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  • Writer's pictureAdrienne Lascari

Indi | German Shepherd Mix | Cypress, CA | In-Training

Meet Indi, a one year old German Shepherd Mix from Cypress, CA and she has joined OffLeash for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Indi is a friendly pup and enjoys meeting new people and dogs. When it comes to making new friends, Indi becomes very excited which will cause her to jump when greeting people. Her energetic personality can also get her in trouble when it comes to playing with other dogs. When it comes to commands, Indi understands a few, but she doesn’t always follow through and she will break command right away. India’s owners have a hard time taking her out in public since she becomes easily distracted and will pull during walks. Over the next two weeks, Indi and I will be working on her off leash obedience and manners. Stay tuned to see her transformation! 

 

Pupdate 7/7/2024

Indi was a bit nervous when we got to my home. I walked around the yard with her so she can feel more comfortable to explore. She sniffed all around the yard and became more comfortable with the new environment. Indi was a bit nervous when meeting all my pups. I gave her some space and let her explore some more before introducing the dogs again. Once Indi became more comfortable with me, she became excited and would jump on me. I took some time to see what commands Indi knows and how well she can hold them. She knows sit, but she would not hold it for long and she would become easily distracted. We will definitely be working on those problems and we are excited to start Indi’s training to help her become the best pup she can be! 

 

Pupdate 7/8/2024

Today Indi and I trained at Whittier Narrows Park. We met up with the other pups in training which were a great distraction for Indi. Today Indi learned the command place. Place is where I ask Indi to either sit or down on an object other than the floor. This can be objects such as her bed, crate, car, blanket, park benches, etc. Place is great for having our dogs be in a relaxing spot. We can use place when we have guests coming over and we don’t want Indi jumping on them as they walk through the door. We can also use it at the vet when we need to get Indi’s weight, we can ask her to place on the scale. 

When teaching Indi place, she was a bit nervous and distracted but I encouraged her with treats. I walked Indi onto the cot and when all her paws were on, I would ask her to sit. At times she was a bit stubborn when it came to having her sit, but I held her accountable by applying leash pressure and pushing her butt down as guidance. Once she followed through with the command, I would break her right away and gave her attention. Break is going to be our release word and also reward for Indi after she is done with a command. This will replace treats so she does not learn to only do commands when treats are involved. 

While Indi is on a place, we want to make sure she is either in a sit or down since it is supposed to be a spot of relaxation. If we ask her to sit, we want to make sure she follows through with that command. If she goes into a down when we asked her to sit, I will have her go back into a sit. This is so she does not learn to break command and also so she won’t push any boundaries later on. 

Once Indi started to understand the command, I started to introduce the e-collar. She was a bit nervous at first when first feeling the stimulation, but she soon started to understand that after a correction she should fix her mistake. It is still a work in progress but Indi is a fast learner already. As Indi’s training goes on, I will explain how we use the e-collar with different commands. I have attached a video on the e-collar details.

Indi was definitely tired after training today, so she took a long nap when we got home. She has been warming up to the other dogs in my home. She has started to play and explore the yard with them. 

 

Pupdate 7/9/2024

Today Indi and I trained at Hacienda Park. Indi learned the commands ‘come to sit’ and ‘heel’. With come to sit, we want there to be stucture. This means we want Indi to come around our right side and then sit on our left. When she sits, we want her ears to be lined up with our leg and also facing the same direction as us. This is to make sure she is paying attention to us, and to also set her up for success for the next command we are going to ask. Heel is going to also have the same structure where she is on our left side, ears line up with our leg, and we never want her to lead or fall behind during the walk. Heel is a constant working command, so we want to make sure she does not become distracted by fixation, smelling the ground, or leading. 

When first teaching Indi come to sit, she struggled a bit with the concept of coming around to my left side. I stood next to a wall which helps with teaching Indi the correct stucture for the first time. I used leash pressure to guide her around my right side. At times she became distracted by dogs in the distance, but I would give her a correction with the e-collar while saying off to bring her attention back to me. With some repetition, Indi started to understand the command better. It is still a work in progress but of course we will continue to practice. I tried motivating Indi with treats, but she became uninterested so I continued to reward her by breaking her and giving affection. 

