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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Blue | Boxer | Bonita, CA | In-Training

Meet Blue! He is a six month old Boxer who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Blue is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, kennel training, and door manners. The goal for Blue is to have him listen to commands, not jump on people, and to act appropriate around children. He does not know his own strength, and when overly excited, Blue can easily knock someone down when playing. He jumps on objects he is not supposed to jump on such as a bed for example, and he will try to nibble on body parts such as toes or noses if it is within his reach. Blue shows no sign of aggression and is just a playful pup who needs structure on his behavior. Over the next fourteen days, Blue will be working on his behavior and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well mannered pup. Check in to see his progress!

 

Blue and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other. We went for a walk around the park to establish a bond. As we made our way through the park, Blue would pull heavily on his leash and move from left to right as he walked in front of me. I introduced him to leash tension by using a slip lead, which took him some time to adjust to considering him being on a harness. Anytime Blue pulled away from me, I would stop, turn in the opposite direction, and once he felt the tension at the end of the slip lead, I began to guide him back towards me. On some occasions, Blue would stiffen his paws up and would not want to walk back towards me. He would also go into a Down and not want to work anymore. This behavior is normal for dogs, as it is our first day together and I am a complete stranger to him. After a few reps during our session, Blue began to understand what I was asking, and would become less hesitant about practicing his new behavior. He still needs a little work, but I will continue to practice with him, as it will now be applied to every walk we go on from here on out.

 

Blue and I began to work on his recall today which is also known as Come to Sit. This technique consists of having Blue come towards my right, going around behind me, and sitting on my left. To teach Blue, I stand in front of him, ask him to “Come,” and guide him with his leash in the direction I need him to go. A few of the times during our session, Blue would walk directly towards me and try to Sit in front of me. To correct that behavior, I would take a few steps back and guide him towards my right to work him through it. He would also stop behind me as well, and in that case, I took a few steps forward, give him a little leash tension to go around, and then ask him to Sit once he was on my left. While practicing, I noticed that Blue understood the concept, but he would Sit a little off to the side on my left. To have a straighter Sit, I used a wall as a barrier to keep him from doing so, and although he still needs more conditioning, Blue is making progress and improving his recall. He did great through the night in his kennel, and he is adjusting to his new surroundings here at home.

 

Blue was introduced to Place today. This technique consists of having Blue getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. It can be of great use whenever guests are over, which will also prevent your pup from jumping on people as they are coming in. To teach Blue, I began with a low level object that is very simple for him to get onto. I introduced the object by walking him towards it, and then guiding him onto it with leash tension. Blue was able to hop on, but would almost immediately jump right off, which is understandable when teaching a new behavior to a dog. Once he understood what I was asking, I then proceeded to having him Sit anytime he was fully on the object. He did very well and is now placing on different height leveled objects. He is a very confident pup with lots of pent up energy, so always keep in mind to give him lots of exercise by going on walks or runs to release that energy.

 

Blue was introduced to Down today. This position can be difficult to teach a dog since it puts it in a vulnerable position being down on all fours. To teach Blue, I exercised him by reconditioning everything he has learned so far to release some of his energy. I then proceeded by asking Blue to Sit, and begin using leash tension as guidance to have him go into a Down. The first few attempts, Blue did come out of his Sit, so I had to reset and place my hand above his back to keep him from doing so. It took time and patience with breaks in between to avoid frustration, but Blue is following through with his Down.

 

Blue and I worked on his commands today in a public setting. We began with a walk around the area to have him adjust to his surroundings. Throughout our walk, he was very distracted and wanted to approach anyone around him. I corrected his behavior by asking him to “Off” and “Heel” with the use of the E-Collar, in which he responded very well to. Once acclimated, Blue and I began to work on conditioning his behaviors, and he did well. There were a few instances in which Blue did come out of his Down due to being a little nervous, but by resetting him back to his position, I was able to work him through it. Blue has now learned all of his commands, and we will continue working in more public settings with more distractions to build his confidence more.

 

Blue and I worked on his Down a little more today. He is still having some trouble remaining in it as I move around him. As I tried to move full circle around Blue, there were a few instances in which he would come out of his Down. As I mentioned before, Blue does get a little nervous, and it is usually when there is someone behind him. We worked on it a few times at home and he did very well. Once in a public setting with minimal distractions, Blue needed some reconditioning. As you can see in the video clip, this is what it means when it comes to “resetting” a dog. If the pup comes out of a position, always make sure to place them back in the same area and repeat the process. This is also where patience comes into play, which is part of the process of making a dog follow through. By remaining patient and with repetition, you can see that Blue was able to work through it, and was rewarded with lots of praise.

