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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Kodak | German Shepherd | Long Beach, CA | In-Training

Meet Kodak! He is a one year old German Shepherd who has joined us for our Two Week Blard and Train Program. Kodak is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, jumping to greet, and nipping. The goal is to allow Kodak to be indoors and to be able to go out on family outings. Over the next fourteen days, Kodak will work on his behavior and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well mannered pup. Check in to see his progress!

 

Kodak and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other by going for a walk at a local park to establish a bond. Kodak is easily distracted by the smell of grass and would pull heavily on his leash throughout our walk. To correct this behavior, I introduced Kodak to Heel, which is a technique that consists of having him walk next to me on my left side. Anytime Kodak would pull away from me, I would turn around and walk in the opposite direction. He understood the concept and caught on fairly quick. Kodak would still veer off to the left at times, but with leash tension I was able to guide him back towards me. Kodak still needs a little practice, but Heel will now be implied on every walk we go on. He did not eat his dinner, but I will continue to offer it to him.

 

Kodak and I drove out to a local park and worked on his Heel a little more. He has made a very good improvement and continues to make progress the more we work on it. He also ate his dinner last night. I introduced Kodak to Place today which is a technique that consists of having him get onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. It builds confidence in a dog, and it can be of great use whenever guests are over. To teach Kodak, I walked him towards the object, and with leash tension I guided him up. He would only place his front paws initially, so I assisted him by giving his back legs a boost. To help him get on a picnic table, I walked onto it myself, and Kodak followed me up. He still needs a little work on it, but he is following through and building his confidence.

 

Kodak and I took a trip out to a local shopping center and worked in a public setting. I have been working on his recall which is also known as Come to Sit. It consists of having Kodak approach my right side, going around behind me, and sitting on my left side. To teach Kodak what I was asking, I guided him with leash tension towards my right and used his food to lure him around me. When he sat on my left side, I rewarded him with praise and food. During our visit at the mall, I worked on it a little more with him but he was very nervous and it took him some time to adjust to his surroundings. He was very distracted by everything around him, but Kodak eventually started to relax and go into a much calmer state. I will continue to work on more exposure by taking Kodak out to more public areas, and condition him to be much more relaxed.

 

Kodak and I have been working on his Down. Down can be a difficult technique to teach considering it being a submissive position to a dog. To teach Kodak, I asked him to Sit, and then used leash tension and his kibble to lure him towards the ground. He sat up during our first attempts so I placed my hand over his back and kept him from getting up by applying slight pressure whenever he made an intent. He would also come down to the ground but at times, his front legs would not fully touch the ground. To guide him all the way down, I applied slight pressure on his shoulders, and rewarded him when he followed through. It took time and patience, with breaks in between to avoid frustration, but Kodak was able to accomplish his Down.

 

Kodak and I drove out to a local shopping center and gave him some more exposure around different distractions that included kids and people. He was a little better than before and it took him a little less to adjust to his surroundings. We worked on his Heel which is looking much better after practicing on our morning and evening walks. His Come to Sit is also making good progress and he is not sitting off to the side like he was initially. His Down needed some practice today due to the distractions around him, but by resetting him, I was able to have Kodak follow through.

 

Kodak and I did a little shopping today. He was getting ahead of me a lot during our walk throughout the mall, so I had to work on a refresher session to get Kodak where he needs to be. We also worked on all of his commands and his Down is showing improvement. He did really well with Place and Sit as another dog served as a distraction next to him. Over the next few days, Kodak will begin to work on distance and duration with his stationary positions.

 

Kodak and I took a trip to a local Lowe’s and worked him around different noise distractions. He did pretty well with the sound of a forklift in one of the aisles as we made our way throughout the store. What Kodak was having trouble with were the shopping carts and the flatbed carts. To work him through it, I asked him to Heel as I pushed the shopping cart next to him, and he initially did not want to walk. With leash tension and verbal encouragement, Kodak began to walk slowly and eventually overcame his nervousness. I was also able to place him on a flatbed cart and pushed him around the store.

 

Kodak and I have went for a walk around the neighborhood today. We began to work on loose leash walking and he is doing great. I have also been working with him having the leash dragging. He is following through and continues to make progress. With week one coming to a close, Kodak and I will be working on more leash dragging exercises in order to prepare him for his off leash experience.

 

Kodak and I are working on his Extended Sit and he was having a little trouble maintaining it as he would come out of it and follow me whenever I start to increase distance. To help him with that, I moved back one foot at a time with five second increments. One foot back is five seconds, two feet back is ten seconds, three feet back is fifteen and so on. Kodak is doing well the more we work on it and he is making progress by remaining in his position after correcting his behavior. He is almost up to one minute, and we will continue to practice to have Kodak reach his goal.

 

Kodak and I drove out to a local park and met with other trainers today. We took a walk throughout the park with his leash dragging with another trainer and he does very well. What he had trouble with was maintaining his Extended Down while a pup walked around him a few times. I reset him and asked him to Down again, and Kodak followed through. I will continue working him through it as I prepare him to work his distance and duration in a more public area.

 

Kodak and I worked on some off leash exercises today at an outdoor shopping center in order to prepare him for his Final. He struggled with his recall and his Down during our first few sessions and became very distracted with everything blowing in the wind. He did great with Place maintaining his position until I asked him to Break, and remained at my side throughout our walk during his Heel. Kodak will now be working off leash for the remainder of his program.

 

Kodak and I have been working on Door Manners since the day I brought him home. Anytime I opened a door, Kodak would always want to be the first one to go through. To help him into not doing so, I would ask him to Down when we approached a door. Once in a Down position, I proceeded to open the door, and made sure Kodak remained in his position. When I opened the door, every time he sat up meant the door would close, and the process would repeat itself. Once he understood what I was asking, I began to increase time and distance to keep him in a Down longer, which led to Kodak achieving his two minute goal.

 

Kodak and I have been working on his Greeting Manners. He has learned that he is to remain in a Sit whenever he is approached by someone that wants to say hello. It was difficult for him to do so in the beginning of his training, since he would come out of his Sit whenever I stepped away and would be a little timid occasionally and try to cower behind me. With repetition and consistency, Kodak has managed to successfully be greeted without coming out of his Sit.

 

Kodak has completed his Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for trusting me with Kodak while he was under my care these past fourteen days, and for giving me the opportunity in being his trainer. I am proud of how far he has come along, and by staying consistent with him, he can be capable of so much more. We became great friends and I will miss his companionship. Thank you Kodak!


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