When teaching Indi heel, I used the prong collar which helps prevent Indi from pulling on the leash. She learned quickly not to pull and we began to practice doing turns. If Indi would lead ahead of me, I would do a sharp turn in front of her. This caused her to bump into me and also forces her to slow down. After doing lots of turns, Indi began to slow her pace and pay more attention to me. 

We also continued to work on the commands Indi has learned already. She is now holding her sit and down longer and I am able to create distance between us! Our goal is to be able to move around Indi as she is in a sit or down and she only breaks command when released. 

Indi had a great day of training and she is a fast learner. She is still a bit nervous when I began giving her commands because she is normally use to doing what she wants to do. She is still getting use to the e-collar and is learning to fix her mistake after a correction is given. I’d like to mention that when teaching Indi a new command, I do not use the e-collar since it is for correcting mistakes. Once she shows she understands the command, then I will start implementing corrections. For example, since Indi knows how to sit, down, and place, I use the corrections whenever she does not follow through or breaks command. 

 

Pupdate 7/10/2024

Today Indi and I worked at home on all the commands she learned. Instead of using the e-collar today, I switched to the prong collar because I have noticed Indi becoming very nervous. She is not quite used to a correction, so the prong collar will help with transitioning to the e-collar and also help her learn commands without shutting down. In the video, I explain how we worked on certain commands. Indi was still a bit nervous which could be because she is not used to being told what to do, so I continued to work her through her nerves which will help build Indi's confidence. I can see Indi is starting to understand the commands place and come to sit. She can be stubborn at times and not want to follow through with a command, but I would hold her accountable to completing the command. I also would give Indi lots of encouragement and attention when she would do a command correctly. Since she has not been interested in treats, I have been using attention as her reward. 

Each day we have been working on Indi not jumping. Every morning when she is let out of the crate, she will immediately jump on me out of excitement. When Indi jumps or is overly excited, I will not pay her any attention. When she begins to calm down and goes into a sit, that is when I pet her. We want to refrain from giving Indi attention when she is jumping because we do not want to reward her for that type of behavior. I have also been implementing the e-collar corrections and saying "off" when Indi jumps. 

At home Indi is becoming more comfortable with her surroundings and her new friends. Her favorite thing to do is chase her friends if they have a toy and to play fetch. Today's training went well and I can see Indi starting to understand commands. Her biggest challenge is working through her nerves which can get in the way at times, but as we continue to condition Indi to corrections and being out in public, her confidence will build. 

 

Pupdate 7/11/2024

Today Indi and I trained at the Whittwood town center. We continued to work on all her commands, this time in a public setting. I also started to implement the e-collar again while also using the prong. She was still nervous today, but Indi was able to work through her commands and fix her mistakes after a correction was given with the e-collar. She did not shut down while training which shows me her confidence is starting to build. At times, Indi became distracted or scared by people passing by us. She would also bark at people in the distance if they were walking in our direction. When she would bark, I would give her a correction with the e-collar while saying off which caused her to stop barking. As for the commands, Indi has shown improvement with her come so sit. She can be stubborn at times and not follow through with the command, but I held her accountable and worked her past her stubbornness. Indi still needs leash pressure guidance with the come to sit, but there were times where Indi did it all on her own! We worked on Indi’s duration sit and down which she is also improving in. I was able to move around Indi while creating distance, but at times she would break command if I got too far or if people passed by. I would implement corrections whenever Indi broke command and also have her go back into the command she was in. Indi and I practiced placing on different objects. She was a bit nervous to jump onto the bench, so when she put her front paws on, I would give her affection as a reward. After repetition, she built up the confidence to jump onto the bench. She held the place as I moved around and created distance as well! We also practice her heel, which she is getting better at not pulling. She tends to lead the walk at times and gets distracted by sniffing the floor, but after a correction is given she brings her attention back to me. We then headed into a store which Indi became nervous again. After about 15 minutes, she started to calm down and became comfortable enough to lay on the floor. Even though Indi gets a bit of anxiety when being out in public, it is important to continue to work her past the nerves. She needs time to adjust to a new environment, so doing a long heel around the area helps expose and also tire her down. 

