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  • Writer's pictureSheena Chavez

Blu | Sliver Labrador Retriever | Whittier, CA | In Training

Meet Blu the 9-month-old Silver Labrador Retriever from Whittier California. Blu has joined is us for our 2-Week Board and Train! Blu has typical puppy behavior such as jumping on people when they are trying to greet him. Blu also pulls and lunges towards dogs he sees while out on walk. Blu pulls his owners on leash and likes to lead the walk. When Blu is inside the home, he sniffs around the trash can and chews on furniture when nobody is home. During his stay with us he will learn basic obedience in new environments with distractions. Stay tuned for his 2-week transformation!


Pupdate 7/24/2022

Blu seems to be apprehensive when meeting new dogs. He starts off as barking, lunging and actually let out a low growl when he first saw Oso at distance. Blu is definitely eager to run up to other canines. After a few minutes, once Blu settled down a bit, we had Oso on a place and let Blu sniff him. We always want to keep this a controlled and calm environment. Proper greeting is NOT letting either canine rush up to the other. Blu was provided a few seconds to sniff then we remove him. This process was repeated a few times. When it was Oso’s turn to sniff Blu, he was timid. Blu would move his butt out of the way to avoid this happening. While Blu loves to rush dogs, he doesn’t like when others sniff his butt. He does need to learn that butt sniffs is how dogs properly greet each other. So, Blu shouldn’t decide it is okay for him to invade a dog’s space when he doesn’t appreciate that.

Blu has adjusted well to his new temporary home. Blu is staying in an extra-large crate inside the home. We also provided him with a deer antler to chew on while inside the crate.


Pupdate 7/25/2022

Blu worked on a proper Heel today. We placed a pinch collar on him to help with the excessive pulling and jumping. When we Heel, we always want Blu to match our pace, turn when we turn, and stop when we stop. It shouldn’t matter how fast/slow we walk or when we stop, Blu must remain in that Heel position. Blu’s proper Heel position consist of having him on our left-hand side keeping our pace. Ideally his ears/head should be adjacent to our knee. If his snout is behind our left knee he is too far back, if his shoulders are past our left knee he is too far forward. Blu essentially has this invisible bubble to stay in. Any walk we take with him, even if it’s from the door to the car, Blu will Heel.

We have noticed that Blu likes to mark when he pees rather than going all at once. When this happens, we still mark it with “go potty” and “good potty” so he can start to make the association with the word and the action.


Pupdate 7/26/2022

Today Blu worked on his Place and his Come to Sit. First, we warmed him up with a few laps Heeling around the park. Then we transitioned into the Place command which Blu was not a fan of going onto the place cot. We kept practicing helping him be a little bit more comfortable then gave him a water break. After that he started to get the hang of Place! We started to implement his Come to Sit from the Place command. Blu did pretty well holding his position while we created some distance from him as well.

Place is the act of having Blu go onto a designated object and hold it position until released or asked to do something else. It works well inside the home to make an exchange at the door, clean something up with ease, essentially do anything in the home and not have Blu constantly be at your feet.


Pupdate 7/27/2022

Am I seeing double?! There is another Silver Labrador Retriever here for training as well. Blu now seems to be more comfortable with Oso and the Silver Lab Luca. Although, since Blu is still young, he is sometimes to push with the other dogs frequently bugging to play. Oso is a well-balanced pup who provides Blu with warning and corrections letting him know what is and isn’t okay during playtime. Each canine has their own boundaries. Not all pups will appreciate pushy puppy energy. It is taking Blu some time to understand but will continue to learn with proper structure. If Blu was not responding to the other dogs’ cues, then that is where we step in to correct and help set those boundaries.

This is the same for playtime with humans. As soon as Blu jumps or puts his mouth on us playtime immediately stops. If Blu becomes too rambunctious then playtime will stop. If he keeps doing anything we don’t appreciate, then playtime stops. Boundaries need to be set for everything in his life. You have to be the one to decide what is and isn’t okay then stick with it.

While Blu was rough housing with the other dogs, he did acquire a couple of abrasions. Dogs play with their mouth/teeth and paws, so this isn’t an unusual occurrence. We will keep the areas clean.


