top of page
  • Writer's pictureScott Hansen

Hurley | Border Collie Mix | Cypress, CA | In-Training

Meet Hurley! Hurley is a 15-month-old Border Collie Mix from Cypress, CA. Hurley has joined us for our Two-Week Board and Train Program. Hurley is a friendly pup who joins us to be more consistent with his obedience. Hurley comes to us knowing some commands but is inconsistent. Hurley likes to pull on the leash, likes to bark at people and animals, he likes to counter-surf for food, does not recall, and chews on things around the house. Stay tuned for Hurley's 14-Day Transformation!


Pupdate 2/26/23

Today I spent the day letting Hurley get familiar with the new environment at my house. I introduced Mr. Hurley to the Hansen pack. Hurley was friendly to the little humans. I took Mr. Hurley on a walk around the neighborhood. Hurley pulls on the leash but he does listen and comes back when called. I put the ecollar on Hurley and let him walk with it on to get used to the snug fit. I used a regular leash for his walk and there were no issues. Mr. Hurley does vocalize and bark a bit but we will see how he does over the next few days. I believe in letting dogs be dogs when they aren't in training. This means that I will allow the dogs to bark and play in the backyard when they are hanging out but not inside the house where they should behave appropriately.

Mr. Hurley was introduced to Ms. Toji and was too busy jumping all over Ms. Daffy to pay Ms. Toji too much attention. I think they will get along and enjoy their time together.


Pupdate 2/27/23

Today Hurley and I loaded up and headed over to Haster Basin Recreational Park in Garden Grove, CA. We met up with some of our fellow Off-Leash Trainers and their pups. Overall Hurley, did really well. You can tell that Hurley has been out and about in the world and is comfortable in different places. There were plenty of distractors at this park including an outdoor Zumba class with music, people running, other pups, and a lot of birds. I put Hurley on a prong collar to start to shape the "heel". Hurley did great with the prong collar and was receptive to it. I also introduced the stimulation from the ecollar. Hurley was about 25. It could be that I had it on maybe a hole or two too loose. The problem is that if it's too tight, it's too uncomfortable and if it's too loose it's not effective. I think I had a good fit on it as it wasn't moving too much and he might be working at that level. He was good with it overall. I tried out his "sit", extended "sit", "place" and "heel" today. We also used "off" as needed. Hurley took to the commands quickly and will be expected to perform all of these going forward. Tomorrow we will introduce the come to "sit".

We have been working on the door manners at every door, it's really helpful that he knew "sit" before coming, it is just a matter of being consistent and persistent when we want him to perform these tasks so that he can be the best pup!

A note on his food, he didn't eat dinner last night as you had advised me that he might not. I left his food in his crate hoping he would eat it but he didn't. I'll go ahead and give him about 1 cup in AM and PM and then if needed add some water to try to get him to eat it. I had given him one of the homemade treats you sent and he didn't eat that either. His energy is still really high and he's acting like a normal pup so it's not having too much of an effect on him at the moment. Good work today, Hurley!


Pupdate 2/28/23

Today I introduced the come to "sit' with Mr. Hurley. Mr. Hurley is eager to please and wants to do his best. Once again, I worked Mr. Hurley on the prong collar paired with the ecollar. As I have mentioned before, the prong collar is a temporary tool. The pressure that is associated with the prong collar transfers over to the pressure of the flat collar and eventually, that is all replaced by the stimulation of the ecollar. Remember how I mentioned this formula:

