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Josie | Labrador Retriever | Rolling Hills Estates, CA | In - Training

Meet Josie! An energetic and sweet pup from Rolling Hills Estates. Josie has joined us for our Three Week Puppy Board and Train Program because she struggles with counter - surfing, Greeting Manners, and plays a little rough. Stay tuned for her 21 day transformation!


Pupdate 4/16/2022

Today Josie got all settled in to my house with the other pups. I introduced her to my dogs through the gate and they all got along great, already trying to initiate play. We began some crate training. I can tell Josie is used to the crate since she got inside of it without a problem. I fed her inside of the crate to associate good things with the crate, and she seems to enjoy it. I let her come outside and play with my other board and train pup Sarang. They played great together, and took turns chasing each other. I practiced calling Josie by her name and rewarding her when she would come. This is called the Name Game. After practicing some recalls with her we took a walk around the neighborhood together to build our bond and get her comfortable with her surroundings. We will begin to work on more obedience tomorrow.


Pupdate 4/17/2022

Today Josie and I had our first session introducing her to a new command, Place. Place is a great command to use to help Josie transition into a calm state of mind. It is the action of sending Josie to a surface and having her stay there in a Sit or Down position until she is released with the cue “Break”. Place can be used inside of your home or outside of your home. Today we used an elevated dog cot as a surface to practice on. Josie enjoyed this and stayed on top of the dog cot for a whole 30 seconds with minimal distractions. I was able to walk away a few feet from her then come back and reward her in 5 second intervals. As she improves with this command I will add more time in between each reward. I will also be using different surfaces for her to practice on eventually. I introduced her to the command Down, luring her with a treat. As she becomes more consistent I will fade out the lure. I also introduced Josie to the prong collar which is a tool that helps guide her during her walks. I create a pressure path, guiding her with directional changes of the leash. She learned that the only way to turn the leash pressure off was to follow the path of the leash. After she became comfortable with the prong collar, Josie and I then walked to the park where we worked on her Heel. She is walking on my left side, turning when I turn and sitting when I stop walking. I reward Josie whenever she offers me her attention, especially in a new environment. Josie has been more attentive during her walk, offering eye contact which is exactly what I am looking for. Great job Josie!


Pupdate 4/18/2022

Josie and I took a field trip to the wilderness park today. We focused most of our work today on her Place command with different surfaces, Come to Sit, and Heel. At first, Josie was unsure of the Place command since she is not used to doing it on new things like the park bench in the video. Once I helped her onto the bench a few times, she began to feel confident enough to do it all on her own. She stayed in place for an average of 40 seconds each time. When she saw a dog pass by us I made sure to grab her attention before she fixated on the dog. Josie is doing well with offering me her attention on command. I always mark it with a yes when she looks my way, especially around distractions! We then worked on her Come to Sit which is the action of Josie coming from my right side, to walk behind me and sit on my left side. I lured her with a treat at first then began to gradually fade out the lure. I fade out the lure by removing the treat from my hand once she becomes consistent. She still gets rewarded at the end of performing the behavior. This is how Josie learns she doesn’t need to see a treat to get rewarded! Once she became consistent with her Come to Sit, we worked more on her Heel. I make frequent turns to keep Josie engaged while Heeling. Her Sits are now becoming automatic when I stop walking. Amazing progress Josie!


