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  • Writer's pictureScott Hansen

Franklin | Dalmation | Fullerton, CA | In-Training

Meet Franklin! Franklin is an 11-month-old Dalmation from Fullerton, CA. Franklin is here for Off-Leash SoCal's Three-Week Board and Train Program! Franklin displays a lot of puppy and possessive behavior. Although Franklin has been socialized around other pups and some humans, he can be quite possessive and displays this with growling and unwillingness to interact with new people. Franklin pulls on the leash, nips, digs in the carpet, and has been known to bolt out open doors. Franklin has been taught a few commands but is inconsistent. He can be a sweet loving puppy when hanging around the house. Franklin will learn obedience and consistency over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for his 21-day transformation!


Pupdate 4/10/23

Today I brought a very feisty Mr. Franklin home. Well, he wasn't so feisty when we got to the park by my house to check out what Mr. Franklin knew how to do. I was able to take him out and give him his full health check once we got there. He let me check his ears, teeth, and gums without much issue. I tried to get him to "heel" or really any command and he was having no part of it. Once that was complete, I had to load him back into the vehicle. If you saw me leaving earlier, I had to trick him to jump into my backseat and then guide him into the kennel. At the park, he was not about to fall for that same trick twice! I tempted my luck, got into a good position away from his face (just in case), and was able to pick him up and assist him into the vehicle. I have techniques for helping him get into and out of the vehicle which will be another update.

Once I arrived home, I took him for his one free walk around the block. This walk is where I don't ask anything of the pup and I let them explore the area without any more stress or input from me. Mr. Franklin definitely took advantage of this as he was at the end of my 15' lead the entire time and marked every tree he came across. He wasn't too bothered by the other neighborhood pups barking at him. Mr. Franklin did decide to mark a tree and a yard with his poop which I was not expecting When I got home, I picked up some poop bags and we walked back around the block to clean up his mess. This second lap, however, was time for business. I had him "heel" the entire time and he did pretty well! I think the conditioning you performed with the pinch collar has paid off. I might go straight to a slip lead tomorrow when I introduce the e-collar and not use the pinch with him. We will see how he does.

I introduced him to my family and other pups when the walk was over. My tiny trainer stated, "That's a firetruck dog!". My other mini-me said, "I want to call him Spot!". It looks like he already has a few new nicknames in our house. He met Mr. Ozzy briefly and got to hang out with Ms. Toji. I'll introduce the whole pack tomorrow and see how they do. I am currently severely outnumbered so it will be a slow process to make sure everyone behaves and plays nicely with each other.


Pupdate 4/11/23

Today I introduced the e-collar to Mr. Franklin. He did pretty well on his first day of training. We worked on his "heel" and his "sit". These two are the cornerstones of everything else going forward. Mr. Franklin will be in the "heel" when we traverse from one place to the other and he will be required to "sit" for almost everything such as door manners, car manners, and greeting manners. These two commands will be highly reinforced over the next three weeks. Mr. Franklin is still learning how to go in and out of the vehicle but he is more receptive to me helping him and he even went up on his own after our training session this afternoon.

Food note: I did put that he ate all his food last night because most pups don't eat right away but will come around and eat their food overnight. but Mr. Franklin did not eat any of his food. You had even mentioned that he likes to graze at his food; however, with the other pups around, I can't just leave the food out for him all day. He does get multiple opportunities to come in and rest and try to eat some more but he has not had too much. This is common for most board and train pups. I expect him to pick it up and get back to normal eating habits within the next day or two. He did eat all the treats I put in there to try to incentivize him to eat the rest. I will leave the food for him overnight.


Pupdate 4/12/23

Today Franklin and I walked over to my local park, Mayfair Park in Lakewood, CA. We took my tiny humans with us. Mr. Franklin is a pretty intelligent pup. I feel like the next three weeks are going to be transformational for Mr. Franklin's development and growth into a well-behaved pup. He is responsive to the commands and to the e-collar. The training and conditioning you provided with the prong/pinch collar have contributed to his better understanding of the commands. I used the slip lead for him today to start to work towards that flat collar and then onto off-leash work. I was able to introduce "place" and more "come" to sit. He just needs to learn "under", "down" and a few other commands and he will have the foundation he needs to start practicing everything with lots of repetitions. I look forward to the next few weeks and how Franklin continues to grow.


