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  • Tanner Strong

Harlen | Great Dane | Los Angeles, CA | In Training


Meet Harlen! He's an eight month old Great Dane from Los Angeles, California here for our Three-Week Board and Train program! Harlen is very sweet, however he does have some issues pulling on his leash and following certain commands. He also becomes very nervous around new people and animals, and isn't confident when going on walks, especially in high distraction areas. Over the next three weeks, we're going to show Harlen how to behave on and off leash, how to properly greet people and other dogs, and help him become the confident pup we know he can be! Stay tuned for Harlen's twenty one day transformation!

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Pupdate: 7/17/2022



After picking up Harlen, we went home where I let him sniff around my house and get used to being with me! Upon first meeting me, Harlen was a little nervous and hesitant to come up to me, so I thought it was going to take awhile for him to warm up to me. However, when we got out of the car at home, his disposition was noticeably changed! He was extremely friendly and had no issue being near me. He even started to get a little playful with me! Just to cement this bonding experience, I gave him his food and sat next to his bowl as he ate. It seems he really likes me! Later, we went to a local park for a walk. He pulled on the leash a bit, but he would sit whenever we stopped, which is very good. He was interested in the birds around the pond, but he didn't bark or try to chase them. Great first day for Harlen!



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Pupdate: 7/18/2022


Harlen went to Pathfinder Community Regional Park today for his first full day of training! We mostly worked on his Heel command! When Harlen is Heeling, I'd like him to walk on my left side with his ears in line with my legs. He's doing really well so far! He's been very attentive and happy while we walk which makes working on Heel a little more fun and easy! I noticed Harlen is not confident at all when walking up and down stairs. Part of it is probably the fact that he's still growing into his huge paws! We took a few minutes this afternoon to walk up and down stairs to help him get the hang of it and try to build his confidence!


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Pupdate: 7/19/2022




Harlen went to Almansor Park today for training! He got very playful and jumped on me once. Other than that he kept focused and did really well with his training! We worked on his Come To Sit command. For this command I want Harlen to come to my right side, around the back of my legs and sit at my left side with his ears in line with my legs. When I ask him to Come, he does so excitedly and without hesitation. This is good! However he sometimes gets too excited and wants to start playing rather than go directly around me. He's getting more consistent every time, though! Also, Harlen actually jumped into my car without me having to help him up! It was after a long morning of training and playing, so I think he was ready to get home and take a nap, but it's definitely good progress!



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Pupdate: 7/20/2022


Harlen started working on his Place command today at the local park! For this command I simply want Harlen to hop up onto a raised object such as a bench and hold his position there. This command can be great for building confidence! In the above video, you can see Harlen hesitate a few times to hop on or off of the bench, but he pulls through! There were a couple loud mowers around the field today, one of which you can see drive by in the middle of the video. Harlen got a little bit spooked by the large vehicles, but he mostly kept calm!


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Pupdate: 7/21/2022





Harlen went to Citadel Outlets today for training! This was the most crowded area he's been so far, but he did a good job! There were a few moments where he got a little nervous if someone came up behind us quickly, but he mostly stayed calm and he was able to perform his commands without any trouble!



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Pupdate: 7/22/2022


Harlen went to the Outlets at Orange today! Overall, he performed very well. He still has a little bit of trouble with confidently hopping up onto new Place objects, but he's improving! He started working on the Down command today, and he picked it up fairly quickly. I still need to apply a little bit of leash pressure to get him headed in the right direction, but he's getting it! Also, Harlen's stool was a little too soft last night and this morning, but he's been eating all of his food and drinking plenty of water, so I'm hoping it will pass in the next day or so. I'll keep you updated here!


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Pupdate: 7/23/2022





Harlen went to Almansor Park today for training! He did much better with his Place command today, but there were certain points when he didn't want to perform his Down command. Whenever I give him a break or start playing with him, then cease play and ask him to down, he wants to keep playing and not switch back into work mode. Because he's so young, I can't blame him, but it's definitely something we need to work on! Other than that he did very well at park. He continues to be very attentive and responsive.



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Pupdate: 7/24/2022



Harlen went to Citadel Outlets today for training! He's doing very well, although he did seem a bit nervous today. In today's video, you'll see him perform several of his commands, and he does most of them quite well! He had some trouble with his Place command. You can see when I ask him to Place he wants to back up and I have to apply some forward leash tension to get him going. I also find myself still using the leash for his other commands as well. He still sometimes needs some direction with the leash. Harlen clearly knows these commands now, as demonstrated when I ask him to Come To Sit, and he doesn't go immediately, he wanders a bit, then places himself in the correct position next to me without me pulling him there. I know he'd much rather be playing, but he does need to learn to perform each command when I ask without me applying leash pressure before I'll be comfortable having him off leash. However, he's improving every day, and he's doing a wonderful job!


