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  • Writer's picturecristianoffleash

Coco | Chocolate Labrador | Whittier | In-Training

Meet Coco! A 6 month Labrador puppy from Whittier, CA who has joined us for our two week board & train program. Coco is a sweet puppy but compared to others she can her own issues to work with such as jumping on people, leash pulling, and not holding his obedience when asked. Coco is getting better everyday with his owners but needs to understand now not later that there are important boundaries a cute young puppy such as Coco has to be aware of. Over the next two weeks you are gonna see the new and improve Coco as the days progress. Check out her progress with me as her trainer.


Pupdate 2/18/2024

Today was my first day meeting Coco and she was very energetic after her owners left the park but didn't seem bothered by her surroundings. She seemed excited and confident being outside but had a non stop habit of pulling on the leash when trying to create some distance. We stayed momentarily at Furman park before heading back to my hometown in Fullerton. Once we arrived back at my house I took Coco for a walk around the neighborhood to go potty but she didn't. When letting her inside the house she came in with ease and showed her interest in smelling the ground as we made my way into my room. When Coco saw my personal dog Hunter she seemed nervous at first but the moment she came up to his crate to smell him she started to get excited and wanted to play.

In the video above are their interactions momentarily throughout the house. Once we were in the backyard she didn't seem as interested as inside but upon entering my room again Coco started to smell Hunter more and had zoomies. After greeting Hunter I took the time to start conditioning Coco to leash pressure and see how her engagement is when training, She did very well waiting for a treat but for other things she could care less. Once she entered her crate she barked momentarily before taking a big nap and resting for a few hours before being released.

At night I introduced her to her e-collar which is gonna be used for her training throughout her visit. She didn't seem to mind the e-collar but would often scratch at it as she's unfamiliar with what it is. I took the time walking her around my room and keeping her engaged with me using the remote which went well. Follow up with her daily progress as her board & train continues.


Pupdate 2/19/2024

Today I took Coco to Lowes in the City of Industry to meet up with our friends from offleash to practice our obedience training. When we first arrived we walked around the store looking for our friends until we made our way into the lumberyard and saw everyone. Immediately Coco started to get excited and have zoomies just from seeing them. I kept walking Coco around to keep her engaged with me but with the leash pressure and e-collar Coco was able to tolerate and would try to keep pulling. I switched her leash and put on a gentle leader to help with keeping her head in the direction I'm facing to prevent her from trying to get distracted.

In the video above is our initial practice when trying out the gentle leader. In the beginning Coco seemed fine for the first few seconds but as we start to travel more with it she attempts to prevent me from walking her and scratches at the gentle leader. Most puppies do this because of the unfamiliar feeling of having something on their mouth since we apply leashes on their necks or body for harnesses. After a few seconds Coco follows through with my body pressure as I'm still walking even though she is stopped. This is to keep Coco engaged and as she follows up with me I keep a normal pace as if nothing happened and make the walk as normal and genuine as possible. 

As we make our way throughout the store we walk through a few aisles before ending back in the lumber area to practice an extended sit. Coco is really smart about holding her sit but needs to be able to hold her sit until she's given her break. As I have her attempt to hold her sit she does get up once but as she's redirected she holds her position as Adrienne and her dog pass by us and as that happens I break Coco for keeping her position. She did really well for her first visit but as we continue to visit other places we are going to work on other behaviors to modify with Coco.


Pupdate 2/20/2024

Today I took Coco to Cerritos Mall in Cerritos, CA for some exposure and to meet up again with some of our friends from offleash to socialize our dogs around each other. When we first arrived Coco had every idea to pull from the beginning so I would take the time to heel her to keep her engaged with me and have more motivation to follow up with me before heading inside throughout the whole mall. Once she started to settle she kept a pace but had a habit of leaning into me. Once we found an area to work on our obedience Coco started to focus on her obedience training more.