stimulation + response = consequence

The stimulation is me saying "sit". The response by the dog should be to perform a "sit". When they do it, the "consequence" is positive. The positive comes in a variety of forms which include verbal and physical praise i.e. "good boy" and petting. It also could be a simple release of the upward pressure on the leash that is guiding them into the position. If the pup doesn't perform the requested command, then we apply leash pressure and another stimulation until the pup performs the task. Once they perform it, all the pressure and stimulation are released and then they deserve a meaningful "good boy" to let them know they are amazing for performing the wanted task. This applies to the come to "sit" as I am using the leash pressure to guide him into position. As soon as he performs this more complex command, he is rewarded with a release of the pressure and a lot of praise. Mr. Hurley did a pretty good job of the come to "sit". If you notice in the video, he sometimes stops in front of me. This is common as dogs like to take shortcuts. We just keep moving backward until the pup gets enough momentum to pass us on the right side. Then we stop and guide the pup into the "heel" on the left side and ask them to "sit". If they don't make it to our side, we keep moving forward until they get enough momentum to wind up in the "heel" then we immediately stop and ask them to "sit". This is a complicated task and I like to use a lot of praise for this task. This is going to be one you'll want to practice in a fenced-in area when you get Mr. Hurley back to ensure that his recall is highly effective prior to taking him out to high-distractor areas.

As far as Mr. Hurley's food goes, he is just as you described. Sometimes he will eat and sometimes he won't. He's not very excited about his food or his treats! If I leave the room for long enough, he will eat it. He ate his breakfast after quite some time. I'm just going to keep leaving his food in the crate and he can eat it when he's ready. His weight is good, his stool is good and his energy is good so I'm not too worried about his schedule.


Pupdate 3/1/23

Today Mr. Hurley and I loaded up and headed over to Mayfair Park in Lakewood, CA. Mr. Hurley is so smart! He picks up on things really well. He looks to me for guidance and for validation whenever we are training. He is attentive and wants to please. I enjoy the time I spend with Mr. Hurley. The only issue with Mr. Hurley right now is that he does get nervous or overwhelmed and urinates. He got my shoe today and has left a few trails in my house. I wasn't sure what was causing it but it seems when he is overstimulated or anxious that he does this. Unfortunately, the only thing I can do is try to be as positive as possible with Mr. Hurley so that he trusts me enough to not do that. Due to its cause, I try to ignore it and give him positive feedback and let him know he is ok. When we were working on me moving away while at the park, he was shaking a little bit due to the separation anxiety and the stress of having to sit there in a giant basketball court all by himself. The great and positive part is that he will do it. He loves to please so much that he will wait patiently despite all the other things he's thinking about. He's putting obedience as a priority. As I mentioned, I love that he loves to please.

With all that being said, Mr. Hurley did well on the training today. He was formally introduced to the "down" and now he knows everything he needs to know but we just have to put the repetitions in. Because he is doing so well and we had the park to ourselves, I was able to work on his leash dragging come to "sit", "heel" and extended "sit" while moving away from him. Mr. Hurley also loves the "break" command as much as his big sister. Great job today Mr. Hurley and now we start introducing the tasks around more and more distractors.

Food note: Mr. Hurley did not eat his breakfast but finally did consume all of his dinner quite rapidly. He is full of energy as demonstrated by the barking in my yard while letting everyone know he's here, the stool is normal and he is on weight. Although erratic with his food, he is doing well. He might be a candidate for a pup that eats only once a day. I'll leave that up to you to decide when he gets back.


Pupdate 3/2/23

Today Mr. Hurley and I loaded up and headed over to Liberty Park in Cerritos, CA. Looks like the sunshine brought everyone back to the park. Today there were people running, people walking their pups, sand volleyball practice, pickleball games, kids all over the playground, and kids riding their bikes all around. What a great day and location for some distraction training. Overall, Mr. Hurley is doing pretty well. He definitely has picked up on things faster than Ms. Daffy. Today, I left the prong collar on but we only used the flat collar and the stimulation from the ecollar. As you can see, Mr. Hurley is starting to pick things up pretty well. This type of training is just going to be repeated numerous times in various environments to ensure that he has learned them and isn't bothered by the other distractions. He did well with some leash dragging while still performing a good "heel". We are getting there and I don't think we will use the prong/pinch collar going forward for Mr. Hurley.

