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  • Writer's picturecristianoffleash

Happy | Rottweiler | Woodland Hills, CA | In - Training

Meet Happy! Happy is a 3 month rottweiler coming from Woodland Hills for our 3 Week Puppy Board & Train Program. Happy is very young starting his training journey with Offleash learning his obedience and control his curiosity once going outside. Happy comes to us with most puppy tendencies such as leash pulling. play biting, and no engagement when outside. Happy is experiencing the world for the first time so everything he see's is going to be new to her. Over the next 21 days, we will be working on proper engagement, loose leash walking, and everything that will help him understand how to socialize to become a well behaved puppy! Check out his progress with me as her personal dog trainer!


Pupdate 4/30/2024

Today I got to meet Happy and I was thrilled to see him and how friendly of a puppy he is. Once we returned back to my hometown I took the time to take him to a park near my house to get some energy out and exercise. Once we returned to my house Happy was confident enough to step inside the house with no issue. We made our way into my room and once Happy saw my personal dog he got a little unsure on what to do. I let twenty minutes pass by having Happy explore the room and taking short moments to smell Hunter and get closer to him on his own behalf. Once Happy was interested enough I let Hunter out and they spent some time smelling each other. I kept it short and had Hunter come in and out of his crate to see if Happy would act on this and become more interested. My dog Hunter is very aware of puppies and how to treat them since he prefers them more than dogs his age. If Happy was to become overly excited or act in ways a puppy shouldnt when playing Hunter can correct it without my help.

Eventually Happy fell asleep and hours later we were ready to start on our obedience training with a slip leash and treats for motivation. Overall Happy seems to be ok but has a habit of being vocal and whimpering for anything assuming she's just curious and trying to figure things out. Check out his daily progress with each new day that passes by!


Pupdate 5/1/2024

Last night Happy woke up around 1 AM and couldn't go back to sleep. I stayed up with him for as long as he was awake. He didn't go potty unless going back into his crate. After cleaning and going back to sleep I woke up to find that he went again. As often as he is out or on a walk he doesn't go potty unless we are back at home. It's only his first day but I've noticed his pattern and am going to focus on his potty training.

Happy and Hunter have seemed to get along and have been playing at times in my room with no issues. Later on I took Happy out in the front of my house to work on some training. I had put out a place pad to teach Happy his first obedience command which is place. When asking a dog to place I'm asking Happy to objectively put himself onto the pad and if he does it will be followed up with a reward which can be praising him with my hands or giving him a treat. I'm able to have Happy hold his place for about 5 to 10 seconds before his attention goes away. I work with time as much as I can to make it better to work up to longer durations. When placing Happy and walking around him he immediately gets up so I have to work through this until he can remain still for a brief moment. Once I'm able to walk around Happy I tell him break, which is a release command, and he comes directly to me to be praised or rewarded for a treat.

Last thing to focus on was walking together, getting used to leash tension. Only if Happy is going the wrong way or too far forward I direct him by making left turns only and to speak with him as much as I can for him to get used to my voice.


Pupdate 5/2/2024

Happy did well not going potty in the crate throughout the night but shortly after waking up from his sleep he went inside within the first few seconds of being awake. I cleaned the crate and his paws which were minimally wet since he picks a corner to go in. He remained outside the crate and had playtime with my dog getting used to each other.

Today I took Happy to the Anaheim Pet & Feed store for exposure and to see his natural reaction being in a store with the new smells and distractions he will encounter. When we first got to the entrance which was a sliding door he showed no hesitation and walked in with me. I let Happy in front of me to roam around and investigate his surroundings just to keep his confidence up. I used every aisle to train Happy in to keep him close to me and to help condition his heel with him staying on my left hand side and not traveling around.

At one point when we were practicing our obedience a woman saw us and was amazed at how Happy was focusing on me. At first I had a conversation with her and throughout the moment Happy was in a down no moving or reacting since she was there. Only until she asked to say hi I gave her permission and Happy was neutral when investigating and eventually rolling over for belly rubs. We continued to train practicing small movements for recall and down as well as passing by people for distractions.