 

Pupdate 7/12/2024

Today Indi and I trained at the Brea Mall. Indi is becoming more conditioned to the e-collar. We were able to only use the e-collar for corrections and no prong. Indi did great with her heel today! I was able to have a loose grip on the leash. There were times where Indi had gotten startled by people which caused her to run in a different direction. I slowed down my pace and recalled Indi to come back to my left side. Indi’s nerves are still getting the best of her but we are continuing to work her through it so her confidence builds. We walked to a fountain where I asked Indi to place, but she was frightened by the water and would only place her front paws on the edge. I helped her up so she can become comfortable placing on the side, but she was very scared of the water causing her to shake and squirm to get off the side. I continued to practice having Indi place her front paws up on the side which she was doing well with, but she was too frightened to fully jump on. At times when Indi became very nervous, she would try to find something to hide under or she would plant herself on the floor. I would give Indi lots of encouragement and affection whenever she did a command correctly while also implementing corrections when she made a mistake. We walked to a calmer area with less distractions where Indi and I practiced more on duration and distance. Indi did very well holding commands as I moved around her. She also is recalling on her own. At times she can be stubborn and not want to follow through with the come to sit, but I would implement corrections until she followed through. At times, Indi would break command if a person came up from behind her. Indi is constantly checking her surroundings since she is very nervous. Because of her anxiety and tendencies to run when she gets scared, it may not be safe for Indi to be off leash. I will continue to expose Indi to new environments and distractions to help build her confidence. 

 

Pupdate 7/14/2024

Today Indi and I trained at Lowe's. When we first arrived, we did a long heel around the store so Indi could get used to a new surrounding. I was proud of how well Indi heeled today! She stayed by my left side, never led the walk, and followed along when I made tight turns. After our lap around the store, Indi and I stayed in one area to work on her commands. I was able to drop the leash when practicing with Indi today which was great! In the video, you can see at times she would hide when it came to asking her to do a command, but I used the leash to guide Inti out from under the flowers. I continued to work Indi through her nerves which will only help build her confidence and also bring her energy down. 

Indi is doing very well with holding a sit, down, and place! We practiced more on her holding commands as I moved around her and created distance between us. By Indi holding commands as I walk away, this shows me her confidence is building! She feels secure and comfortable enough to stay in command without me having to be by her side. I also wanted to condition Indi to holding commands when there are loud noises. so I used the carts and wood. At first, Indi was a bit unsure of the large moving objects which caused her to break command. When this happened, I walked Indi back to the spot she was in and asked her to sit again. When Indi held the command even with the moving objects around her, I told her "break" and gave her affection as a reward for doing a good job! 

Indi has also gained a better understanding of the command place. When she first learned place, we practiced on the cot which is low to the ground and easy for her to step on. Now we are practicing on different objects which at first Indi was unsure to jump on. When Indi is unsure about jumping onto an object, I will first introduce it to her first by having her put her front paws on it. I will then break her, give affection, and have her set her paws up again. After lots of repetition, Indi soon becomes familiar with the object and will place on it. 

At home, Indi has learned to respect other dogs' boundaries. Today a new pup has joined us for training, but she was very nervous when first arriving. When I let Indi out to meet her, Indi kept her distance and waited till Lily came up to her. They did not play, but they enjoyed each other's company and explored the yard together. Indi has also gotten better at not jumping. Indi had gotten a lot of attention from my family today and Indi stayed calm and did not jump! Each day I have been seeing Indi improve in new areas of her training. Her biggest challenge is her nerves out in public, but she will get better the more we go out to new environments.  

