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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Leroy | Redbone Coonhound | Marina Del Rey, CA | In-Training

Meet Leroy! He is a seven month old Redbone Coonhound who has joined us for our Three Week Board and Train Program. Leroy is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, and crate training. The goal for Leroy is for his owners to be able to take him everywhere that they go, and set a foundation of obedience to have him trained as a service dog in the future. He does well with people and other dogs, but can get overly excited and rambunctious around both. He is easily distracted by people, dogs, and squirrels, which leads to a lot of leash pulling, which is one of the main concerns that Leroy will be working on. He goes to work with his owners and has a habit of running towards the break room during lunch and beg for food. Over the next twenty one days, this friendly pup will be working on these behaviors and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well mannered pup. Check in to see his progress!

 

Leroy and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other. We drove out to a local park and went for a walk to establish a bond. Throughout our walk, Leroy was easily distracted by the grass smells and would veer off and try to go smell it. He would then begin to pull on his leash and have his nose to the ground. To correct these behaviors, I introduced him to Heel, which consists of having Leroy walk next to me on my left side. Anytime Leroy would veer off to the left, I went right. When he would pull away from me, I would make a u-turn, walk in the opposite direction, and use leash tension to guide him back towards me. By doing the opposite of what Leroy was doing, he began to understand what I was asking, and began pulling less. He still needs a little more practice, so I will now be applying Heel on every walk that we go on from here on out.

 

Leroy and I drove out to a local park today and worked on his recall which is known as Come to Sit. This technique consists of having Leroy come towards my right side, going around behind me, and sitting on my left. Teaching Leroy was a little difficult initially, considering that he is used to coming towards the front and not my right side. To assist him into not doing so, I used leash tension as guidance to have him come towards my right, and going behind me. There were a few instances in which Leroy would stop behind me, which I corrected by taking a step forward, and guiding him towards my left. He is following through and understanding the concept, and although he does Sit off to the side, I will work on it with him by using ninety degree angle walls as barriers for a straighter Sit.

 

Leroy was introduced to Place today. This technique consists of having Leroy getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. It can be of great use whenever guests are over, and it can also build confidence in a dog. To teach Leroy, I began with a low level object that is not difficult for him to get on. He was a little hesitant about getting onto it, but by using leash tension as guidance, as well as having myself step over the object and have him follow me, Leroy was able to work through it. After a few reps and understanding the concept, we then moved on to a higher object with a narrow surface. This one was a bit challenging given the texture, so I made a slower approach. Since I could not go over the object, I just used leash tension to assist Leroy into getting on. Once he placed his front legs on the object, I released him with a “Break,” and rewarded him with praise. We repeated this a few more times, and once he was comfortable enough, I gave his back legs a boost to help him fully get on. It did take some time, but by remaining consistent with the objective, Leroy was able to Place on the bench. After our session, as I was working with another pup, Leroy was very vocal from his kennel while I was in his sight. We will be working on correcting that behavior throughout his Program.

 

Leroy and I drove out to a local shopping center and worked around people distractions which was one of the behaviors that he needed work on. We took a walk throughout the mall to have him adjust to his surroundings, and he did very well. Initially, Leroy was distracted and wanted to approach anyone that was near him, but with the use of the E-Collar and a verbal “Off,” I was able to work Leroy through it. As discussed on the day of his pickup, the E-Collar is a muscle stimulator based off of a TENS unit. Leroy is responding well to it at a low level, but the higher the distraction, the higher up the stimulation level can go. Leroy also worked alongside another pup, and he was great at not approaching it or reacting to it in any manner. He will continue to work in public areas and also around other pups to continue improving on his behaviors.

 

Leroy and I have been working on Down. This technique can be one of the most difficult to teach a dog considering it being a submissive position, which can also make a dog feel vulnerable. To teach Leroy, I asked him to Sit, and used leash tension to guide him towards the ground. When applying tension, Leroy would stiffen up his front paws, and would try to come out of his Sit almost immediately. To keep him from doing so, I placed my hand over his back to keep him from sitting up. At the same time, I am applying leash tension, and only releasing and rewarding him with a “Break” when he makes an intent on going down. It took some time and patience, with breaks in between to avoid frustration, but Leroy was able to accomplish his Down.

 

Leroy and I drove out to a local Home Depot today and worked on what he knows around people and shopping cart distractions. He also worked around loud noises such as wood being loaded onto flatbed carts by customers. Throughout our walk along the aisles, he did very well maintaining his Heel and not wanting to interact with people that were near him. He also did well with his Down by not coming out of it as a few employees were restocking behind him. His recall still needs a little more conditioning, but I will continue to practice with Leroy to have it cleaned up.

