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  • Tanner Strong

Castillo | Labradoodle | Venice, CA | In Training

Meet Castillo! He's a one year old Labradoodle from Venice, California here for our Two-Week Board and Train Program! He's extremely sweet and cuddly, however he only listens to his basic commands when he feels like it. His recall is practically nonexistent, especially around distractions. Squirrels are his ultimate weakness, and he'll chase them whenever he can! Over the next fourteen days, we'll work on Castillo's obedience skills, help him ignore distractions, teach him his manners on and off leash, and show him how to be the best pup he can possibly be! Stay tuned for Castillo's two week transformation!


Pupdate: 12/15/2023

Castillo was very sweet immediately when meeting me. At the park, we went through some commands, which you can see in the above video. It seems like he responds to Sit every now and then, but I'd like him to be much more responsive.

After the park, we went home! I let Castillo sniff around my house to start getting him settled in. It seems like he's getting comfortable here pretty quickly! I'm excited to start really working on his commands tomorrow! I believe Castillo will be great to work with!


Pupdate: 12/16/2023

Castillo and I went to the park to begin working on his commands today! I introduced him to his E collar and we started off with the Come To Sit and Heel commands! For Come To Sit, I want Castillo to come to my right side, walk around my legs and sit at my left side with his ears at my knee. Then, for Heel, I want to be able to walk with Castillo with his ears in that same position at my knee. Castillo is starting to get the hang of each command, but he's been having the same issue with each. He sometimes doesn't want to move forward from his sitting position, whether moving toward me, or forward with me. It's seemed like Castillo would get "stuck" in his seated position, roughly half the time. I'm glad he is able to hold his Sit command pretty well, but I'd like him to move from it when asked. After many repetitions, Castillo seems to be getting most of the motions down.

In addition to his pictures today, I have added a video tutorial of his E collar that I'd like you to watch at some point before he goes home. The E collar is one of our main communication tools for Castillo, and it will be necessary to understand how the device works and how to effectively use it with Castillo, especially if he is allowed off leash!


Pupdate: 12/17/2023

Castillo went to Garfield Park today! It took a few minutes to get him going, as he just wanted to play when we first got there. He started biting at the leash when I applied pressure for him to follow me at first, but with enough patience and repetition he started calming down and working well!

We worked on his Heel, Come To Sit, and also Place today! For Place, I want Castillo to hop onto a raised object, such as a bench or the place cot used in today's video. He very much enjoyed placing on the cot. In fact, there were times he didn't want to get off the cot when asked! I think he figured out that I consider it a great thing for him to Place on the cot and stay there (which it is), but I'd still like him to be as responsive as possible to my Come command, which he is still struggling with sometimes. He's improving each time we go out though!


Pupdate: 12/18/2023

Castillo and I went to Santa Anita Mall today! He did much better than I thought he was going to do! Even just yesterday there were times he fought against me when I started walking, and he was even biting at the leash when asked to do something he didn't want to. I saw none of that today. He was happy and on point with his commands nearly the whole time. He was especially good with his heel command. There were very few times he wanted to walk ahead of me or behind me. He was very engaged with me all day. Great day today, Castillo!


Pupdate: 12/19/2023

Castillo had a great day, although it started out rough. He vomited some of his breakfast, but I've been keeping an eye on him since. I believe he simply gobbled his breakfast a little too fast and it hurt his stomach, but we'll be monitoring him just to be safe. He also is due for his heartworm meds today, which I'll give him with his dinner.

After that, we went to the park, and Castillo had his best day yet. He was still on leash, however I put a small leash on him and let the leash drag. Allowing the leash to drag gives me some idea of how he might perform off leash while still having access to the leash should I need it.

With very few distractions, Castillo performed quite well without any leash pressure. His recall was much better today, and his weakest command was Place. We'll continue to work to get him comfortable with each command with or without distractions! He's on the right track so far!


Pupdate: 12/20/2023

Castillo went to Home Depot today to avoid the rain! He did well with each command, although he was slightly reluctant to lay down on the concrete floor when asked. After some coaxing, he got more comfortable! Similarly, he was a little nervous around some of the wood in the lumber section at first, but we walked back and forth near it a few times and he eventually didn't mind the strange objects.

After training in Home Depot all morning, we mostly stayed inside, going out for walks occasionally between rain showers!


Pupdate: 12/21/2023

Castillo and I were at the park on and off all day. Luckily we never got rained on, but it was close!

The command Castillo has the most trouble with is Down, so we spent a lot of time practicing that!

He did well all day, although, if you look at the video around the 1:15 mark, he decides he would rather sniff some leaves rather than follow through with his commands. When he does this, all I need to do is reiterate the command and use the E-collar at the same time. One of Castillo's biggest issues when he got here was his selective hearing. He's doing much better now, however he is still capable of making small mistakes like this. It's important to always have him follow through with whatever command you ask of him, even if he'd prefer to sniff around in that moment!