Our commands we practiced today were extended sit, recall & off. Coco started to acknowledge her off obedience command better today and wouldn't try to run towards the other dog but she would redirect herself back into a sit and look at me for confirmation. After each redirection when Coco looks up to me with her eyes this is the moment to be verbal with her and mark the behavior with a "good girl" or "good job" which makes moments like these fun and memorable. When walking around doing a pack walk with the others, Coco did very well from this moment so we walked towards an open area of the mall with good distractions to train the dogs.

In the video above we are practicing our extended sit and down and only for her sit she needed to be redirected once. After her sit obedience command I had Coco perform her down obedience command which she did with ease even though we don't practice this as often so this was very good of her to try with her confidence. Coco is holding her obedience commands in public for about a minute each but we will work on improving longer durations for both obedience commands. By the end of our visit Coco was consistent with her heel and didn't need a gentle lead anymore so we switched to a slip leash.


Pupdate 2/21/2024

So far into Coco's board & train she has done well progressing with her obedience. Coco has been going potty outside and is very calm and patient when socializing in my room. No jumping with anyone in the house but we are still going to see how she does when meeting guests. Coco has bonded very well with Hunter and can even practice holding her obedience with him when it comes to waiting for the door and for their food.

Today Hunter and Coco had their walk in the morning since the rain started to go away. We went for a 45 minute walk and throughout the entire walk Coco stayed to the side and had no ambition to lead in front of us. When returning home she had her playtime with Hunter and took a nap shortly after playing. After some time passed and she woke up from her nap we started on our house training with door manners which I practice everyday once a dog comes over for a board & train. If any dog decides to pass me when entering a building I will restart walking through the door by asking a dog to sit.

In the video above is our practice so far with the front door of my house. I practice with a place pad to help create a boundary from the place pad to the door. If Coco gets up from the place pad she is redirected back on to continue the practice. As seen in the video above Coco goes towards my room and passes the front door instead of trying to follow me. I redirect her back and ask her to down and she stays in her obedience until she hears her break. We are going to improve on this and replace the pad so Coco can wait and remain on the ground as the previous way we've trained before.


Pupdate 2/22/2024

Today's adventure was a visit to Anaheim feed & pet supply in Anaheim, CA to work on more of her obedience training. Before coming Coco had been playing with Hunter momentarily so she had already burned some energy upon arrival. Coco was calm when walking inside and throughout each moment of walking I would constantly talk to her asking for her heel and saying good girl. We focused mainly on recall and the down obedience command in the small aisles when conditioning these commands.

At this point Coco was engaged with me performing her obedience commands with a few moments of being redirected. The longer we stayed the more people started to enter the store and we eventually ran into some guests who were amazed to see Coco just perform her obedience. Coco had 3 guests who wanted to say hi, and each encounter went well with her only breaking her sit with one person. For the other two people she remained still and when they walked away I praised her for being a good girl to help make this moment memorable for future encounters.

Coco has been doing well remaining on my side of the house without having an accident or going into personal belongings but rather playing with a ball or tug toy if presented. It's very noticeable when she is interested in the ground so when she wants to keep her head down I'll ask for her name and have her come back towards me to remain closer to me and forget about what her previous interest was.


Pupdate 2/22/2024

Today I met up with our friend Sheena from Offleash at Columbia Park in Torrance, CA. When we met at the park I had Coco freely say hi to Sheena to see if Coco would want to jump or be overly excited when saying hi. When Coco isn't given her obedience she seemed unsure about going up to Sheena but eventually got over it and greeted her without jumping. This way of greeting someone is ok as long as she isn't jumping and can help with other future guests who want to greet Coco. The second part of the video is Coco being asked for her sit before Sheena comes up to her. When Coco hears her sit obedience command she remains still until being given her break.

After we practiced greeting manners we worked on Coco's recall and extended sit seen in the video above. When asking Coco for her recall I'll ask for the word come first and as she makes her way around me I continue to say it until she ends up on the left side of my body so I can follow up with her sit obedience command. We practice this many times as long as it takes until she's able to come around me without assistance from the leash. Coco has been able to perform these obedience commands with ease at parks and low level areas with distractions but we still need to condition these with heavy amounts of people walking around us. She is starting to leash drag so now we are working towards our offleash obedience!


