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Aussiedoodle Training | Luna | Highland, CA

Luna, an Aussiedoodle from Highland, CA went through the Balanced Canine Training

SoCal Board and Train Program. Luna was trained by Megan Cameron in Studio City,

CA.



Pupdates:


Meet Luna, she's a four-month-old Aussiedoodle from Highland, California! This sweet and playful pup is here with us for our Three Week Puppy Board and Train Program, where we will work on teaching her basic obedience and manners, as well as provide potty training. She doesn't have knowledge of any basic commands yet, and has a short attention span which causes her to be easily distracted. She comes to us with some undesirable behaviors that are common with puppies, such as barking for attention, having potty accidents, counter surfing, pulling on the leash, jumping up on people, play biting, and chewing on furniture and other items around the house. Over the next twenty-one days, we will be working on improving her obedience, discipline, and manners to set her on the right path to becoming a well-behaved pup. Stay tuned for her transformation!


 

Pupdate 3/24/2024

Today Luna and I spent the day bonding and getting to know each other at the park after she was dropped off with me. She was very friendly and excited to meet me, but she did jump up on me a lot, which is something we will be working on as time goes on, as polite Greeting Manners will be one of our goals for her training. She was also very trusting and had no trouble being picked up and held by me as well, which is great to see! While walking around the park, she seemed quite interested in her surroundings, and was very curious and eager to explore the area. Her attention span is definitely on the lower end, and she struggled to pay attention to me for more than a fleeting moment, which is to be expected for her young age! Generally she was much more focused on everything around us, and was very easily distracted by smells, people, dogs, and anything else she found interesting.


While at the park, I tested her current knowledge of commands to see if he's had any prior training, and what areas may need some extra focus on going forward. I asked her basic commands such as Come, Heel, Sit, Down, and Place, but she didn't seem to know any of them and was more focused on sniffing around and exploring the park rather than paying attention to me or listening to what was being asked of her. She would sometimes Come over to me when called with lots of excitement and encouragement, though she would rarely come all the way to me, and mostly ignored the recall cue and her name. When asked to Heel, she didn't seem to recognize the command at all and was almost always at the end of the leash walking around wherever she pleased rather than staying next to me. She didn't seem to know how to Sit on command either. With some light pressure on her rear she was able to Sit down, however she would always stand back up and start walking away after a second or two. She wasn't able to perform the Down command either, and seemed too excited to enter this relaxing position. I asked her to Place on some low, easy to reach objects, but she didn't seem to understand what was being asked of her. She would sometimes put her two front paws up on the object, but seemed to lack the confidence to jump all the way up, even with plenty of encouragement. She didn't seem to have any understanding of leash pressure either, and was often trying to pull against the leash in an attempt to get where she wanted to go. There were even times when she would jump up and flail around trying to resist the leash pressure when she wanted to go in the opposite direction she was being guided towards.


After our time at the park, it was time to head home and get her settled into my home. She's too small to jump into my car on her own, but was comfortable with being picked up and placed into the car. She also didn't have any issue with going into the kennel within the car, and happily went inside with some gentle guidance, and settled in for the ride home, which is a great display of Car Manners. Anytime Luna is to ride in a car with me, she will be secured in a kennel for her utmost safety. She will also be in a kennel at home during nighttime or any other time she is unsupervised. This will be a useful tool in her potty training journey as well, as pups are instinctually discouraged from going potty inside their sleeping area. Upon arriving home, she was a bit nervous about walking through my front door, but after a bit of encouragement, she walked inside and began exploring the new area! I offered her some food, and she was very excited to eat. She jumped on me a lot and was very impatient for her food, so we will definitely be working on improving her Food Manners. We will also be setting up a feeding schedule, which will help make her potty habits more routine and predictable, as free feeding is a common cause of unexpected potty accidents for puppies. Later, we went out for a walk around my neighborhood to let her go potty and become familiar with the area. When she did go potty, she was praised heavily to encourage this good behavior! Starting tomorrow, will be taking walks around the neighborhood multiple times daily to work on potty and obedience training. When exiting the house to start our walk, Luna kept trying to run out the door as soon as it was opened, so we will also be working to improve her Door Manners to make sure she can respect the boundary a doorway creates as this will help keep her safe. After our walk she found a nice comfy spot on a doggy bed to curl up on beside my desk, and enjoyed a nice nap. She seems to be settling in nicely, and we are so excited to begin this training journey together!



 

Pupdate 3/25/2024





Luna and I worked on her training around my neighborhood today. The neighborhood was pretty quiet in the morning hours, with not many distractions around, which was a good time to begin introducing Luna to her training as the calm environment encouraged focus and learning. Closer to the evening hours, the neighborhood got much more lively, with lots of people, dogs, bicycles, and other kinds of distractions out and about. As expected Luna was much more distracted during this session, and frequently placed all her attention in her surroundings. She wanted to stare at, approach, meet, and play with every dog and person she saw. While it's great she's so friendly, she does need to learn that there is a time and place for playtime versus when it's time to work. We made sure to give Luna lots of breaks during training, to let her enjoy sniffing and playing around between training, which helps keep training fun while also serving as a reward for good behavior!