Food note: Mr. Hurley ate all his breakfast but hasn't eaten his dinner yet. I'll leave it in there for a little while longer but overall he is doing well.


Pupdate 3/3/23

Today Mr. Hurley and I loaded up and headed to a familiar place for him, Huntington Beach Pier and Main Street in Huntington Beach, CA. We met up with some of our other Off-Leash trainers and their pups. Mr. Hurley did well overall. We didn't use the prong/pinch collar and only relied on the flat collar, ecollar stimulation, and the 15' leash. Mr. Hurley's only real areas of concern right now are his "down" and come to "sit". I'll practice these in my backyard in a more comfortable setting so that he can get used to the commands and be comfortable with performing these tasks more consistently. The good part is that once he is in the "down" position, he is perfectly fine staying there until given another command. Also, for today, I used the longer contact points for Mr. Hurley and this brought his levels down. Most of the day we were around 15 in order to get his attention and have him perform the task. I also tried to work on his leash dragging on the flat collar but because he is small he can feel the pressure of the leash dragging behind him. My next step is now to use my thin, lightweight leash which is about as close to off-leash as we can get before actually starting to give him a chance to perform off-leash.

His anxiety and overstimulation are going to be an issue that you will have to work with him on. It sounds like he is comfortable with all of you and you will be the ones that will have to ensure to reinforce to him that it's okay to be out and around other people and things. He will do things out of obedience at this point and I will continue to expose him to as much as I can but his journey is only going to be starting when you receive Mr. Hurley back. He will have the foundation needed to be a more confident pup. It's a big world and often overwhelming for pups like Mr. Hurley and the only way we can help him with that timidness is to continue to expose him to those environments with us being confident and lots of positive reinforcement. Overall, Mr. Hurley did pretty well in performing his obedience tasks in a highly stimulating environment.

Mr. Hurley did not eat his breakfast but once again, his weight is okay and his energy and overall well-being are on track.


Pupdate 3/4/23

Today Mr. Hurley and I focused on his door manners and car manners. Mr. Hurley did great with his "place" and "down" on the comfortable dog cot. I even had my mini-me help with distracting him by running in and out and moving by. You can see that Mr. Hurley doesn't move at all. He is watching me the whole time and looking for the next command from me. Mr. Hurley was good throughout the training today. Car manners were a little more confusing as he probably thinks we were going somewhere but we were just practicing going in and going out. Going in is easy; however, it is a little more challenging to get him out. After a few tries and some leash pressure, Mr. Hurley figured it out. Once again, we were only flat collar and ecollar. I use the 15' leash when practicing the door manners so that they can't go too far from me as I work on building the distance away from them. Overall, great day!

Food note: Mr. Hurley did not eat his breakfast again. He did eat all the treats I put in there. For dinner, I put half a can of wet food in with his dry food. He ate it right up. As stated before, he might be a once-a-day eater, and finding a balance of wet/dry food that provides him with adequate nutrition is probably something that needs to be figured out. I'll try my best to keep him on track. Just like us, we get hungry and will eat almost anything we see. Pups are the same way, they can't fight the primal instinct to eat. It's our responsibility to provide them with adequate nutrition when they are ready to eat. This just makes everyone's life easier if the pup knows they are going to eat every day at a certain time and you guys know what schedule he is on for going to the restroom and keeping him on weight. I am not a vet by any means and I encourage you to speak to your vet about his food and eating habits when you get a chance. They might recommend supplemental vitamins, powder, or a combination of food.



Today I introduced off-leash work to Mr. Hurley. Mr. Hurley is doing well overall with his commands. His anxiety and nervousness make him unsure of himself. He does know all the commands but he is still a little unsure of himself. As you can see in today's video, Mr. Hurley took off to go say to Ms. Toji. I called him back and he did not want to come back. I increased the stimulation 5 at a time while saying "Hurley, come". I made it up to about 30-35 before he came back. Remember, we have to be more stimulating than the thing that is distracting him or grabbing his attention. But also, we aren't yelling at the dog as if we were upset because why would he want to come back to you if you're mad? So we stay calm and keep recalling him until he gets there and then we are super happy when he comes back. We did not have this problem again.

