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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Emmy Lou | Golden Retriever | Torrance, CA | In-Training

Meet Emmy Lou! She is an 18 month old Golden Retriever who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Emmy Lou is here for basic obedience, kennel training, counter surfing, and not following through with commands. She requires constant supervision and needs to develop house manners. Over the next fourteen days, this sweet girl will be given the structure that is needed to be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming, a well behaved pup. Check in to see her progress!


Emmy Lou and I spent the afternoon getting reacquainted. We took a drive to a local park and went for a walk to refresh her Heel. She does not pull on her leash, but she did stay behind in the beginning. To have her catch up, I used verbal encouragement, and a little leash tension to guide her towards me. She will continue working on it, as it will now be implied on every walk we go on from here on out. Emmy Lou was great in the kennel and did not cry or whine during our drive. She is settling in and adjusting to her new surroundings.


Emmy Lou worked on her recall which is also known as Come to Sit. It consists of having Emmy Lou come towards my right side, going around behind me, and sitting on my left. To teach Emmy Lou, I used treats to lure her towards me. She is used to sitting in front of me when I ask her to Come, but I made the transition of having her come to my right, luring her around me, and rewarding her when she sat on my left. There were a few times where Emmy Lou stopped behind me and tried to go in between my legs, but I would then use leash tension to guide her around. When Emmy Lou began to catch on, I slowly faded out the treats, and she is now learning how to follow through without them.


Emmy Lou and I began working on Place. This technique builds confidence in a dog and is of great use whenever guests are over, or if there is a knock on your door. It consists of having Emmy Lou getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. She was having trouble getting onto the objects initially, as she would only place her front paws on the object. To work her through it, I used leash tension to guide her up, and I gave her back legs a boost to fully have her on. Once Emmy Lou understood what I was asking, she began to Place by climbing on rather than hopping on. We worked on a few more reps by giving her a running start, which helped her gain the confidence needed to have her hop on.


Emmy and I drove out to a local park and worked on some more confidence building. When she is introduced to a new object, Emmy is hesitant and fearful about getting on. Today, we worked on different surfaces with different textures to help her overcome her fear. Emmy is gaining confidence the more we practice, and although it takes time and patience, I am hopeful that she will continue to make progress as we keep moving forward.


Emmy and I worked on Down today. Down can be a difficult technique to teach considering it being a submissive position to a dog. To teach Emmy, I asked her to Sit, and then used leash tension and her kibble to lure her towards the ground. She sat up during our first attempts so I placed my hand over her back and kept her from getting up by applying slight pressure whenever she made an intent. Emmy comprehends and follows through, but she is having trouble holding it. I am going to work on her duration in the next day or two, in order to have her maintain her stationary positions and help her reach her goal.


Emmy and I worked on her Extended Sit  and Down today since she was having trouble maintaining it whenever I would start increasing distance. To help her with that, I moved back one foot at a time with five second increments. One foot back is five seconds, two feet back is ten seconds, three feet back is fifteen and so on. Emmy is doing well as she is almost up to one minute, and we also worked on her recall a little more. Emmy has learned all of her commands and will continue to work on them with different distractions as well as increasing distance and duration.


Emmy and I began working with her leash dragging today in order to prepare her for her off leash experience. We drove out to a local park and worked on her Heel and recall. She did very well for it being her first time with no leash guidance and is learning how to remain in a Sit as I walk away. Emmy will continue to work this way these next couple of days and the level of distractions will be increasing as we work in more public areas.


Emmy and I took a trip to a local Home Depot and worked around different distractions such as people, shopping carts, and forklifts. She did really well with all the noise around her, and she adjusted quickly to her surroundings. She worked on her Extended Sit and Down, as well as Place. Her duration is increasing, and she remains in her Sit position while I increase distance between us. What Emmy did have a little trouble with was her Extended Down. She would come out of it after a few seconds during our first few attempts. After resetting her and some repetition, Emmy was able to follow through.


Emmy and I drove out to a local park and met with other trainers and their dogs who assisted her by serving as a distraction while working on a few sessions that consisted of everything that she knows. Emmy is doing great and is thriving in her training with every exercise that she works on. I have also been working on her Load Up which consists of having her hop into her kennel in the car. Emmy was a little hesitant initially, needing some guidance to get her in, but she has made quite the progress and continues to build her confidence.


Emmy worked around strollers, kids, dogs, and bicycles today. She did really well and continued to receive praise for being such a good girl. She tried to dig in the sand as we were walking through the playground, but I was able to correct her behavior by saying “Off” and we continued on our walk. Emmy is ready to work completely off leash and is prepared to begin filming her Final video. It will now be our main focus for the remainder of her Program.


Emmy and I did some off leash conditioning at the beach today. She did very well with distractions passing by and staying at my side during our walk. I focused on her Extended Down which is the stationary position she was having the most trouble with, which turned out great as a couple of dogs walked right by her. Emmy is a very bright pup, and I am proud to see how far she is coming along.


Emmy began working on her Final today and she is doing very well adjusting to different surroundings. We have been working on her Greeting Manners in which Emmy has shown a big improvement in. She has learned that she is to remain in a Sit whenever she is approached by someone that wants to say hello. It was difficult for her to do so in the beginning of her training, since she would come out of her Sit whenever I stepped away. With repetition and consistency, Emmy has managed to successfully be greeted without coming out of her Sit.


Emmy and I have been working on Door Manners since the day I brought her home. Anytime I opened a door, Emmy would always want to be the first one to go through. To help her into not doing so, I would ask her to Down when we approached a door. Once in a Down position, I proceeded to open the door, and made sure Emmy remained in her position. When I opened the door, every time she sat up meant the door would close, and the process would repeat itself. Once Emmy understood what I was asking, I began to increase time and distance to keep her in a Down longer, which led to Emmy achieving her two minute goal.


Emmy has completed her Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home! It was a pleasure to have Emmy with me for the past fourteen days. We became really great friends and I will miss her companionship! She is a great listener and such a quick learner. Thank you for trusting me while she was under my care and thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with her. She will truly be missed, and I am looking forward to showing you what she has learned. Thank you Emmy Lou!


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