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  • Writer's pictureOffLeash SoCal

Golden Retriever Training | Birdie | Long Beach, CA

Birdie the Golden Retriever from Long Beach, CA went through the Balanced Canine Training SoCal Board and Train Program. Birdie was trained by Adrienne Lascari in La Habra Heights, CA.


Meet Birdie, a 3 year old Golden Retriever from Long Beach, CA. She has joined OffLeash for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Birdie knows all her commands, but she struggles with holding them and will break before she is released. Birdie’s owners taught her everything she knows which she does well listening, especially when treats are involved, but at times Birdie tends to push her boundaries and tries to do her own thing. She is also very friendly with people and dogs, but she will jump to greet and sometimes be reactive to dogs when going for walks. Birdie can be cautious when out in public, so her owners want her to build her confidence and not worry about any distractions. Over the next two weeks, Birdie and I will be working on her off leash obedience and manners. Stay tuned to see her transformation!


Pupdate 5/5/2024

Birdie did very well settling into my home. She was great with all my pups and even followed them as they explored the yard. Birdie mostly watched as the dogs played. They tried to get her to join in on chasing each other, but she wasn’t interested in running. I walked Birdie around the yard to get her familiar with her new environment. Birdie and I even did some practice on training. I wanted to see all the commands she knows and how well she follows through. Birdie definitely can be stubborn and only follows through when a correction is given. She also will break command before she is released, but overall she has an amazing foundation that we will be building off of!  I am so excited to get started on Birdie’s journey to off leash obedience! 


Pupdate 5/6/2024

Today Birdie and I headed to Hacienda Park to train. The park had little distractions, but it was great for working on the structure of Birdie’s commands. When we first arrived, Birdie saw a dog in the distance and started to bark. I gave her a correction while saying off which made her stop barking. We then started off working on extended place, sit, and down. Birdie would break command as soon as I would take a step back. When this would happen, I would give Birdie a correction while putting her back into the command she was in. She then started to be a bit stubborn and would not want to place on the cot, so again I would give her a correction until she followed through with the command. There were a few times where I would ask Birdie to place and sit, but she would lay down. In the video you can see me trying to get her to go back into sit. Whether we ask Birdie to sit or down, we want to make sure she follows through with the command that we asked her to do. So in this instance where she would go into a down after I asked her to sit, I would implement corrections, continue to say sit, and try to get Birdie to get up. Fixing this small detail will help with preventing Birdie from doing whatever she wants and pushing boundaries. I also had Birdie place on higher objects like a park bench and the playground. We then worked on sit and down without her being on a place. After lots of repetition, Birdie was holding her commands longer and I was even able to create lots of distance and move all around her.

Birdie and I also practiced on her recall. We worked on structuring her come to sit where she comes around my right side and sits on my left. We also want her sit to be structured which means she is sitting facing the same way we are and her ears are lined up with our left leg. We also don’t want her too far ahead or too far behind. I started off by luring Birdie with treats which she was very excited for. I then wanted to work on Birdie coming back to me even when she is distracted, so for practice I would throw a treat to distracted her then recall once she found the treat. After practice, Birdie would come to my left and sit in the correct position.

Birdie was doing amazing working on her commands so we were able to start practicing on her heel today as well! Birdie loves to roam during walks. She pulled me a few times and would become easily distracted. To teach Birdie how to heel, I started by using treats once again to help guide her to the correct position. Just like her come to sit, we want Birdie to be on our left side, ears lined up with our leg, not too much space between us, and not too far ahead or behind. We also don’t want Birdie distracted so this means she should be paying attention to where we are walking and we don’t want her nose to the ground. You can see in the video that Birdie and I did not go on a very long walk, but instead I did lots of turns and stayed in one area. If Birdie was falling behind, I would turn to the right which makes her have to catch up to me. If she was starting to lead ahead, I would sharply turn into her which causes Birdie to bump into me. The sharp left turns are great for getting Birdie not to lead because she was starting to realize that she does not want to get bumped into anymore and she will pay attention to where we are going. Once she started to understand where to be during the heel, I started to implement corrections when she would either become distracted or try to lead.

Birdie had a great day of training today! Once she got home, it was time for fun. We filled up the doggie pool so the pups can cool off after playing in the sun. Birdie was unsure at first, but she took her time and dipped her paws into the water.


