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  • Tanner Strong

Harley | Goldendoodle | Lakewood, CA | In Training

Meet Harley! She is a one year old Goldendoodle from Lakewood, California here for our Three-Week Board and Train Program! Harley is a sweet girl, who loves her sister and her mother, however she struggles with a lot of her basic obedience and has some bad habits. Harley loves to jump on people, pull on her leash, chew on her bed, and play bite. Over the next twenty one days, we'll work on Harley's basic obedience, as well as her manners in and out of the house. We'll also teach Harley how to properly greet people and other dogs, how to ignore distractions in public spaces, and show her how to be the best pup she can possibly be! Stay tuned for Harley's three week transformation!


Pupdate: 6/25/2023

After I picked up Harley, we made our way to a park in Los Angeles to get to know each other! When she first saw me, she barked and was a bit timid when approaching me. By the time we got to the park, however, she had clearly taken to me. We walked around the park and I tried to get her to engage and play with me. She seemed to love the praise and attention I gave her while we played, and I will use that to my advantage when training. The times when we were simply walking from one point to another, she wanted to pull ahead nearly the entire time.

In the above video, you'll see me asking Harley for a few basic commands. She was very good with "Come" but only gave me one "Sit" and one "Down" when asked. She seems to know the basics of what I want from her, but has trouble following through unless it is on her terms. I'd like her to be much more responsive when asked to perform these basic commands.

When we got home, I let Harley sniff around my house and we got settled in! She seems to be adjusting well. Harley is a very sweet girl, and I look forward to working with her!


Pupdate: 6/26/2023

Harley and I went to Pan Pacific Park today for her first full day of training! We introduced her to her basic commands, and got her properly started with training! Yesterday was mostly for us to get to know each other, but today the real work began! We mostly focused on her Heel and Come To Sit commands. For Heel, I want Harley to walk at my left side with her ears at my knee. She sometimes likes to pull ahead, or veer to the side to try to sniff around, but she's making great progress already! For Come To Sit, I ask Harley to "come" and I want her to walk around my legs and sit at my left side. We also got started on her Place command, which you can see when Harley hops onto the rock in the above video. Harley has been very attentive and responsive so far. She barked at another dog one time today, at which point I used our Off command as well as a small muscle stimulation from the E collar. "Off" is our "do not do" command and I'll be using it whenever Harley presents a behavior that I'm less than pleased with. This includes, but is not limited to, barking at another dog, jumping, and play biting. So far, Harley is doing an amazing job!


Pupdate: 6/27/2023

Harley and I went to Highlands Park today! Her training is going very well so far, and she's progressing with each basic command impressively quickly. There was one instance where Harley dug her heels into the ground and didn't want to walk close to a fence, but I touched the fence and encouraged Harley to come to me and she didn't have any hesitation after that. At home, I had Harley Place on a dog cot in my living room, and she held it quite well while I prepared dinner for the dogs and myself. She held that position for several minutes without stepping off, which I thought was very impressive for her first time being asked to hold such a position, especially around the smells of food. Great job, Harley!


Pupdate: 6/28/2023

Harley and I went to Almansor Park today for training! We started working on some of her basic commands with her leash dragging behind her. Working with the leash dragging gives me some idea of how she might perform off leash, while still giving me access to the leash should I need it. Most of her commands went very well! She was a little hesitant to perform her Place command without a little leash guidance, but her Heel and Come To Sit commands are going great!

Today is Harley's first birthday! She is progressing quickly enough to where I thought it was okay for her to take it easy today and get some extra playtime for her birthday! She also got to play with my personal puppy, and I think they're becoming good friends!


