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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna Caskey

Bentley | Boxer | La Habra | In -Training

Bentley is a 6 month old Boxer, who has joined OffLeash SoCal for our Two Week Board & Train Program. Bentley is very rambunctious and strong-willed, and needs a lot of help with his training. He does not listen to obedience cues, especially outside around distractions. Bentley does not come when called, only sits when he wants to, & pulls very hard on the leash. Bentley frequently misbehaves in the home as well, where he steals and chews things that don’t belong to him, runs away when his owners try to retrieve stolen items, goes crazy when people come to the house, jumps and nips, and plays too rough.

Bentley needs significant work in many areas, however at OffLeash SoCal, we will get him the training he needs.

Stay tuned for his 14-day transformation!


 

Pupdate 11/13/2022


For Bentley’s first day, after pickup from his owners, we stayed at Pioneer Park for a while to get to know each other. I also wanted to get a good baseline for what needs work during his program at OLSC.


After arriving to my home, Bentley got to meet a boarding dog, Hazel. The two of them played great together, but Hazel did get a bit tired of all his puppy energy. She would lay down when she wanted the romping to stop, and I’d know to separate the two of them to give her a breather.


Overall, Bentley is settling in great!

I’m excited for his training to start tomorrow.



 

Pupdate 11/14/2022



Bentley started his day off playing with Hazel, his new best friend, before being offered breakfast. He did not eat much, since I keep pups separated while food is out— he was more interested in being with Hazel than his food.


Then we headed to The Wilderness Park in Downey for a morning full of training! Bentley was super distracted by all of the ducks, people, dogs, and smells, but certainly up for the challenge.


We walked around the park to introduce “heel”, where Bentley walks on the left side with his ears in line with the human’s legs, maintaining pace and stride. I paired the prong collar with ecollar stimulation to get him adjusted to the new equipment and to combat distractions and his puppy energy. If Bentley pulled ahead or towards something interesting, I would use a prong collar correction with ecollar stimulation to help get him in the appropriate position.


We introduced “down”, which Bentley wasn’t the biggest fan of initially, but quickly got the hang of.


From there, Bentley was introduced to “place”, where he goes to a requested elevated object and either “sits” or “downs” for extended durations. If he is asked to sit, he is expected to hold the sit— Bentley was pretty tired by the time his Pupdate video was taken, and he kept trying to go into a down. Since we had been working on down shortly before the video, he may have also been anticipating it to follow sit. When Bentley attempted to “down” when asked to “sit”, you can see me apply leash-tension upwards to draw him back into the correct cue.


Although Bentley had performed “extended sit & place” and “extended down & place” earlier in the morning, he kept breaking his cue early towards the latter portion of our training session. When this happened, I would shorten the duration of time I asked him to hold his cue, in order to help him be successful. When working a tired dog who is new to commands, they may start out a little “ruff”, but with consistency we shape small victories into the desirable obedience cues.


“BREAK!” is Bentley’s cue that the task is over, he did a good job, and that it’s time to relax & get some affection.


Bentley had a busy training day, and did well considering all of the behaviors we introduced to him.


 

Pupdate 11/15/2022


Bentley had a great second day of training.

We went to TeWinkle Park in Costa Mesa to work on “heel”, “place”, “down”, “extended sit”, and “off” (Bentley’s cue to leave distractions alone, and focus back up on me and the task at hand). Preliminary “come-to-sit” was also introduced to his repertoire. After adjusting to the distractions, Bentley did very well, but still needs some work on not breaking his cues early. Distractions included ducks, dogs, squirrels, & people.


I transitioned Bentley off of the prong collar, and utilized ecollar stimulation only today. Positive reinforcement with treats and praise were provided to Bentley in order to help him become familiar with the ecollar and following through with his cues.


At the end of his training session, Bentley was very responsive to “sit” and “off”, and his “heel” was showing great improvement. He earned the reward of getting to play with a golden retriever and Bernese mountain dog we met at the park before heading home.


I have noticed that Bentley gets some small, frothy bubbles on the sides of his nostrils while playing/walking/working. He has had this since his pickup on Sunday, and it is only during activity.