We started off by teaching Luna the Sit command today, which is a good first step in her training journey as it will be a foundational command needed for her obedience going forward. All of Luna's commands, including Sit, come with an "implied stay", meaning once given a command she is expected to remain in the position asked of her until released with the verbal cue "Break". At first, she needed some physical guidance with gentle pressure on her rear to encourage her to Sit, though she would quickly pop back up once my hand was away. We made many repetitions of this, and eventually she began to understand what I was asking of her when the Sit command was given when combined with light upward leash pressure. Whenever she broke position before being asked, she was immediately placed back in the Sit. Sometimes this needed to be done a dozen times or more before she stopped trying to get back up immediately, but this eventually reduced a lot. After lots of practice, she was able to consistently hold the Sit position for about ten seconds today, and while this may seem short, it's a great start and shows she is making progress! With time, we will be gradually increasing the duration of this command, so that she can learn to hold a Sit for multiple minutes at a time. This command is great for teaching patience and concentration, and will be important for her to understand as it will be useful for other commands she will be learning soon, like Come to Sit and Place.


Also, Luna's potty training is going well so far, and she hasn't had any accidents in the kennel or in the house. During the daytime I've been taking her outside every couple of hours and encouraging her to go, and last night she slept around six hours without needing to be taken out in the middle of the night which was good! We will be working to establish a potty schedule that works for Luna, and each day we will be very gradually increasing the amount of time in between potty breaks so she can learn to hold it for longer periods throughout the day without having accidents. We also spent a good amount of time working on her kennel training today, as she does seem to have a habit of barking and whining while inside her kennel. The goal is for her to be calm and quiet while in the kennel, and understand it as a safe and relaxing place for her to spend time in. An important factor in this training is to not give her attention or let her out while she is being noisy, as this will reinforce the bad behavior. With lots of practice, she seems to be catching on that vocalizing while in the kennel will not be rewarding or allow her to come out sooner, and that being calm and quiet is the better option.



 

Pupdate 3/26/2024


Today Luna and I visited a local park, where we practiced two new commands, Come to Sit and Heel. We introduced these commands in the morning while walking around the neighborhood, where the distractions were a bit lower. This helped her to have an easier time relaxing and focusing on learning. Later in the day, we walked over to the park to continue practicing her commands around slightly more distractions. The park was not super busy today, but there were some common distractions around such as people, dogs, children, and small animals. Luna did become pretty distracted at times, but overall did a pretty good job with her commands with some guidance, reminders, and encouragement!

Come to Sit is an important command to begin practicing early on in Luna's training journey, as having a solid recall is important for any pup's safety and obedience training. The goal for Come to Sit is for Luna to come when called, approach my right side, circle around my back, and finish with a Sit facing forward on the left side. She is asked to hold this Sit until released with "Break", or given a new command. This ensures she not only comes when called, but also that she remains stationary until told otherwise. The Come to Sit maneuver when completed in its entirety also sets her up to be in the perfect position to begin walking in a Heel. We introduced the Come to Sit command today by combining the verbal command "Come" with gentle guidance with the leash to grab her attention and guide her towards me. Once she came over to me, she was then guided around and to my left side where she was asked to perform a Sit. With each successful repetition, I made sure to give her lots of praise and reward to build up a positive association with the command and the action of coming to me when called. She'll need some more work with this command before she is consistent with it, though for her first day with this command, she did a good job!


Heel is another important concept for Luna to begin developing early on in her training. The goal for the Heel command is for Luna to be able to follow directly alongside me on my left side, and maintain that position while walking unless released or given a new command. This precise positioning takes a lot of practice to master, but it will effectively eliminate pulling on the leash or veering off in different directions, and allow her handler to take the lead on walks instead of her trying to pull them around wherever she pleases. To introduce this command, I kept the leash short but loose, and ensured she stayed on my left side in roughly the Heel position as we walked. If she began to veer off, pull ahead, or otherwise create tension on the leash, she was given some guidance with the leash, and the verbal command "Heel" command was given until she returned to the desired position. During Heel, her sole focus should be following her handler's lead, and as such she needs to remain neutral to and ignore her environment, which will definitely take some practice to accomplish. She did struggle to ignore distractions around us, but she eventually began to grasp the concept, stopped trying to pull as much, and instead learned to follow my lead. When walking in the correct Heel position, the leash was loose, no pressure was applied, and lots of praise and rewards were given to create value in this position. We practiced making lots of turns as well, which helped to keep Luna engaged and focused on her positioning. As she gets better with this command, she will have an easier time staying in the Heel position without as much guidance needed, and will need to be given reminders less frequently. Overall she did a good job today and seemed to catch on pretty quickly, though more work will need to be done before she can Heel reliably, especially around distractions, as her tendency to take interest in her surroundings often leads to her falling out of position as she loses focus.



 

Pupdate 3/27/2024





Today Luna was introduced to two new commands, Place and Down. We also continued to practice her other commands, including Sit, Heel, Come to Sit, and Off. Luna is often easily distracted and struggles to maintain focus, as she is very interested in her surroundings even when being asked to perform commands. Moments like this are a great opportunity to implement the Off command. Off is a command we have been using since her first day of training. The goal for the Off command is for Luna to stop whatever she is doing, and focus on her handler. This is a very versatile command, similar to "no" or "leave it", and can be used in various situations, such as to interrupt fixation on distractions, barking, jumping on people, eating or sniffing things she's not supposed to, or any other behaviors that are undesirable or inappropriate at that time. The verbal Off command when paired with leash communication allows us to interrupt the behavior and get her to refocus so that she is in a better mindset to listen for upcoming instructions. Once the Off command is given, it's beneficial to immediately follow it with another command such as Sit, Come, Heel, etc. Once she stops whatever behavior she was doing, asking her to set her focus on a task will help keep her attention away from what initially distracted her or caused the undesirable behavior. Luna has shown good progress in understanding the Off command so far, and with each repetition, she seemed to be quicker to respond and refocus when prompted. However, more work will need to be done in various situations before she is fully reliable with the command.