 

Pupdate 7/14/2024

Today Indi and I trained at Cerritos Mall. There were many different types of distractions such as crowds, loud noises, carts, and dogs. Indi was nervous during our training today, but like always I continued to work her through it. I am so proud of Indi for being able to follow through with commands and pay attention to me even when she is anxious. We first did a lap around the mall to get Indi comfortable with the new environment. Her heel has improved so much! She stays by my side and never leads. I also notice Indi checking in and looking up at me which shows she is paying attention to me. We passed by some dogs which Indi got distracted by for a second, but I gave her a correction while telling her off and heel which brought her attention back to me. There were times where Indi had gotten frightened when walking around the mall. This happened when people with shopping bags passed us and when there were loud random noises. This would cause Indi to run and break the heel, but the leash had stopped her from going far and also a correction would bring her back to the correct heel position.

After our long walk, Indi and I stopped to work on commands. Indi was having a hard time holding a command when I would move too far from her. In the video, you can see Indi is constantly looking around and checking her surroundings, so her anxiousness was getting in the way of Indi holding commands. I still held Indi accountable to holding the commands, but I stayed close by since she was not very comfortable. I have noticed Indi does very well with duration and distance in quiet, low traffic areas. Like yesterday at Lowe’s, there were low distractions and I was confident in Indi to be able to leash drag with her and move far from her as she held commands. Today, since there were high distractions, I stayed close when dropping the leash and during walks I held the leash, but with no tension. Indi has gotten better at controlling her impulse to jump on people. Lots of people stopped to give Indi a compliment on how well behaved she was being. Indi would hold a sit and I noticed her using her nose from afar to meet new people. Indi also will use her nose to smell other dogs from afar instead of running up to them like before. As long as Indi holds commands and stays focused, it is okay for her to look and smell other people and dogs from a distance.

Even though Indi’s anxiousness is still present, she has shown lots of improvement in all areas of her training and each day her confidence builds. Indi is following through with commands and staying focus. Indi has become conditioned to the e-collar and she knows to fix her mistakes right away when a correction is given. Lastly, what I am most proud of her for is Indi’s heel. She no longer tries to bite at the leash nor does she pull or lead. During our walks, I hold the very end of the leash, causing no tension which means Indi is following along by my side!

At home, Indi has found a ball in the yard and I have learned Indi’s favorite game to play is fetch. Now, each time she is let out of the crate, Indi runs straight to the ball. Indi and I now spend our free time playing fetch.

 

Pupdate 7/15/2024

Today Indi and I worked on her extended sit and down at Hacienda Park. In a calm, low distraction area, Indi showed no nerves and was able to work off leash! We first practiced with leash dragging, but I saw how confident Indi was when there were no distractions around, so I took the leash off. Indi did an amazing job holding a sit and down as I created lots of distance between us. She also had a great recall and was very enthusiastic when running to me. At first, Indi had a hard time going into a down and she was being quite stubborn. I continued to implement corrections until she followed all the way through and held the down. After training I let Indi explore the park. When she would get too far I would recall her and give a correction if she did not come the first time I asked. There were some dogs walking that Indi saw from a distance. She started to whine when she saw them but she stayed by my side and did not try running up to them. Indi also tried going up to a person walking in the park, but I recalled her before she got too close which caused Indi to come back to me. Indi is following through with commands very well and I am happy to see her confidence growing.

I have noticed at home that Indi can become possessive over toys. She sometimes snaps if her friends try to get a toy that she has. When this happens, I will give a correction with the e-collar and tell her off. Because she resource guards her toys, it is important we stay proactive and pay attention when there are other dogs around and Indi has a toy so we can correct any bad behavior. 

 

Pupdate 7/16/2024

Today Indi and I trained at the Citadel Outlets. We worked on leash but I used no leash pressure because Indi was doing amazing following commands today! I have noticed her confidence growing. Indi is standing taller rather than having her tail tucked and head down, and she is panting less. Indi did become scared of people coming out of stores, but she did not try to run but only froze for a moment. Indi was having a hard time following through with down which is understandable since down is a vulnerable position for dogs and Indi is still working on her nerves. I made sure she followed through with the command before rewarding her with attention. I am very proud of Indi for building confidence and being able to work in a busier environment! 

