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Conan | Border Collie Mix | Orange, CA | In-Training

Meet Conan, a 14-month-old Border Collie Mix from Orange, California who is here for our Two-Week Board and Train program. Conan is great with people and dogs (off-leash), but will bark and lunge at dogs on leash. He doesn’t know his basic commands, pulls when walking on leash, will whine and scratch the doors up if company is over and he’s in another room, and can get really nippy when he wants attention. Stay tuned for his fourteen-day transformation!


Pupdate 1/30/2022

Conan and I worked on leash walking at the Outlets. I let him go ahead of me and before he hits the end of the leash I turn in the opposite direction. Conan is one smart dog! He figured out right away that it was in his best interest to stay right at my left side. He did try to go after a small dog and was corrected for it. I could see the signs by his increased speed, ears forward, tail high, and flagging like a scorpion. After the correction we were able to walk past two other dogs without trouble. He was barking and whining in the crate so I introduced the e-collar and the “off” command and he quickly settled down.


Pupdate 1/31/2022

Conan and I worked on his commands at a park. I introduced the e-collar and he seemed to pick it up pretty quickly. He did struggle with seeing other dogs, so I’m using the “off” command more frequently. After training he was calmer in the crate. On the ride to the park he was scratching at the crate walls and vocalizing. Training will do him so much good! In this session I also introduced “place” and began having him sit on the cot as well as when I stop walking. This morning he did throw up his food, but I believe it was out of anxiety since he was vocalizing a lot. When I tried using his kibble during training he would not take it. Affection and praise was rewarding enough for Conan.


Pupdate 2/1/2022

Conan and I worked on e-collar conditioning and heeling on my property and then on a nature trail. He became reactive at the sight of my landlady's collies, but we worked through it using the e-collar and the "off" command. He socialized with the dogs in the afternoon and played nicely with two females, my dog, Juno, and a doodle named Holly.


Pupdate 2/2/2022

Conan and I worked on his commands at a park while a group of boys played football behind us. Conan was really interested in what they were doing and struggled to complete his commands. I used leash pressure and food to motivate him. On come to sit he would get stuck behind me, so I am guiding him into position with the leash. He socialized with the dogs in the afternoon and did well with everyone.


Pupdate 2/3/2022

Conan and I worked on his commands at a shopping area and on my property. He has a very difficult time focusing with distractions around and isn't motivated for his kibble. Conan saw two dogs and reacted to both. He is playful in the yard but isn't overly confident. His reactivity seems to stem from a lack of confidence. I'm going through all of his commands but focusing on come to sit and down since these are the two he struggles with the most.


Pupdate 2/4/2022

In the morning, Conan and I worked on his commands on my property. My landlady was going in and out of the buildings on the property and Conan was very distracted by her movements. For the first time, he did not react to her collies! In the afternoon we went to the beach to work around distractions. He had trouble focusing around birds, but he is completing his come to sit and holding his extended sit nicely. He does still struggle with the down command, so I'm spending more time making sure he understands the verbal cue.


Pupdate 2/5/2022

Conan and I worked on his commands at a busy park. He was able to pass by several dogs that were barking at him, and he was rewarded each time for looking without reacting. Conan is definitely more focused and less distracted by things in the environment than when we first began training.


Pupdate 2/6/2022

Conan and I worked on his commands at the mall where he was dropped off. What a difference a week makes! Instead of pulling like a sled dog on his harness, Conan is loose leash walking at my heel, passing other dogs, and being polite. In social he does get over excited at times and jumps on me. This is when I use the "off" command with a tap of the e-collar. He understands "off" as I've used it when he looks at dogs and now no longer have to follow it up with a tap of the e-collar. When Conan looks at the dog and I say "off" he turns and looks at me. That's when I mark with "yes" and reward with a high value treat or praise with "good" in a more enthusiastic voice. The video you see here is of Conan with his friends, Holly and Juno.


Pupdate 2/7/2022

In the morning Conan and I worked on his come to sit, heeling, and down. He's doing really great moving into his second week of training and completing all of his commands. In social he's playful with the other dogs and met two new male dogs today, Logan and Ziggy, who he did fine with. In the afternoon we went to a shopping area and worked on all of his commands but focused on heeling and come to sit.


Pupdate 2/8/2022

Conan and I went to Shelter Island and worked on his commands by the water. It was a beautiful day! He is still resistant to doing a straight down so I’ve been using meet treats to entice him and it’s working. Today we focused on going from a sit to a down in a more distracting environment. His come to sit also needs some work so I’m focusing on that and down. He can hold an extended sit and down pretty well and his heeling looks good.


Pupdate 2/9/2022

Conan and I worked on his commands at a park while kids played in the background and people walked their dogs. He is doing better with his down after working on it with treats. I continue to use food to reinforce this behavior and his down is showing improvement. Conan has a mischievous side when he plays with other dogs and not everyone likes it. He often gets corrected by smaller dogs because he won't stop pawing at them. This is where the "off" command comes into play combined with a tap of the black button on the left side of the remote.


Pupdate 2/10/2022

Conan and I worked on his commands outside of a grocery store. He was very distracted by the people walking out of gym next door but settled in as we continued to work. He didn’t mind the sound of the wheels from the grocery carts but was very vigilant of all the people walking towards us. His down looks very nice and we are now focusing on “off” when he stares too hard at something and cleaning up his heel and come to sit.


Pupdate 2/11/2022

Conan and I worked on his commands in front of Starbucks. He is doing better around distractions but will still stare at times when people walk near him. He has made friends with Logan the husky and the smaller male dogs who didn't want anything to do with him when he first arrived.


Pupdate 2/12/2022

Conan and I worked on his final video by the beach. He completed all of his commands in a distracting environment and was able to pass by several dogs without issue. When I noticed him staring too hard at a dog I would use the "off" command and a tap of the black button on the left side of the remote. After a while all I had to say was "off" and that was enough for Conan to look away from the other dog. At that point I say "good" and reward him with a treat.


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