The goal for the Place command is for Luna to jump or climb onto a designated surface, such as a bench, a bed, or other defined object, and hold a stationary command while remaining on the Place object until she is released. This command is useful not only for while out in public places, but also while at home, as it encourages Luna to remain calm and stationary regardless of her environment. We introduced this command today with a dog bed as our place object, as Luna is already familiar with this object and is comfortable with climbing onto and relaxing on it in her free time. Luna was happy to climb onto the dog bed when provided light leash pressure for guidance, and was comfortable with performing Sit once on it. After a few repetitions, Luna quickly began to understand what was being asked of her when the Place command was given without needing any physical guidance. While training outside, we practiced Place with a few different objects, including a tree stump, a rock, and a low wall. She needed a bit of leash pressure to guide her onto these objects during the first few attempts, but with a bit of practice she seemed to warm up to the idea of Placing on them when asked and gained more confidence doing so! We kept the duration for Place pretty short today, and only asked her to stay on a Place object for up to around twenty seconds before releasing her, to keep the training fun and engaging.


The other command introduced to Luna today is the Down command. The goal for the Down command is for Luna to lay down completely when asked, and remain in that position until released or given a new command. To introduce this command, we used leash pressure, physical guidance, and occasional food motivators to guide Luna into the Down position while the verbal command was given. She did try to resist the guidance at first, though using treats sparingly as a lure and reward throughout the process helped grab her attention and motivate her to follow through with what was being asked of her. Once she followed through and laid down completely, she received lots of praise followed by a break shortly after. As we continue to practice we will gradually increase the duration so she can learn to remain in this position for extended periods of time, along with her other stationary commands of Sit and Place. She was able to perform Down both at home and while around the neighborhood, however while outside, she was a bit more distracted and sometimes needed to be asked a few times or given some assistance to get her into position. She was able to perform Down on a variety of surfaces today, including the floor at home, sidewalks, pathways, grass, and Place objects.


To update on Luna's potty training, she appears to have some anxiety and ingrained habits about going potty. We have been taking trips outside every couple of hours, especially after mealtimes or after she has drank a lot of water, but she tends to refuse to go potty while outside even when in a calm and quiet area. Even if we are outside for hours at a time with plenty of encouragement and chances to go potty, she will try to hold it until we are back inside the home where she is more comfortable. At this point, an accident is prone to happen the moment she thinks I am not watching her. To prevent this, I have been keeping her on leash with me while in the house so she does not have the opportunity to sneak away and have an accident unsupervised. If she starts showing signs of an oncoming accident, such as sniffing around, circling, or squatting, I can immediately catch it, interrupt it, and take her back outside. More often than not she will then refuse to go potty once outside again, and we'll repeat this process multiple times of interrupting the oncoming indoor accident, and moving her back outside until she finally goes while outside. Once she does this, she is rewarded and praised heavily, which with time should help her develop a more positive association with going potty outside.



 

Pupdate 3/28/2024




Today Luna and I went to Santa Monica, where we visited the promenade to practice her training. This location was the busiest we have visited so far, with there being lots of people, other dogs, and other types of distractions around. Luna was definitely distracted at times, but overall did a good job with her commands. We met up with some other OffLeash SoCal trainers and their pups, and Luna was very interested in meeting and playing with everyone, so teaching her to stay focused when around them despite the distraction they caused was a good challenge for her to work with.


While walking around the promenade we practiced a lot of Heel, which Luna did struggle with at times but with plenty of reminders and guidance, she seemed to catch onto the idea that Heel applies even with these extra distractions present around us. Despite all the distractions, Luna ended up doing a pretty good job with her Come to Sit command, and did seem eager to come to me any time I called her, and more often than not was very easily guided around and onto my left side. She did tend to Sit a bit crooked rather than facing forward, but this is something we will continue working on cleaning up going forward. She was able to hold her Sit for around thirty seconds today consistently, which was very good considering the distractions and where she started just a few days ago! Luna struggled a bit with Down and did end up needing guidance each time to help her into position, and she was unable to hold it for longer than a couple of seconds, but since this command was just introduced yesterday this is to be expected. However, Luna did a pretty good job with her Place command despite this also being a new command. She did sometimes need a bit of guidance to get up on the object asked of her, but overall she did a pretty good job of staying on top of the object once she got up.



 

Pupdate 3/29/2024



Today Luna and I visited a Petco, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. It wasn't overly busy inside Petco, but there were plenty of tempting distractions for us to train around, such as people, other dogs, cats, toys, treats, and shopping carts. Overall she was definitely very excited and easily distracted, and upon first arriving struggled to maintain any level of focus as she was very interested in her surroundings. However, after spending some time here she did seem to settle down a bit and was able to pay more attention to her training.