Also, since Mr. Hurley is doing well with his commands, I brought out the number one distractor, one of my tiny people. I tried having Mr. Hurley recall the "come to sit" between us but he was a little confused. I tried to have Mr. Hurley walk in the "heel" with her and he did this for a few steps but broke off to come back to me. I didn't really push it much further than that as he already was doing well. Lastly, I had him hang out in the "place" and "down" while the kids ran around and played. He was starting to fall asleep at the end of the session due to being tired and willing to let himself relax that much.

Food note: I started with the 1/2 can of food combined with the dry. Mr. Hurley seems to like this much more. Based on his weight and the recommendations on the can, I'll be giving him 1/2 can + .75 cup in the AM and PM.


Pupdate 3/6/23

Today Mr. Hurley and I loaded up and headed over to Rynerson Park in Lakewood,CA. Mr. Hurley did pretty well today. Mr. Hurley did not have as many distractions as Ms. Daffy but he still did really well. The fun run was wrapping up, kids were dispersing from the playground, the lawn maintenance was wrapping up but Mr. Hurley was still focused on me the whole time. The only thing different with Mr. Hurley and Ms. Daffy today was that due to where Mr. Hurley is, I was able to start the training with my lightest leash and I left that on him for most of the day. Mr. Hurley also did not want to do the "place" today but we worked on it and hopefully, I made it fun for him, and maybe after he lets it sink in he will do better next time. We did a lot of "heel" today and put in lots of work. Next time out, he will be given a chance to go fully off-leash and I have no doubt he will do great. Good job Mr. Hurley!

Food note: Mr. Hurley does seem to like the half-wet/half-dry combination. I am super glad it has worked out. I think the added activity, the comfort, and the smell of the wet food have finally got him into eating more often.


Pupdate 3/7/23

Today Hurley and I headed back to Rynerson Park in Lakewood, CA. There weren't quite as many distractions as there was yesterday but that's ok because today was Hurley's first shot at off-leash work. Hurley did pretty well. Good job, Hurley! Hurley is still a little unsure of himself and as you can see in the video was willing to come to me on the come to "sit" command. I worked on this a little bit more with him before we left and he did fine with some leash guidance. We will continue to practice this. As I mentioned yesterday, sometimes it is a good idea to go over all the commands on-leash real quick to make sure they are in obedience mode. Other than that, I am super happy with where Mr. Hurley is at and he's ready to show you guys what he has learned in a few days!


Pupdate 3/8/23

Today Hurley and I focused on his manners around the house. Specifically, we worked on his door manners and car manners. Door manners are when the pup can either place on the dog cot as I have in the video or even do something as simple as sitting and waiting at a door until we allow him to enter. I have the pup sit at every door before I open it. I go through first and then give the "yes" command to let them know they can break the sit and come through the door. If I want them to do something else, instead of saying "yes", I'll say "heel" or "come" and then "sit". They should "sit" or "place" on the dog cot until we allow them to break the command. As I've mentioned before, they are not robots and they will eventually want to get up and move. This varies from dog to dog and how much distractors are going on. The dog cot or placing them in a "down" is better if you want them there for a while if you are going in and out of the house. You can also use "place" as people come to the house. This gives them something to do and they can politely wait for people to enter and then you can allow the pup to politely greet them.

Hurley is still doing his nervous urinating occasionally but still not detrimental to the training. He normally gets it out at the beginning and then is fine for the rest of the training sessions. Other than that, Hurley, Daffy, and Toji love to play and they have collectively destroyed all the toys in the backyard! No worries, they deserve their pup time, and that's what the toys are there for.