 

Blue and I worked in an indoor shopping center today as I did a little shopping. He did a lot better adjusting to his surroundings and was not as nervous as he was before. We practiced his stationary positions as I went into different stores and he did very well. While standing in line, I also worked on his recall, and even though he did Sit ahead of me a few times, I was able to correct his behavior by not giving him too much slack on his leash and making sure he sat properly on my left side. Blue received many compliments throughout our time at the shopping center, and he will soon begin to work on his behaviors with his leash dragging.

 

Blue and I spent the day at home today while I did some laundry and some backyard work. After our walk this morning, as I was making his breakfast, Blue tried to counter surf to get to his food. When he was next to me, I was able to notice Blue try to make an intent to place his paws on the counter. I corrected him by stepping in front of him and asking him to “Off.” I then asked him to go into a Down as I finished preparing his meal, and he did very well waiting for his food. Always keep in mind that it is important to catch unwanted behavior, and making sure to correct it, to prevent it from happening in the long run. We finished the day by releasing some energy and having Blue run around in my front yard. He has made very good progress with his playtime, as he is no longer jumping for attention like he used to, which was one of the concerns when he first came into his Program.

 

Blue and I have been working on distance and duration with a long line. The goal was to get to the end of the lead without him getting up. To work Blue through that, I worked him in increments of five seconds. This means that for every foot I stepped back, I would wait five seconds before releasing him with a Break. Then it would be two feet for ten seconds, three feet for fifteen seconds, and so on. Today at a local Home Depot, our session consisted of working with the long line in front of distractions. We began with a walk throughout the store to release some energy and to have him adjust to his surroundings. As we made our way through the aisles, there were a few instances in which Blue was distracted by a few customers and would look back at them while on our walk. I corrected his behavior with a verbal Off and Heel, and by also moving a little faster which makes me more interesting for him to focus on. After our walk, Blue and I worked on his stationary positions in which he did really well with. He would get curious as people passed by him, but he did not come out of any, as I reminded him verbally to remain in a certain position. Thanks to our prior sessions, I was able to get to the end of the long line as he remained in his Sit or Down until I released him and rewarded him with praise.

 

Blue and I have been working on his Door Manners. This was one of the main behaviors that he needed conditioning in. In the beginning of his Program, anytime Blue saw an open door, he would always want to run through it. There were a few times in which I would close a door, and he would pull towards it and try to scratch at it. By redirecting Blue away from the door and moving in from a distance, he began to understand what I was asking, which led to him not pulling anymore. Once I was able to work him through that, I began to ask him to Sit or Down whenever we approached a door. Once in position, I proceeded to open it, and if he sat up, I would close the door and repeat the process as needed. By remaining consistent and practicing every day, Blue has now learned to remain in a stationary position near a door, until I let him know that it is ok to go through it.

 

Blue and I drove out to a local park today and began working on some off leash exercises. We began with a walk throughout the park, and he did very well keeping up with me while we practiced on his Heel. His recall needed a little adjustment, as he would Sit off to my left, but by using a wall as a barrier, I was able to work him through it, and have Blue in a more structured Sit. His Place and his Down also needed a little more reconditioning, which is understandable, considering this being his first time in a public area with no leash guidance. I will continue to have Blue work off leash for the remainder of his Program, as he prepares to begin filming for his Final.

 

Blue and I have been working on his Food Manners since his Training Program began. The first few days of serving him breakfast and dinner, Blue would jump all over me, and would run back and forth through the hallway. There were a few instances in which he would try to counter surf as I was preparing his food. Throughout the week, I was able to work with Blue, and condition him into remaining in a calm relaxed state before serving him. Once Blue understood what I was asking, I would proceed to place his bowl down and have him wait in a Down until I let him know it was ok to eat. There were a few times where Blue would come out of his Down, but by resetting him and picking up his bowl, I was able to have him follow through. By remaining consistent, Blue is no longer jumping on me, and can now wait patiently for his food.

 

Blue and I worked on his Final and he did really well. Everything that he has learned was put together, as we took to a public area and worked around the distraction of people all around him. Blue was praised by many people, and he also received many compliments for being such a well behaved pup. This little bundle of energy has learned so much in such a short amount of time, and he is capable of learning so much more. He is very bright, and catches on to commands very quickly. It is important to keep in mind, that Blue can be a little stubborn at times, so he will test and challenge you when he does not want to follow through with a behavior. Remember to always remain patient, and to also exercise him on a regular to release that pent up energy. I am very proud of the results, and here is a clip of Blue showing off what he can do.

 

Blue has completed his Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity in being his trainer, and also for trusting me with him while he was under my care. It was a real pleasure having him in my home and he will truly be missed. He was a great co-pilot and I really enjoyed his companionship. We became great friends and I loved his playful energy. Remember to always remain patient and consistent with him, as he enjoys more freedom being a great off leash pup. Thank you Blue!


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