Overall Luna did a good job with Heel, though she definitely needed lots of reminders to stay beside me and not wander off to go explore her surroundings. Generally she seemed to understand where she was supposed to be when asked to Heel, though seemed to forget to stay there often as every couple of seconds her focus would shift away and need to be brought back onto me with some guidance and verbal reminders of Off and Heel. Luna also did pretty well with her Come to Sit, and although she did need regular guidance to position herself correctly, she did seem to understand to come over when called and begin circling around over to my left without needing constant guidance. Luna struggled a lot with Sit and Down quite a bit at first, as she was very antsy and did not want to stay still for very long. When we first arrived she was only able to remain in a stationary position for a second or two before getting up and trying to wander away. As always, whenever she broke position she was immediately asked to return to it, and after many repetitions of this she seemed to remember to wait until given the break cue or another command before getting up, but generally averaged only around fifteen seconds before getting impatient and breaking command again. She needed many reminders of the Off cue while in stationary positions as well, as she often wanted to flip herself around to stare at interesting distractions around us. Luna did a good job with performing Place on the few objects we practiced with around the store, and with just slight guidance during the first few repetitions, she was able to jump or climb onto the objects without any help.


To update on Luna's potty training, she did have another accident early this morning right after exiting her kennel while preparing to go outside. I turned my back for a split moment to pick up her leash and that was just enough time for an accident to start. I picked her up and quickly placed her outside and she continued to do her business while outside which was good to see! Throughout the rest of the day we continued our frequent potty trips outside and by supervising her at all times while indoors for any signs of an oncoming accident we were able to avoid any more mishaps. She will still take any opportunity that she is not being actively watched to have an accident if she has the urge to go, but she does seem to be settling more into the idea that going outside is more rewarding for her and is beginning to be become less reluctant about outside potty.



 

Pupdate 3/30/2024




Today Luna and I visited a local park after the morning rain had passed, and we practiced all of her commands. The park wasn't super busy due to the poor weather, but there were still some occasional distractions around such as other dogs, people, and children. Despite the low distractions, Luna still found herself quite excitable and distracted when we first arrived, but after warming up to her commands she was able to settle into a more focused mindset. The Off command was effective today in helping her to refocus when her attention began to drift elsewhere. During training, I worked to create some additional distractions by tossing around leaves and sticks, and making noises with my shoes which did distract her a lot at first but after some reminders she understood to not let them take all of her focus away from the task at hand.


Luna overall did a good job with her Heel, and generally did a good job of staying directly beside me as we walked. We practiced making lots of turns and stops today, to help increase her engagement and focus on her handler while in a Heel. When walking in a straight line with minimal distractions around she did a good job staying in the Heel, and she also seemed to have little to no issue turning with me when I turned in front of her for a left turn. However, she did tend to need some guidance whenever I turned away from her to the right, as she would oftentimes not be paying enough attention and try to continue walking forwards without realizing I've changed directions. Whenever distractions were present, such as walking past other dogs or people, she would often try to turn her head or her whole body in their direction, so the Off command was needed regularly to remind her to face forwards even if distractions are around us. Luna did a pretty good job with her Come to Sit also, and was great about coming to me when called, and only needed a small amount of guidance while going around to my left for the Sit. She would sometimes tend to sit a bit too far behind me instead of directly next to me, so when this happened I would take another small step forward and encourage her to adjust her positioning accordingly. She did good with her Sit today also, and was able to perform the position with very minimal to no leash guidance needed. She was able to remain in a Sit with mild distractions around for around a minute, which was great to see! Luna struggled a bit with Down again today, and almost always needed some guidance to help her into position, as she is still getting used to the hand signal and verbal cue. However once in a Down, she was generally able to hold it for about forty five seconds without breaking position, which is already a huge improvement from previous days! She did great with Place today, and was able to jump or climb onto a variety of objects and surfaces around the park, including some small benches and different types of playground objects. She seems to be gaining a lot of confidence with this command, which is always great to see!


 

Pupdate 3/31/2024





Today Luna and I visited a local shopping strip, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. There were some groups of people, other dogs, and lots of cars and noises from the nearby busy street. Overall Luna did a very good job here today, and was able to stay relatively focused despite the plentiful distractions! She did a great job with her Heel today, and seemed to understand exactly where to walk alongside me once given the command, and was even able to maintain the position with very minimal to no leash pressure needed! She also did good with her Come to Sit, and overall her recall was reliable. Luna did well with her Sit as well, and was able to remain in a Sit for around one minute even with distractions passing by around her. She still wasn't able to perform Down without a bit of assistance, but she was able to remain in this position for around forty five seconds even with distractions around. She also did great with Place, and was happy and confident about jumping and climbing onto a variety of objects around the location. Luna did a great job with her potty training today, and had no accidents inside the house! She definitely seems to be getting more comfortable with going potty outside, and is beginning to understand that she can ask to go outside when needed instead of defaulting to having an accident inside as soon as she feels the urge. We will continue making frequent trips outside throughout the day, and if she can continue without more accidents in the coming days, then we will begin gradually increasing the time between breaks as planned.


 

Pupdate 4/1/2024



Today Luna and I visited an outdoor mall, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. The mall wasn't super busy, but did have occasional distractions such as some small groups of people, other dogs, and some pigeons out and about. Luna was a bit distracted when we first arrived, but with consistent use of the Off command, she was able to focus on her training.


