continue visiting places with traffic of people to desensitize Armani with his impulse towards people outside.


Pupdate 11/29/2023

Today I took Armani to Home Depot to see how he would be around this environment. There are a lot of small aisles and sections of the store so I wanted to challenge Armani on his impulses when passing by people. When we first arrived we walked through the garden section and Armani wanted to pee on the flowers. Immediately I had to ask for his off which he followed through and we were able to make our way inside the store. Armani did very well passing by most people who didn't try to baby talk to him. We had one person do this but worked through it with our obedience training. Something that was noticeable today was Armani's fear of carts. Each time we passed by someone with a cart he would sprint away from me. We walked towards the middle of the store to place Armani into a sit and let everyone pass by him to help desensitize him. After staying for more than an hour Armani seemed to settle being in Home Depot but before leaving we did see a dog and he reacted breaking his obedience. When leaving the store Armani acts as if nothing happened but we are gonna try to find more dogs to work around with.

In the video above is our practice right after coming back from Home Depot. Armani is usually energetic still when we get home so some training right before he eats usually makes him take his naps faster. We practiced recall and down while being very energetic myself. I try running away from him while placing him down and as I run he attempts to follow me. The consistency of redirecting Armani will always benefit when trying new things. As long as he can follow through once attempting something new, following up a second time helps educate Armani to understand better. By now he's more aware of my hand signals and voice but needs assistance with the e-collar when around dogs so far.


Pupdate 11/30/2023

Today I took Armani to Citadel Outlets in Commerce, CA to train in this busy environment. Armani was very excited to be here and tried to be his usual self going to plants or corners and start marking everything just from smells. Before going into the outlet I spent some time working on his heel to get his attention back on me. Once he started to settle we made our way inside with a good pace walking around even though Armani has never been here. We were able to practice our obedience with some issues of him breaking his position because of people walking behind him. I placed him near an area where people would often walk behind him and had him sit and as I sat next to him I kept praising him for letting people pass by from behind him. In the video above we practiced walking through a busy section of the outlet and had Armani place himself into his down which is something we have been working on everyday. Once Armani was in his down I would tell him " good down" every thirty seconds just to keep him aware he's being good. After waiting for about 2 minutes I break him for being a good boy.

Something to note is that each time we passed by a dog this would always instinctively trigger Armani but by the third or fourth dog we passed by Armani was able to settle and follow through with his obedience. I was able to tell him off and as I did he would give me eye contact indicating he's aware of what I'm asking. Each time this happened I would praise him and reward him for longer to make these moments more memorable for him to help educate through this behavior. If I had treats I would give him multiple but in the moment petting him and talking to him makes this more natural and fun for Armani.


Pupdate 12/1/2023

Today I took Armani for a walk by ourselves instead of having Hunter tag along. The dog park near my house was our objective early in the morning to work on Armani's reactivity towards them. When we first arrived Armani was actually ok walking along the gate until a dog ran towards us and immediately started barking. This got Armani to react as always and using the e-collar was the only benefit to get his attention towards me. Often he would vocalize from the stimulation going higher but would be effective to get back into training. I would only practice our heel going back and forth along to the gate. Each time I turned no matter what direction Armani would keep his eye on the dogs inside the dog park but when a certain number was effective Armani would work through this. Eventually we were able to make some progress being able to leave the park with ease but his reactions need to be situated the moment he lays his eyes on another dog.

Later on in the day we worked on food manners and door manners showcasing Armani's improvements. In the video above before starting, Armani places himself on his place pad which he enjoys, even though we don't use the pad anymore he enjoyed waiting for his food on the pad when we first started. The place pad is an essential tool to use when making a dog wait for his food if needed. As the video continues I'm able to do everything possible from opening cabinets and food bags to leaving Armani's sight. Once I feel Armani has waited long enough I say break and pet Armani for doing well.

Second part of the video is our door manners with no issues or Armani getting overly excited just from me coming back. I remain calm and silent until I ask him for his heel and as we walk through a door I keep a slow pace never changing the speed in this situation. Something to note is to always remain walking slowly through every day even if it's a sliding door. We have been working on this every time we leave the house, enter a room, or come back from the backyard. When grabbing the leash Armani doesn't get excited just because he sees me go down. I say heel and we make our way outside for a walk!


