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Cali | Labrador Retriever | Burbank, CA

Cali, a Labrador Retriever from Burbank, CA went through the Balanced Canine Training SoCal Board and Train Program. Trained by Jose Ayala in Compton, CA.

Cali came to Balanced Canine Training SoCal with varying behavioral issues, including pulling on the leash, squirrel chasing, jumping up when greeting, counter surfing, generally not listening to commands, and barking at strangers. Balanced Canine Training SoCal was successful in transforming V into a well-managed pup.

The dog trainers at Balanced Canine Training SoCal are here to help you and your dog be as amazing as our before and after videos! Contact us today 562-448-3774


Meet Cali! She is a seven month old Labrador Retriever who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Cali is here for basic obedience, jumping to greet, leash pulling, and chewing on different items. She is a little hesitant and cautious when meeting new people, but she will warm up to them after a few interactions. Cali comes to us knowing a few commands, but still needs a little help following through. Over the next fourteen days, Cali will be working on her behavior and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well mannered pup. Check in to see her progress!


Cali and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other by going for a walk around the park to establish a bond. Throughout our walk, Cali was pulling heavily on her leash, and would move from left to right in front of me and behind me. To keep her from doing so, I began to use leash tension to have her remain on my left side as we walked. If Cali pulled ahead, I stopped, let her get to the end of the leash, and used leash tension to guide her back towards me. This was her introduction to heel, which means walk with me on my left side. If Cali would try to veer off and walk on my right, I would make a u-turn and keep her on my left. She still pulls a little, but is understanding the concept, so I will be applying heel to our morning and evening walks from here on out. She is still a little cautious of me, but she is settling in well in her new home for the next two weeks.


Cali and I worked on her recall today which is known as come to sit. Our evening and morning walks are helping Cali improve her heel, and it is also helping us strengthen our bond. I used her freeze dried treats to work on her recall, and at the same time, work on engagement. She is doing very well, and she is warming up to me the more we spend time together. To teach Cali, I used leash tension and a treat to get her to come towards my right, followed by taking a step forward to have her go behind me, and lure her with another treat to have her sit on my left. By keeping it positive and making a game out of it, Cali is learning and having fun at the same time. As you can see in the clip, Cali does jump on me when I release her with a “break,” which I will let her do for the time being, as she begins to trust me more, look at me in a positive way, and that good things come from me when following through.


Cali and I worked on place today. Teaching Cali to place involves training her to get onto a designated object, and have her remain there in a sit or a down. We began to work on it by using my place box as the designated object. By luring her with treats, I was able to encourage Cali to get on the box, and rewarded her for following through. We worked on a few repetitions, and once I saw consistency with Cali, I began to introduce the word “place.” Once she began to understand the concept of the word meaning, I would then ask her to sit, and reward her with praise when she sat down, followed by a “break,” which is her release word. We then moved on to a higher object using the same approach, and she did very well getting onto it with no hesitation. Cali is a very quick learner and very food motivated, and it has helped tremendously in gaining her trust, as well as making good progress in her training. I will continue to work on place with her, and gradually start to expose her to different distractions.


Cali and I drove out to a local park and worked on her recall and her place a little more. She is doing very well with her come to sit, and I am now rewarding her with more verbal praise, as I am fading out her treats. Cali needed a little more practice with her place, as she would climb onto the bench we were working on, rather than hopping onto it. I worked on it by giving her a running start to motivate her, but at times, she would just stop and only place her front paws on it. To help her work through it, we reset with the running start again, followed by a little leash tension to get her on. Cali was able to follow through, and with more consistency, she will continue to improve. She also has lots of energy, so before our training sessions, we go out for a walk, or I let her run around in my backyard to release some of it. Releasing energy before a training session is important as it helps them to focus and be more receptive to learning. Dogs can have excess energy that can make them restless or easily distracted during training. By allowing them to engage in physical exercise or play before a training session, you can help them to burn off some of that energy and be in a calmer state of mind, making it easier for them to concentrate and follow instructions. This can lead to more successful training sessions and faster progress in learning new behaviors.


Cali and I have been working on her down. She has an understanding of the concept, but she has a little trouble maintaining it. We worked on it with leash tension, and used her treats as a lure. She did very well, but would almost immediately sit up after going into her down. To keep Cali from doing so, we worked on repetition  throughout our session and began adding a little duration towards it. I had her hold her down for a minimum of three seconds before releasing her and rewarding her with a treat. She is doing well with it and progressing, but there are times in which she challenges me and does not want to listen. When this occurs, it is important to remain patient with our pups. Work at their pace, take your time, and remain calm and relaxed. Take a break if need be to avoid frustration on both ends, and remember to keep it positive, so that they may work through those behaviors effectively.


Cali and I drove out to a local park and worked on all of her commands. She was having trouble maintaining her place due to the different texture of the object, but with a few repetitions during our session, I was able to work Cali through it. By remaining consistent with our walks everyday, Cali is much better with her heel, and we are now loose leash walking around the neighborhood. Now that she is fully understanding all of her commands, Cali and I will be training with a longer leash in the coming days, as she begins working on distance and duration with her stationary positions.