Overall she did well with her Heel today, and we continued focusing on building value in the position and making lots of turns to keep her engaged with me. She would occasionally begin to veer off towards passing distractions, however was able to correct herself once reminded to stay in the Heel. She did well with her Come to Sit today and was good about coming to me when called, but she often tried to approach from the wrong side or sit in the incorrect position, so she needed a bit of guidance for the maneuver more often than not.


She did great with her Sit overall, and was able to Sit without any assistance as well as hold the position for a little over a minute even with some distractions around. I practiced creating some additional distance between us and moving around her while she held her Sit, to create a bit more of a challenge for her. She generally did well with me adding distance and didn't seem tempted to get up and follow me even when I stepped away about five feet away, however if I walked behind her she would sometimes try to turn around to face me. We'll continue working on this! Luna did okay with her Down command, and was able to perform it without any lure or guidance a few times, but more often than not she needed just a bit of extra help to get her into the position. Once in a Down, she was usually able to stay in position for around a minute at a time, though occasionally she would sit or stand back up if a distraction got too close and she would need to be reminded to stay in the Down. There were a few suitable Place objects around the mall also, and Luna had no trouble jumping onto them when asked.



 

Pupdate 4/2/2024






Today Luna and I worked on her commands around distractions along a shopping strip. This location was along a busy street, so there were lots of car noises to help serve as a distraction. She didn’t seem to pay much mind to any of the noises from the nearby street, and even didn’t mind when a few firetrucks passed by with their sirens on! There were also some groups of people and other dogs along the sidewalks, which were also great to practice her command around.


She did tend to get more distracted by people and other dogs, but with the help of the Off command she was able to refocus on commands. We also visited a restaurant patio for some lunch, where we focused on having Luna hold stationary positions with distractions such as food and people walking by. Overall she did a great job with her commands today, and while she was distracted a bit when we first arrived, she was able to settle into a focused mindset for training and made some great progress today!


Luna’s potty training is also going well! She did not have any accidents today, and we seem to be settling into a good routine for her potty schedule. She appears much more comfortable going potty outside and does not seem nervous about going outside anymore.



 

Pupdate 4/3/2024



Today Luna and I visited an outdoor mall, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. The mall was decently busy today with plenty of people, other dogs, music, food, and more kinds of distractions around. She was a bit distracted and excited upon first arriving, but as we began training she settled into a more focused mindset. The biggest distraction for her today seemed to be the people walking around, especially those who gave her attention like waving at her or baby talking her. Her first instinct is to go say hello to anyone who gives her attention, but with the Off command we can communicate when this is appropriate to do so versus when it's time to ignore these distractions to focus on work.


Luna struggled with her Heel slightly, but overall did a good job. She definitely understands the command by this point, but just needed lots of reminders to stay focused on her positioning as the distractions would quickly get the best of her unless I actively worked to keep her attention and engagement. Her Come to Sit was reliable in that she always came to me when called, and while she did need some light guidance every now and then, she overall seems to be getting the hang of the maneuver and positioning. Luna did great with her Sit today, and generally was able to perform and hold it for around one minute even with steady distractions passing around us. We spent some extra time working on Down today, and she made some great progress! She was able to perform the position around half of the time without any guidance or lures, which is significantly more than she normally is able to. Still lots of room for improvement, but every bit of progress should be celebrated along the way! Luna also did exceptional with Place today, and was able to jump onto any object I asked her to without any hesitation. We spent a good amount of time sitting on benches together and watching our surroundings calmly, which is a great way to expose her to stimuli, encourage neutrality, and help her socialization.


We also had some great opportunities to practice Luna's Greeting Manners today, as there were lots of nice people who wanted to say hello to and pet her. The goal for Greeting Manners is for Luna to be able to meet or greet people calmly and politely, whether in public or at home. Luna came to us with a habit of jumping up onto people she was excited to say hello to, which even with her friendly intentions, is a dangerous behavior as she could accidentally injure someone! As such, this is an important area of her training and is something we have been working on whenever the opportunity arises, whether it be at home with me or my guests, or out in public with new people. To help Luna learn the desired manners, we first have her perform and hold Sit or Down directly beside us, as this gives her a task to focus on and discourages her from breaking the position to jump on anyone. If she tries to jump up, any affection being given abruptly ends, the Off command is given, and she is immediately asked to return to position. When having a new person greet Luna, it's important to inform them of her training and the expectations set for her, that way they can help reinforce the training appropriately. All praise, attention, and affection should be reserved strictly for when she is stationary, calm, and following instructions. If she is rewarded when behaving poorly, then the training will be inconsistent and be detrimental to her progress. Staying consistent with these manners is key to her success, as she will come to understand that jumping on people is not a rewarding behavior, and only delays or prevents her from getting what she wants, which is to say hello to people and get attention from them! Today, she did a fantastic job of staying calm even while many different people approached her and gave her attention and affection! She did not try to jump on anyone at all, which was very good! She did sometimes break her position, but the more we practice this the less common this will become. Luna is also doing great with her potty training, and has had another day with no indoor potty accidents! Ensuring she has constant supervision whenever inside is an important step in this process, as oftentimes her first thought when she has to go is to simply do so wherever she is, even if she's indoors. By having her always in my sight I can instead encourage her to communicate to me that she has to go instead of having an accident. We are beginning to establish a good routine for potty breaks, and this consistency seems to be helping her grasp the concept.



