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  • Writer's pictureReine Melnick

Mater| Belgian Malinois| Montclair, CA| In-Training

Meet Mater, a goofy, playful, sweet 6 month old Belgian Malinois from Montclair, CA! He is joining Offleash SoCal for a One Week Board and Train. During his stay he will be learning leash manners, basic obedience, and learning to be gentle. Stay tuned for his awesome transformation!


Pupdate 1/30/22

Today Mater and I had a very long day of exploring, sniffing, playing, and training! Once we got home from picking him up, I let Mater decompress due to arriving in a new environment. After he relaxed, we took a walk down to the park where I let him smell the flowers and explore his surroundings. He was very curious about everything and enjoyed looking around! Once he got comfortable we started teaching him some of his basic commands. We worked on heel, sit, down today with plenty of breaks to sniff around! He was a bit unsure of me at first due to never meeting me previously but quickly came out of his shell and played around during our short session! He will probably take a day or so to be fully comfortable which is very normal!


Pupdate 1/31/22

Today Mater and I had a morning walk and primarily worked on Heel, Sit, and Come. He did pretty well and was focused on what I was asking from him! Later Mater and I met up with another trainer to do some more training! During our session we worked on Place, Come, and Heel. In the video you will notice that while on Place, Mater will be in a sit and after a bit of time he will lay down. This is totally acceptable because as long as he remains on the cot and doesn’t walk off, that is ok! I then decide to test him by walking around him. The reason for this would be to test his duration and to make sure he understands the command. He gets off the place a few times, but I quickly remind him that getting off is not correct. After a bit of repeating, Mater figures it out and starts relaxing! When we start working on Come, he will do the command pretty well but he does LOVE to lean on my leg. I will be working on avoiding the “leaning” behavior. The reason for this choice is because Mater does this “leaning” behavior when he feels the need to get protective or insecure. In my second video I work on a bit of Mater’s reactiveness towards someone who is running by! In this video you will see an example of Mater leaning into me anytime my friend runs by. This is the prime example of why I will be preventing him from using my leg as a “security blanket”. As soon as Mater either shows signs of “I’m about to try” or actually react, I give him a firm correction to make sure he understands that doing those behaviors will not be acceptable! Mater picks this up very quickly and decides to stay calm! So far today Mater has made great progress and is learning quickly!


Pupdate 2/1/22

Today we started the day with a morning walk where we worked on Heel, Sit, and Come, and Down! He was pretty good over all but sometimes shows signs of being rebellious or getting temperamental. Sometimes even the slightest amount of pressure, he will just get argumentative. Once we got done with our walk, we headed for Ventura Pier to work on some of his reactivity towards runners and cyclists. We picked a location that was open enough where he had room to observe and not get overwhelmed. He did fairly well and only tried to react 2 times out of the hour we were there! Afterwards, we went to Santa Barbara and went to a shopping center and walked around and worked on Heel, Place, and Come. While we were there, he was more interested in people around then wanting to engage with me. This is very understandable due to the amount of time you may have allowed Mater to greet random people (because he is adorable and strangers want to pet him) too often without him working for it. To decrease this over excitement with greeting people, I will only allow him to say hi to people if he works for at least 10 minutes. Then I will add more and more time before he can say hi to people. This will hopefully build his drive to work for you as the owner and also build that relationship!


Pupdate 2/2/22

This morning we went to Balboa park and worked on Heel, Place, Down, and Come. He did fairly well and only had 2 moments where he got out of a command! Mater sometimes gets startled when people walk by him too close and will get up. In the video you will see him get startled by 2 people and as soon as he breaks his command, I immediately put him back into a down. This is to teach him that he can’t just get out of doing it just because he feels like it. Later in the day, we went to an outdoor mall to work on his mild reactivity towards people running by him. He did pretty well and only slipped up one time! While we were there, we practiced his other commands! The reason for working him while people walked by is so that he has to pay attention to what we are doing instead of fixating on everyone around him! He did very well and was pretty focused! Mater is making great progress each day!


Pupdate 2/3/22

Today Mater and I started our morning with a quick session close to my place! We primarily focused on Heel, Down, Come, and Sit. He did fairly well but sometimes he gets rebellious and wants to test me by either getting mouthy or he tries to bite the leash. When he does this behavior I will firmly say “Off” while pressing the button on the remote. He has gotten better at being responsive when he gets in that mindset, but will definitely try and test your patience every so often. Later we took a trip to a community park that had a fully enclosed tennis court. There were a handful of kids running around playground, so I practiced Mater’s duration down while I sat on a bench across from them. Mater remained calm and held his command until released! Afterwards, we went into the tennis court where I practiced Mater’s reliability while dragging the leash! For the first few minutes, I let Mater run around and be goofy before working on his commands. He was very well behaved while working and only had one disagreement. Very proud of Mater today!


Pupdate 2/4/22

Today we started this morning with a training session and worked on letting Mater drag his leash. He performed very well and was paying attention! Afterwards we met up with other trainers at the Glendale Galleria and had a training session! We worked on putting all his commands together and making them more consistent! He did very well and didn't react to anything while we were there! I am very proud of Mater today and his progress!!


Pupdate 2/5/22

Today Mater and I started this morning with a relaxing training session where we worked on Heel, Place, Down, and Come. He did very well and was very good with his commands! Later in the day we went to Ventura County Fairgrounds and worked with his commands around high distractions such as bikes, skateboards, and lots of dogs! He did pretty well and only had a few slip ups where he got nervous of the bikes or skateboards. He didn’t lung or try and bite! He did show a bit of unsureness, which with more exposure will get better over time! Its very crucial at this age that Mater is exposed to these sounds and smells! The more positive you make these encounters, the more confidence he will gain as he gets older!

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