Pupdate: 6/29/2023

Harley went to Santa Monica Pier today for training! This was the busiest place she's been to so far, but she still did pretty well. Harley was clearly nervous when we first arrived, and she struggled with her basic commands for the first few minutes. Once she adjusted to the new environment, she started performing well, and I was able to drop the leash for a few minutes while we worked. Even after the first few minutes of working, Harley didn't seem comfortable performing her Down command reliably, so we'll make sure to work on that around plenty of distractions. She also pooped at the pier, and it was just a little bit softer than normal, which I believe was due to her nerves. We went back to the park in the evening, so Harley could have some time working in a more relaxed environment, and she loved that!


Pupdate: 6/30/2023

Harley and I went to Garfield Park today! I used a short, light leash while we worked in order to further replicate the sensation of being off leash. She did really well with each basic command, except for a few instances where she wanted to walk around a "place" object instead of hop onto it. We worked on this command a lot today, and she started to become more confident with it! We even started extending the distance between me and the object to start working on her more advanced form of the command, "Send Away To Place." She's doing very well so far!


Pupdate: 7/1/2023

Harley and I spent most of the day at home, working on her off leash manners! We went out into the neighborhood to work on her Heel, but her more important training came up when I left her door to her crate open and asked her to Place. She sometimes preferred to walk to her crate rather than perform a specific command. It was hot outside today, and I believe my mistake was asking her to Place when we first got inside rather then giving her a few minutes to relax in her safe space. She had a nice relaxing day today to avoid the heat, and after she got her nap, she was back to her normal self!


Pupdate: 7/2/2023

Harley went to Almansor Park today! We worked on everything she's learned so far, and added her Come To Heel command. This command simply combines her Come To Sit with her Heel. I ask her to come to me, but instead of having her sit at my left side, we begin walking right away. She is getting the hang of it very quickly! For her Send Away To Place command, she still sometimes feels nervous about leaving my side, but the distance at which she will go to her place is increasing daily! A little over halfway through the above video, I opt to remove her leash. I'm still taking it slow, because I can still sense her nervousness from time to time, but I believe she is now fully capable of working at parks off leash.


Pupdate: 7/3/2023

Harley and I went to Veterans Memorial Park today! We worked around some other trainers and their dogs. Harley seemed very relaxed and she responded well to her commands! She was on and off leash throughout the day and performed well either way. At home, I'm continuing to have Harley lay down on a place cot while I prepare everyone's dinner, and now she loves to hop on and wait for her meal! She also likes to take short naps on her place cot.


Pupdate: 7/4/2023

Happy 4th of July! Harley and I went to Lake Center Athletic Park today! She did a great job on leash and off leash. She nailed her basic commands, and we introduced her to the Under command. For this command, I want Harley to move underneath a bench or similar object and feel comfortable laying down. She learned the command extremely quickly. After she learned what I wanted, there were a few times she preferred to go under the bench rather than go over to another bench we were using for her Place command. After going back and forth a few times, she seemed comfortable moving between the objects, but I still think she prefers being under the bench. This means I'll still spend a majority of our time practicing Place and Send Away To Place since she got the hang of Under so quickly, but still needs a lot of work on her Send Away To Place. Excellent work, though! I'm unsure if Harley will have any issue with the fireworks going off around the neighborhood tonight, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on her!


Pupdate: 7/5/2023

Harley and I went to Almansor Park and a pet friendly restaurant today! For lunch, we went to a restaurant where Harley was clearly nervous. We had her perform her Under command to lay underneath the table, and she generally behaved very well, however, she had trouble laying down without me right next to her. There were also times she was visibly shaking and nervous while we were out. Afterward, we went to the park for her to work on her commands in a more familiar environment! At the park, she performed each command very well. This tells me she needs much more exposure to areas with more distractions and areas she is not familiar with.


Pupdate: 7/6/2023

Harley and I went to Santa Monica Pier today for training! She was slightly more relaxed than she was last time, although she was still just a little nervous. We worked on all of her commands, and she's doing well with most of them, even around tons of distractions. For Send Away To Place, Harley still sometimes wants to stay right next to me, or go to the bench then turn around to come back to me. For Under, she did a really good job learning and getting comfortable with it, but then I noticed she wanted to go under the bench even before I asked because she seems to find security underneath. While filming her video today, someone approached us and wanted to pet Harley! She did a great job of sitting nicely while the person greeted her without trying to jump!


