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Kirby | Australian Shepherd Mix | El Monte, CA | In Training


Meet Kirby!


She's extremely lovable and friendly, however she goes crazy when she sees other dogs and other distractions. She needs a lot of work on her manners and basic obedience skills, so this week we will show her how to behave in and out of the house. We'll be working on her social skills and how to properly greet people and other dogs! Stay tuned for Kirby's one week transformation!

 

Pupdate: 3/31/2024


After picking up Kirby we went over to Almansor Park for a bit to start walking! Kirby is a huge barker and seems to love barking at any and all dogs she comes across. She had a difficult time adjusting to the new park, where she wanted to pull, bark and give me all kinds of trouble. Once we got home, however, Kirby turned into a different kind of dog! She was allowed to sniff around and get comfortable in my home. She became much more responsive and attentive at home, which tells me most of her training journey is going to take place outside in public areas!

 

Pupdate: 4/1/2024


Kirby and I went to Almansor Park today for her first full day of training!


We began by introducing her to her E collar and spent some time walking around the neighborhood before heading to the park. We started working on her Heel command as well as her Come To Sit command. For Heel, I simply want Kirby to walk politely at my left side with her ears near my knee. She started out wanting to pull all over the place, but started picking up on the command relatively quickly! For Come To Sit, I want Kirby to come to my right side, walk around my legs and sit at my left side with her ears at my knee. She's getting the motion down with this too, although she is having difficulty holding her sit for longer than a few seconds.


While in the quieter areas of the park, Kirby did a great job! When walking around the more populated spots, she sometimes when back to pulling, but everything is going well so far! She didn't bark at anyone today, but definitely still wanted to pull towards some other dogs and also children if they were running around nearby. Great first day!


In addition to her video today, I'm adding a tutorial video for the E collar so that it will be easier to use once she goes home!

 

Pupdate: 4/2/2024


Kirby and I went to Garfield Park today for training! We continued working on her Heel and Come To Sit commands, and added her Place and Down commands.


For Place, I want Kirby to hop onto a raised surface, such as a bench, and remain there until I release her or ask her to perform a different command. She had very little trouble jumping onto the benches, however, she did have some trouble staying put for very much time, especially when we added her Down command. Ideally, I'd like Kirby to be able to hold her Sit, Down and Place commands for about two minutes around distractions, and currently she is at about one minute. Usually when she broke her commands today, it was when another dog walked by. That being said, she did a much better job of not whining or barking when she saw a dog, but she still wanted to turn toward them.


Another benefit of the Place command is being able to use it inside on a place cot or dog bed! Kirby is working on this command inside as well, so that she knows where to go if I need to clean or cook and want her to sit in a safe, out of the way spot.

 

Pupdate: 4/3/2024


Kirby and I went to Santa Anita Mall today! This was a huge step up with her distractions. She was nervous when we first got there, but after several minutes, she started calming down a bit!


We continued working on each command, and Kirby did a great job most of the time, but her biggest improvement today was ignoring the distractions. She didn't bark or whine at all, even when people and other dogs were walking quite close to us.


She is still working on holding her commands for longer periods of time, but today was a vast improvement!


After the mall, we went to the park so that Kirby could be in a slightly more relaxing environment for a little while!

 

Pupdate: 4/4/2024


Kirby and I went to Santa Monica Pier today for training! Similar to the mall, she was very nervous at first. She didn't seem to calm down quite as much as she did at the mall, but she ended up doing well with her commands.


She did fairly well ignoring distractions by the end of our time on the pier, however she wanted to pull towards a few dogs when she was initially super nervous.


There were several other dogs around us, and once Kirby got close to them and began to relax a bit, her commands started becoming much more smooth.


For such a high level area, she ended up doing a great job today!

 

Pupdate: 4/5/2024




Kirby did an amazing job yesterday at the pier, so we decided to go back to the park and work her in close proximity to her sister, Hazel! They have interacted in my home with zero distractions, however I've been giving them distance while out in public. Today, however, we put the girls to the test and we walked together at the same time. Both girls were a little uncomfortable at first, which you can see in the video, but they ended up doing extremely well with each other.


This is a result of me taking the last several days to slowly introduce them in a neutral environment before finally allowing them to walk with me and perform their commands around distractions at the same time. Hazel understood what I wanted nearly immediately, but I've also worked with Hazel much more. Kirby took a few more minutes to get comfortable.


While walking both pups, the rules are exactly the same. I want each dog walking in a nice Heel position, without pulling or veering towards distractions. Since Hazel is a little bit more advanced, I have her E collar remote hanging around my neck, and I have Kirby's in my hand. I'm applying light pressure with my left hand to the leashes if one of them starts pulling forward, and using my right hand to manage the remotes.


They both did an amazing job with this exercise. The park was fairly light on distractions, however, so we will still need to see how they do when it's a little more populated tomorrow!

 

Pupdate: 4/6/2024


Kirby did an amazing job compared to how she did when she got here. She walked by tons of our distractions, people and dogs, and performed her commands with ease. She's had trouble walking around these parks since she's been with me, but after taking her to the more difficult locations, she's had a much easier time at parks!


She still can be susceptible to distractions, but ability to ignore such distractions has increased tenfold.


The manners we worked on tonight were her food manners. This is essential for basic impulse control. Kirby had some difficulty with this at first, but ended up doing a great job! This skill can be a great help with Kirby's safety, just in case she is tempted to pick up something off the ground she shouldn't. This impulse control can he a great help in her overall behavior and safety!


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