Meet Axel! A sweet and playful 11 month old Bernedoodle who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Over these next two weeks Axel and I will be working on his Greeting Manners, Separation Anxiety along with confidence building, Off command to stop him from getting a hold of anything that gets his attention, Car Manners, and overall consistency with commands in new environments with the ultimate goal of being Off Leash! Stay tuned for his Two Week Transformation!
Today Axel got all settled in and was able to explore his new temporary home. We hung out in the front of the house then went to the backyard where we played together. He did great while in the kennel and did not cry at all. There was resistance when I initially tried to put him back inside, but with some guidance of the leash pressure he eventually followed it. We will begin introducing him to some new commands tomorrow!
Axel and I started our day by introducing him to a few communication tools such as the slip lead and e collar. The slip lead is used to guide Axel with directional changes of the leash. I apply leash pressure in the direction I want him to go and the second he follows the path created for him, I turn that pressure off. Any time I apply leash pressure, I apply stimulation from the e collar as well. Axel at first resisted the leash pressure. Once I marked and rewarded the few steps he took in the direction I wanted him to go, he began to understand how to turn the pressure off. He still resists every now and then but is learning to follow my lead.
I introduced him to Come to Sit which is the action of Axel coming around behind me to Sit on my left hand side ready to Heel. He was a natural at this and learned quickly that all of the good stuff came to him when he Sat on my left side. This is how I begin to build value with Axel in a specific position. I Cued Axel’s name frequently, rewarding him when he offered me his attention. This is called the name game and is a great game to practice around distractions to build engagement during training. A focused dog is a dog that is ready to work!
Axel and I focused our work today on some more e collar and leash pressure conditioning. We also worked on Heel which is the action of Axel walking on my left hand side, turning when I turn, sitting when I stop walking and checking in with me frequently. I cue Heel before I step forward from a stationary position, and before I turn to give him the heads up we are changing direction. At first he struggled to stay on my left hand side, needing guidance of the leash. Once we practiced more, he got the hang of it, turning with me, and Coming to Sit on my left hand side. He is now able to hold his Sit for up to one minute which is half way to our Two minute goal!
Axel and I ventured out to the park where we had the opportunity to work near distractions and focus our work on his Heel, Come to Sit and Car manners. Axel lacks confidence in new environments so we have focused on letting him explore his new surroundings then Come to Sit. He is beginning to follow leash pressure during his Heel yet struggles to jump onto new surfaces like the car to go into the kennel. We will keep working on his Car manners and confidence to help his state of mind which will also help with his overall obedience.
Axel and I went on a trip to the beach where we exposed him to a new, very distracting environment. When we first arrived I let him explore his new surroundings before we got to work. It didn’t take him much time to gain consistency with his Come to Sit, Heel, or Extended Sit. He is improving with his Heel, voluntarily sitting when I stop walking and checking in with me.
We then worked on introducing him to the Place command which is the action of him jumping onto a new elevated surface and holding his Sit until released with the cue Break. Place is great for helping Axel gain confidence as well as create a calm state of mind. It can be used inside of the house to prevent unwanted behaviors or outside of the house on any elevated or specific surface.
Axel and I went on a trip to the Outlets in Commerce where we worked on his Heel, Come to Sit, Extended Sit, Place and introduced him to Down. I helped guide Axel into the Down position by applying leash pressure downwards, and gave a hand signal with my palms facing the floor. He followed the cue and performed down as I marked it with a Yes and rewarded him after he offered the behavior. I often pair Place with Down to help create a calm state of mind when in new environments. We then Heeled around the outlets walking in a pack. Axel checked in with me frequently which is exactly what I am looking for. Now we will work on building duration, and distance between us with all of his commands!
Axel and I have been emphasizing our work on his Car Manners these last few days. He really struggled at first to jump in the car and resisted any type of leash pressure to help him up. I encouraged him to jump up by engaging with him in a playful manner to help motivate him. Any step he made towards the car I praised as he began to put his paws on the trunk. Once he was consistent with that,I help him up the first few times and rewarded him with a few treats in the kennel before releasing him. After practicing this for a few days, he began to jump in all on his own! Introducing him to Place seemed to help really boost his confidence as well!