Pupdate 4/13/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I headed out to Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA. Mr. Franklin was such a well-behaved pup! I worked him on the slip lead again and he was a perfect gentleman all day. He didn't growl or bark at anyone even though there was plenty of stimuli such as people with hats, hoodies, skateboards, bike riders, etc. You can see in the video, we walked through a decent size crowd and Mr. Franklin paid them no mind. He was looking out for a few pups along the way but I kept on trucking. I had him "place" and "sit". I worked on his "heel" and when I stop, he's supposed to stop and go into a "sit". He was doing great with all these. We worked on his "come" to "sit" and even started introducing the "heel" as I walk away. The only commands I need to introduce and work on with him are "down" and "under". These will kind of go hand in hand and I will probably use his kibble or treats to entice him to the down as he is a little apprehensive about being in a vulnerable position such as the "down".


Pupdate 4/14/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I headed over to Liberty Park in Cerritos, CA. Mr. Franklin was not too happy about meeting President Lincoln but he went through with it. Overall, Mr. Franklin's training is coming along nicely. I enjoy walking around with Mr. Franklin as there aren't very many Dalmatians anymore. I guess the fascination with 101 Dalmatians has faded. With that being said, Mr. Franklin gets a lot of attention and for all the right reasons, for looking good and behaving well. He has a good "heel" and his "sit" is coming along swiftly. He wasn't a fan of the "down" as I guessed. The "under" was a little bit trickier but I found some large handicap-accessible tables that he was able to fit under much easier. I might head back to this park a few more times specifically for those tables. There were people walking their pups, kids playing on the playground, people working out on the track, pickleball, and a large John Deere golf cart driving around and Mr. Franklin carried on without any barking or growling! Mr. Franklin is quite familiar with "Off!" and has a good understanding of what that means. With that being said, if we use "Off!" as a correction or negative, I like to use a command he does know such as "heel" so that he can display wanted behavior and I can praise him for good behavior and he remembers the praise for good, wanted behavior such as a nice, obedient "heel". Let's say he's at your house and doing something unwanted like trying to jump on the table for food, I would give him an "Off!" and then ask him to "place" or "down" or something else to keep him busy and occupied while you eat. Once he performs that other task, you can say "Good Boy!" and let him know that's much better than trying to jump on the table or steal some food.


Pupdate 4/16/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I worked on his door manners. I bet you won't believe it but he didn't get up and run right out the door just because it was open. He even stayed in the "place" while my kids ran in and out and tried to distract him. I actually started the training and forgot to put the e-collar on. If you notice, he still followed through since he was on the slip lead. But Mr. Franklin is intelligent and is picking up on the training quickly. I enjoy training with him and he is growing into a better and better pup.


Pupdate 4/16/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I headed over to Discovery Park in Downey, CA. While there we worked on the long 15' lead attached to the flat collar. The e-collar was also on and we were using that. Mr. Franklin did exceptionally well ignoring the little pups that were off-leash that were not behaving. The trick is to remind Mr. Franklin to "Off!" and then "Heel" and then we keep on moving. We don't linger for him to be distracted by the other pups. If those other pups don't listen and want to follow me for 10 yards or 500 yards, that's not for me and Mr. Franklin to worry about as he's doing everything correctly.

Mr. Franklin was a little weary of the spaceship part but as you can see in the pictures, using some positive reinforcement, well-timed and placed treats we were able to get him to go up to it and we even "heeled" all the way around the shuttle part. His "place" is not very strong as he likes to avoid those items so that makes the send away to "place" a work in progress. He is good at the recall to "heel" as I walk away. His recall for the "come" to "sit" is coming along. I'm still working on his consistent "down" as well which once he has that down will make the "under" command a lot more proficient. He is intelligent and after about the 5th bench that he had to "place" he was starting to perform the "down" on his own. The best part about today was that I was to perform leash dragging "heel" for almost the whole session. I did pick up the leash near the pups and a skateboarder but he didn't give them any extra attention.


