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Offline copy: 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!


Pupdate 02/06/2022

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.


Pupdate 2/07/2022

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.


Pupdate 02/08/2022

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.


Pupdate 02/09/2022

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!


Pupdate 02/10/2022

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!


Pupdate 02/11/2022

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.


Pupdate 02/12/2022

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!


Pupdate 02/13/2022

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.


Pupdate 02/14/2022

Today Bear and I ventured out to The Citadel Outlets! We walked around the outlets, especially in crowded areas. He is doing great with new faces letting new people approach him and say hi. One thing we have been focusing on now is practicing around dogs. He gets overstimulated often when seeing dogs so we have been practicing our Heel closer and closer to dogs that he is excited to see. After working on Heel we began to work on his Extended Sit in crowded areas and Come to Sit at a greater distance than he’s used to. We practiced his Come to Sit around the other trainer's dogs as well. I wanted to test him and see if he would be willing to come even though there were two dogs next to him. Initially he became distracted but with some stimulation to remind him to come to me he fought the impulse to say hi and came by my side to Sit. We will continue to work through those impulses.


Pupdate 02/15/2022

Bear and I went to a local dog park today. It wasn’t too busy since it was a cloudy day but he did get the opportunity to work around dogs of all sizes! He was initially very excited but after practicing Heel with very frequent turns he began to check in with me more. Towards the end of our session we encountered some thunder which scared Bear as you can see in the video. I was working him with the leash dragging and went to grab the leash after he got startled and worked him through it. I gave him a lot of praise for working through it then gave him a break shortly after. Great job Bear!


Pupdate 02/16/2022

Today Bear and I had a fun day going to multiple places! We started our day at Century City Mall and practiced everything he has learned off leash. We initially used the bungee leash when we first got there since he was very excited to be there. After warming him up with Heel and frequent turns he became engaged and I put the bungee leash away. His extended sits have been improving and he was able to hold his Extended Sit all day today. I believe sending him to Place on the small pillar helped condition him to hold his sits for a longer period of time since he had to focus on his rear end awareness. I helped him up whenever he seemed to struggle. After Century City we went to walk around Walt Disney Concert Hall and saw a beautiful garden. We had to get some cute photos of bear! He did great with his walk and even stayed under the table the entire time I ate my meal at the Grand Central Market. We will continue to work while off leash.


Pupdate 2/17/2022

Bear and I have been focusing lately on commands with distractions that are particularly dogs. He gets over excited when seeing dogs and I want to make his Come To Sit extremely reliable around anything and everything. Since dogs are his biggest distraction we have been going to local dog parks together. Today there were a lot of dogs of all sizes playing together behind the gate. I started working Bear at a distance and then came closer to the entrance of the gate where the dogs were. Initially I had to use the leash while working with him but then towards the end of our session I let go of the leash for his Come To Sits. Come around distractions is important for off leash work and we will continue to make this command solid overall!


Pupdate 02/18/2022

Bear and I went to the Hollywood Walk Of Fame today! It was definitely a new place for him to work at. He took a lot of elevators today with me and is looking more confident in them. The first couple of times he went into the elevator he didn’t like when we moved and immediately went into the down position. Now when we move he doesn’t mind.

We were able to go on a pack walk with the other trainer’s dog Blu. He initially pulled when he walked behind Blu trying to catch up to her but after a couple of stimulations he stayed next to me. We also practiced Heel going up and down stairs which was new for us and he did great! Last but not least I tested his Come To Sit around crowds of people. Sometimes Bear hesitates to come when there are crowds of people around him. He worked through it and came to me consistently. Great job Bear!


Pupdate 02/19/2022

Bear and I got the chance to work on everything he’s learned around a ton of distractions. We went to Santa Monica Pier and practiced everything off leash. He struggled with his Heel at first choosing to walk towards the opposite way. I stimulated him a couple of times to remind him to stay close to me and Heel. He made the right choice and corrected himself which is what I’m looking for in those situations. Instead of just grabbing him right away I give him the opportunity to make those right decisions for himself. Bear has done great with his extended place and sit. He even stayed sitting while a biker passed right in front of him. He can get a little unsure of fast movement like that so I was proud of him for staying in place through those questionable scenarios! After Santa Monica Pier we began to work on his Car Manners at my house. Whenever he hesitates to jump up I use a lot of words of encouragement to help motivate him. Those words of encouragement help him a lot because I can see his tail wag more and him move more quickly. He gets tired quickly since he’s a big fluffy boy but with a lot of praise he will continue to work. Excellent job Bear!


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