 

Pupdate 3/4/2024






Today Luna and I visited the Santa Monica Pier and promenade. We practiced all of her commands around distractions and overall she did a great job! We met up with some other OffLeash SoCal trainers and their pups, and despite the distractions created by the other dogs, Luna managed to stay focused and on task. She did want to play with a few of them, but when asked to perform commands she understood to ignore them and focus on her work. She was a bit distracted from time to time, but the longer we spent training in these busy locations the more she seemed to settle in and feel more relaxed. She did especially well with her Extended Sits and Downs, and was able to calmly remain in these positions for well over two minutes even with distractions around, which was very impressive! She also showed excellent confidence with Place, and was comfortable with jumping onto all kinds of objects. She even jumped into my car when we were getting ready to load up and head home, which is an impressive jump for her! We had tons of great opportunities to practice Luna's greeting manners today as well, as lots of nice people wanted to say hello to and pet her. As always, we worked to reinforce polite greeting manners by having Luna hold a stationary position during greetings, and she did a great job with this! She didn't try to jump on anyone, and was very good about holding her position. Sometimes if she was in a Down she would roll onto her back for belly rubs, but this is much better than her becoming overexcited and using people as a climbing structure.


 

Pupdate 4/5/2024



Today Luna and I visited a shopping strip along a busy street, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. There were a good amount of people and other dogs walking along the sidewalks, along with strollers, bicycles, and noises from the nearby street. Luna was distracted at times, but overall did a great job again today! Similar to previous days working in highly distracting environments, Luna began the session pretty excitable and distracted, though the more time we spent here the more she settled down and began focusing on her training. She did a good job with her Heel, and with regular reminders and gentle guidance she was able to walk alongside me nicely while staying in the Heel position. Every now and then she would veer off slightly towards distractions, though was able to correct herself and position herself correctly again. Luna did well with her Come to Sit as well, and did great about always coming to me when called. She needed very minimal guidance for the positioning, but every now and then she would try to Sit slightly out of position and need to be asked to reposition herself to be aligned correctly. She did well with her stationary positions also. and was generally able to hold each position for around a minute and a half consistently. Every now and then she would break her position momentarily if something very distracting passed by, such as a person walking past and baby talking her enthusiastically, but with a reminder she returned right back to position. She was once again very confident with Place as well, though sometimes she would get a bit too enthusiastic about it and try to jump into objects without being asked to, such as if we were Heeling past a bench she would sometimes try to run over to it instead of staying in the Heel. We also had many opportunities to work on Luna's greeting manners again today, and she got lots of compliments on how cute and well behaved she is! Luna's potty training has continued to make great progress, and we've had another accident free day! We're beginning to gradually increase the amount of time in between potty breaks during the daytime, and as always making sure to pay extra attention to her needs while indoors. She is definitely understanding that outside is where she is supposed to go potty, rather than inside, and is learning how to hold it while inside and wait patiently until she is brought outside again. She's also starting to figure out how to communicate when she needs to go outside, and is doing so by sitting by the front door and staring at me, which is a subtle sign, but this communication is a great sign of progress.


 

Pupdate 4/6/2024






Today Luna and I visited a Home Depot, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. This was another great location to put Luna's focus and concentration to the test, as there were plenty of distractions around including people, shopping carts, and new kinds of scents and noises. Overall she did a fantastic job here, and was able to stay focused and on task while we trained. She also showed a lot of confidence and did not seem scared by anything, even when noisy carts and machines passed by around us. Distractions would occasionally capture her attention and curiosity, though with use of the Off command she was able to redirect her focus back on training. She did great with her Heel, and almost always stuck directly beside me as we made our way through the various aisles and past distractions around the store. Her Come to Sit also was reliable, and she never hesitated to come right over when recalled. Every now and then she needed some gentle guidance for her positioning, but more often than not she was able to perform the maneuver correctly without any assistance. She also did amazing with her stationary commands, and was able to perform Sit, Down, and Place all without any physical guidance. She was able to remain in position for around a minute and a half to nearly two minutes at a time, even with distractions around us.


Luna woke up with a bit of an upset tummy today, and she had an accident in her kennel in the early hours of the morning. I gave her some pumpkin puree with her breakfast to help settle her stomach, and gave her a good bath to get her all cleaned up. She loved the addition of pumpkin in her kibble, and ate it happily. She was also very good for her bath, and was calm throughout the entire process. She had some loose stool again in the afternoon during one of her outdoor potty breaks, but it seems to be improving from this morning. I added some more pumpkin to her evening meal and hopefully by tomorrow her tummy will be feeling back to normal. No further accidents have occurred today.



 

Pupdate 4/7/2024



Today Luna and I worked on all of her commands around my neighborhood. She did a great job with all of the distractions we came across, and her progress is becoming very apparent! Luna is not only excelling with her skills and manners while out in public, but she has also made huge transformations in her behavior inside the home as well! House manners are something we have been working on little by little each day since day one. Even seemingly mundane day-to-day tasks can provide excellent opportunities for training! These manners include areas such as Food Manners, Door Manners, and Car Manners.