Once we returned home Happy still didn't want to go potty during our walks and being in the backyard for a decent amount of time. Eventually he was able to pee in the backyard and I praised him for it but when putting him in the crate after some time he decided to go in there again. He is typically holding his potty for as long as he can but is choosing to go in his crate when he knows he has to be in there. This will take some time to break his habit so managing his food intake and water consumption on a schedule should prevail overtime. Since he was able to go in the backyard I'll keep taking him there to help with consistency.


Pupdate 5/3/2024

Today we made some improvement with Happy's potty training with no issue going throughout the night and he was able to go again in the backyard first thing in the morning. He had his playtime with Hunter and after I took Happy for a walk around the neighborhood. He can stay to my side at times but has random bursts of energy to catch up and pass me so I work with him throughout the walk for him to be consistent with a pace.

Once we made our way back home we started our training today with introduction to door manners and conditioning the place obedience command. In the video above I start Happy off with the door that leads to the backyard to focus on. We have many moments trying to keep him on for more than 10 seconds, which seems impossible since he impulsively acts with no awareness. I open the door and for as many times Happy tries to go through or break obedience in general keeping him accountable for the obedience command slowly comes into mind and I'm able to slowly work on small moments of success which is gonna help with time. By the end of the video I'm able to walk in my backyard, touch the wall, and come back before breaking Happy and praising him.

Happy has been doing better going potty in the backyard so far but not on grass when we go for our walks. It's only a matter of time until he chooses grass!


Pupdate 5/4/2024

Today's video is of Hunter and Happy's friendship so far. They have been playing with toys or just chasing each other in the backyard. Just a few days ago Hunter seemed annoyed with Happy since he was too possessive for play time with others. As the days went on having the both of them around each other Hunter was able to try and pursue some play showing Happy some body language signs of submitting into a play bow or rolling over for Happy. As Happy was able to pick up on some movement now they constantly go at each other once they are out of the crate. When they are playing with toys I'll have Hunter intentionally drop whatever they are playing with so Happy has moments feeling he won his toy from Hunter.

Later on we continued to train around the house and went for another walk around the neighborhood seeing if we could have Happy go potty on grass. Unfortunately he is still waiting to go at my home but in the backyard now. He hasn't had an accident in the crate for the past few days and seems to be more aware of his schedule around the house walking directly to my side of the house and not adventuring through the entirety of the house.


Pupdate 5/5/2024

Today Happy and Hunter had their usual playtime in the backyard and Happy had gone potty again in the backyard. I continue to mark his behavior going in the backyard which has helped him remember with less accidents going on lately. Later on we continued more of our obedience training working up to longer durations of place and sit. I used a prong collar to see if I could get better responses from Happy which I did. We start off by heeling around in the front of the house while implementing place and sit. We are focusing on improving everything we have been working on so far and by today Happy seems more confident about holding her place now. Now I'm able to roam around Happy showing him various differences of what other distractions could be such as me walking around him in a circle. When asking for his release word, which is "break", he comes to me to be rewarded and praised for behaving well. If Happy takes his time and acts lazy using small amounts of leash pressure can help keep the consistency with his release word.

When Happy is out he is very mouthy so I have toys ready to help keep his teething habit on toys instead of personal things inside the house. Hunter helps with this by taking away Happy's toy and making Happy run and chase it making the toy that much of a value. For Happy's breed I'd recommend anything hard that's not easily destroyable.


Pupdate 5/6/2024

Today I took Happy to Wilderness park in Downey, CA to work on his obedience and for the exposure. Most of our practices at home seem to be working since today Happy was able to walk with me keeping his heel the majority of the walk. We passed by many geese and ducks that walked around the park to see how Happy would react. When seeing the birds Happy seemed interested but I would walk in circles keeping him engaged with me to not overstimulate himself. Happy did well letting them pass by him but when trying to pass the ducks his eyes would stay locked onto them so we practiced our off obedience command to disengage Happy.