Pupdate: 12/22/2023

Castillo and I went to Santa Anita Mall today! Due to the Holiday shoppers, the crowds were particularly dense. Castillo didn't seem to mind. An old lady approached Castillo because he reminded her of her dog, and Castillo did a great job of sitting politely while the lady complimented him and scratched his head.

We worked on each command throughout the day. Castillo did very well performing his commands even around the crowds. The one time he got a bit distracted was when a group of children ran right by him which caused him to hop up from his seated position and sniff them. I immediately reminded him to Sit, and he obliged. Great job today, Castillo!


Pupdate: 12/23/2023

Castillo and I went to Los Angeles State Historic Park today! There were plenty of other dogs and people around, and huge open fields to tempt Castillo.

In the first few minutes we were there, I let Castillo's leash drag while we were setting up for the day, but Castillo decided to prance off. He made it about twenty yards when I called him and clicked his E-collar. He pretty immediately decided to prance back to me. While I don't typically want him wandering off, it is nice to know he will reliably return when called. Great progress!


Pupdate: 12/24/2023

Castillo was off leash at the park today! This was the first day he was allowed to be fully off leash. Being consistent and stern with him yesterday when he tried to walk away from me seemed to resonate with him to where he was super on point today. Which is great because should he not have the proper reinforcement he could think it’s okay to do things like that. There were some soccer games in the fields, but the most impressive areas for me were Castillo walking by the grills. He clearly smelled the searing food (as did I), and was able to maintain his Heel and Sit with me! This was a very formative day for Castillo, and he impressed me.


Pupdate: 12/25/2023

Castillo was off leash at the park today! Again, he did a pretty good job with everything. Only a few times he got distracted around the park. We mostly worked on his long distance recall, which you can see in the video today! Happy Holidays from Castillo!


Pupdate: 12/26/2023

Castillo and I went to Belvedere Park today! We met with several other trainers and their dogs. I kept Castillo on leash for his first few minutes, since I wasn't sure if being that close to all the other dogs would throw him off. After a while, he proved he would behave himself, and we took him off leash! The other dogs, even within feet of us sometimes, didn't seem too distracting for Castillo.

He tends to get excited when approached by strangers. One good thing about working around the other trainers is we can practice petting each dog! Castillo is extremely friendly, however he has a tendency to put his paws up when approached. This isn't appropriate behavior, as I'd like him to politely await his pets, rather than pawing or jumping!


Pupdate: 12/27/2023

Castillo spent some of the day working around the house, and some of the day out at the park with me! He was playful and great all day! He was especially excited when he got to share some of my personal puppy's birthday treat! He really liked the pumpkin based treats, and enjoyed the rest of his day playing with us!


Pupdate: 12/28/2023

Castillo and I went to Santa Monica Pier today for training! He was off leash most of the time, and did very well. In today's video, you can see him heeling through some dense crowds. We also worked on his greeting manners, where I ask Castillo to sit politely while a stranger approaches and pets him! He's doing well with this as well!


Pupdate: 12/29/2023

Castillo and I went to Los Angeles State Historic Park today for training! There were not a ton of people, but almost everyone there was walking a dog.

It was a nice change of pace from yesterday at the pier, and I think Castillo enjoys the grassy fields a little more than the dense crowds. In addition to his basic commands, we've been working on his Touch command, where I ask Castillo to put his paws up onto an object. He's doing fairly well with this! For this command in particular, it's extremely important to not allow Castillo to put his paws up onto just anything/anyone, because this will lead him to think he can paw at people, which he's already done a couple times when working on his greeting manners. He had a fun day today!


Pupdate: 12/30/2023

It was another rainy day today, but we didn't let that stop us from going out once the rain let up! When we first got to the park, there weren't many people out. Luckily, some people started to show up after a while! He did quite well, as usual, at the park.

For his video today, I wanted to show his door manners. I want Castillo to be able to sit by the door without trying to rush out before me. This includes entering and exiting, but also any threshold, such as gates and fences.

Castillo is doing very well with all his basic commands and his manners. We worked more today on his touch commands, as well as asking him to back off of his touch when asked. This way he will be more likely to identify when and where it is appropriate to use his paws, without wanting to jump on random people! He's doing really well with this!


Pupdate: 12/31/2023

Castillo wishes you happy new year! We walked to the park today for his training and exercise. He did a great job, as usual, but I managed to capture a couple great moments in his pictures! For one, you can see him trying to ignore his mortal enemy: the squirrel! This park has tons of squirrel chattering about, and they're very confident because people feed them. This has been great for Castillo, however, since his biggest weakness is a squirrel! His improvement with that particular distraction can definitely be seen here.

Also, for fun, I thought I might ask Castillo to Place on a slightly more difficult object. The concrete wall, which you can see Castillo perched upon, is quite thin and difficult for most dogs to balance on! Castillo had very little difficulty hopping up and sitting down!

Castillo is going home tomorrow, and I'd like to say how much of a pleasure it has been to work with him. He's very pleasant to have and I'll very much miss him once he's home!


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