The goal for Food Manners is for Luna to be able to hold a stationary command while her food is prepared and set in front of her. She is then asked to remain in that position until she is released before she can get up and eat her food. Luna always gets excited about her food, and in the early stages of her training she was prone to barking and jumping on me or the counters when anticipating food, and rushing to the food bowl the moment it was set down even if it meant trying to knock me out of the way to get to it. Meal times are a great opportunity to sneak in extra training every day with Luna, as she is very food motivated and is always eager to work for food. As she progressed in her overall obedience, she quickly replaced her bad habits and learned to be polite and patient even when faced with very tempting distractions such as food directly in front of her! She now does very well with her Food Manners, and she is able to control her excitement and await the release command before digging in!


Another area of manners we have been working on is Luna's Door Manners. The goal of Door Manners is for Luna to hold a stationary position while near a door and remain there until released or given a new command, such as Come or Heel. She is asked to hold the position at the location asked of her, and not break the command even if the door is left open, if someone is knocking on it, or if people walk in or out of it. This practice teaches important boundaries and the importance of thresholds, and prevents impolite and possibly dangerous behaviors she once displayed, such as trying to escape through open doors, shoving past people when walking through doors, or rushing over to jump on people who enter through the door. Luna has made a massive transformation with her manners related to doors, and understands to follow instructions no matter what distractions the door may present. She has great manners with every door in my house now, including bedroom doors as well as the front door. After Luna has been asked for a stationary command, a door can be left wide open, and she understands to not get up or walk through the doorway unless given permission to, and when invited she can walk nicely through the doorway without shoving through or trying to rush out. I can even leave her sight completely and walk in and out without her feeling the need to get up and follow me, and she has also been doing great with holding her position calmly while people other than myself enter or exit through the door.


Having good Car manners makes transporting Luna easy, safe, and as hassle-free as possible. The goal for Car Manners is for Luna to be confident and able to jump into the car when prompted without needing any physical assistance. It's also important for her to be calm and patient during this process and wait until asked to enter the car before jumping in to prevent her from excitedly jumping in randomly and possibly hurting herself or someone in the car. Once in the car, the goal is for her to willingly enter a kennel when asked, without needing to be physically guided or lured inside. At OffLeash SoCal, we ensure our dogs are secured in individual kennels while being transported in a car to ensure their utmost safety during their stay with us. Luna came to us a bit underconfident, and was not initially able to jump into the car on her own, however with all of our Place practice came a new level of confidence within her, and she is now able to make the jump into my car effortlessly! We had to spend a bit of time teaching her to wait for the cue, but she now understands this and understands to wait until prompted to jump in. She also used to need some guidance to get her loaded up into the kennel, but now she happily enters it on her own when asked, which makes the entire process much more smooth! Also to update on her potty training, she has had no more accidents yesterday or today, and her tummy seems to be feeling much better. I included some more pumpkin in both of her meals today to ensure everything was settled, and it seems to have done the trick! She's been doing very well with our routine potty breaks, and once prompted to go while outside she'll begin sniffing around and looking for a place to go. She doesn't seem as tempted to have indoor accidents anymore, and has been understanding to hold it between breaks until it's time to go outside again.



 

Pupdate 4/8/2024





Today Luna and I visited a shopping mall, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. We also met up with another OffLeash SoCal trainer and their pup, which was another great opportunity to work on her obedience while in close proximity to other dogs. The mall wasn't overly busy, but still had plenty of distractions present, ranging from groups of people, other dogs, shopping carts, strollers, and of course tempting smells from nearby restaurants and food courts. We trained both in the indoor and outdoor sections of the mall. Overall Luna did an excellent job in these environments, and was very focused, obedient, and relaxed throughout our entire visit. She needed only a minute or two to get settled into a focused mindset, and very quickly adapted to the new environment. She did a great job with her Heel today, and was just about glued to my side everywhere we walked! She understood exactly where to be once given the command, and happily remained following my pace and lead as we made our way around the mall. We were even able to walk by tempting and major distractions, such as by crowds of people, little kids calling to her, dogs barking at her, and past food on the floor or on nearby tables. By remaining attentive to where her focus is directed, we can prevent her from straying out of position or becoming too distracted by things, as a gentle reminder of the Off and Heel commands is all she needs to stay on task. She was able to remain in the Heel position today with almost no leash pressure needed at all to guide her, which is a great display of her understanding and skill with this command. Luna also did great with her Come to Sit command, and while she did occasionally need some mild guidance with the leash, more often than not she was able to come right to me and perform the entire maneuver without any assistance. The only thing I noticed is she would sometimes try to sit on my feet, so when this happened she needed to be reminded to Sit next to me and reposition herself slightly so that she was not stepping on me. She also did very good with her stationary commands of Sit, Down, and Place. She was able to perform any of these commands anywhere asked of her, and did not need any assistance for them. Once in position, she was generally very reliable about remaining in position, even for extended periods of time of two or more minutes. Every now and then a distraction would cause her to momentarily break position, but with a quick reminder she understood to return right into the position asked of her. This mainly happened when a person would get very close to her and baby talk or try to excite her, which understandably is very distracting for her since she loves people! With a reminder of the Off command, she was able to direct her attention away from them, and refocus on me. We also had many opportunities to work on her Greeting Manners, since lots of people wanted to stop and say hello to her. As always, we used this to our advantage and as a training opportunity, by asking her to hold a stationary position while being petted or greeted, and overall she did a very good job. She was a bit wiggly at times, but she understood not to jump on people or try to climb all over them, and instead showed her excitement and joy through tail wags and puppy kisses!