I grabbed my place mat later on and we practiced place, sit, and down in an area where people walk by often. Many moments when Happy was placed on the mat each time a person walked by he could care less. If any dogs passed by us with their owner I would use treats to get Happy's attention and lure him with his heel keeping his attention on me and not the dogs passing by. He was able to hold his sit and down for a minute at times but there were moments he decided to get off the place pad which we worked through. After a second walk around the park Happy stayed to my side only because he was already tired at this point. We went back to the car for some water and returned home where we continued our training after Happy had his daily nap.

Happy's potty training is easier to maintain but something to note is that he can go a second time an hour after his first potty break. Taking him outside after playtime or having water/food is ideal since these are moments where a puppy can want to go potty again.


Pupdate 5/7/2024

This morning Happy and Hunter had their usual routine of playtime in the morning before having Hunter go back into his crate to work on Happy's obedience training. In the video above we are focusing on Happy's recall and extended down. In the beginning of the video we are consistently going back to back working on recall with treats to lure Happy around me. When I ask Happy to come I use the hand with the treat in it and lure it behind me ending back on my left hand side. Happy did really well with this and once we started working on the down obedience command you can see in the video where Happy's impulses happen when I leave his sight. I redirect him each time to improve on the command and to help Happy understand that I want him just to lay down for longer. Once I'm able to make my way back to Happy after leaving his sight I break him to praise him for his reward.

Later on we went back to Anaheim Pet & Feed to see how his obedience is now in public. When we first arrived I tried using a slip leash but his attention was too much on his environment. I switched to his prong collar and Happy made training very easy while being at the store again. We had two people who greeted Happy and in the first interaction he didn't stay still but in his second interaction he was able to hold his sit without moving. For doing this well I gave him a treat and rewarded him for the behavior I'm looking for. When practicing place, sit, and down he did well with a few moments of needing redirection but was letting people pass by him. One person saw Happy and baby talked while we passed by and this grabbed Happy's attention. As much as this happens I ignore the baby talk and keep him walking with me to keep his attention more structured. Happy was holding his sit and down for thirty seconds to one minute, even though he couldn't wait for longer this was an improvement and will work towards longer durations.


Pupdate 5/8/2024

Today I took Happy to Legg Lake Park in El Monte, CA to train around the Offleash team and their dogs. Happy did very well not being overly friendly or too excited just from seeing the other dogs. We started off practicing our obedience around our friends to keep Happy's attention on me.

In the video above Megan and her dog walk around me multiple times. We were able to hold an extended down before breaking Happy to be rewarded by me. When Happy holds his sit he can let his paws slide down and go into a down so for moments like this he needs to be redirected as well. This can typically happen when Happy's tired after being awake for so long. I was able to have Happy place himself on the place pad and leave his sight many times today without him reacting or trying to chase me. Happy also got to work with one other trainer and was able to listen to her without issues. By the end of the visit Happy was being petted and greeted by everyone since he was the youngest and was just enjoying himself getting belly rubs.


Pupdate 5/9/2024

Today I took Hunter and Happy on a walk together around the neighborhood but I took the dogs on a different route to see how Happy adapts to this. Once we started going through different streets and neighborhoods Happy had interest and wanted to smell around but I would redirect him in these moments. Having Hunter along for the walk made it easier for Happy to stay at a pace with us.

I took Happy to Home Depot today for exposure and to see his reaction being in a store like this with its own distractions. Happy did well performing his sit and down well but he was distracted by everything around him when trying to be consistent with his walking. I took him around the store several times to familiarize the area but by the time he started to tire out from trying to investigate his obedience was better. There were moments people passed by him and tried to baby talk him but I kept him in obedience asking for his off obedience when someone was going to distract him. We had two employees greet Happy and instead of jumping or nipping he was able to remain still before rolling over for belly rubs. I redirect him to get into his sit since by now he needs to stop playing when being asked for obedience. After redirecting him back into his sit he was able to hold until being given his break. As much as I want to see him roll over and be cute with a stranger greeting him, keeping him accountable for his sit will benefit in the long run.