Pupdate 12/2/2023

Today I took Armani to the dog park early in the morning to work on his reactivity. When arriving we only had 3 dogs in the park but only one came up to the gate beside us to greet Armani which didn't set him off but had him alert enough to break his obedience with me. I practiced heeling him which sets his attention back to me. When ending our visit we made our way back home and he's been better at not reacting from dogs inside their own home .

I took Armani back to the block of orange again to walk around and do some shopping but with the heavy traffic around today Armani was really challenged. When walking around Armani does well but each time we passed by a dog or stroller with a child inside it he would break his obedience each time. There was also a moment where a woman and her children with a stroller passed by us and stopped right next to us. Armani actually started to vocalize and bark directly at them so I just walked away from that situation. When entering a store to shop, Armani wouldn't hold his sit and kept his attention always towards people behind me or next to me, wanting to go to them. I would redirect Armani each time, and he would start to adjust but people around us would try to keep baby talking to him so I couldn't actually shop and continued our training outside in the outlets rather than inside the stores.

For the remainder of our time at the outlet we stayed in the open areas practicing our obedience close to some areas of heavy traffic. Armani did very well during these moments with less reactivity seeing dogs and strollers with kids in it as well.


Pupdate 12/3/2023

Today Hunter and Armani had their walk together early in the morning. I gave them time to socialize and try to play but Armani kept his usual routine of trying to mount by the face or from behind. Each time this happened I would redirect Armani but he would always tolerate the e-collar to get to Hunter and display this behavior. Since he was very consistent I stopped their play time and worked on Armani one on one.

Later on I took Armani back to the dog park near my house to work on his reactivity. When we first arrived Armani wasn't as excited seeing the dogs until they started to run at the gate and bark towards us. This always gets Armani overstimulated but redirecting him with the e-collar came with ease and he wasn't as combative as most days. In the video above I'm using only the e-collar to redirect Armani when he lets his eyes get distracted with the dogs. It's clear to see with time Armani can work through his behavior when seeing a dog and eventually get over it but he needs to follow through completing his obedience without letting him get the opportunity he wants. During these moments if he wins these battles when around dogs his behavior won't change but making him do the most basic of commands will benefit. Armani breaks his position here often since he sees the dogs but always holding him accountable to get his reward or praise. Some of the people I know from this park kept their dogs close to us so we continued to train and practice more.

The last command we practiced is down but Armani was adamant about breaking or not going in so I kept using the e-collar until he was able to perform his obedience command holding it until given his break. If I let Armani break and not follow through with this he will continue to do what he wants.


Pupdate 12/4/2023

Today is Armani's last day for training so we started off with a walk with Hunter early in the morning. I gave Armani one more opportunity to try and socialize himself with Hunter but he keeps trying to mount him when not given the body language he wants from Hunter. It's noticeable to see when he keeps him mouth shut he will attempt to mount so I redirect him but he's willing to fight through the stimulation so I will increase the settings of the remote to get his attention back on me.

Later on we went to Anaheim pet & feed to work on some obedience but it was cut short. While training some employees saw Armani and wanted to say hi. Armani has done well meeting some people and had no issues but when greeting both male employees he kept breaking his position and would not hold it whatsoever. After only being redirected 3 times Armani started to whale eye them and growl. This is when I stopped our practice and continued working on other things. Once Armani started to settle a dog entered the store and once they came around us Armani was very neutral until this dog got closer to us. Once this dog barked it was very hysterical and uncontrollable which set Armani off in a way that the e-collar had no effect. I had to escort Armani out and as we kept walking he was barking continuously. I stepped outside to give him a breather but unfortunately one of the employees stepped out to inform us not to step back inside due to Armani's barking.

We made our way to a park near us to work on walking up and down stairs. Armani did ok with this but the moment he tries to pass me I will walk back to the original spot I started and go back up or down the stairs to have Armani follow my pace. Anytime he tries to pass me he's redirected with the remote at low level stimulations. We stayed here until he was able to keep a pace with me before returning home.

Armani's training has always been going well when dogs that bark at him don't appear around us. We have passed and trained around multiple dogs and he's very well aware of what to do and how to behave. The moment an uncontrollable dog enters his environment he goes to an extreme but is manageable with obedience given the right circumstances. As far as socializing him with family members he's done really well and adjusted to seeing everyone come in and out of my house that he's seen. When practicing his commands now he's very well behaved at trying and being able to follow through even if he messes up. Armani is ready to go back home but I wish I had more time to spend with him to work on his reactivity with barking dogs rather than mellow dogs.


bottom of page