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  • Writer's pictureAdrienne Lascari

Louie Buoy | Portuguese Water Dog | Los Angeles, CA | In-Training

Meet Louie Buoy, a nine month old Portuguese Water Dog from Los Angeles, CA. He had joined OffLeash for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Louie’s owners are having issues with him not following through with commands. When he does follow through, he has a hard time holding the command and breaks before being released. He also chooses when to come when recalled, counter surfs, chews on random objects, and digs. While out in public, Louie can be easily distracted causing him to pull on the leash during walks. Louie is a friendly pup, but when meeting new people he tends to jump to greet. Over the next two weeks, Louie and I will be working on his off leash obedience and manners. Stay tuned to see his transformation!


Pupdate 6/16/2024

Louie settled into my home with no issues. He did great meeting all the pups and followed them around to explore the yard. Louie spent all day exploring and sniffing around his new environment. I spent some time seeing what commands Louie knows. He did not want to follow through with any of the commands I asked unless I had a treat for him. He would pull on the leash as I tried walking him around and paid no attention when I called his name. At times he would jump on me if I had something in my hands. He was very distracted which is understandable, but now we know what type of foundation Louie has that we can build from. We are very excited to get started on Louie Buoy’s journey to off leash obedience!


Pupdate 6/17/2024

Today Louie and I trained at the park. We worked on the command ‘place’ which I explain about in the video. We also were able to work on conditioning Louie to the e-collar. I have attached a video that explains the details of the e-collar and also images of the e-collar that will be used on and sent home with Louie. 

When working on place, Louie learned the command very quickly. At times he became distracted by people or dogs walking in the distance, but I continued to work him through it. When first teaching Louie place, I used treats to guide him on the cot and rewarded him after he followed through. We did lots of repetition before we started to use less treats and instead reward him by saying “break!” and giving him affection. He then started to understand the command so I introduced the e-collar. Loui is a bit sensitive to the stimulation which means we were able to work on lower numbers. This is no issue since it will be easier to bring back his attention rather than needing to jump to higher numbers. At times he was a bit stubborn and would jump on me when he did not want to follow through with a command, but I made sure to hold him accountable. It is important we do not give in to any tantrums so Louie learns he can’t push any boundaries with us. Overall, Louie had a great first day of training and he was quick to learn a new command! 


Pupdate 6/18/2024

Today Louie and I trained at Whittier Narrows Park. When first arriving he was very nervous and would have a hard time following commands. He had his tail tucked and his legs were shaking which shows me he is not confident when going out or when being told what to do. I want Louie to build his confidence so I made sure not to coddle him at this time but instead I kept working Louie through his nerves and gave him lots of encouragement. After 15-20 minutes, Louie’s nerves settled, his tail was wagging, and he was no longer shutting down when I asked him to do a command. By the end of our training session I can see Louie’s confidence had a major boost!

Louie learned two new commands, come to sit and heel. In the video I explain how I taught Louie the commands and what the stucture of them look like. We started off working on his recall which he struggles with at first. He would become very distracted by the other dogs around and he would not want to come around my right side. It took lots of repetition till Louie began to understand the command. After more practice, Louie was following through with the command without me guiding him with leash pressure. He still would make a few mistakes but of course it is a work in progress.

With Louie’s heel, there was a major difference from yesterday to today! Yesterday there were a few times where he would try to run and pull me with the leash, but today he did not pull at all. I had used the prong collar to teach Louie not to pull. He caught on to the heel command very quickly and I was able to take off the prong and heel him with a loose grip on the leash! He did get distracted a few times by the ther dogs, but I would give a quick correction and say off which brought his attention back to me. A heel should be structured the entire walk, but of course when we take our dogs for a walk we want them to have some freedom. When we want Louie to have some fun or he needs to go potty we can heel him to the grass and break him. This prevents Louie from deciding when he wants to run off from the heel.

We also continued to work on the other commands Louie has learned. He is now able to place on high objects and he is holding his sit and down longer. In the beginning when he was nervous, Louie had a hard time going into a down. This is understandable since down is a vulnerable position for dogs and again he was very nervous when first arriving to a new environment. I held Louie accountable to following through with each command. One of Louie’s biggest struggles today was holding commands as I walked behind him. I was able to make distance and walk around him but once I would go behind him, he would break command. To work on this I would hold a treat up to his nose and do a full circle around him then reward him once I completed the circle. After some practice I was able to do full circles but very close to him. As we continue to practice, I will be able to build up that distance with Louie!