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Pupdate: 7/25/2022




Harlen went to Hacienda Park today for training! He did a great job. I noticed I had to use much less leash pressure when asking him to perform his commands today! This park was sparsely populated, other than the other trainers and their dogs, so Harlen might have had an easier time. I'm still not comfortable having him off leash in any locations other than my home. He's progressing well enough where I think I'll start trying to work with him with his leash dragging tomorrow. The leash dragging allows me to gauge how he might perform off leash while still having the line to fall back on if I need it!


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Pupdate: 7/26/2022


Harlen worked hard at Almansor Park today. I still don't think I'm ready to have him off leash, but if he continues to perform well, he'll get there in no time!


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Pupdate: 7/27/2022




Harlen went to Citadel Outlets today for training! I still used his leash, but I hardly had to touch it at all! He did his Place command very well, except for one specific bench that was a bit wobbly which scared Harlen. We worked on his Send Away To Place command, which is just like Place, except I want him to perform it while I'm a few feet away rather than right next to him. He was able to do this pretty well on the benches that he's most used to!



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Pupdate: 7/28/2022



Harlen was off leash for about half of the day today! He did very well. We started working on his Under command. For this command I want Harlen to crawl underneath an object and lay down there. He didn't want to at first, but as you can see in today's video, he's starting to get the hang of it pretty well!


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Pupdate: 7/29/2022



Harlen went to Citadel Outlets today! We mostly worked on his Under and Send Away To Place commands. The object we used for Under was much smaller than yesterday's, but he still managed to fit himself! His biggest issue is Send Away To Place. He still doesn't quite want to go to far away from me most of the time, but he's improving!



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Pupdate: 7/30/2022



Harlen did a great job off leash today! For today's video, I wanted to work on proper play with Harlen. In today's video, I initiate play, then when Harlen either jumps on me, or puts his mouth on me, play ceases until all four paws are on the ground. I then ask him to Come or Down, then when he's calm again, we can start playing once more! One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was that Harlen started getting loose stool again. That being said, it was perfectly normal today. It seems like when we go to higher distraction areas, his stool loosens, which makes me think it's due to nervousness.


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Pupdate: 7/31/2022




Harlen and I went to Home Depot today! He seemed to really enjoy it, and he behaved wonderfully! He did seem a little nervous going through the more narrow aisles or if we had to squeeze between a cart and a wall. He would only hesitate for a second, then keep up with me. It reminded me of how he was with stairs when he first got here. It's as if he doesn't trust himself to fit in such an aisle. Either way, after walking through a few times, he gained some confidence and didn't have much of a problem after that!



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Pupdate: 8/1/2022



Harlen went to Wilderness Park today for training! Today was one of the best days he's had so far. He was completely attentive and worked hard! He nailed each of his commands almost every time. In today's video, we work on his Send Away To Place command. This is the command he's had the most trouble with so far. Today, however, it seems his confidence grew greatly. I would ask him to Place and he would trot right over to the bench and hop on! Great job, Harlen!


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Pupdate: 8/2/2022




Harlen and I went to Huntington Beach today! He was off leash for about half the time. He did extremely well, especially since it was his first time in the area, and it was very busy. He didn't seem to mind the bikes, people or other dogs, but at one point a skateboarder flew by us and Harlen didn't like that at all. That being said, he did very well with each of his commands in this environment!



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Pupdate: 8/3/2022



Harlen did a great job at Montebello Mall today! We worked on each of his commands and he performed all of them well! In today's video, Harlen goes to Place very well the first time. He then gets spooked by the elevator moving and he wants to return to me. It takes him a few tries to get the confidence to jump back up, but then he succeeds! Harlen also had his flea and tick medication today with dinner.


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Pupdate: 8/4/2022




Harlen did a great job off leash at Citadel Outlets today! I think he's starting to like it there, because as soon as he realized where we were, he started hopping up and down playfully! I did have to calm him down and get him working, but since one of my main goals with Harlen is increasing his confidence, I'd say that's a good thing!



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Pupdate: 8/5/2022



Harlen had fun at Fashion Island today! He did an amazing job with all of his commands and had a great time with the other pups! Harlen always gets compliments when we're out training, but today someone specifically mentioned how shiny and beautiful his coat is! Harlen didn't seem very nervous in this new location, however, he passed a loose stool while we were there which tells me he might have been a bit on edge. Other than that, we had a great day!


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Pupdate: 8/5/2022



Harlen went to Almansor Park today for his last full day of training! He did great there as usual! For today's pupdate, I wanted to show some of the manners we've been working on. For food manners, I want Harlen to sit and wait when I put food in front of him instead of trying to gobble it up immediately. For door manners, I want him to sit at the door when I open it, without rushing through or trying to get out ahead of me. For car manners, I want Harlen to hop up into the car when asked and walk directly into his kennel. For greeting manners, I want him to sit nicely while he's being greeted by a stranger! He's done well with all of these! It's been a pleasure working with Harlen these past few weeks, and I'll definitely miss him when he's gone!




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