Today Bentley started digging in the yard. I utilized higher-level ecollar stimulation to correct the behavior, and so far he hasn’t done it again.


Bentley continues to settle in to my home, and is gaining his regular appetite back.



 

Pupdate 11/16/2022



Today Bentley and I went to Home Depot in Costa Mesa. This was the most challenging location for our training thus far. Bentley didn’t seem like he had been to a store before, particularly one like Home Depot. It took him a while to adjust to the different scents, multitudes of loud noises, shopping carts, vehicles, people, and the environment in general. We practiced heel and sit until he became more familiar to the store before expanding on down, place, and come-to-sit.


Bentley got into the groove and was performing well with his training and cues!



 

Pupdate 11/17/2022



Bentley and I returned to Home Depot today after practicing some at my home. Since this is where he’s had the biggest issue in terms of distraction, I figured it would be beneficial to expose him to the environment more, and get him used to performing cues in this type of environment.


Bentley is still having a harder time following through with behaviors when in different areas of the store, though his heel and extended sit are showing improvement.



 

Pupdate 11/18/2022



Bentley and I met up with a few other OLSC trainers today at Bella Terra Shopping Center in Huntington Beach to work on obedience in a different environment. It wasn’t too busy, so Bentley adjusted to the new surroundings well. He was performing his cues well, but I have noticed a tendency for him to become pretty stubborn after about 1-1.5 hours of working, and he shuts out his training some.


Although he was performing “place”, “extended sit” & “extended down” very well earlier during the meet up, he hit his “wall” by the time we filmed his Pupdate. When he broke his cues, I used ecollar stimulation along with leash pressure to help him back into position until Bentley followed through with the task at hand.


Today we stayed out longer, and worked through his stubborn-streak until he got his second-wind, and he was able to perform all of his obedience well.


Bentley’s “heel” and “off” is coming along great! This weekend he will be transitioning from a regular leash to a long-leash, allowing him more freedom to make mistakes and problem solve on his own.


 

Pupdate 11/19/2022



Bentley and I really tested his limit today, as we headed to The Citadel Outlet Mall in Commerce! 

It was packed!

There were tons of distractions between the bustling crowd, other dogs, strollers, children, dogs, and the smell of yummy food. 

As usual— and expected for pups in-training— Bentley took 10 to 20 minutes to adjust to the new environment. After he was acclimated, he did very well, all things considered. 


I worked Bentley here for about 3 hours, and he hit his typical “wall” halfway through training. We persevered, and Bentley was able to continue fine-tuning his heel, place, off, extended sit @ a distance & extended down @ a distance (although it took some patience).  

The video in his Pupdate took a few takes… by the time we hit this particular one, I would have settled for a 1-minute-extended-down. However, Bentley was showing me that he understood the previous mistakes and performed his final “extended down” like a champ! 


Bentley is continuing improvement both in the home  and in public!



 

Pupdate 11/20/2022



I did an off-leash trial run (leash dragging) with Bentley last night around the neighborhood. He did fantastic, maintained heel, and was responsive to his cues.


There was a rabbit on a neighbor’s lawn that darted off. Bentley started to chase after it, and I responded with higher-level ecollar stimulation, and was able to get him back into focus & heel and he only got about 2 feet from initial position.


On the extra quiet/safe streets, we practiced extended sit & extended down at a distance. He did well, but got a little excited about “break” and would run passed me and attempt to play. However, he responded quickly and appropriately to come-to-sit cue.


At night when it’s quiet, I’ve been letting him drag the leash to/from the home and car. “Load up” is getting better and he jumps into the car and into the kennel on his own without help. He is a little hesitant getting out of the crate when unloading. House manners such as sitting at the door until “break” cue is offered, and not jumping up during greetings is also improving.


Today we went to Petco to work on his obedience cues after some work at home on manners & heel. Bentley was pretty distracted by the pet-friendly smells, new environment, dogs, and other animals in the store. We walked around on-leash first to get him adjusted prior to moving on to leash-dragging obedience.


Bentley did well with his behaviors, but did manage to break his cues here and there. When in a “heel” we encourage dogs to keep their noses off the ground and away from distractions. We worked on come-to-sit a lot, as Bentley has a tendency to sit facing his handler (we want the dogs to face forward).