We continued to focus on obedience throughout the day working on his obedience command and house manners. Happy's potty training has been better and has been able to guide himself in the areas outside to go potty but he hasn't gone on grass yet.


Pupdate 5/10/2024

Today I took Happy to Cerritos Mall for exposure and obedience training. When we first arrived Happy had enough energy to walk through the mall once but quickly got tired from seeing all the distractions today which seemed to have his attention but was confident enough to walk around and not investigate too much. Many people passed by Happy and would baby talk to him, stopping him in his tracks at times. I ignore all of these and continue with a pace walking to a store I wanted to do some shopping in. Since he was tired I had him remain in his down majority of any stops or sittings we had to do. When being in his down he never shows any stimulation to people walking around except to people who want to engage with him. If a stranger stops and gives Happy eye contact directly this catches his attention so I ask for his off obedience command to disengage him. We had some people greet Happy and only for one of his greetings he did well not moving or being overly friendly.

Later on once we returned home we did one more practice with door manners which Happy did well with. We used the living room door going back inside for practice and Happy was able to stay on the place pad entirely until he's given his break. He was tired at this point so it takes everything out of him to move towards me for his break. He had one accident in the crate today but was easily cleanable and was able to still go outside the rest of the day but still not on grass.


Pupdate 5/11/2024

Today I took Happy to Brea Mall to work on more exposure and socializing while outside. When we first arrived Happy seemed interested again being in a new area but was able to be consistent leaving the first store we walked through. Once we were inside the mall Happy attention was forward most of the time but anyone that was to call Happy and baby talk to him I would ask for his off obedience command to disengage him. We had multiple people meet him and with his first few encounters he broke his position but after a while once he started to get tired his other greetings were genuine with Happy keeping his sit or down. When practicing his extended sit he's able to hold it if its not a slippery floor or if he's tired. For his down he has been doing very well with letting me get distant at times without moving. After we started to go into multiple stores shopping and practicing our down obedience command. Throughout the visit many people stopped us in our tracks to see and look at Happy and he showed no overstimulation from a strangers approach. Only when I say break before someone greets Happy he is aware that his break is what allows him to go towards a person which is still followed up by the sit.

We spent the remainder of the day on house training and preventing Happy from biting things from the ground.


Pupdate 5/12/2024

Today is Mother's day so we stayed home to celebrate the Holiday with family members coming over. Before that we had our usual routine of playtime with Hunter which was followed up with a walk.

Our training practice today was food manners which we have been working inside and outside the crate. I have managed teaching Happy to wait patiently for a few seconds inside his crate until I close the crate door and say break. When we have no distractions Happy can wait pretty well so I brought him out to my family's living room and put him up to the test. I had my mother in the kitchen while my dad was watching tv in another part of the living room off screen but there is the tv noises, conversations going on, and the sounds from the kitchen going on and Happy has his attention fully on me. Happy only breaks position to come to me and not breaking towards his food showing his awareness. Even these moments need to be redirected back into a sit as well. I walk throughout the house and he keeps his posture until I say break. We will continue to improve on his food manners making sure he can hold his sit for longer without breaking.

Later on we had family come over so Happy got to spend time with other people he's never met. He tried to be overly friendly at times but I had him on leash so working him through these moments when guests come over is crucial for when he gets bigger and older. Happy had a few moments trying to travel to some of my family members when he first saw them but I gave them space and had Happy enjoy the scenery and adjust to seeing multiple people inside a house.