 

Pupdate 7/17/2024

Today Indi and I  trained at Whittier Narrows Park. Indi was off leash today and we were able to work with all the other pups in training. Indi also practiced heeling with her friend which she did great following commands with Lily. Even when Lily broke command, Indi held command. Indi still is being stubborn when it comes to asking her to down, so I made sure to focus on that command more for practice. There were times where Indi fixated on dogs in the distance, but I would tell her off and give her a correction. She then would begin to whine but she didn’t break her command or bark. After training, Indi and I played a game of fetch. Indi does well recalling back if she gets too far. She has been doing well being off leash in low distraction areas and she shows lots of confidence. We are continuing to work on her confidence in high distractions by taking her out to new places and working her through her nerves. 

 

Pupdate 7/18/2024

Today Indi joined my family and I at music in the park. Indi did an amazing job working through all the distractions and loud noises. There were lots of dogs, horses, and kids running around. Indi was doing so great, that I put her off leash skills to the test. Indi was able to heel around the distractions off leash and even hold commands as I moved away from her. There was one time where Indi broke command and ran up to a person which was when she lost sight of me as I was moving around her. She had gotten nervous and tried looking for me. I gave Indi a correction and recalled her which she came back to me. Indi still shows signs of being nervous, but she is able to work through those nerves now! We walked past dogs that were pulling and barking at Indi. She ignored them and stayed focused on our heel. Many people complemented Indi on how well behaved she is and we even got to practice her greeting manners. When getting pet, Indi broke her sit at times, but I had people stop petting her until she went back into the sit and was calm. I was very proud that Indi did not try to jump when getting attention and learned to stay calm. 

 

Pupdate 7/19/2024

Today Indi and I stayed home to work on her food and door manners. Good food manners can help dogs in many ways such as reducing excitement and possessiveness when around food. It can help teach a dog to back away from food when we come to grab it rather than becoming defensive. I set Indi’s food down with my dogs around as distractions. Indi did great waiting patiently until I had told her break.

Door manners is great in many ways as well. Teaching Indi door manners can help prevent her from running out the door as soon as it opens. It is also great for teaching her to wait away from the door as people walk in. We can implement all of the commands into food and door manners such as asking Indi to place, sit or down. Also, we can heel Indi out the door rather than breaking her so she learns to stay by our side when walking outside. Indi has shown lots of improvement in all areas of her training these past few days! She still can become nervous when it comes to being out in public or having her do commands, but the more we take her out and work Indi, the better she will become!

 

Pupdate 7/20/2024

After all her hard work these past two weeks, Indi had the day off. We played fetch and tug-of-war all day. Lily is going to miss stealing the ball and running away from Indi. 

When Indi came to us, she did not follow through with commands. She pulled and bit the leash during walks. She also jumped when meeting new people and pulled to get to dogs when walking. But, Indi’s biggest struggle was her nerves and lack of confidence out in public. Indi would try to find objects to hide under or run from things that frightened her. She would pant and have her tail between her legs and her head down. 

Now, Indi can heel off leash and work through her nerves around distractions. She does not try to run up to other dogs when walking and she has learned to not jump when greeting new people. Indi’s confidence has grown and will continue to grow the more she is exposed to new environments. She can still become nervous, but she stays focused and works through her nerves. I’m so proud of how much Indi has improved and she can’t wait to come home and show you everything she has learned! 

 

Pupdate 7/20/2024

Today Lily joined me at a party in the park. Lily and I worked on her greeting manners. She stayed calm and in a sit as she was getting pet. We walked over to an open area and started working on commands. We practiced more of extended down since Lily was struggling with it yesterday. She has gotten a lot better at following through with a down instead of throwing tantrums. She’s even gotten better at holding the extended down as I moved around her. We also worked on leash dragging while heeling which I also see Lily improving in. At times she will veer off but I implement a correction which will cause Lily to bring her attention back and heel in the correct position. Lily’s come to sit has also gotten better. There are times where she can be sloppy when it comes to the structured sit, but I will have Lily repeat the command until she does it correctly while implementing corrections when she does make a mistake. Lily is starting to throw less tantrums which shows she is learning not to push any boundaries. There were other dogs at the party, which Lily did not react to! Lily was well behaved and followed commands even with lots of people giving her attention! She was a bit shy, but she soon warmed up to everyone as time went on. 


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