Pupdate 4/17/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I headed back to Liberty Park in Cerritos, CA. I wanted to go back to work on his "place", "under" and "down". As I mentioned before, we can't get to send him away to "place" if he won't consistently do it even on leash. Also, we needed the practice as he can freeze up when approaching the benches and items to "place" or "under".

If you notice in today's video, I used only the flat collar and the e-collar. Once again, I used the 15' lead and let it drag or be on the floor for the majority of the time. I only really need it when he is confused or refusing to perform one of the obedience drills. I think some of his hesitation in doing "under" and "place is he still isn't comfortable and has a little bit of timidness. He can do it with a little leash pressure and low-level stimulation which is good. I would prefer that he do it more out of excitement rather than obedience so I'll keep trying to balance the compulsive versus the inducive methods. I want him to be excited or willing to do these things on his own but until he overcomes, what I believe, to be mostly stubbornness then we can keep gently encouraging him on what to do. Every day we will continue to push him on his extended "sit" and "down" so that he is more comfortable performing these in environments with distractors. Today the pickleball courts were full and the track was looking like January 1 with all the people on it but Spring Break is over and there were no kids on the nearby playground. I still have not seen any lunging or barking at bicyclists or other pups. I have started to see the more loving side of Mr. Franklin as he is now coming up to me to say hi and jumping up to say hi when he's given a "Break!". He reminds me of Ms. Toji and GSPs in how they want to be on you when you give them attention. Overall, Mr. Franklin is doing really well. I'd say we're on track to switch to my smallest and lightest leash to simulate being off-leash in public places and start our off-leash work in the controlled environment of my backyard.

Last note, it looks like Mr. Franklin got a scratch on his nose. He likes to nose his food bowl in the crate and he might have caught it on there. He didn't have it this morning while training and didn't have it when we got home but when I let him out for lunchtime break I noticed it. It's a small surface cut but wanted to let you know.


Pupdate 4/18/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I worked on his agility going up and down things. I tried to work on his "down" but he is still pretty resistant to that so that will be our main focus tomorrow as well as introducing off-leash work. He has the "load up!" command down pretty well so I am quite pleased about that. As you can see, I was performing more leash-dragging skill work with him. He seems to be pretty responsive but it's at about this time in the training that they try to regress or push the limits again. Similar to how a toddler will comply and then one day want to try their luck to see if they can get away with stuff. That's Mr. Franklin right now. He's playing the game but looking for shortcuts whenever he can. He knows when it's time for obedience and he thinks or has been used to getting away with that type of behavior. Remember, be persistent and consistent with our training and obedience and it makes for a much more structured and well-behaved pup.

Last note, we practiced his door manners. He patiently sat at the door while I went outside and paced back and forth. He is learning to behave and not run right through the doors. I know this was one of your primary concerns with him. We are working on it and he's doing great!


Pupdate 4/19/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I went to Rynerson Park in Lakewood, CA. We worked on my littlest and lightest leash today. Franklin is doing well overall. However, fix one thing, another thing breaks. Today we focused on "place", "down" and "under". I tried to get him to do the send away to "place" but he is still stubborn. I had to use the stimulation to get him to follow through because even with my momentum he would slam on the breaks. He did finally stick the "down" and he even was doing amazingly well with the "under". I even tried the "under" on a much smaller bench on the way out of the park and Mr. Franklin did amazing! He went under and "down" by simply asking him to "under". Then we did a recall to "heel" and were jogging a little bit to see how he would do with the increased tempo. He did great. He does get confused or resistant to staying on the left side for the "heel" and as mentioned above, his "come" to "sit" has regressed. Tomorrow I will likely give him his first full off-leash session in my backyard but have a leash nearby in case he gets confused and I need to guide him to the correct position. I am pleased with Mr. Franklin's progress and look forward to transitioning to off-leash with all his commands in the next few days.


