Bear | American Akita | Downey, CA | In-Training
Meet Bear, a 4 year old American Akita from Downey, CA who has joined Off Leash So Cal for a Two- Week Board and Train program. He is a happy boy who struggles with counter surfing, socialization with new people, and jumping when over excited. Over the next two weeks we will be working on impulse control, building confidence around new people and obedience around distractions. Stay tuned for his 14 day transformation!
On Bear’s first day of training we worked on his Extended Sit which he understood very quickly and was able to hold it for a whole minute on his first try, way to go Bear! He is conditioned with his E collar already and understands to come when he feels any stimulation. We then worked on his Come to Sit. He knows Heel so he naturally comes to my left side, we just need to work on his placement being right next to my knee. We ended it on a good note with some playtime to strengthen our bond.
On Bear’s second day of training we worked on multiple things such as Come to Sit, Extended Sits, Extended Downs and Place. Bear’s Come to Sit is improving and he is coming to me faster. I make sure his head is right where my knee is at on my left side. If he falls behind, I step forward to position him closer to me. When he is too far out away from me I make sure we redo it right away only marking it with a “yes” when he offers the behavior correctly. He did great with his Down around distractions like our other trainer’s dog Blu. Bear enjoys practicing the Place command, especially when in the Down. We are working on getting him up to Place at a quicker pace. We will keep working on building his commands around distractions like dogs and crowds of people.
Today during Bear’s training session we worked on proofing his commands around distractions such as new dogs, a new environment (the park), and even a new animal like a horse! He did great with fighting the impulse to investigate the horse since this was his first time ever seeing one. His Heel is becoming consistent. Initially he struggled with Heeling on the grass. With practice he has become used to Heeling on the grass. We also worked with other trainers taking turns Heeling by each other while in place.
During Bear’s session today we practiced his Heel around a ton of distractions like dogs playing off leash, and people playing basketball. Initially he was very excited to see groups of dogs playing together so I challenged him and practiced his heel at a distance then gradually got closer to those distractions. I made frequent turns reminding him to Heel everytime our directions changed. I then practiced my change of pace in Heel encouraging him to catch up to me when he fell behind and turning into him whenever he started going too far ahead. We finished our session working on Place and Come to Sit. Place helps him create a calm state of mind when he is overstimulated. He was able to Place on multiple things like benches and tables. From Place I called him to come and sit by my left side and he offered the behavior consistently. Whenever he was positioned too far from me I body blocked him to help him face the same direction as me. Great progress Bear!
Today Bear and I went on a field trip to The Block of Orange Outlets. This trip was great exposure for him around crowds of people. When we initially arrived he was excited to be there and that is when I like to work him the most! Let’s use that energy and turn it into motivation to train. We began to work today with minimal leash pressure. I only use the leash at this point to help guide him when he is struggling with going the right direction for his Come to Sit or during his Heel. He was doing really great with his Come to Sits around minimal distractions. While we were working around crowds of people he was more anxious and needed help with the leash to come behind me and sit on my left side. I noticed this and made sure we got some extra repetitions around crowds of people to help build some confidence. Towards the end of our session he began to build consistency. Way to go Bear!
Bear and I made a field trip to Santa Monica for the first time together. This was a great chance to get him exposure to distractions. We practiced everything he has learned over the last few days. During his training session I emphasized working on his Come To Sits and Extended Sits because he struggles with holding his Sit when he gets tired. As you can see in the video he was having a hard time holding his Sit and Place. I made sure to coach him through it and reminded him to Sit often. If he went into a Down I helped him up with some light leash pressure. As we were walking down the pier he got a lot of attention and even got to say hi to a couple of people! This was big for bear since he is skeptical of new faces. He did great and really liked one lady, wagging his tail to say hi. Overall with all of these distractions and crowds of people he worked through it quite well.
Today Bear and I went to the Glendale Galleria for the first time together. While we were there we worked on everything and made sure to focus on those Extended Sits and Place. He did great and held his sit the entire time! When he went to Place he hesitated a little to offer the Down but he did hold it until I released him, even with an excitable barking dog next to him! We will keep practicing in new environments. Practice makes perfect!
Bear and I worked on his commands with distractions at home. He met my brother’s new dog and was unsure at first because of his high energy level but warmed up to him eventually and was able to relax with him. We worked on Place and Extended Sits with distractions. He is getting better at staying in position without going down. We are starting our off leash work and I only give him slight leash pressure to help him stay near me while we Heel. I test him at times without leash pressure giving him a chance to figure it out on his own. If he does I mark it with a yes and release him with a ton of praise.