Pupdate 2/24/2024

This morning Coco and Hunter had their usual routine of a walk together and playtime early in the morning. Coco has been out in my room and throughout my side of the house has not gotten into anything or had an accident. Coco remained awake throughout the morning without taking a nap before heading out to her visit to an outlet.

I took Coco to the Outlets of Orange in Orange, CA to work on more of our obedience training when entering a store. When we first arrived Coco kept a consistent heel until she saw the traffic of people inside the outlet. Using the remote once to redirect her back into a proper heel Coco was able perform with ease. We walked around the area twice before taking a break on a bench to get some water. Many people passed by saying comments on how well behaved Coco was or how cute and calm of a puppy she is. After our break I went to the entrance of the outlet to focus on some obedience training which is the area displayed in the first picture. We practiced heel with the leash dragging, extended sit and recall. By now Coco started to get really tired so I started to walk her inside some stores and focus on keeping her engaged with me and preventing her from smelling things obsessively. If Coco was to touch clothes or anything else she's not supposed to I ask for her off obedience command and she follows through by looking back at me which I can praise her for.

When walking into a Vans store I'm familiar with some of the employees here because I used to work here so with their help I was able to get their help with Coco's greeting manners. I had Coco greet my friends on her break and during her obedience and she did well both times without jumping onto someone. At this point of our visit Coco started to automatically go into her down indicating she was very tired so I took her home.


Pupdate 2/25/2024

This morning Hunter and Coco had their walk and playtime early in the morning which was followed up with me taking Coco by herself to a dog park to train on the outside of it. Unfortunately at the time we went there weren't that many dogs inside the dog park nor did any of them pay attention to us coming near the gate so I kept Coco here momentarily working on more leash dragging to offleash heeling.

Later on I had my younger brother help me with some practicing with Coco inside and outside the house. When practices in the front he wanted to train Coco so with my supervision I guided him with each step of how to engage with Coco. He is aware of how to train dogs already but even at his age I keep myself close by for safety but as seen in the video above Coco trusts my brother entirely since they spend a lot of time together as well. In the video above I act as a distraction and rather than wanting to be with me Coco has her attention on my brother and confidently holds her obedience for Nick. Another clip shows her consistent heel with Nick staying at his side and throughout the walk Nick is talking to her when asking for her obedience the same way I would ask for a sit, down or break. When Coco is given her break by Nick she follows through to him for her reward which is praise.

We followed up with offleash obedience in my backyard with myself practicing all of her obedience commands which she was able to do but with her down and recall she can sometimes do other things so we are focusing on those two offleash commands to condition now!


Pupdate 2/26/2024

Today I took Coco to Hillcrest park in Downtown Fullerton for some exercise and more offleash obedience. When we first arrived I took Coco for a jog getting some of that morning energy out. Once we made our lap around the park we got some water and started to walk around the park again but with the leash dragging. Coco's responses with the e-collar were normal and she was able to redirect herself back into obedience if needed. Coco remained at my side but rather than traveling in front of me she would move to the side and when asking for her heel Coco could place herself next to me when speaking to her. When taking a break near the baseball field there was a game going on so we spent some time in this area practicing more of our obedience. We had a few people pass by us and they would call Coco making baby noises but the moment I knew this was gonna happen I immediately asked Coco for her off obedience command to disengage herself with her surroundings and keep her attention forward in my direction. After being here for some time I took Coco's leash off in an area gated to focus on offleash obedience. Coco's down has been getting better but with her recall she likes to mess around when performing so we use a little assistance with the leash to properly condition this obedience command.


Pupdate 2/27/2024

Today's focus was offleash obedience around the house with all practices done inside and outside the house. Coco has been able to perform everything with ease now, even her food manners with no redirection or use of the e-collar when practicing. Coco goes into a sit in the beginning of the video and waits for her food patiently until she's given her break. I walk through every door in the house and now she's able to show me her confidence holding her extended sit. When giving Coco her break she likes to come to me first for affirmation which is a silly behavior but I continue to point towards the food acknowledging she can have it. I have practiced petting her whole body and mouth as she eats and she's comfortable with it nor does she show any possessive behavior.