Pupdate 4/20/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I gave off-leash work a try! I have to say that it went better than average. Normally the pups decide to go run off at least once and Mr. Franklin never even tried to do that. I think he likes me (even though I wear a hat and bend over to pet him all the time). He was still a little stubborn about performing the "place" even on the dog cot but once I convinced him with a little collar pressure and increased stimulation (not a lot more), he was on board for the rest of the training And what about that "under" on my daughters Minnie Mouse table! How awesome was that! He even got out of there without knocking it over! What a smart pup! I was able to send to "place" between the dog cots also. His "come" to "sit" is a little broken. I'll work on that and his "place" exclusively for the next few days. Also, not a single treat was given for today's performance. He worked the obedience just to please and for the release of "Break!" where we get to play and be happy. Great work Mr. Franklin!


Pupdate 4/21/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I headed over to Main Street Huntington Beach in Huntington Beach, CA. Mr. Franklin was quite the draw. Not very many dalmations running around and combine that with his great obedience and willingness to let people say hi, Mr. Franklin received a lot of attention. We performed a lot of leash dragging commands as it was our first time letting him be so free in high distractor areas. He was extremely obedient without me holding the leash. Once again his biggest pain is the "place" and send away to "place". Im going to hammer that and then his recall with "come" to sit. He does a fine job of recalling; however, he doesn't go around me and into the "sit" consistently enough. He does great with the recall to "heel" and his extended "sit" and "down" are coming along nicely. Great job today, Mr. Franklin!


Pupdate 4/22/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I conducted a quick backyard session due to the extraordinary heat. I decided it was time to give the pups a bath after our beach day and the playtime with Mr. Buddy and Ms. Toji over the past two weeks. Also, due to the warm weather, I figured it would be refreshing for a rinse-off. I think I should stick to training pups and not be a full-time groomer but I do my best! Mr. Franklin was pretty receptive to the bath. After the bath, I gave him a quick grooming session. In the end, my tiny trainer showed up and came to help. Mr. Franklin enjoyed the extra attention. Once all the pups were washed, I put Mr. Franklin back outside with Ms. Toji and Mr. Buddy. It should be noted that Mr. Buddy and Mr. Franklin have become good buds throughout this training. Good job today Mr. Franklin!


Pupdate 4/23/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I took a nice long walk to my local park, Mayfair Park in Lakewood, CA. Mr. Franklin was pretty amazing today. I used my smallest and lightest leash because I wanted to make sure he was good to go but I only really picked it up when we crossed the streets just to be super careful and when I had to reinforce the "come" to "sit" and working on send away to "place". He performed a nice extended "sit" and "down". One of the issues with the benches at my local park is that there is a lot of room under them and the pups generalize the higher benches for "under" when I am asking them to "place". This isn't really a big deal because usually if there is that much space under the bench, it is easier just to put them in the "under" where they can relax versus jumping up on a bench. With that being said, I tested my theory when I got home. My front patio is solid and I sent Mr. Franklin to "place" on my front porch and he went up and went "down" without any issue. And just like every dog trainer, I tried one more time just to see what will happen. Guess what!? I messed it up. I have had this idea for a while that if I give the stimulation too late or too high when Mr. Franklin is going to perform a "place", he will not perform it and stop whatever he's doing and go to a "down". Sure enough, I tried one last time and didn't use the stimulation until he got on the porch. He went up there with no problem when I refrained from the stimulation and instead, let his momentum carry him up there. He nailed it. This week, I will continue to heavily work on the come to "sit" and the send away to "place" and try to make it as fun as possible for him.

Last note for today, remember that although your pup is going to come with a remote control he is still a living, happy pup! He will sometimes do things you do not want and will not always perform things perfectly. These are all fine and are usually an indication of a communication breakdown, an equipment issue, or the pup is tired. I always try to rule out any other reason why he's not performing the task. I perform a mental checklist if he has had a potty break, does he need water, food, shade, or a break? Sometimes I even ask myself when was the last time I told him "Break!" so that I can play with him and love him for performing so well. These questions help me ensure that all his needs have been met so that we can have quality training sessions.


Pupdate 4/24/23

Today Mr. Franklin went to Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA. Mr. Franklin was once again the center of attention as Dalmations are few far and few between nowadays. What draws even more attention is Mr. Franklin's good behavior. He's a really well-behaved pup. Tomorrow we will be hitting the send-away to "place" head-on. He is really good at "down" now that he's figured out that it is easier than performing "place". We spent our entire training session in the mall off-leash! Great work Mr. Franklin!