 

Leroy and I took a trip back to Home Depot and worked on building his confidence more by having him Place on different objects with different textures. He was hesitant about placing on a flatbed cart, so to work him through it, I had my son hold the cart while I got on it, and had Leroy follow me. He was able to get onto it, but immediately came off, which is ok, since I want Leroy to get comfortable with it. After a few repetitions, he began to follow through by placing on his own. I also worked with a round bucket which was a bit more challenging to Leroy. The approach I made with this object consisted of having Leroy touch the object with his front legs, and rewarding him for doing so. After a few attempts of him doing it on his own, I then proceeded to assist him with his back legs by picking one of them up and placing it onto the bucket. Once his leg was up, his other back leg followed suit, and he was able to fully get on. Always keep in mind that dogs will not automatically Place on new objects when they are asked to. Some will feel unsure and uncomfortable, so it is important to always introduce them and guide them through it. Us as owners play an important role into having our pups learn new behaviors, so keep it positive, make it fun, and always remain patient.

 

Leroy and I spent the day at home today and worked on Come to Heel. This technique consists of having Leroy coming into a Heel from a stationary position such as a Sit or a Down. To teach him, I worked on it by going in small steps. I asked Leroy to Sit, took a step forward, then guided him with leash tension as I asked him to Heel. We repeated the process a few times, and once he began to understand what I was asking, I proceeded to take two steps forward. The same approach was taken for the first few steps, but as I increased distance, I began to pair the patting of my leg with his verbal Heel. He did very well grasping onto the concept, and is learning this behavior very quickly. With week one coming to a close, week two will consist of adding distance and duration to the behaviors that Leroy is learning.

 

Leroy and I drove out to a local park today where he was introduced to Under. This technique is the opposite of Place, meaning that instead of having Leroy getting onto an elevated object, he is to go Under it instead. To teach him into doing so, I walked Leroy into the object I wanted him to go Under in, and with leash tension, I guided him to go underneath the bench. It is a similar approach as teaching the Down behavior, with the difference consisting of having Leroy working through it in motion. Although he still needs a little more practice, he is starting to understand what is being asked of him, and is following through with the behavior.

 

Leroy and I worked on Send Away to Place today. It consists of having Leroy Place on an object from a distance as I point towards the object. To teach Leroy, I use the same approach by introducing him to the object and have him Place on it about three or four times. Once he places consistently, I then ask him to Sit. Once in a Sit position, I point towards the object, ask him to “Place,” and guide him with leash tension onto the object. We repeated this process a few times, until I no longer had to use tension to assist him, and he is following through very well. We also practiced a little more with his Under, and he continues to make good progress.

 

Leroy and I have been working on his distance and duration with a fifteen foot long line. I worked on it with him in five second increments. This means that one foot back is five seconds, two feet back is ten seconds, three feet back is fifteen, and so on. While in a Sit or Place, Leroy did very well maintaining his position and did not come out of them. However, when it came time to practice with his Down behavior, he was having the most trouble. As soon as I would ask Leroy to Down and begin to take a foot back, he would immediately come out of it and begin to follow me. This goes back to the teaching of the Down behavior, and how vulnerable it can make a dog feel. To work Leroy through it, instead of waiting five seconds for every foot, I went ahead and only made him wait three seconds, then released him with a Break and rewarded him with praise for following through. He still needs a little more work on it, but he is improving as I am able to get about an eight foot distance between him and the long line.

 

Leroy and I worked on some distance and duration in a public area with minimal distractions. Our morning and evening walks have helped Leroy improve his Heel, and we are now loose leash walking. Throughout our walk, Leroy became very distracted by dogs in the area walking by, and wanted to approach them and engage in play, but by redirecting him with an “Off,” and verbally reminding him to “Heel,” we were able to continue on our walk. He did very well with his Sit as I kept a good distance from him, but when I asked him for a Come to Heel from his Sit, Leroy knew to get to me, but ran a little more ahead. In that situation, I turned, walked in the opposite direction, and once in the Heel position, I reset him and tried the exercise again, in which Leroy followed through. I will continue to expose Leroy in more public areas as we prepare to begin working on some leash dragging exercises in the coming days.

 

Leroy and I worked on his distance and duration with a couple of dog distractions. He does well from a long distance, but the closer he gets, the more distracted he becomes, which makes him want to interact. To correct his behavior, I would redirect him and restart in the area where he is not distracted. I would then move in closer and once he makes an attempt to interact, I redirect him a few steps back, and ask him to Sit or Down. Once he holds that position for a few seconds, I then release him with a “Break,” and we move in closer. Leroy is making progress but still needs a little more conditioning, as he can only be about fifteen to twenty feet without any attempt in interacting so far. I will continue to work on it with him to get him as close as possible.