Pupdate 6/19/2024

Today Louie and I trained at the Buena Park Mall. Louie was a bit nervous when first arriving but he calmed down quicker than yesterday. We first did a long heel to get him used to the new surroundings then we started to work on the commands. Louie was struggling with the come to sit command. He would stop right behind me or he would sit far away from me. He still is learning the command so these mistakes are normal. A great way to fix when Louie sits too far is to practice next to a wall. I will stand with my left side next to the wall with enough space for Louie to fit then do lots of repetition of come to sit. The wall helps eliminate the extra space. Louie did throw a few tantrums today when it came to asking him to do a command, but I made sure to hold him accountable and work him past it. Louie did show improvement with holding his sit and down as I moved behind him! Overall, Louie is doing great so far and as we continue to go out to new places his confidence will continue to grow! 


Pupdate 6/20/2024

Today Louie and I trained at Parnell Park. Our main focus today was come to sit. In the video, I explain how I used the e-collar throughout training. I noticed Louie is more sensitive than normal since he has only been working in a range of 2-6, so I have changed his contact points out to comfort pads to help reduce the stimulation. We will continue to practice with the new contact points and find what works best for him. Louie has been having a hard time recalling especially at home. When I try to go up to him, he will run away. Louie loves to play a game of chase which is fun during playtime, but when we need him to come to us we want him to follow through. While practicing his come to sit, Louie did throw a few tantrums by biting the leash and jumping on me, but I held him accountable by implementing corrections until he followed all the way through. We first practiced near a wall to perfect his positioning for a structured sit. Once he followed through with the command right away, we then moved to an open area to test his skills. Louie started to do a lot better on his structured sit and recall. We also worked on his duration sit and down. Louie is doing well holding his sit while I move behind him and even when distractions are around. He is also improving with his heel. I am no longer using the prong collar and we are only relying on the e-collar corrections when he loses focus during the heel. He no longer pulls but at times he does get distracted. When this happens I will tell Louie heel as I give a correction which brings back his attention right away. Once we got home, Louie needed to cool off. We set up the sprinkler for the pups to play around in. Louie loves water, so he spent the rest of the day playing and getting wet!


Pupdate 6/21/2024

Today Louie and I trained at home. We practiced on the structure of his heel by using the weaving poles. I am able to use less leash pressure to guide Louie which means he is improving towards being off leash! One of Louie’s biggest struggles is his recall. He still likes to play the game of chase and throws tantrums when I ask him to come. We mainly focused on his come to sit today by doing lots of repetitions. At first he did not want to come to me. He would stand still or go in the opposite direction. Louie does understand the command and knows what the correct positioning is, so he was just being stubborn. I used treats and toys as motivation which helped at times. It took a few times of asking Louie to come and going up in corrections until he would follow through. We continued to practice and each time he did the command correctly I would break him and give him affection. With lots of practice, Louie began to follow through with come to sit right away. Even when distracted, Louie would come to me when I recalled him. It is still a work in progress but with practice, Louie is showing improvement. The comfort pads seemed to be working well with Louie. He still works on lower numbers but he is not as sensitive. After working hard it was time to cool off. We filled up the doggie pool and Louie has not stopped splashing in it since! 


Pupdate 6/22/2024

Today Louie and I trained at Parnell Park and we were able to work on leash dragging! Louie has been improving with all the commands so we put his skills to the test. We worked on his heel while I had the leash dragging by his side. He stayed by my side except for a few times he was distracted by his friend following behind us. Louie would slow down and look behind him, but I would give a correction while saying heel to bring his attention back. Louie also did amazing holding each command. In the video you can see one time he goes into a down after I asked his to sit. I walked back up to Louie and asked him to sit again while implementing corrections. We want Louie to follow through with the command we ask him to do so he learns not to push boundaries later on. He corrected his mistake and went back into a sit. I was very proud of Louie today because his come to sit has gotten a lot better. He is now recalling back to me, but we still need to work on his structure. Even though he comes to me, he does not sit in the correct position. To work on this we did lots of repetition next to a wall to condition him to sit close on my left side. Louie can still get a bit nervous when first arriving to a new environment. His confidence has grown since day 1 and he adjusts quicker to new places. This means we just have to work Louie through his nerves when we go out and the more comfortable he will become! 