Cali and I worked on distance and duration with a long line. To begin, I would ask Cali to sit, I would take a step back, wait about five seconds, then release her with a “break.” She does very well with sit, but when it came time to practice her down, she was a little unsure, and would sit up almost immediately. To work her through it, I would ask her to down, take half a step, and wait about three seconds before releasing her. By taking my time and remaining patient during our session, I was able to gradually increase distance with Cali, as she began to reach a much calmer relaxed state. Training your dog to remain in one place for an extended period of time can help improve their focus and self-control, which are essential for good behavior in various situations. It also enhances your dog's overall obedience and responsiveness to your cues, making it easier to manage them in different environments.


Cali and I continued to work on her distance and duration. We practiced her down in my backyard a little more with no distractions, and she is making improvement. At the park, she did very well working around minimal distractions such as a dog walking by at a distance. By remaining consistent with our sessions, I am able to see great results with Cali. In the coming days, I will give Cali more exposure in public places to increase the level of distractions and work her through them. I will also begin working on some leash dragging exercises as she enters her final week of training, and prepare her for her off leash experience.


Cali and I met with other trainers and their pups who served as a distraction at a local park today. Training your dog around other dogs can provide several benefits. It helps Cali with socialization, making her more comfortable and confident around other dogs, reducing the likelihood of aggression or fear based behaviors. By having dogs serving as a distraction, it can help Cali learn to focus on you amidst distractions, which is essential for good obedience in public settings. In general, dogs can also learn from each other, so being around other trained dogs can help reinforce good behaviors and manners with Cali. She is doing very well working with distractions around her, and she also does well adjusting to her surroundings in new places.


Cali and I worked on some final leash dragging exercises at a local shopping center. We began with a walk around the mall to release some energy, and to have her adjust to the environment around her. Once Cali was acclimated, we began our session, and made our way through the mall with just the use of the e-collar, and only using the leash for guidance if need be. Throughout our walk, she did very well with her heel, but was distracted by a pup nearby. Cali tried to veer off and interact, but with the use of the e-collar stim, and a verbal “heel,” I was able to get Cali back on track, and back into position. When situations like this arise, keep moving forward, go up a few levels on the e-collar, and remind her to “heel” as you are pressing the stimulation button. It is important to keep walking forward with your dog if she becomes distracted, as it helps reinforce the idea that you are the leader and that Cali needs to follow you. By continuing to move forward, you are showing her that you are in control of the situation, and that she should focus on you rather than getting distracted by her surroundings. Consistency in training and setting boundaries while walking will help Cali understand what is expected of her, and improve her overall behavior.


Cali and I have been working on her greeting manners. Dogs with good greeting manners are more likely to have positive interactions with other dogs and people, reducing the risk of conflicts or misunderstandings. They can help prevent a dog from jumping on, or rushing towards people, since dogs do not know their own strength, and can knock someone over. Throughout her training program, Cali has been learning that jumping for attention gets no interaction from me. She is understanding that in order for me or anyone to pet her, she must remain in a calm relaxed state. Before any interaction with Cali, I ask her to sit, then make the approach to greet her. If she gets up, I take a step back, ask her to sit again, and repeat the exercise. Once she follows through, I release her with a break, and reward her with praise. When you are out with Cali and someone approaches to say hello, kindly ask that person to remain patient while you prepare her for interaction. By working on this consistently with Cali, she will continue being set up for success, and will also keep achieving great results. By teaching her greeting manners, it can translate to overall good behavior, making Cali a pleasure to be around.


Cali and I have been working on her door manners. Before opening any door, I would ask Cali to sit or down, as it will help her to remain calm and controlled before going through a doorway. If I opened a door and Cali would sit up, I would close the door, place her back in position, and repeat the exercise as needed. To control her movement, I began practicing with her on leash, and I would only proceed when she was relaxed. When opening the door, if she remained in a stationary position, I rewarded her with praise or a treat. With time, I gradually increased duration and distance as she continued to make progress. By remaining consistent and practicing everyday, Cali has learned to remain patient, waiting for my cue to have her go through. By continuing this exercise at home, you can help Cali learn good threshold manners and improve her overall behavior around doorways.


Cali and I had a playtime session at a local park with her friend Biggie. When incorporating playtime, always make sure you are constantly supervising, and that you are in a controlled setting. Playtime in a controlled setting allows you to strengthen Cali’s good behavior while working on her commands in a high distracting setting, which helps you establish boundaries during these playtime sessions. It also provides a chance for Cali to socialize with other dogs or people in a safe and supervised manner. This helps prevent behavioral issues and promotes positive interactions, all while burning off some energy, and receiving physical and mental stimulation. Overall, incorporating playtime in a controlled environment is crucial for the well being and development of our pups, and it creates a harmonious and enjoyable experience for both you and Cali. Remember to always keep an eye on her, keep it positive, but most of all, have fun.


Cali has completed her Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity in being her trainer, and for also trusting me with Cali while she was under my care. She is a very bright pup and can be capable of so much more. She has learned so much in a short amount of time, and I am looking forward to showing you what she can do. We became great friends, and I will truly miss her companionship. Thank you Cali!



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