 

Pupdate 4/9/2024



Luna and I visited a local park today, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. The park had lots of other dogs, people, children, joggers, bicycles, and squirrels around which all served as great distractions. Overall Luna was a bit excited upon first arriving but was able to settle into a focused mindset quite quickly. She did a great job with her commands, and was generally very obedient and quick to follow through with anything asked of her. Towards the end of the session she did get a bit tired and sometimes struggled to keep up with a faster paced Heel or hold Extended Sits, so we made sure to take regular breaks to allow her to relax and get some energy back! Luna has also been doing fantastic with her potty training, and has continued to remain accident free. We have been gradually increasing the amount of time between potty breaks during the day, and so far we are up to around three hours in between breaks without any issue. Overnight she has been able to hold her potty without issue for around seven hours, and she generally will sleep soundly throughout the entire night without waking up or whining.



 

Pupdate 4/10/2024






Today Luna and I visited an outdoor mall, where we continued practicing all of her commands around distractions. There were some crowds of people, other dogs, food, music, and other kinds of distractions around. Overall Luna did an excellent job staying focused, calm, and attentive to her commands. She was able to follow through with every command asked of her without any issue! She got lots of compliments from people about how well behaved and mannered she was, and as usual we had many great opportunities to practice her greeting manners and she was very polite for every greeting we had.



 

Pupdate 4/11/2024



Today Luna and I visited an indoor mall, where we practiced all of her commands around distractions. The mall had a decent amount of people walking around, as well as music, food, and a few other dogs. Luna was definitely a bit excited and distracted when we first arrived, but the longer we spent practicing the more she settled down and began focusing easily on her commands. Overall she did excellent with all of her commands, and was very attentive to instructions given to her. Some distractions were definitely more tempting than others, such as when little kids or people were calling to or making noises at her, but generally she did well staying focused and not letting these distractions interrupt her commands. She was able to perform all of her commands with little to no guidance needed, and demonstrated an excellent level of understanding as we trained. Luna's potty training has also been going smoothly, and she has not had any more indoor accidents. Our routine has been working quite well, where first thing in the morning right when she comes out of her kennel, we get her leash on and go on a walk. We'll stop at the first patch of grass we see and I'll give her a break and encourage her to potty, which she usually will. After the walk she'll have breakfast, and around thirty minutes after she has finished eating we'll go out for another potty break. Sometimes she will have to go, other times she won't. If she does not go, then a close eye needs to be kept on her while indoors to monitor for any signs of her needing to go potty. Using the Place command or keeping her on a leash attached to me while walking around my home is a convenient way to ensure she cannot sneak off to have an accident. If she begins to whine, sniff around, or circle, she is immediately taken back outside again and prompted to go potty. Typically at this point, she will then go if she hadn't already. Once she has gone after breakfast, she'll typically be good to wait another three to four hours during the day in between breaks, but keeping an eye on her is always a good idea. After dinner time or anytime she drinks a large amount of water, we'll follow a similar process and monitor her closely while indoors until she goes potty again.



 

Pupdate 4/12/2024


Today Luna and I visited the Santa Monica Pier, where we practiced all of her commands around a high amount of distractions. This location was very busy as usual, with many crowds of people, other dogs, loud music, birds, food, and other kinds of distractions. Luna was a bit distracted when we initially arrived, but after a quick warmup working through her commands she quickly adjusted to the distracting environment and was able to follow through with every command asked of her without issue! We were able to capture some great footage of her performing her commands while at the pier, which will be used in putting together her final video, so be sure to check out today's pupdate video for a sneak peek!



 

Pupdate 4/13/2024





Today was Luna's last full day with me, so we spent the day putting to use all of her learned skills to have a great day together! The rain did put a damper on some of our outdoor plans for today since Luna isn't the biggest fan of the rain, but she had a great time cuddling, playing, and training at home with me. We also took a trip over to a local Petco, where she joined me for a quick shopping trip and to continue proofing her commands around distractions. She did an excellent job with everything that was asked of her, and she made lots of new friends with all of her admirers who were impressed by her obedience skills! Luna has made such an amazing transformation in these past three weeks, and the differences in her are truly night and day! She came to us with little to no knowledge of any commands, and had a tendency to become overexcited, distracted, and overstimulated by everything around her. She has since learned to stay calm, focused, and neutral to her surroundings even in the most busy of places. She has also learned a lot of impulse control, and understands when it's time for play versus when it's time to focus on her training. Her confidence, patience, discipline, and overall manners both in public and at home have all improved so much! Luna has done an excellent job learning every command taught to her, and is able to perform them with great reliability no matter the environment. She has also just about mastered her potty training, and is no longer prone to having accidents while indoors. She is still a young puppy, so frequent potty breaks are a good idea nonetheless, but she now understands where it is appropriate to go, and is learning how to hold her potty and communicate her needs accordingly! While she may seem like a whole new pup, she is still the same goofy, loving, and playful pup she always has been, and with her new obedience skills she is even more of a joy to be around and take with on all sorts of adventures! Luna has been such a pleasure to train and share my home with, and I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to help this good girl become the best version of herself! With her intelligence and eagerness to learn, the sky is the limit for Luna, and I know she has a very bright future ahead in her continued training journey with her family!



 







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