 

Leroy and I have been working on some leash dragging exercises. For safety purposes, when it comes time to practice on these exercises, I always work in an enclosed area such as my backyard or inside of my house. With Leroy, we worked in my backyard and he did very well practicing his behaviors. Today we took a walk around the neighborhood, and I felt comfortable enough to drop his leash and let him drag it. He did pretty good remaining at my side throughout our walk, and although he was distracted by the grass smell and tried to veer off to it, I was able to correct his behavior with a light stim from the E-Collar and a verbal “Heel” at the same time. Leroy and I will continue working on leash dragging exercises as he prepares for his off leash experience.

 

Leroy and I took another walk around my neighborhood today, only this time we brought my dog Thanos along. Initially, all Leroy wanted to do was interact and play with Thanos. He would try to lunge and jump on him. To keep Leroy from doing so, I corrected the unwanted behavior with an E-Collar stim and a verbal “Off,” and Leroy followed through. He did very well walking alongside my pup, and he remained in a calm relaxed state throughout it. While working on Down, Leroy did try to initiate play once again, and when he made the intent, the verbal “Off” only kept him from doing so. I will continue to work him around other pups as he enters his final week of training.

 

Leroy and I drove out to a local park today and worked on some off leash behaviors with minimal distractions. His Come to Sit still needs a little cleaning up, so I will continue to work on it with him to have him Sit more on my left. He did very well with his Send Away to Place, and his Come to Heel continues to make good progress. I will continue to work with him off leash in low distraction areas, and gradually expose him to more public places in the next few days.

 

Leroy and I continue his off leash conditioning as we worked on Under and his Extended Sit. During our initial exercise of working on Under, Leroy had a little trouble following through considering the fact that he was accustomed to being guided with leash tension. To help him complete the behavior, I walked him towards the object, pointed in the direction I wanted him to go in, and gave him slight tension on his flat collar with my hand. After a few repetitions, I was able to remove my hand from using his flat collar as he began to follow my finger, and Leroy accomplished his Under with no tension.


 

Leroy and I have been working on his Door Manners since his Training Program began. Initially, Leroy would Sit when I asked him to, but as soon as the door opened, he would try and be the first one through. As he progressed with his duration Sit and Down, he began to improve at remaining in his stationary position anytime I opened a door. There were a few instances in which he would sit up as soon as the door opened. When that behavior would occur, I proceeded to close the door and repeat the process as needed. By remaining consistent and working on the exercise everyday, Leroy has learned to wait patiently by an open door until I give him the ok for him to come out.

 

Leroy and I have been working on his Greeting Manners. Throughout his Program he has been learning not to jump on people anytime someone wants to say hello. If that situation occurs, I correct Leroy with a verbal “Off” and an E-Collar stim. He has also learned to remain in a Sit and not come out of it whenever someone approaches. If that were to happen, I simply reset Leroy back into a Sit and repeat the process as needed. Leroy caught on very well, and can now be properly greeted by remaining in a stationary Sit. In regards to Leroy getting his paw stuck on his kennel door, a local fire department was able to assist in getting his paw out. I then took him to a local vet where he was seen and given some antibiotics and topical spray. I am keeping him comfortable and monitoring him by the hour. He is walking normal, and he is also eating and drinking water.

 

Leroy and I have been working on his Food Manners. He understands the concept of waiting, but would only wait on his own time through the initial phase of his Training Program. As we moved forward day by day, once Leroy began to hold a consistent Sit or Down, I then applied it to his food. Before placing his bowl down, I would ask him to Sit and wait a few seconds before releasing him. If he sat up before my cue, I would pick the bowl up, reset him, and start the exercise over. Leroy is very bright and learns quickly, so with repetition, I was able to gradually increase duration, which led to Leroy reaching his two minute goal with his food. He is doing well and not limping or showing any signs of discomfort. He lets me spray his paw with the topical treatment and he eats his pill with his food. The wound is still open but it is not showing any signs of infection.

 

Leroy has completed his Three Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for trusting me with Leroy while he was under my care and for giving me the opportunity in being his trainer. We became great friends and I will miss his companionship. He is doing well and there are no signs of infection in his paw. Leroy is a very bright pup and is capable of so much more. His Final video will be up soon, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek at Leroy showing what he can do. Thank you Leroy!


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