Pupdate 4/19/2022

Josie and I ventured out to the local Petco today! There were a lot of new smells, sounds and animals that Josie was exposed to. When we first arrived I Heeled with her around the whole store to expose her to her new environment. Once she got all settled in, we began to work on her obedience. We started working on her Heel. I made frequent turns and each time I turned I gave Josie a heads up by saying Heel before I made that turn. I always attach her name with a command to grab her attention first. Josie did great with her left and right turns, checking in with me frequently. We then worked on her Extended Sit. Josie met our goal today and made it to a minute and a half with her Extended Sit. I first rewarded her in increments of 15 seconds, then began to space out more time in between rewards. Now Josie is being rewarded every 30 seconds that she stays in the stationary position. I then introduced Josie to the Down position today. She took her time at first with the Down but the more I lured her the quicker she got the hang of it. We worked on puppy pushups which is the action of her going from a Sit to a Down quickly. If she doesn’t go Down the first time I request it, I then help her out with a little leash pressure towards the ground. Josie is able to hold her Extended Down for a total of 45 seconds consistently. I reward her every 10 seconds that she is in the Down. While she was in the Down and Sit I tested her by dropping tasty treats all around her. I also made loud noises to desensitize her to it. She did well with this and held her position. We then were able to practice Greeting Manners. Josie gets very excited when greeting new people. She only gets to say hi if all four paws are on the floor and she isn’t barking for attention. Once Josie barks, we walk away from what she wants. This teaches her that being a quiet good girl is what gets her what she wants, not demand barking. Last but not least we worked on her Come to Sit. Josie does great with this command and has already become consistent with coming to my left side to Sit. Great job Josie!


Pupdate 4/20/2022

Josie and I took a trip to Pacific Pan Park today. There were a lot of dogs running around off leash which was a big distraction for her. She worked through it and offered a lot of eye contact. We practiced all of her commands, especially Place. Josie can now consistently hold her Extended Place and Sit for 1 minute and 30 seconds which is our goal! This was with all of the distractions going on around her . Josie is looking more confident with her Place command, not needing as much help from me as before. Her Car Manners are improving and she is jumping in all on her own. We will begin to work on her Car Manners from the Trunk which is more challenging since it requires a higher jump. The next step is Josie being able to do this from a distance on a 15ft leash!


Pupdate 4/21/2022

Josie and I worked on everything she has learned so far at the Citadel Outlets. We began by Heeling around the Outlets together. Josie’s Heel is very consistent, she hardly needs any leash pops to point her in the right direction because she naturally follows me and offers a lot of eye contact. Her Come to Sit no longer needs much of a lure which shows me she understands the command quite well. Josie held her Extended Sit and Down for a total of 2 minutes. This is past what is expected of her, she is quite the overachiever! There were distractions like the other trainers dogs for example and Josie still offered me eye contact around these distractions. We practiced Place on multiple benches and surfaces. Josie takes her time to get up there but offers the behavior each time I request it. We are now working on getting her up to Place quicker. Once we got home I let Josie play with the other dogs. She likes to play with the toys and at times begins to resource guard her toys. I cue “Off” when she does this and if she doesn’t let the toy go I add a leash pop to get her to follow through with it. After a few tries, Josie began to listen to the cue “Off” and stopped growling with the toy in her mouth. I also began to take Josie’s food away from her while she was eating to make sure she doesn’t guard her food. She didn’t growl which was a great sign that she was comfortable with it. I then began to pet her and put my hand in her bowl. There was no negative reaction. I will do this everyday with Josie going forward to help her feel comfortable with sharing her food and toys.


Pupdate 4/22/2022

Josie and I ventured out to the Santa Monica Promenade! This was a new environment for her. She acclimated very quickly to her surroundings, checking in with me during her Heel and performing her Come to Sits fluently. We began to work on everything she has learned with a 15 ft leash today. Creating distance away from her while she stays in position was something Josie did great with. I tested her by adding distractions like me crouching to her level, having my coworkers talk to her while she stayed in position, and making loud noises. Josie knew what was expected of her and nailed it! She was able to reach 2 minutes today with all of her Extended Sits and Downs. Now we will continue proofing all of her commands in different environments with more distractions!

Pupdate 4/23/2022

Josie and I took a field trip to Rosie’s Dog Beach today. There were tons of distractions for Josie to see but she didn’t seem to be too concerned with any of it. She kept looking my way ready to work on the next task. We practiced puppy push ups together and Josie has been performing her Down more frequently. We practiced “Off” with treats all around her. She stopped going after it after a couple of tries. Great job Josie! Josie got the chance to practice her Greeting Manners. She didn’t demand bark attention from anyone and sat the entire time as I reminded her.