Pupdate 5/13/2024

Today I took Happy to Whittier Narrows Park to meet up with the offleash team and train around each other. Happy did well with most of his commands with no use of treats and relying only on leash today. We practiced all of our obedience commands and tried a few new things like walking on grass and greeting manners. When walking on grass Happy has a habit of constantly biting it so I had to keep some leash pressure up each time he tried to guide his head back down. This happens a lot but today he was doing better holding his sit in an open field even. Some of the other trainers had new dogs that they brought so Happy curiosity never spiked or arose seeing new dogs and just remained in his obedience. It didn't take too long for Happy to tire out so I had him on his place pad while in a down which he remained on until he left.


Pupdate 5/14/2024

Today I took Happy to Citadel Outlets in Commerce, CA for more exposure to environments like this and some shopping. When we first arrived Happy was keeping a slow pace and was able to keep his head straight but passing by stores at times he always wanted to look but never travel. I walked by many stores and would be verbal keeping him engaged as we passed by many doors. One lap around the outlet was enough to tire Happy out momentarily so we took a break and had some water until our friends came to meet up with us.

In the video above we are practicing our obedience with extended down which Happy did with ease. The second part is Happy being around the other dogs at a distance and as Jose gets closer with his dog towards us Happy has the initiative to go say hi which we don't want but instead I redirect him to continue our greeting manners practice. It took many tries with Jose but Happy kept rolling over to his back. It took some time but we were able to have Happy hold his sit before I could break him for his reward. He still shows excitement when greeting someone new but the more strangers we meet and greet the more we can work on this. Happy isn't jumping but rather trying to get petted or act silly.


Pupdate 5/15/2024

Today Hunter and Happy had their walk together in the morning which has been going well. Happy see's Hunter go potty on grass but won't come to a decision about doing it as well. Happy has been consistent with his potty breaks in the areas around my house where he goes. Later on after they had their playtime we worked on Happy's obedience training and house manners.

We started off with house manners and Happy seems to do well waiting patiently for his door manners every time we come up to one inside the house. I have keep the door open as always since day one of Happy's board and train. He remains in his down entirely as I walk throughout the house before being asked to heel outside. I don't say "lets go" or "come on", even if Happy follows through he can confuse his commands by hearing other stuff so saying heel to pass a door is something that's done everyday. For his food manners he is typically excited to eat and can have zoomies so I wait and try to practice when he's relaxed rather than him acting on impulse which brings his energy up. Asking for his sit or down is crucial to have Happy remain calm and confident. Once I'm done practicing I say break and Happy goes directly to his food.

After a nap, Once Happy was awake we did more training in the front immediately after a potty break. I show each obedience command to show his progress and the quality at which Happy can listen. Happy does very well but tires out just as fast so limiting his walks and playtime can help keep his energy up for his training. I don't use treats as frequently since Happy is aware of what to do so limiting treats is ideal for now to help him recognize sign language and pick up on his commands when I vocalize to him.


Pupdate 5/16/2024

Today I took Happy to Citadel Outlets again to perform his obedience training in public and to condition his impulses. In the video above we are walking through the Outlet performing our down in an area where people walk through all the time. Happy holds his extended down for almost two minutes before asking for his recall. He was somewhat tired but tried as hard as he could to keep his composure before we took a break. We picked another open area to work on place and extended sit and as we practiced two people came up to us wanting to say hi to Happy. I asked the girl if she could help me train Happy by petting him gently and calmly which is shown above. Happy remained still until he was done and I asked for his break to make this moment memorable for Happy. Happy does well visiting busier environment's but seems to mellow out as we arrive compared to being at home. Being out and social Happy seems confident and content as long as someone is guiding him along the way desensitizing him of his impulses.


Pupdate 5/17/2024

Today I brought Happy to LA to visit the Santa Monica Pier for exposure with distraction and to see how his obedience would be. Happy did very well today doing his obedience commands even if needing to be redirected back into obedience. With all the people walking around him he had his eyes on me entirely as we did each obedience command. At times many people would call to Happy and make baby noises but I would ask Happy for his off obedience command and I would have his head turn back to me keeping his attention.

