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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Mac | Labrador Retriever | Long Beach, CA | In-Training

Meet Mac! He is an eleven month old Labrador Retriever who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Mac is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, and jumping to greet. Mac also has a habit of chewing on furniture, shoes, and other items around the house. Over the next fourteen days, Mac will work on his behavior and be set up for success, with hopes of becoming a well mannered pup! Check in to see his progress!


Mac and I spent the day getting to know each other. We went for a walk around my neighborhood and I introduced him to Heel. Heel consists of having Mac walking next to me on my left side. Mac likes to pull on his leash, so to keep him from doing that, I would turn and walk in the opposite direction. It is a work in progress but he is understanding the concept and it will now be implied on every walk we go on from here on out.


Mac and I drove out to a local park today. He worked on Place which consists of having Mac getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. Place is a great technique that can be used whenever guests are over or when there is someone knocking at the door. Mac understood the concept of it and had no problem getting onto an object when I asked him to considering Mac already knowing what Place means. He knew how to with treats but today he was able to learn it without them.


Mac was introduced to his recall today which is known as Come to Sit. This technique consists of having Mac come towards my right side, going around behind me, and Sit on my left. Mac was able to catch on to the concept but still needed a little leash guidance to have him follow through. He would also stop behind me a few times, but I assisted him by taking a step forward and guiding him to my left. Mac is doing very well and is getting better with every session that we work on.


Mac and I began working on Down today. This technique can be one of the most difficult to teach considering it is a submissive position to a dog and can make them feel vulnerable. To teach Mac, I used his kibble, a little leash tension, and a wall barrier to keep him from moving considering his size. I asked Mac to Sit and began luring him towards the ground with his food and applying slight leash tension as needed. It took some time and some patience with breaks in between, but he was able to eventually follow through! In regards to weighing Mac, there might have been a slight malfunction with my scale. As of today, I have reset it, tried three different readings, and the result in the picture is what it read those three times.


Mac and I drove out to Home Depot today to work on his Heel around different distractions such as customers, shopping carts, forklifts, and a few dogs. Mac’s Heel is getting better with every walk we go on during the day, and he did very well today walking throughout the aisles. Mac also practiced his Extended Down, which he was able to hold for about thirty seconds before releasing him with a “Break.” The goal for the Extended Down is two minutes, and with more practice, I am going to work with Mac to get him there!


Mac and I have been practicing on his Heel with his leash dragging in my backyard. Today we began working on it a little more by taking a walk around my neighborhood. Early this morning, I dropped the leash but he would either fall behind or get a little ahead of me. When he would get ahead, I would turn the opposite way and step on the leash to guide him back towards me. When Mac would fall behind, I would pick up my pace and give him some verbal encouragement to have him catch up. Towards the end, I asked him to Sit, and had him finish it up with a very nice Come to Sit.


Mac and I drove out to the Santa Monica Promenade today and worked on Place with his leash dragging. We also worked on Heel as we walked throughout the shopping center with people and dogs serving as distractions. Mac did a great job remaining at my side as he adjusted to his surroundings. Mac has learned all of his commands and with this week coming to a close, I am focusing on getting him ready for his off leash experience!


Mac and I took a trip to a local park today and began some off leash conditioning around people and kids in the playground. Mac did very well for it being his first time off leash and will continue working without a leash for the remainder of his program. Today’s session consisted of Heel and Down, and as we move forward, Mac and I will begin piecing everything he has learned together in order to have him ready for his Final.


Mac and I worked on Place today with other trainers serving as a distraction with their dogs. Mac did come out of it a few times but I asked him to get back onto the object and wait for my signal to release him. He was able to follow through, so I then began to increase distance, and I was able to get about twenty to twenty five feet from him before asking him to Break. His Come to Sit needed a little clean up, but it is coming along as Mac continues to make very good progress in his training.


Mac has been practicing Food Manners ever since I picked him up. He would walk straight towards the bowl as soon as I placed it on the ground. To keep Mac from doing so, I picked the bowl up and asked him to Down. Once in a Down, I placed the bowl on the ground again, waited a few seconds, and then released Mac with a Break. Every meal consisted of the same approach with the only difference being the time increase Mac would have holding his Down. He has made great improvement and can now wait for his food patiently for two minutes!


Mac and I worked on a run through of what he knows today around many distractions that included people, bicycles, skateboards, and other dogs. He did very well on our walk staying next to me, and it was great to see him in an Extended Down and maintain it with distractions all around him. Mac is ready to film his Final and it will be the main focus for the next few days. Mac was amazing today and I really enjoy watching him thrive!


Mac and I went out and did a little shopping today. He did very well in every store we went into and he got to work on his Extended Sit while we stood in line waiting for the cashier. Mac also got in some final warm up exercises for his big day coming up in which he did very well with. He was complimented many times and received lots of praise for being well behaved. Mac is looking good and ready to put on a show!


Mac worked on his Final today and put on a stellar performance! Everything he learned came together very nicely, and Mac was great at adjusting to all of the distractions around him. He has shown great potential, and can be capable of much more with practice and consistency. Mac has come a long way and learned so much these past two weeks, and I am very proud of him!


Mac has completed his Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home! I want to thank you for trusting me with Mac these past fourteen days and for the opportunity to be his trainer! I am looking forward to showing you what Mac has learned. I really enjoyed his companionship and he will truly be missed! His Final video will be coming soon, but in the meantime here is a sneak peek at his Door Manners!


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