Pupdate 4/24/2022

Josie and I worked on everything she has learned so far at Heritage Park. There was a big party going on at the park with loud Mariachi music. She didn’t mind all of the noise in the background and was very engaged. We worked on her Heel with 180 turns going left and right. Josie followed me consistently with those sharp turns. I use my left hand as a target to show Josie where to look. This helps Josie look up towards my face while walking. She has consistently held her Sit, Down and Place command for 2 minutes or more.

We worked on her Door Manners and Food Manners with distance. Josie knows to wait at the door until I release her with the cue “Break!” She also waits for her food until I release her with “Break”. This is a threshold that is important for Josie to practice often so she knows how to be patient in excitable moments. Door Manners and Food Manners also teach important boundaries. Amazing progress Josie!


Pupdate 4/25/2022

Josie and I went to Huntington Beach today. We worked on building more distance with her commands around distractions like bicyclists, birds, dogs, and skateboards. Josie was able to hold her commands for a total of two minutes around all of these distractions. Her Heel is consistent. I rarely have to add leash pops in the direction I want her to go because she naturally follows me. While we are outside training, she always gets a lot of attention. I have been refraining from letting her say hi to too many people. Due to Josie’s habit of demand barking, I would like to keep her calm around people and not overstimulated. When Josie is over stimulated, I don’t introduce her to anyone new. The act of her being around new people and not saying hi is a good thing for her to get used to so she begins to feel more neutral around people. This also helps her not expect to say hi to everybody. When people approach I usually say “Sorry, we’re training at the moment so she can’t say hi” People usually understand and respect this. If I see that Josie is in a calm state of mind, that is when I use it as an opportunity to practice Greeting Manners. Josie should always say hi to anybody on leash to be able to prevent jumping. I always position myself in between her and whoever she wants to say hi to so I can block her from jumping if she tries. Lately, Josie hasn’t jumped on anyone new and has rarely barked which is a great improvement for her. If she does bark I make sure to create distance from her and what she is barking at.


Pupdate 4/26/2022

Josie and I worked on all of her commands today at El Dorado Park. There were other trainer’s dogs there that we had the chance to work with. We practiced her Extended Sit and Down while dogs walked around her. I started practicing this with her while I was right next to her then I gradually increased the distance between her and I. Josie was able to hold her Extended Sit and Down even while I was 15 ft away from her. This was challenging for her and took a lot of impulse control. When she is in a stationary position and I feel she is getting distracted, I say her name which is her cue to look at me. If she looks at me I always mark it with a Yes which reassures her she is doing good.


Pupdate 4/27/2022

Josie and I started our day on a walk to the local park. We Heeled around the neighborhood and exposed Josie to many distractions on the way there. We passed by gardeners with lawn mowers and leaf blowers which drew Josie’s attention briefly. After she investigated it she checked in with me which is exactly what I am looking for. Josie is quite confident around new environments. When we got to the park we worked on all of her commands. She is now fluent in all of her commands hardly needing any guidance with the leash. Great work Josie!


Pupdate 4/28/2022

Josie and I worked on proofing all of her commands at The Citadel Outlets. She did great with all of her commands, even from a distance. She is consistently coming to Sit by my side from 15 ft away. She can also hold her Extended Place while I walk to the end of the leash. Her Heel is consistent as well, following me with all of my sharp turns. I am weaning her off the treats. I don’t reward as often and when I do reward it is for the challenging scenarios that she does great in.


Pupdate 4/29/2022

Josie and I have been emphasizing a lot of our work around sharing toys with other dogs and the Off command. At times Josie decides to test the Off command around food and toys. We have been working on this by redirecting her when she begins growl with the toy in her mouth. I cue Off when she gets over excited and plays keep away because this can lead to her growling. If she drops it I exchange it with another toy or treat. If Josie doesn’t follow through with Off, I apply a leash pop and remind her Off again. She is learning to follow through with this command even when overstimulated. We then worked on all of her other commands which she has been consistent with. We have also began to work on her Greeting Manners now that she isn’t expecting to greet every single person she passes by.


