Meet Bandit! He is a nine month old Shepherd Mix who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Bandit is here for basic obedience, jumping to greet, counter surfing, taking food from people, kennel training, and socialization. He does well with the pups within his household, but Bandit can be reactive towards other dogs he does not know and will also try to lunge toward them. Over the next fourteen days, Bandit will be working on his manners and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well behaved pup. Check in to see his progress!
Bandit and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other by taking a walk around the park. Throughout our walk, Bandit would pull on his leash and walk ahead of me. To keep him from doing so, I stopped and gave his leash a tug in the opposite direction when he reached the end of it. I would then walk in the opposite direction and guide him back towards me to continue with our walk. By working on this exercise, Bandit was introduced to Heel which consists of having him walk next to me on my left side. He is responding well to leash pressure and is making progress with his walk. I will continue to work on Heel with Bandit, as it will now be applied on every walk we go on. He did not eat his dinner but I will leave it in his kennel with hopes of having him eat throughout the night.
Bandit and I worked a little more on his Heel today and focused on his behavior around other dogs. Bandit can be very alert and will react when he is at a short distance from them. I worked him through it by keeping our distance and only redirecting him away from the pups anytime he would react. I introduced the E-Collar to him and he responds well to it at different levels. With the use of the E-Collar, I paired the redirection with the word “Off,” to have Bandit understand that this certain behavior is not appropriate. Bandit is doing much better and will continue to be exposed to other dogs as we train in more public settings.
Bandit and I are working on Place. This technique consists of having Bandit getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. During his pickup, you were able to see it first hand when he would not get into his kennel in my vehicle. Once I introduced him to the object, I used leash tension as guidance to assist him in getting his front paws to touch the elevated surface. Once Bandit followed through, I rewarded him with praise and restarted the process. The next few reps consisted of getting his back legs up as well, and with consistency, I was able to have Bandit get into his kennel. There are a few instances in which Bandit needs a running start, but he is learning with practice, and with Place being a confidence builder in a dog, he continues to build it anytime he follows through.
Bandit and I have also been working on his recall and he does really well. There are instances where Bandit goes into a Down, but I quickly reset him, until he follows through with a Sit. I brought him out to a public setting to expose him around people, and he adjusted very well to his surroundings. Like Rosie, Bandit has made great improvement with his Heel due to our morning and evening walks. I also worked on building Bandit’s confidence a little more by having him Place on an object of different texture and surface. He was a little hesitant about it initially, but with continued exposure and consistency, Bandit began to climb on. After a few reps and verbal encouragement, Bandit gained the confidence needed and began to hop on. It is important to keep in mind, anytime there is an introduction to something new, we as owners need to be patient and not overwhelm our pups. Take your time, try not to force the behavior, and take breaks as needed.
Bandit and I began working on Down today. This technique can be one of the most difficult positions to teach a dog considering it being submissive, and it can also make a dog feel vulnerable being down on all fours. To teach Bandit, I used leash tension and some treats to lure him towards the ground. Bandit would follow the treat but would almost immediately sit up. Anytime that happened, I would reset and try again. Whenever he made an intent to go down without sitting up, I released tension and rewarded him. It took time and patience, but Bandit is following through with his Down.
Bandit and I have been working on his behavior with other dogs. He is making really good progress and is not lunging or reacting towards them. He does get curious at times, but by reminding him to Heel or Off, Bandit gets back on track and continues on his walk. During our Down session, Bandit did really well ignoring another pup who wanted his attention. It is important to reward good behavior like this whether it is verbal or with treats, as it will help him learn to focus on you in distracting situations. Bandit did have some trouble maintaining his Down, but it is a common issue due to the environment around him. After a couple of resets, I was able to work him through it. Bandit now knows all of his commands, and in the coming days, we will be increasing his duration with distance and more distractions.
Bandit and I are working with a fifteen foot long line to practice his distance and duration. He does really well and understands the concept of the behavior that is needed from him. He will remain in his stationary position with five second increments before releasing him with a “Break.” What Bandit had trouble with, was his Sit. After a short time in that position, he would automatically go into a Down which is not ok, unless I ask him to do so. We worked on it a little more and he is doing a little better. He still needs some more conditioning, but with more practice, I will have Bandit following through.
Bandit and Rosie spent the day playing with each other today. I took them out for our daily walk and they did really well around the neighborhood by not reacting to any dogs barking at them from their yards. I also had guests over who were a little fearful of Bandit given his size, but quickly went away once they saw how friendly he really is. Bandit has also been doing really well with his kennel training. Anytime I put Rosie in hers, Bandit will automatically go into his. I leave their kennels open throughout the day, and Bandit is usually the one to go into his when he wants a rest.
Bandit and I drove out to a local park and worked on some more distance and duration exercises. His Sit needed a little clean up as he would try and go into a Down. With the use of the E-Collar and verbally reminding him to Sit, Bandit worked through it. He was being very stubborn with his recall and did not want to follow through. It was very challenging but I will continue to work on it with him so he can get it right. Bandit also worked on Heel with his leash dragging and he did very well walking alongside me as we made our way throughout the park. He also assisted another trainer and his dog by serving as a distraction, which went well with no reactivity or any lunging from Bandit.
Bandit and I worked a little more on his recall and he is doing much better. He was still a little stubborn initially, but once we got a rhythm going, Bandit was following through. There were a few instances in which he tried to go into a Down, but with leash tension, I corrected his behavior and had him go into a Sit. I am also working on leash dragging exercises with him in my backyard since it is an enclosed area. It is a challenging process, as Bandit will try to flee once he feels no leash tension, but I will continue to try and work him through it.
Bandit and I worked on a little more leash dragging in my backyard this morning with a slip lead. If I am holding the leash, he does very well following through with his behaviors. Once I got Bandit to Heel and I dropped the leash, he tried to flee once again. I managed to step on the slip lead to keep him from running, but he would keep doing it continuously. Bandit also worked around different distractions today such as strollers, people, and other dogs. He did very well throughout our walk around the shopping center, and I was also able to get to the end of the long line when working his stationary positions, without Bandit coming out of them. He did very well with the other dogs around him, and did not react to any dog that was passing him by.
Bandit and I had a beach day today and he did really well working his stationary positions around distractions. He has also made an improvement on not going into a Down when I am asking him to Sit. Bandit was great around skateboards, bicycles, strollers, and roller blades. He adjusted to his surroundings fairly quickly, and he also ignored any dog that was around him. His recall needed some practice, but Bandit worked through it and will now begin to focus on his Final. He received many compliments throughout our walk, and he was praised for being such a well behaved dog.
Bandit and I have been working on his Greeting Manners. Since his Program began, anytime someone approached Bandit to say hello, he would almost immediately try and jump on that person. To keep him from doing so, I would ask him to Sit and I would only greet if he did not come out of it. Once Bandit began to follow through, I took him out into more public areas and practice with people that were interested in greeting him. Throughout the process, Bandit has made the progress needed, and can successfully Sit when being greeted.
Bandit has completed his Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to be reunited with you. He has learned so much in just a short period of time, and I am very proud of the progress he has made. He was a great co-pilot and I will miss this big guy’s companionship. He is a very bright pup who has gained confidence throughout his training, and has also learned to be well behaved around other pups. It was a pleasure working with him, and thank you for trusting me with him as well. Thank you Bandit!