Pupdate 4/25/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I headed to Rynerson Park in Lakewood, CA. I wanted to focus on his "place", send away to "place" and come to "sit". Things didn't go very well. Mr. Franklin wasn't really having it. Overall, not a good training session as our objective wasn't met. Sometimes it's better to not train than to try to force it. I'll conduct another training session this evening with Mr. Franklin and try to get him to want to perform these tasks again. Yesterday he crawled onto the little round sofa at the mall for "place". He knows "place" but keeps cheating into a "down". Too much stimulation will shut him down and then he associates that with a negative and doesn't want to do it. Ill keep at it this week. Looking forward to fixing this and cleaning everything up before you get him back.


Pupdate 4/26/23

I don't know what was in the water but today Mr. Franklin nailed it. We conducted some more review in my backyard and as you can see, he did send away to place" all over everything. He went "under" without any issue. His come to "sit" is a little disjointed but it was much better than yesterday when he didn't even want to perform the tasks. I am super pleased. I think I will continue to practice twice a day with him to make sure he's clear. I brought out the little table to make sure he is making the right choice based on the proper command. He did perform "place" instead of "under" on the first go around but it's okay. Once we cleared it up and he knew, pink table=under, dog bed=place, then we were good. I think for what you need out of him, his wanting and being willing to perform "under" is going to be amazing. Say you head to Lazy Dog and need him to relax under the table, he has no issue doing that for you. Lastly, as you can see, I had my mini-trainers and professional dog distractors help work on his ability to stay in one place. Great job today Mr. Franklin!


Pupdate 4/27/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I worked in my backyard again but I rearranged some of the obstacles so that he had to think about some of the commands. As I've said before, Mr. Franklin is intelligent and because of that, he's guessing a little bit instead of listening. When he does listen, he does great. I enjoy working with him. He did great with his extended "sit" and "stay" today. One of the good parts is that although he may overthink some of the commands if we increase the stimulation a little bit, he can easily be recalled and reset. I turn that confusion into something easy like a "heel" or "sit". It's ok to reset and it's ok to take a break. He's trying to please and we could never be upset about that. Good job Mr. Franklin!


Pupdate 4/29/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I headed to Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA to review all his commands before he comes home in a few days! Mr. Franklin is such a good pup. He is always the center of attention and well-mannered to soak it up. While there, Mr. Franklin was assessed for his AKC Good Citizen Certification and he passed!! Great work Mr. Franklin. We can't wait to show you how good of a pup he has become. You guys have a great pup and he should be set to continue down this road for a long time.


Pupdate 4/29/23

Today Mr. Franklin and I reviewed all his house manners, food manners, and car manners. Mr. Franklin is all ready to get back home and show you how amazing he always was! We worked on his door manners so that he doesn't run out the door just because it is open, we worked on his "load up" into the car, and sitting and waiting patiently for me to get his food ready before he goes and eats. Mr. Franklin is smart and likes to anticipate what I am going to ask him to do which is usually pretty good because it means he's thinking we're going outside or if he sees the dog bed by the door, he goes to it and waits for me to ask him to do something. He has the game figured out pretty well at my house. Now we have to show him that the rules of the game are the same at your house which is what we will be doing on Monday!


Pupdate 4/30/23

Today is the last day for my and Franklin's journey together. I gotta say it has been a pretty good one. For our last day, I took Franklin for one last walk around the neighborhood. Of course, he had to mark every tree as if to say "Franklin was here". He ignored all the cats and carried on like a good pup.

Below is the list of commands and manners he has learned during his 21-day stay with me (all off-leash):

1) Sit/Extended Sit

2) Down/Extended Down

3) Place/Extended Place

4) Heel

5) Recall to Heel

6) Come to Sit

7) Off!

8) Break!

9) Send away to Place

10) Under

11) Door Manners

12) Car Manners

13) Food Manners

14) Greeting Manners

In addition to these items, Franklin has received his AKC Good Citizen Certification, been socialized with pups, socialized with my mini trainers, and been exposed to a variety of environments with various amounts of distractors and stimuli. What a great pup you have! Good work, Franklin!!



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