Axel and I spent the day working on proper socialization with KB the Goldendoodle! Axel at first struggled to read social cues or approach in a respectful way. He approached KB very suddenly from behind which Kb was not okay with. He applied a healthy correction to Axel which prevented Axel from continuing to approach from behind. He learned to approach KB in a manner that he was okay with as I guided him through it, Cuing Off if he came on too strong or tried to mount.
We then worked on all of his commands with the leash dragging. At first I guided Axel a few times to gain consistency with his Come to Sit and Heel. After a few repetitions, I dropped the leash and rewarded him for Coming to Sit and following the stimulation of the e collar. He resists stimulation at times which is why we began his off leash work at home first. We worked him through this every time he resists by applying leash pressure towards me with the stimulation of the e collar to guide him with the directional changes of the leash. When he follows this, the pressure turns off. Towards the end of the session he didn’t need much guidance of the leash. Good work Axel!
Axel and I worked on everything he has learned so far with the leash dragging. We started our session with a pack walk. At first he tried to approach the other pups which was when I cued Off. Axel should wait for my release whenever he wants to approach a person or dog. After our pack walk we worked on his Come to Sit from a distance of 15 ft, Heel, Extended Sit and Down. While he was in the Down he got up to a Sit which I corrected. Whenever he has moments of avoiding work like rolling around, I interrupt it and redirect him to a different command. He then held his Extended Down and Sit until released.
Axel and I began our Off Leash work today while out at the mall. We walked around to acclimate him to his new surroundings before taking the leash off and practicing his Come to Sit, Heel, Extended Place with Down and Sit. He did great with staying by my side, turning when I turn and checking in frequently. We then worked on his Greeting Manners with my family and a friendly lady at the mall. He is improving wit holding his Sit while being pet, even offering me his attention as he Sat the entire time.
Axel’s biggest distraction is other dogs so we have focused our work primarily around the other pup KB or other trainer’s dogs as well!
Axel and I explored the mall together to further proof his commands near plenty of distractions like crowds of people, loud noises and new surfaces to Place on. He did great with Coming to Sit by my side and Heeling next to me. If he ever went off track, I cued Off which tells him to leave whatever is distracting him alone. Axel did well with checking in frequently. Greeted friendly people today and did great with voluntarily sitting all on his own without needing much guidance from me!
Axel and I emphasized our work on his Off command, which can be useful for a puppy like himself! He is following through with the Off command much more frequently, not trying to run away with whatever he has anymore, like he did previously. If he needs help, I stimulate him with the e collar as well.
We are working on building distance between us during his commands. Since he lacks confidence at times, we have gradually been building distance as he demonstrates more confidence. We worked on this at the outlets as we filmed content for his Final video as well. I included some photos of our trip to the beach the other day!
Axel and I started our day with working on his Food Manners. He is expected to hold his Sit or Down while being fed. After the food bowl is placed on the floor, that is not his cue to get up. His cue to eat is when I release him with the Cue Break. Although tempted, Axel was able to hold his sit while I eventually went out of sight.
We then went on a trip to the beach today shortly after where we proofed his commands some more. It was very windy which was great exposure for Axel to work through the changes of the weather. Initially he was unsure of it but after about 5 minutes of Heeling he was fluently performing everything he has learned Off Leash. I included a preview of his Final video from the other day. Good work Axel!
Axel and I spent our day together working on all of his commands as we strolled around the neighborhood. We emphasize our work on distance away from each other, which I recommend keeping up with to prevent his separation anxiety from escalating. It is best to never make it a big deal when you come and go so Axel doesn’t see it is a big deal either. Crate training also greatly helps with separation anxiety, especially when at home with Axel. Periods of time alone throughout the day helps prepare him for time apart.
Axel has overall become more confident, can hold his Place and Extended Sit for a minimum of two minutes, and can Come to Sit from about 15 ft away. I recommend constantly taking Axel to new environments. Since he can be a nervous boy at times, desensitization to new places will only further improve his training. He is a loving boy who needs a lot of guidance, structure and leadership to thrive and follow instructions. He has come a long way and we can not wait to show you what he has learned. Thank you for trusting me with Axel!