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  • Tanner Strong

Koda | German Shepherd Mix | Venice, CA | In Training

Meet Koda! He's a six month old German Shepherd Mix from Venice, California here for our Three-Week Board and Train Program! Koda is a sweet boy, and he knows some basic commands, but has trouble following through. He also loves to jump on people, pull on his leash, and play bite. Koda is very friendly, and he wants to greet every dog he passes while walking, and wants to give any human he meets a big hug! At home, Koda likes to chew on socks, or any other items he can get his paws on! He also loves the cats he lives with, but he sometimes startles them even though he's just trying to play! Over the next twenty one days we will work on Koda's obedience skills, his manners in and out of the house, how to ignore distractions, and show Koda how to be the best pup he can possibly be! Stay tuned for Koda's three week transformation!


Pupdate: 7/9/2023

After picking up Koda, we headed over to Almansor Park to get to know each other! Walking around the park, he definitely wanted to pull me towards other dogs, and I noticed he took an interest in small children. Other than that he was fairly well mannered and I enjoyed our first walk together! At home, I let Koda sniff around to try to get him settled in. He seems to be taking to me very well and adjusting to his new environment quickly! Koda has a hot spot on his rear that's been looked at by a vet and it looks like it's almost healed! He got his last dose of Clavamox this evening and he will continue to have his ointment applied twice daily! I'll upload pictures of the hot spot so you can keep an eye on how it's looking!


Pupdate: 7/10/2023

Koda and I went to Veterans Memorial Park today for his first full day of training! We mostly worked on his Heel/Fuss and Sit/Sitz commands, as well as his Down/Platz. We used a prong collar for the first couple minutes of work, but Koda seemed a little over stimulated and wasn't responding well to the prong collar, so we switched to a slip lead and gentle leader for his leash. We also introduced him to the E collar, and he seems to be responding well to it! We were around several other dogs, and Koda showed some interest, but did a good job continuing to walk with me around them, especially after practicing his commands. He jumped on me several times, including at the end of today's video when I released him with Break. I can tell that Koda already has a good understanding of his basic commands, he simply needs to learn to be a bit more responsive and attentive! Great first day!


Pupdate: 7/11/2023

Koda and I went to Almansor Park today for training! He jumped a couple times, but was able to perform the commands we've gone over with more consistency than yesterday. He's starting to sit immediately when I ask him, and he's starting to begin heeling more immediately when I say his heel command, "Fuss." There were an absurd number of pigeons at the park today, and they definitely got Koda's attention. I used this as an opportunity to practice his commands, "pfui" and "look." I'll be using pfui to let Koda know he's doing something I'd prefer he didn't, such as staring at the pigeons. Once his gaze is shifting away from the birds, I ask him to look at me. Once he makes eye contact with me, he gets tons of praise!


Pupdate: 7/12/2023

Koda and I went to Garfield Park today for training! He's been doing a wonderful job with his basic commands, and I decided to try dropping his leash today. Letting his leash drag is the first step towards taking your dog off leash safely! It allows me to get an idea of how he might perform off leash while still having access to the leash should I need it. Koda did a wonderful job with this. My only complaint is that he tends to press up against me while we Heel and tries to push me. We have mostly been doing left hand turns while Koda is Heeling on my right. I believe he is anticipating a left turn and therefore tends to push me and get in front of me. We'll be focusing more on his right turns so that learns not to anticipate my movement, but instead responds and moves with me.


Pupdate: 7/13/2023

Koda and I went to the Santa Monica Pier today! He did very well! He wanted to pull toward the rail to look at the water a few times, but other than that, he behaved himself. This was the first time Koda and I have gone to such a busy area, so I'm very impressed with his behavior there. We started working on his Place command, where I ask Koda to hop onto a raised object, such as a bench. He's starting to get the hang of this very quickly!


Pupdate: 7/14/2023

Koda and I went to the park today! We mostly spent our time practicing his Place command more! He did a pretty good job with Place yesterday, but I wanted to really hone the command at the park. He's starting to get really good at it! Soon I'll start adding distance for him to start practicing Send Away To Place, the more advanced version of the command. For Send Away To Place, I will want Koda to go to the place object from a distance, rather than me walking with him all the way up to the object!


Pupdate: 7/15/2023

Koda went to Garfield Park today for training! He is becoming more and more responsive with each command with every passing day. He still has a strong tendency to lean on me when he's sitting next to me and while we walk. I like that he wants to be close to me, but I do want him to be comfortable with some distance between us and for him not to feel like he always needs to be in contact with me. He could be using the contact as a crutch to not fully engage with me and pay attention to what I'm doing, or he could simply feel uncomfortable moving around certain environments on his own. Either way, whenever he sits next to me and leans on me, I gently nudge him off until he's standing on his own, then we proceed!


Pupdate: 7/16/2023

Koda went fully off leash for the first time today, and he did a really good job! He did well with each of his basic commands off leash, and we started working more on his Send Away To Place command. He's starting to get the hang of it, although he still sometimes needs me to walk him directly up to the place object. At home, Koda has been doing a great job of placing on a cot, and holding it while I make dinner for myself and all the dogs. He seems to be very food driven, so I know it's tough for him to stay still with all the food smells throughout the house.