Pupdate 7/28/2022

In today’s video you have a different view of how Blu’s Heel should look. We started off the day with the pinch collar walk which he heeled very well. Once we got back home, he drank some water and ate all of his food. After that break we worked in the backyard working on his Come to Sit command. He is starting to get the hang of his Come to Sit. The few mistakes made will be cleaned up soon. Blu had another break to take a long nap. Blu had one last work session before we ended the day. We worked some more on Heel without the pinch collar. He did well and is making improvements with only small mistakes each session!


Pupdate 7/29/2022

Blu put some more work into his Place command today. He has become more consistent when working at home and in the neighborhood. His Heel has greatly improved from day 1 as well. Blu is working hard on being more attentive to us rather than letting distractions get the best of him. Blu has been very good in the crate and goes pee on our walks. Although, he is more so marking rather than emptying his bladder. We still mark it with “good potty” to create the word association.

Blu also got a little scratch on his eyebrow from play. It looks as if it simply pulled his fur and not really cause a cut.


Pupdate 7/30/2022

We took Blu for a trip to The Block of Orange. Blu struggles with his Down and Place at times. I have noticed that Blu is unsure and hesitant about new place objects. To help work him through this we repeat the command, apply directional leash pressure and use the e-collar at a low-level stimulation. Blu will then follow through with the ask. It is important that we get Blu to follow through with every ask so he does not think he can pick and choose when he wants to listen.

Blu’s ears were very dirty and likely the cause to him shaking his head. We took some time to clean them out to help!


Pupdate 7/31/2022

We started off the day with a 4 mile off leash hike! Blu did very well and made only a few mistakes here and there. We tried to use the Place command on the green cable/telephone boxes. At first, he had some resistance but after the 3rd-4th try he got the hang of it. After a long much needed nap he had another small training session to work on his Come to Sit. In the beginning he sits a little wonky but after some repetitions he completes them much better.


Pupdate 8/1/2022

Blu took a trip to the Citadel Outlets to put some more work into his Place and Down command. Each new Place object Blu is still struggles to get up onto. Once we guide him up once and show him there is nothing to be afraid of, he has no issues doing it on his own after that. Blu is getting a little better with doing his Down on command. Other times he takes his time and needs some reminders. He also will move in front of us to down. So, we are working on him staying in the same spot. There was a little dog who was excessively barking at Blu. Blu did look and veer off toward the pup a bit, but he did not bark! As soon as we told him “Off” he went back into his Heel. “Off” is our general ‘do not do’ command for any undesired behavior.

The other Silver Lab has gone home and that was Blu’s main play buddy. He has still been spending his time outside with Oso but now cries/whiles and scratches at the door. Oso will only play with him for a short period of time. When he is inside the crate he is just fine and doesn’t fuss. This is likely due to Blu always being with someone to engage with or be by their side.


Pupdate 8/2/2022

Blu took another trip to The Block of Orange. He continues to improve a little bit each day. Blu doesn’t seem to be bothered by the people around which is great. Little kids and dogs do catch his attention often, but with a reminder from us he is able to focus and follow through.


Pupdate 8/3/2022

Today we wanted to test out Blu’s leash dragging skills in the driveway. Blu slightly gets out of position here and there by veering back and forth. Nonetheless he does a great job in fixing himself knowing exactly where we would like him to be!


Pupdate 8/4/2022

Blu has been helping out our newest recruit Buster. Blu instantly was very friendly with Buster! In the video you can see Blu Heeling with Buster. He made a couple of mistakes because he wanted to be closer to us and was slightly confused. It was great to see them working together!


Pupdate 8/5/2022

Blu practiced all his commands off leash. We even were able to get Blu working on Send Away to Place. This is a bonus command that is a little more advanced than Place. It is where Blu goes to a place object at a distance, rather than standing right next to it. We also had a little picnic at the park. Blu did try and put on his puppy eyes in effort to get some human food. He even started drooling!

Blu did great with dogs of all sizes passing by and didn’t bother to go up to them. He was good with the ducks until he decided he wanted to chase one. The second Blu leaves our side we cued Off and reminded him of Heel. Blu immediately responded and followed through!


Pupdate 8/6/2022

Today is Blu’s last day with us and it has been a great pleasure working with him. He is a very smart boy who thrived wonderfully in our board and train program. He does have some separation anxiety to work through when he is not actively being engaged with or by someone’s side. Blu also got a bath today, so he is nice and clean to go home tomorrow.



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