Pupdate 3/9/23

Today Mr. Hurley and I loaded up and checked out El Dorado Park in Long Beach, CA. Mr. Hurley really is a great pup. He is eager to please but he is so shy and anxious. We walked by another pup at the park and Mr. Hurley went to go say hi then I asked him to "off" and he did his anxious urination. But I stayed persistent and he broke off from saying hi and came back to the heel. I wasn't excessive and I didn't yell. He was not in harm's way, he simply decided to do his own thing and I was applying stimulation until he came back to doing what he was supposed to be doing. As soon as I had his attention, the stimulation stops and I let him get back into position and we carry on.

I would recommend continuing to take him out into the world but using something we call successive approximation. Basically, start simple and easy and work to more complex or demanding tasks. He is willing to do everything but he is so shy. If you noticed, I started a lot of training in my backyard which was safe and free of distractions. Then we slowly visited and have been to more and more places with more people and things. For Mr. Hurley, just because he can be off-leash, he probably will be a lot more confident accomplishing things on-leash. This way he can feed off your confidence and be confident with you. He does well like this. As a reminder for both dogs, make sure to follow all leash laws and ordinances. And just because your dog can do something, doesn't necessarily always mean they should do certain things.



Rain, rain, go away! Mr. Scott would like to train! Well, indoor training it is! Today I worked on some joint training with Hurley and Daffy. My extra ecollars came in so I broke one open so I could train both of them. I worked on their food manners in the morning. They don't love their food as much as other pups so that only resulted in them sitting in place and then coming to me when I gave them the "break!" command. They gobbled up their food when they were back in their crates.

For the next training, I placed them on their cots by the door and worked on what they could do while together. I can tell you for sure that when the ecollar is on Mr. Hurley does not bark when I'm around. When Mr. Hurley barks it certainly gets Ms. Daffy going as well. I think getting Mr. Hurley's barking under control definitely helped Ms. Daffy be more obedient in that aspect. When they are outside playing, I'll hear the leader, Mr. Hurley, barking the most, and then shortly afterward Ms. Toji and Ms. Daffy join in. When Mr. Hurley is behaving, the other two are as well. There was a little confusion at first for the joint training which was to be expected. I had asked them to "come" but I kind of expected it to be awkward and it definitely was. They went back to their cots which is where they are "safe". I observed that they came to me but didn't know what to do next. So I allowed them to reset and then asked them again to "come" and this time, I gave them a "sit" when they got close. Then they both sat and that became the game today. "Place" to "down" then "come" to "sit". I then worked on using distractors like me playing with a soccer ball, opening the door, and going outside, and finally, I might have spilled some popcorn on the floor. They both did great ignoring the popcorn and coming to me. Even at the end when I gave them a "break!" they came to me and didn't even bother with the popcorn (Ms. Toji loves popcorn so it didn't go to waste). I am happy with how well they behaved together. Hopefully, I'll get a little more sunshine tomorrow and we can practice in the backyard with them. I'll start on the leash and then see how they do off-leash.



Last night, we loaded up and headed over to Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA. Mr. Hurley did much better than expected. As I mentioned previously, the more confidence you exude and the comfort you give Mr. Hurley, he seems to thrive off of that. He was posted up in his extended "sit" position and he did well. He did break one time because of some shoe screech or something that enticed him, but I gave him an "off" and reset him back to the "sit" and he did perfectly fine for a full two minutes. Mr. Hurley can't wait to show you how well-behaved he has become!

The joint training today went well. The two were a little confused as they have not really trained together much since we started. They were in different stages of their training at various times throughout. My main goal was to get them to "heel" together on the same side. And for one to perform a task while the other waited. It is a lot to ask of them as I don't really use a preparatory command such as their name before asking for an obedience task.

Food note: We ran out of cans yesterday. Mr. Hurley didn't eat his breakfast but he did eat his dinner.



bottom of page