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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Margaret | Olde English Bulldog | Downey, CA | In-Training

Meet Margaret! She is an Olde English Bulldog who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. This eight month old little lady is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, and potty training. She is timid and shy around people, she can be reactive towards other dogs and likes to lunge at them. The goal for Margaret is to have her get along with people and pets in her neighborhood, have better walks, and not have accidents in the house. Over the next fourteen days, this cuddly girl will work on her behavior to give her the structure she needs, with hopes pf becoming a well mannered dog.

Check in to see her progress!


Margaret and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other and took a drive to Huntington Beach. She did great in the kennel with no whining to and from the beach. Since she was pulling heavily when I picked her up, I went for a walk with her and introduced Margaret to Heel. Heel means walk with me on my left side. When teaching her Heel, I did everything the opposite of Margaret. If she went left, I went right. If she went right, I went left. When she would pull ahead, I turned and walked in the opposite direction. When she would fall behind, I would give her leash tension to guide her back towards my left. It took quite a while for Margaret to understand, but she is beginning to grasp onto the concept. We will continue to work on it, as it will now be implied on every walk we go on from here on out.


Margaret was introduced to Place today. This technique consists of having Margaret getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. It builds confidence in a dog, and can be of great use whenever guests are over or if there is a knock on your door. To teach Margaret, I used leash tension to guide her, and I also assisted her by giving her back legs a boost, in order to fully have her on the object. It took time with water breaks in between, but Margaret understood what I was asking, and was able to follow through. Margaret was great overnight sleeping in her kennel, and had no accidents her first night here. She is warming up to me and slowly adjusting to her new surroundings in my home.


Margaret is making good progress on her Heel and is pulling less on our walks. She did pull this morning when I took her out, but only to go potty. She also worked on different Place objects today, but I made sure that they were low enough for her to get on considering her size. Once a new object is introduced to her, she has no problem getting onto it on her own. She is also learning how to Sit whenever I ask her to Place and I release her with a “Break” shortly after. As we continue working on it, I will begin increasing distance a few feet at a time, and it will help Margaret increase her duration as well.


Margaret was introduced to Down today. Down can be a difficult technique to teach considering it being a submissive position to a dog. It can also make them feel vulnerable at times being down on all fours. To teach Margaret, I used leash tension and her snacks to lure her towards the ground. Initially, Margaret would down with her front paws and would sit up with her back paws, as if she was taking a bow. To assist her in not doing so, I placed my hand over her back, and lightly added pressure to her back whenever she tried to sit up. We took a few breaks in between to avoid frustration, but with patience and time, Margaret has learned how to Down.


Margaret and I worked on her recall today which is known as Come to Sit. This technique consists of having Margaret coming to my right side, going around behind me, and sitting on my left. Margaret was having trouble going behind me so I used her snacks to lure her around to Sit on my left. Once Margaret understood what I was asking, I slowly faded out her snacks, and just used leash guidance when needed. Margaret is following through and making improvement with consistency and repetition.


Margaret has been working on her Extended Sit and Extended Down but was having trouble maintaining it whenever I would start increasing distance. To help her 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. Margaret is doing well as she is almost up to one minute. Today at a local park, we worked on it around other dogs serving as a distraction. Although Margaret did come out of it a couple of times, I was able to reset and work her through it.


Margaret and I worked on Place and Come to Sit. We have been practicing in my backyard with her long lead, as she continues working on distance and duration. Today at the park, we worked on the same exercise, but the difference was not holding on to her leash anymore, and walking farther out while she remained in a Down. She is doing very well, and with week one coming to a close, I am aiming to have Margaret begin working with her leash dragging in the next couple of days, to prepare her for her off leash experience.


Margaret and I began working with her leash dragging today and she did very well walking and maintaining her Heel as we walked at a certain pace considering her size. Her Down needed a little work today as she would come out of it when I would start walking away, but we reset and kept trying until she followed through. For the next few days, Margaret and I will continue our training sessions with her leash dragging.


Margaret and I took a trip to an indoor shopping center today and worked in a more public setting around people, children, dogs, and strollers. It took some time for Margaret to adjust to her surroundings, but began getting comfortable as we made our way throughout the mall. She did very well and is almost ready to be completely off leash. Her Heel is doing much better and I am working on cleaning up her Down more. We will continue to work in more public areas to have Margaret ready to begin her off leash conditioning.


Margaret and I worked on some finishing touches today with her leash dragging, and has shown that she is ready to be off leash. She did great walking alongside me, ignoring other dogs throughout our walk. She also worked on her Greeting Manners, which consist of having Margaret remain in a Sit when she is approached to be greeted. For the remainder of her Program, Margaret will be working off leash, and will be piecing everything she has learned together, in preparation for her Final.


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


Margaret and I took a drive to Home Depot today and worked on building her confidence a little more. We took a walk throughout the store and I had Margaret Place on different sized objects with different textures. She was a little hesitant about placing on a round object and needed assistance. I put her leash on and guided her up with leash tension and she was able to place her front legs on the object. I then gave her back legs a boost to fully get her on, and released her with a “Break” when she followed through. Margaret is doing great and I love seeing how much she boosts her confidence.


Margaret and I have been working on her Food Manners throughout the time she has been in training. Before placing her food bowl on the ground, I would ask Margaret to Down, but she would instantly come out of it and make her way to the bowl to start eating. I picked up the bowl, reset her by asking her to Down again, and start the process over again. After a few repetitions, Margaret caught on to what I was asking, and I slowly began increasing distance and duration. We stayed consistent, increasing time everyday, and Margaret has learned to wait patiently for her food.


Margaret has completed her Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I am looking forward to showing you what she has learned throughout the time she has been in training. We became very good friends and I am going to miss her. It was a pleasure to work with her and I want to thank you for trusting me while she was under my care. She did very well in her Final video and it will be ready for you to view in the coming weeks. Thank you Margaret!


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