He got compliments on his good behavior, met some new people, and maintained his sit while someone approached and pet him in an impromptu fashion.


We will continue to fine-tune his obedience and response to distractions.

 

Pupdate 11/21/2022


Today Bentley & I met up with fellow OLSC trainers at Pioneer Park in Anaheim, CA. Together, we worked on obedience cues with our canines, and Bentley got a chance to work on his training around other pups and people.

I got the opportunity to ask my associates on ways to troubleshoot some behaviors that Bentley has been struggling with, such as breaking his sit or down and insisting on coming to me.

It was a very helpful session, and Bentley definitely benefited from it! Towards the end of the session, the trainers had a huddle with our dogs, and Bentley was positioned in the middle of everyone, maintaining his “extended down” for over 10 minutes! When he finally did break his cue, he responded well and implemented skills we had just previously taught him, to recover his behavior quickly.

I was very proud of Bentley.

He has not been as keen on breakfast lately, but gobbles down his supper with gusto.

 

Pupdate 11/22/2022


After working on manners at home, Bentley and I went to Mason Park in Irvine to practice obedience with his long-line dragging. We continued work on “heel”, “come to sit”, “extended sit”, “extended down”, & “off” (as geese poop was very enticing). 


When we first arrived, Bentley insisted on rolling around in the fluffy grass, so I gave him a little time to soak up the new surroundings. Bentley continues to improve, but there are some kinks that we still need to work out, mainly off, and not focusing so much on particular distractions. He had a hard time when a skateboard went passed, and broke his cue, but was able to maintain extended sit after a correction. Tomorrow we will go to the skate park near my home to desensitize him to this distraction. 


We worked on place on rocks, benches, tables, trees, and a ‘scary’ platform that had a vent (which made noise). Bentley was hesitant to jump up on this “place” and after he did, he did not want to sit on it. We kept trying until Bentley realized it was safe, and he was able to follow-through with the cue he was given. 


After training, I allowed Bentley a well-earned break in the volleyball court sand… he went NUTS and absolutely loved it. He had major “zoomies” here, but did not go farther than 20-30 feet from me. He did not run towards distractions, including a couple having a nice picnic on the grass next to the sand. Even in the height of his excitement, Bentley still listened to commands, and his recall was good. 


 

Pupdate 11/23/2022



Bentley’s training is coming along well, and he has been problem solving ecollar stimulation.


Today we worked on manners in the home, and his offleash ability to follow-through with his cues while other dogs were free-ranging in the home and in the yard! It was a challenge since Bentley absolutely adores other dogs, but he rose up to it and overcame his impulses.


Later in the day, we went to Home Depot to work on commands around even more distractions. The skate park was empty when we went by in the morning, so we will try again when there are more children/skaters present.


We returned to Home Depot since this environment has a tendency to make Bentley nervous, and I want to increase his exposure. He will even fear-growl here when people approach to pet him, so desensitization is critical.


 

Pupdate 11/24/2022








Bentley had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and spent the morning playing with the pack after working on cues, using them as distractions, in the home and in the yard.


After some downtime, we headed out for a long walk completely OffLeash around my neighborhood and local park, where we worked on heel and his obedience around distractions. On pathways, Bentley is very good about staying focused, however he needs to be reminded of “off” when off-roading.


He did very good with the distractions of kids playing, groups of families and friends reuniting in their yards and driveways, fellow canines on walks, and all the critters we encountered.


 

Pupdate 11/25/2022


Today Bentley and I went to Santa Monica Pier to put his OffLeash ability to the test! We practiced all of his cues around many distractions at the busy scene. He was a little overwhelmed at first, but got into the rhythm as we fine-tuned his behaviors. He did fairly well, but had some issues with veering off course, and was a little slow with some of his cues.


Overall, Bentley is coming along well, and is excited to show off his training!


 

Pupdate 11/26/2022


Bentley practiced his obedience cues and manners in the home, before heading to local TeWinkle park to polish up his OffLeash training. 

He did great, and got to experience the freedom of being OffLeash after his session, where he got to have uninhabited zoomies, and run around with his friend, Honey!


He is excited to go back to his family tomorrow and show them all that he has learned! 



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