We followed up on conditioning her commands offleash and she's doing very well. We are going to spend the rest of this week visiting outlets and other shopping centers to condition her offleash obedience training.


Pupdate 2/28/2024

Today I took Coco to Citadel Outlets for more exposure and offleash obedience in a social setting. Today went really well with Coco practicing her obedience throughout the shopping center. Our main focus today was greeting manners, recall, and her down obedience command since these commands she can play around with when performing. Before meeting with our friends from offleash we made a lap around the shopping center which went well. Once we met up with our Offleash friends Coco had no initiative to bark, lunge or react towards their dogs or other dogs shopping with owners. While walking as a group I had Coco remained to my side offleash and remained in a consistent heel until we found an area to work on our other commands. She did very well with all obedience commands but once she gets tired she needs a break and some rest.

When training in an open area Coco was doing very well and making our practices as easy as they need to be now without much issues from distractions. By the end of our visit Coco kept going into a down indicating she was tired and rather than asking for a sit when training I would ask for down to relax and be comfortable.


Pupdate 2/29/2024

Today we went to Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica CA, with friends to practice more of our offleash obedience. Coco had one moment of being unaware of her surroundings here and tried to walk away from me but being redirected once had her remain to my side entirely after that moment. We walked around the pier passing by many people and Coco didn't mind all the distractions today and even had a greeting with a young girl who was excited to see Coco the moment she saw her. During this greeting Coco remained calm and kept her sit position until she was done and I continued to say break to have Coco come to me for her praise.

In the video above we are walking around the pier and had Coco place herself onto a platform and she held her sit for about 2 minutes before being given her break. As always she comes to me for her praise and I reward her to make the moment fun and memorable. By the end of our visit Coco was tired and remained far behind me when walking so I kept a slower pace to keep our walk consistent.


Pupdate 3/1/2024

Today I took Coco to a park close by my house that has a dog park but unfortunately we couldn't find anyone there with their dogs to use as a distraction so we went back to the park area to work on our obedience training. We walked around in the open grass area to keep Coco engaged with me instead of keeping her head down. When her tail starts to go up when her head is down it's a clear indication that she needs to go potty so I ask her to go potty to help motivate her to go. We focused more on our recall offleash and she does well with close distances but trying to recall her from far distances she seems confused but with the use of the e-collar it helps guide her back to me. We also walked into the playground to have Coco familiar with walking up these structures. We finished up with offleash heeling and recall on the pavement which went well but Coco had her slow pace indicating she was starting to get tired.

Later on Hunter and Coco had extra playtime and training sessions together. Coco seems to be very confident training with Hunter and seeing him do the same things she does keeps her motivated.


Pupdate 3/2/2024

Today I took Coco for a trip to Anaheim Pet & feed for a last visit as it is her last day in her board & train. When we first arrived Coco walked calm and collective when entering and walking through the store. I had Coco offleash the entire time but there were few people with dogs who were reacting towards Coco so I would attach the leash on her for safety. In the video above I'm pretending to grab things from the shelves and creating distance from her as always. She had one moment of redirection where I asked for her down and she was tolerating the e-collar but eventually went into the down obedience command. If i was to not to follow through with the down command, that would be counter productive to the training. Always redirect her and remain consistent with the last ask! The last thing I ask for is her recall which she does and I break her to have her reward. Later on we had a family party at my house and I took time to socialize Coco while everyone was there. She did very well with having her e-collar on and being given her obedience commands when the appropriate moments came.

Coco has finished her two week board & train and she's been a joy to have over as my guest and friend. Coco has been respectful even when having zoomies and being her puppy self. She has progressed with her obedience daily and could do even better as she gets older since her personality has been of a calm and gentle puppy when we are out socializing. Coco has the ability to adapt to most situations especially with how confident she is already with herself. I'm excited to see Coco go back to her family and fill them with joy with her new personality!



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