Pupdate: 7/7/2023

Harley and I went to Santa Anita Mall today! She worked on and off leash, and did a great job. This mall has indoor and outdoor areas, and we spent a lot of time in each. Harley wasn't as nervous here as she sometimes is on the Santa Monica Pier. The one time she seemed very nervous was when walking on the second floor near the railing where you can see down to the ground floor, and where you can see the escalator going down. It's possible that Harley feels the same on the pier with the ocean down below as she does walking by the railings at the mall.


Pupdate: 7/8/2023

Harley and I went back to the mall today to get her more comfortable in certain areas. She was definitely less nervous than yesterday but still a little hesitant in the spots where she could see down below. We walked around these spots several times and I asked Harley to sit and lay down near them to try to get her used to the sensation. After a few repetitions, she started getting much more comfortable! It was pretty hot today, so we spent a lot of the time inside the mall and then went home to play and relax indoors!


Pupdate: 7/9/2023

Harley had a more relaxing day than her last two couple days! We walked in the park and practiced her commands. Her tail was up and wagging the whole time and she really enjoyed herself. When we're out at more populated places, she still responds very well to her commands most of the time, but she doesn't seem to enjoy her time as much as she does in the more open grassy areas like the park.


Pupdate: 7/10/2023

Harley went to Veterans Memorial Park today! She behaved very well on and off leash. We were around several other dogs and she didn't have any issues behaving and performing each of her commands. We mostly worked on her Send Away To Place and Under commands, because those have been the most troublesome for Harley. She did a really good job, as demonstrated in today's video!


Pupdate: 7/11/2023

Harley and her friend, Chloe, went to Petsmart today! Harley behaved amazingly well, especially since Chloe is a younger puppy who tried to jump and play with her a few times. Harley didn't seem to mind and continued to perform her commands without any issues! We worked around the store for quite a while, then had some playtime and a little more work on her home manners in an effort to avoid being outside during the hottest parts of the day. Once it cools down tonight, we'll head over to the park for some more outside time!


Pupdate: 7/12/2023

Harley and I went to the park early this morning, then worked inside for the hottest parts of the day. Harley has been spending a lot of time working alongside Chloe, and they've both been doing well! I believe working on Harley's Heel with another dog next to her will be a great head start for when she eventually starts heeling with her sister, who I'll be working with soon. Harley did an amazing job all day today. Her only issue was, while working inside around Chloe, it seemed like she wasn't as enthusiastic about training as she is when we're alone inside. Likely, this was because Chloe requires a lot more guidance than Harley now that she knows all of her commands, and Harley wanted just a bit more attention during training. Not to worry, Harley! Tonight, once it is cool outside, I'll take Harley to the park alone to give her the one on one time she deserves!


Pupdate: 7/13/2023

Harley and I went to the Santa Monica Pier today! She was still a little nervous in such a crowded area, but much less than previously. She was able to perform each command off leash and behaved very well. She had some fun there, but I'll still be taking her to the park later tonight!


Pupdate: 7/14/2023

Harley and I went to the park this morning and we'll be going again tonight! For her video today, I wanted to show a couple of the household manners we've been working on. For Harley's food manners, I want her to sit politely when I place food in front of her and wait for me to release her before she chows down. She started getting good at this pretty early on, and we've been practicing ever since! For car manners, I want Harley to hop into my car and walk directly into her kennel when asked. She needed a little bit of confidence building before she got the hang of this one, but she's doing amazing now!


Pupdate: 7/15/2023

Harley and I hung out at the park for her last full day with me! We went over all of her commands again, and she's still doing an amazing job with them. Harley is going home tomorrow, and I couldn't be more proud of her and the progress she has made. She is such a sweet girl and I will miss her when she leaves.


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