Pupdate 6/23/2024

Today Louie and I trained at Fashion Island. We practiced more on leash dragging which Louie is doing great with! At times he will lead during the heel but with a correction Louie slows down and stops leading. He was a bit nervous to go into a down because of all the distractions around us. I held him accountable to following all the way through with the down. Louie did great working past all the distractions. He got lots of compliments on how well behaved he is. Some people came up to pet him which he broke his sit when they came up. I tell people to stop giving Louie attention if he breaks command so he learns to stay calm while getting attention. 


Pupdate 6/24/2024

Today Louie and I trained at Lowe’s. We met up with the other pups in training, which were a good distraction for Louie. When first arriving one of the dogs reacted towards Louie, which caused him to react back. I just gave him a correction while telling him off which helped him to stop reacting. We practiced on more leash dragging and I saw lots of improvement with Louie today! He heeled by my side everywhere we went and followed through with each command. His come to sit has even gotten a lot better. I can also see Louie’s confidence growing. He is not as nervous when arriving to new places. He can still be stubborn at times, but by holding him accountable and implementing corrections, he starts to follow through. At home, Louie still likes to play the game of chase, So I recommend keeping the e-collar on him throughout the day when he is supervised so we can correct any unwanted behavior. Without the collar, it’s hard to get his attention and he reverts back to being stubborn. 


Pupdate 6/25/2024

Today Louie and I trained at Whittier Narrows Park with all the other dogs in training. Today Louie did amazing being off leash and working around all the dog distractions. He followed through and held his commands as the dogs walked around him. He only had one struggle today, which was holding his sit. When I would move around him as he held a sit, Louie would then start to go into a down. I made sure to spend more time practicing his duration sit which he started to do a lot better after our practice. After working hard, I let Louie have some fun. I walked him to the field and let him run around. When he got too far, I would recall him which he did great coming back to me!


Pupdate 6/26/2024

Today Louie and I trained at the Citadel Outlets. We worked more on his off leash skills around distractions. Louie did great with his heel and keeping his attention on me. We even stopped to eat after training which I asked Louie to go into a down next to me as we sat at the table. Louie was calm, held his down, and did not beg for food. During training, Louie did great placing on different objects and holding commands as I walked away.  He has shown much improvement over the past few days! We also have been working on Louie's greeting manners. I have been asking people to pet Louie as he holds a sit. Louie has been doing great not jumping but at times he will break his sit when he becomes excited. Most of the time it is when people "baby talk" to Louie, so we have been practicing on Louie's impulse to break command. At home, we have been working on Louie's food manners every time he eats. Before feeding Louie, I will ask him to sit as I put the bowl down. If he breaks the sit, then I will pick the bowl up and set him back into a sit. Louie has learned to sit patiently for his food until I say break. 


Pupdate 6/27/2024

Today Louie and I trained at the Santa Monica Pier. Louie did such a great job today with little mistakes. His confidence has grown so much that he was able to take on all types of distractions on the pier. Louie held commands as crowds, dogs, and birds passed by. The birds were quite a distraction for Louie at first, but when he became fixated, I would tell him off and implement a correction which brought his attention back. Louie heeled by my side as we walked up and down the pier. The only time Louie would break command was when he started to become tired and hot from being in the sun. So throughout our training, we took lots of breaks in the shade to cool down. Louie also did great greeting new people. He would stay in either a sit or a down while getting pet and did not try to jump on anyone. Overall, Louie has become such a well mannered boy! It took discipline and hard work to break his stubbornness which has now shaped him to have off leash obedience!


Pupdate 6/28/2024

Today Louie and I worked at home on his door manners. Louie can become very excited when it is time to play outside, so I wanted to work on him not rushing out the door as soon as it opens. Louie would break command a few times when I walked out the door, so I would come back inside, shut the door, and place him back into a down. After some repetition, Louie was able to hold his down as I walked in and out of the door. He even stayed down as my dogs walked by the door. We also practiced more if his indoor manners such as counter surfing and food manners. Louie knows he should not be jumping up on the counters, but when there is something up there that he wants, he struggles to control his impulses. When he does try jumping, I simply implement a correction while telling him off. This is why it is great to keep the e-collar on Louie throughout the day to prevent him from this type of behavior. 


Pupdate 6/29/2024

After working hard these past two weeks, Louie got the day off to play. He ran around with his friend Jo and he played with all his favorite toys. Since he has been splashing in the dog pool and rolling in the grass, it was time for Louie to get a bath. He definitely enjoyed getting wet, and once he was done he had the zoomies. Louie is so excited to go home and he can't wait to show you everything he has learned! 


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