Pupdate 5/7/2024

Today Birdie and I worked at Venice Beach. The high distractions were a bit much for Birdie. She was very distracted in the beginning of our walk and she would try to rush ahead of me. We walked to a calm area to work on Birdie’s commands. Today I wanted to mainly focus on Birdie’s heel. We practiced doing a lot of turns to keep Birdie engaged with the walk. I had to bump into her a few times to get her to not lead. She started to heel better as we practiced. Birdie did get a bit nervous when we walked by the crowd again but I kept telling her to heel and implemented corrections when she would try walking ahead of me. Birdie is doing great holding her sit and down. She was a bit stubborn when I asked her to down, but after correcting her she followed all the way through. Her heel needs a bit more work so we will be practicing with less distractions next time to help her focus on being in the correct position. She did not react to any of the dogs walking by today which was great!


Pupdate 5/8/2024

Today, Birdie and I met with the other pups in training at Whittier Narrows Park. Our main focus today was working on Birdie’s heel and reactivity. She did great working near all the dogs and held her commands as they walked around her. Birdie did have one incident where she snapped at one of the puppies. Birdie was laying down when the puppy had walked behind her and she turned and reacted. I am unsure to why she had reacted after she had been working around the puppy for quite some time, but now I know with Birdie we need to be proactive and correct her before she decides to react. As for her heel, Birdie had showed lots of improvement! She did try to pull on the leash when first getting out of the car, but we stayed in one area and practiced before going on a long walk. I did lots of turns to keep Birdie focused and implement corrections when she made a mistake. At the end of today’s training, I was able to drop the leash and let it drag as Birdie heeled by my side! 

I also wanting to include an image of the serial number of the e-collar that will be sent home with Birdie.


Pupdate 5/9/2024

Today Birdie and I trained at the Brea Mall. Birdie was very alert with her surroundings which made it hard for her to focus when we first arrived. She would try to lead the heel and would rush if something spooked her. We walked to a calm area of the mall and practiced her heel to bring her energy down. Once she became less worried of the distractions, I walked Birdie to a new area where we practiced some more on her holding commands. Birdie started to focus more so we were able to do a lap around the entire mall. I then took Birdie inside some stores where she got lots of compliments from the workers. We got to practice Birdie’s greeting manners with a few people who wanted to pet her. She did break her sit once, but after I gave her a correction she sat politely as she got pet. I was proud of Birdie for not jumping or becoming overly excited to meet new friends! Taking Birdie to new environments is going to help boost her confidence and over time she will become less cautious when being out in public. 

After working hard, I took Birdie to meet a new friend. She wasn’t very interested in playing but she followed along her friend as they explored the yard. Once we got home it was time for another pool party. Birdie played in the water and spent quite some time trying to figure out how to get the ball out from under the water. 


Pupdate 5/10/2024

Today Birdie and I trained at the Santa Anita mall. At first Birdie was her cautious self and had a hard time focusing on me. The mall was filled with lots of distractions like dogs, crowds, and loud noises. Near the crowds Birdie was a bit distracted, but after we did a warm up, Birdie started to focus a lot better! Birdie did not react to any dogs today and I made sure to stay proactive on her when dogs would walk by. If I noticed her starting to fixate on a dog I would tell her off, give a correction, and make sure she looks back at me. I was able to leash drag at the end of our training which Birdie did so well following along by my side. She even got many compliments on how well behaved she was. She had two people come up to greet her which Birdie sat politely as they pet her! 


Pupdate 5/11/2024

Today Birdie and I trained at Lowe’s. Our goal today was turning our cautious queen into a confident queen! I had Birdie sit as I moved objects around her. She was a bit scared of the cart since it made a loud noise when it moved, but she did amazing working past her fears! I asked her to place on the cart which took a few tries. When she would place her paws on it, I would break her and give her affection. After some repetition, Birdie built up the confidence to fully get up on the cart! Birdie still can get nervous out in public, but I can already see her confidence building! 


Pupdate 5/12/2024

Happy Mother's Day to all the dog moms, from Birdie. Today Birdie and I headed back to the mall for more practice around distractions. Each day we are working on building Birdie’s confidence out in public. We practiced on her duration sit, place, and down. Birdie is doing great holding commands, but she will break them if spooked. When she gets up I just make sure to take her back to the same spot, give a correction, and ask her to go back into the command she was in. Birdie can be stubborn at times but I make sure to hold her accountable to following through so she doesn’t learn to push any boundaries. Birdie still makes mistakes during a heel, but by giving corrections, she will go back into the correct heel position. Birdie is doing great and is showing lots of improvement each day! 