In the video above is our practice of a few obedience commands on the pier. It takes a moment for Happy to keep his awareness to kick in but does his recall from distance, stationary, and holds his sit again before being given his break. He almost broke his position but I spoke the same time he moved and he redirected himself back into a better form. When the crowd starts to pass us I say break to reward him to make this moment memorable and normal for him when being outside.

We had many people pet Happy today and he remained still when asked for his sit or if on his break he remained neutral for each visitor. The more he was being petted he started to roll over and be a puppy for his guests which I allowed momentarily since he wasn't play biting or nipping. Once they walked away for each encounter I always gave Happy a treat to keep that behavior consistent.


Pupdate 5/18/2024

Hunter and Happy went on their morning walk and had playtime as usual early in the morning. I kept Happy with me on a leash on my parents side of the house, walking around and keeping him engaged when seeing others around the house since they excite happy more than a stranger does outside the house.

Later on in the day after Happy woke up from a nap we practiced more of our obedience in the front of the house as some of my family members were leaving. Happy breaks his obedience but as always we reset the practice and continue to train as if nothing happened. We stayed consistent with Happy's recall and I walked behind the car to see if Happy would get up but remained on the place pad. I break him and we focused the remainder of the day with door and food manners. Happy still has a pattern of training and doing exercise for short moments before getting tired. We will spend more time doing fun stuff like tug of war or learn how to play fetch for the last few days of his boarding. He is very confident playing with Hunter, even being a bully to Hunter but in a playful way which Hunter goes along with.


Pupdate 5/19/2024

Yesterday I picked up a new dog for training and even though Happy didn't meet Tinsel immediately I waited a whole day for them to be familiar seeing each other through the crate.

This morning the dogs went for their walks and potty breaks but I kept Hunter inside and let Happy and Tinsel meet. Since Tinsel is younger she is in the same age group as Happy and sometimes with younger dogs you get different play styles. Happy and Tinsel hit it off and started playing after smelling each other. They chase each other around in the backyard and try showing each other play signs to initiate more play as well. Since Tinsel will be staying over I will give Happy more playtime with her since she's more easy going with her play even though Happy can tolerate Hunter's rough play.

We spent the rest of the day continuing our conditioning of obedience commands and more house manners. Throughout our training sessions Happy is doing very well but tires out quickly as always. I have been trying one on one play with Happy and he seems to enjoy tug of war more than playing fetch.


Pupdate 5/20/2024

Today is Happy's last day of his Board & Train so I made it special by giving him another walk with Hunter early in the morning. Happy got to play with Hunter and Tinsel separately, even though they weren't playing together Tinsel brings out a softer and more gentle play style out of Happy since they are in the same age group. After having some food in the morning all the dogs took their nap and a few hours later I started playing with Happy teaching him how to play with toys such as tug of war and fetch.

In the video above is us playing with toys and typically Happy can do better with a tug of war toy compared to a ball. When teaching him to fetch we use the smallest space to see if Happy could come back to me with the ball in his mouth but he can never seem to figure this out. He is dropping it before he walks to me or half way through but we continue to practice throughout the day as we play. The second part of the video is us playing with a tug of war toy which Happy does well with. Happy has always growled when pulling even playing with Hunter but has never shown any aggression. When playing with Happy I allow him to always win and when I give him his toy I ask for him to drop it while keeping a small piece of food in my hands. As soon as he lets go of the toy I follow up by rewarding him immediately or ask for a sit then continue playing. Happy has always shown interest with tug toys and becomes motivated when seeing it.

Happy's board & train is coming to an end and it has been an experience I won't forget. Every visit we went to we always had guests who saw Happy behave and perform his obedience. Happy is a confident puppy who doesn't let anything really bother him since he has stayed over. The most abrupt thing he's done is maybe scratch at his crate and nothing else. His potty training has been better since the first few days and he's been on time each time I've let him outside to go potty. He has shown confidence playing with an adult Shepherd and a puppy his age as well. Happy is ready to go home and see his family again!



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