Pupdate: 7/17/2023

Koda went to Eugene A. Obregon Park today! He was off leash about half the time and he performed well, even around some other trainers and their dogs. There were a few times he wanted to veer away from his heel position to sniff a dog we walked by, but if I continued walking, reiterate his "Fuss" command, and use a low level stimulation, he quickly regained his position and ignored the distraction. It was good to get him off leash around several other well mannered dogs, and I am happy with what I'm seeing from him so far! Koda's old hot spot is now completely gone. It was already looking good when he got to me, but now after finishing his antibiotics and repeated applications of his ointment, his skin looks completely clear in the affected area!


Pupdate: 7/18/2023

Koda and I took a trip to Home Depot today! At first, there were several things around the store that seemed to make Koda uncomfortable. Any squeaky carts, and the sound of the forklifts specifically. After working on some commands, and with some encouragement, Koda pretty quickly got used to the new noises. He was even willing to Place on one of the squeaky carts, as seen in the above video! The other thing we spent a lot of time on today was Koda's right hand turns. The aisles of the store make practicing sharp turns much easier, and he seems to be paying a bit more attention to me as we walk in order to anticipate my movements.


Pupdate: 7/19/2023

Koda went to Garfield Park today. He was along side another of my wards, Chloe the Puppy. He treated Chloe like his own, and was asked to perform his commands while she was at my side. He did an absolutely outstanding job with this. While the small pup was at my left side, he performed his Come To Sit command nearly without fault and maintained his Heel at my right while ignoring the puppy who occupied my left. Even when Chloe tried to initiate play with him, he still looked to me to see if it was okay for him to break his commands, which I find distinctly impressive. Great job today, Koda!


Pupdate: 7/20/2023

Koda went to the park with his puppy friend today! Just like yesterday, he was very reliable and calm even in the presence of a small puppy. He was able to perform each command and then relax in the grass while Chloe worked on her commands! I'm very proud of him for being such a good friend and training partner for the little one!


Pupdate: 7/21/2023

Koda went to the Santa Monica Pier today for training! He did a great job the whole time. He was on leash for about half the time, and he was allowed off leash for the rest. He performed his commands with a fair amount of accuracy, and he was responsive both on and off leash. My only complaint is that there were several times where he was asked to hold various positions and he wanted to break early to come to me, which is something we'll be working more on moving forward. Just like last week, I found his ability to maintain his composure around fairly large crowds quite remarkable. Great job!


Pupdate: 7/22/2023

Koda went to the park today and had a fun time! It was fairly hot, so much of our time was spent relaxing and taking things slow. We worked on and off leash, and Koda did a great job with everything the whole day. His behavior around the house is also improving greatly!


Pupdate: 7/23/2023

Koda and I spent our day at the park! He did a great job working around his puppy friend! All of his commands are coming along very well, I just want him to be a bit more responsive. He's doing a great job though!


Pupdate: 7/24/2023

Koda and I went to Whittier Narrows Park today for training! His commands are still improving all the time, but I still want him to be a little more responsive and quick. When asked to perform his Send Away To Place command on anything other than his place cot, he likes to take his time moving toward the object and is slow to hop up. I know he has the leg strength to jump, because when he's asked to hop into the car, he immediately does so without any issue!


Pupdate: 7/25/2023

Koda worked around some other dogs today on and off leash. He did a great job with all of his commands, while showing a mild curiosity when right next to a dog he never met before. He very rarely broke his positions to say hi to another dog, and when he did, he would return to me when asked with relative haste.


Pupdate: 7/26/2023

Koda went to Almansor Park today for training! We took it slow because even in the morning it was pretty hot. He nailed all of his commands, so we went back inside to the AC. We'll go back out again tonight once it's nice and cool!


Pupdate: 7/27/2023

Koda was off leash at the Santa Monica Pier today! He did a wonderful job all throughout our time there. In the first clip in today's video, we Heel around some crowds along the pier, and then try a Send Away To Place on the steps. He doesn't quite make the "send away" part, but he still follows through and hits his mark! In the next clip, a few strangers ask to pet Koda, and he does a great job of sitting nicely without jumping!


Pupdate: 7/28/2023

Koda went back to the pier today! He's continuing to get tons of exposure to crowds of people, loud music, and other great distractions. He stuck close to me and did a wonderful job with his commands. Several strangers wanted to stop and pet him and his greeting manners continued to improve. After the pier we went home and he got a well deserved nap. We spent the rest of the afternoon working inside to avoid the heat of the afternoon.


Pupdate: 7/29/2023

Koda and I spent the cool parts of the day at the park! In the afternoon, we stayed home and worked on his household manners. The ones I'm showing in the above video are his door manners and his car manners! For this, I want Koda to understand that just because I open a door, doesn't mean he's allowed to run through it. I'd like him to sit patiently at the door and wait for me to give him the all clear to move in or out. He's been working hard on this, and had trouble waiting for quite a while, but now he seems to be getting the hang of it! For car manners, I want Koda to hop into my car and walk directly into his kennel when asked. At first, he loved to just put his front paws up and wait for me to lift him, but he pretty quickly started to understand that when we load up into the car, we get to go somewhere fun! Now he doesn't have much trouble jumping all the way in by himself. Koda will be leaving tomorrow, and I'll definitely miss this sweet boy once he goes home. He's been a pleasure to work with!

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