Pupdate 5/13/2024

Today Birdie and I trained at Whittier Narrows. We got to work around the other pups in training which was a great distraction for Birdie. We have not had any issues with Birdie being reactive which is great! If I do notice her focusing on a dog I just tell her off, give a correction, and make sure she checks back in with me. We got to work off leash today which Birdie did amazing with! She held all her commands and heeled perfectly past all the pups. She would only make minor mistakes but would correct them immediately when I would use the e-collar. Birdie and I worked on her distance recall. We walked to the open field so I was able to move far away from her as she held her sit. She was so excited to work on this command that she would run fast towards me when I recalled her. I was worried a few times that she would knock me over, but she would run around me and sit perfectly on my left side. I would then break Birdie and let her run around the grass before recalling her again. This was so we can practice Birdie’s recall when she is distracted. Today Birdie did amazing and is showing lots of improvements! 


Pupdate 5/14/2024

Today, Birdie and I trained at the Citadel Outlets. We met with Poppy to work on their commands together. The girls were very excited to spend the day with each other. Birdie and Poppy did great holding their sit and down as I moved around and created distance. They worked well around distractions together and only made minor mistakes. The girls did have trouble with their come to sit, which is understandable since they haven’t done it together yet. They would get in each other’s way when coming around me, but after some practice, they were able to follow through with the command correctly. Birdie and Poppy had gotten lots of compliments on how well behaved they were! We had a fun day training the girls together! 


Pupdate 5/15/2024

Today Birdie and I met with Poppy to work on their off leash obedience together. The girls did great working next to each other and ignored most distractions. Birdie did not react to any dogs today, although I do notice she tends to look at dogs passing by. I will tell her off if she becomes fixated, but if she stays calm while looking at other dogs then I’m okay with it. We don’t want her to think being near other dogs is a bad thing, so it is important to watch Birdie and only correct her is if she becomes fixated. I also notice Birdie is becoming less cautious of her surroundings and more confident in herself! She did get scared of a skateboarder, but overall no other loud noises or objects worried her! 


Pupdate 5/16/2024

Today Birdie and I met up with Poppy again to work on their commands while around distractions. They were doing great working near each other and held their commands until released! Over time, Birdie tends to get tired and will have trouble holding commands. This is understandable since we have been training for over an hour, so she just needs a break. When I notice this happening, I just let Birdie rest before we start working on another command. At home I have noticed Birdie resource guard her food around the other dogs. When she does this I will give her a correction which gets her to stop. Birdie has been doing great working around distractions, becoming more confident, and not reacting while out in public! I am so proud at how far she has come! 


Pupdate 5/17/2024

Today Birdie and I worked on her food and door manners at home. Birdie did try to get up a few times when I opened the door, but I would put her back into a place, shut the door, and start over again. After practice and lots of repetition, Birdie held her place as I walked in and out of the door and even when someone else walked past her. We then worked on her food manners which Birdie already does well with. Even though she holds a sit, she gets impatient and will start to bark. Birdie just gets very excited when it is time to eat, but I was proud of her for waiting until I said break.


Pupdate 5/18/2024

Today Birdie and I headed to Hacienda Park. We got to practice with the new hands free e-collar which worked well for Birdie. Since Birdie responds to lower numbers, the hands free feature was quick and easy to make a correction when needed. One thing I would like to point out is that if there is an emergency and you needed to get Birdie’s attention at a higher number, it is important to have the remote where you can quickly grab it. Overall, everything went well working with the new collar. After training, I let Birdie have some fun and explore the park. If she got too far I would recall her which she would come back to me right away. There were other dogs at the park that she did great not reacting to. Birdie has been doing so well with her off leash obedience and manners and she can’t wait to show off her new skills!


Pupdate 5/19/2024

After all of Birdie’s hard work these past two weeks, she had the day off to run around and play. Birdie has warmed up to all the pups and even made new friends, so every once in a while she will join them as they chase each other around the yard. Birdie’s favorite thing to do is to roll around in the grass. After she had some fun, it was time for her to get groomed! Now Birdie is ready to go home and she can’t wait to show you everything she has learned! 


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