Pupdate 4/30/2022

Josie and I practiced all of her Manners today. We began by practicing a couple repetitions of her sitting by the door, waiting for my release. She held her Sit for one minute at the door as I began to go out of sight. A door is an important threshold that teaches her boundaries. Josie should always sit and wait at each door before crossing it, never being the first one out. After practicing her Door Manners we worked on her Greeting Manners while out on a walk to the park. If Josie begins to bark she does not get to say hi. She is doing better with resisting the urge to bark for attention. We then worked on all of her commands at the park with distance and distractions like kids playing on the playground and reactive dogs. At first Josie was fearful of a reactive dog that we passed by but after walking around in circles to help calm her down, she felt confident enough to walk by as I offered a lot of praise for working through it.


Pupdate 5/1/2022

Josie and I took a trip to the Park. There was a baseball game going on with a crowd of people so we used it as a training opportunity. We worked on all of her Extended commands like Sit, Down, and Place. At first Josie was excited to see the game and a little distracted. After a few repetitions Josie began to focus and performed everything efficiently. Her Place command is something we have been focusing on different surfaces. At times Josie struggles with jumping into different surfaces. With a lot of encouragement and guidance from the leash she works through it. Excellent job Josie!


Pupdate 5/2/2022

Josie and I have worked on building fluency with all of her commands at Legg Lake today. We worked on her Place command mostly because at times Josie fights the Place command and lacks motivation to jump on different surfaces. I rewarded her on a variable ratio reinforcement schedule which is the process of me rewarding her randomly when she offers the behavior quickly. As we practiced repetitively she began to become consistent with it and offered it voluntarily! It translated really well to her Car Manners as well and she is now jumping into the car excitedly! Great work Josie!


Pupdate 5/3/2022

Josie and I went on a trip today to the local park. There were a lot of dogs to work around and Josie paid no attention to them. This is exactly what I am looking for when working with Josie, I want to be the most valuable thing to her. There are so many distractions to compete with when out and about with Josie like dogs, squirrels, smells, loud noises, etc. Josie knows to stay by my side until I release her with the cue Break. When she is on break she is free to be a dog and explore but until then it is time to work. She checks in with me frequently and knows she will be rewarded randomly which keeps her guessing. There were loud lawnmowers and gardeners around us and Josie was very confident around all of it while working on all of her commands with a great distance.


Pupdate 5/4/2022

Josie and I practiced all of her commands that she has learned at the Outlets of Commerce. There were crowds of people that Josie and I worked in the middle of. The hardest thing for Josie to work through is holding her Sit or Down while people walk past her. She is such a friendly pup that gets a lot of attention. Everyone that looks her way is a distraction for her that she fights the impulse to go after. She worked through this and anytime I felt she was losing her attention span I walked closer to her and called her name. If she looked at me for a long period of time I marked it with a yes and rewarded her. She began to focus more on me and less on the other people towards the end of her session.


Pupdate 5/5/2022

Josie and I worked on all of her commands today at the Block of Orange Outlets. There were a lot of distractions to expose Josie to like reactive dogs, people with food, and people on skateboards. Josie did great with ignoring all of these distractions to listen to me. Anytime she lost focus I guided her with leash pressure towards me and she followed it. When I say Josie’s name she knows to look at me. If she struggles to look at me I give her a hand signal towards my face and a couple of leash pops. When she offers me her attention voluntarily I mark it and reward it. Josie has a very strong drive and is confident which helps her perform well in new environments. The more places she goes the more confident she will be. Amazing job Josie!


Pupdate 5/6/2022

Josie and I proofed all of her commands that she has learned so far with another trainer! This helps her generalize her commands and practice with different people. Josie was very excited to work with someone new. We channeled this energy into a nice excitable Heel. She can consistently hold her Sit and Down for 2 minutes in a crowded area. This is challenging for her when people pay attention to her. She fights the impulse to say hi and jump as well. Great job Josie!

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