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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Barry | Australian Shepherd | Carson, CA | In-Training

Meet Barry! He is a two year old Australian Shepherd who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Barry is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, jumping to greet, and not holding commands very long. He jumps, pulls on his leash, and gets overly excited whenever other dogs are around. He also barks and whines for attention, and gets into things he is not supposed to when no one is paying attention to him or when he is bored. Over the next fourteen days, Barry will be given the structure he needs and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well behaved pup. Check in to see his progress!


Barry and I spent the day getting to know each other. I took him for a walk to start building a bond and also worked on his Heel. Heel consists of having Barry walk next to me on my left side. Barry was pulling heavily on his leash, so I turned and walked in the opposite direction whenever he would do so. He is very food motivated, so I kept his treats handy and rewarded him whenever he followed through. It is a work in progress, and we will continue practicing as it will now be implied on every walk we go on.


Barry and I met with other trainers and their dogs today at a local park. We continued to practice his Heel as we took a walk throughout the park, and he is improving by not pulling as much as he used to. Barry did very well around other dogs and did not lunge or pull towards any of them. There was also no barking or whining coming from Barry as we walked by the dogs, and as the dogs walked around him. Aside from our training session, I noticed that Barry’s eyes were very watery today but there were no signs of discharge. It could be allergies, and I am monitoring him by the hour and they have cleared up. He did great sleeping overnight in his kennel, and he is adjusting to his new surroundings here with me.


Barry and I began working on Place today. This technique builds confidence in a dog and is of great use whenever guests are over, or if there is a knock on your door. It consists of having Barry getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. He was great hopping onto the objects, but as soon as I would ask him to Sit, Barry would come out of it seconds later. To work him through it, I used his treats as a reward for remaining in a Sit every time he placed. Barry understood the concept, and began to follow through.


Barry was introduced to his recall which is also known as Come to Sit. It consists of having Barry come towards my right side, going around behind me, and sitting on my left. To teach Barry, I used his treats to lure him towards me. Once he came to my right, I lured him around me, and rewarded him when he sat on my left. There were a few times where Barry stopped behind me and tried to go in between my legs, but I would then use leash tension to guide him around. When Barry began to catch on, I slowly faded out his treats, and he is now learning how to follow through without them.


Barry and I worked on Down today. This can be a difficult technique for a dog to learn considering it is a submissive position to a dog. Barry does well with his Down but was having trouble maintaining it. To help him, I used his treats and took one step back, and waited five seconds before rewarding him. For every foot back, I increased his time by five seconds. He is doing very well and he is maintaining his Down for up to one minute. We will continue practicing to help Barry reach his two minute goal.


Barry and I worked around many dog distractions today. Initially, he was showing interest in them, but by redirecting him and having Barry focus on me, he began to ignore them. There were a few dogs we walked by that pulled towards Barry, but we kept our distance, and continued on our walk. He has certainly improved on not whining when other dogs are around, and he can walk alongside another dog, and even Sit next to a dog without reacting to it.


Barry and I took a drive to Home Depot today and worked on building his confidence a little more. We took a walk throughout the store and I had Barry Place on different sized objects with different textures. He was hesitant about placing on a round object and needed assistance. I guided him up with leash tension and he was able to place his front legs on the object. I then gave his back legs a boost to fully get him on, and released him with a “Break” when he followed through. Barry has done very well his first week, and as week two approaches, he will begin working his commands with his leash dragging, to prepare him for his off leash experience.


Barry and I went out for a walk around my neighborhood and began working on Heel with his leash dragging. We had a few warm up sessions in my backyard which went very well before taking him out. Barry was great throughout our session and ignored dogs in the distance barking from their front yard. In the coming days, Barry and I will continue with his leash dragging around more distractions in public areas.


Barry and I took a drive to a local shopping center to work with him around different distractions that included people, dogs, skateboards and strollers. Barry had a little trouble walking through the mall initially due to the flooring. It was a new surface to him, but he eventually adjusted to the texture. He also did not want to walk down a set of stairs or a ramp, so I guided him with leash tension and his treats to help him follow through. Barry also worked on his Extended Sit in which he did very well in. His Extended Down needed a little work today, but we worked on it and were able to have it cleaned up.


Barry and I are working on piecing everything he has learned together in preparation for his Final. He did have trouble with his recall where he did not Sit on my left correctly. He would either Sit behind me, or off to the left. In order to fix that, I used ninety degree angles with walls serving as barriers, with just enough space to help Barry follow through. He did really well with his stationary positions, and has shown improvement with his Extended Down. In the next day or so, Barry’s leash will be coming off, and we will work without it for the remainder of his Program.


Barry and I began his off leash conditioning today down in Huntington Beach. It took him some time to adjust to his surroundings throughout our walk, but despite the distractions, Barry remained at my side. He came out of his Down and into a Sit as a pedal cart passed him by, and he also walked a little ahead of me during our Heel, but I recalled him back and kept going. For it being his first time off leash in a high distracting environment, Barry did well and maintained his composure. With a few more sessions, and a couple of practice runs, Barry will be ready for his Final.


Barry and I had a great session today working on his Final. We had a few practice runs to warm him up, and although he came out of a Down while a stroller was passing by, we reset, tried again with other strollers in the area, and Barry was able to follow through. Throughout our time there, Barry was being praised and complimented on his good behavior. He also worked on his Greeting Manners, which consist of having Barry remain in a Sit when he is approached to be greeted. Aside from him not holding his commands for long, this was a big obstacle for Barry to overcome, as he is no longer jumping on people to say hello.


Barry and I have been working on Door Manners since the day I brought him home. Anytime I opened a door, Barry would always want to be the first one to go through. To help him into not doing so, I would ask Barry to Down when we approached a door. Once in a Down position, I proceeded to open the door, and made sure Barry remained in his position. When I opened the door, every time Barry sat up meant the door would close, and the process would repeat itself.  Once he understood what I was asking, I began to increase time and distance to keep him in a Down longer, which led to Barry achieving his two minute goal.


Barry has completed his Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for trusting me with Barry these past fourteen days, and I am grateful for having the opportunity to be his trainer. We became good friends and I am going to miss his companionship. His Final video is coming soon, but in the meantime, here is a peek at Barry’s Food Manners.


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