Mila | Mini Bernedoodle | Glendale, CA | In-Training
Meet Mila! A sweet and playful ten month old Bernedoodle has joined Off Leash So Cal for our Two-Week Board and Train Program to work on a few unwanted behaviors such as pulling on the leash, jumping and submissively peeing when greeting people. She has a habit of excessively barking, usually when in an environment where she feels territorial of or when demanding attention from her owner.
Over these next two weeks Mila and I will build a solid foundation for her training as we begin to properly socialize her in new environments, building confidence and implementing structure in her daily life. With clear communication, and mutual respect in our relationship, we will help Mila become the best pup she can possibly be! Stay tuned for her Two-Week Transformation!
Mila and I spent the afternoon together exploring our new surroundings at the park, testing what she knew. Mila is a very curious pup, fascinated by the wildlife at the park. She responded to her name and the command Sit whenever she felt like it, and seemed to be very interested in the kids in the playground as well.
Once we tested what she knew at the park and walked around, we went to her new temporary home where she got all settled in. She was a bit vocal initially when in the crate, but settled down after a few minutes and began to eat her dinner. We will introduce her to new commands tomorrow!
Mila and I started our day by introducing her to a few communication tools such as the slip lead and e collar. The slip lead is used to guide Mila with directional changes of the leash. I apply leash pressure in the direction I want her to go and the second she follows the path created for her, I turn that pressure off. Any time I apply leash pressure, I apply stimulation from the e collar as well. Mila at first resisted the leash pressure. Once I marked and rewarded the few steps she took in the direction I wanted her to go, she began to understand how to turn the pressure off. She still resists every now and then but is learning to follow my lead.
I introduced her to Come to Sit which is the action of Mila coming around behind me to Sit on my left hand side ready to Heel. She was a natural at this and learned quickly that all of the good stuff came to her when she Sat on my left side. This is how I begin to build value with Mila in a specific position. I Cued Mila’s name frequently, rewarding her when she offered me her attention. This is called the name game and is a great game to practice around distractions to build engagement during training. A focused dog is a dog that is ready to work!
Mila and I focused our work on her Heel command, as we work on guiding her with the directional changes of the leash. She is learning to follow my lead, however she resists every now and then. When she resists, it is important to have her follow through with what is requested of her. By working her through this, she learns to follow her handlers guidance.
To get Mila into the position of Heel, I call her to Come to Sit on my left hand side. I lead with my left leg as cue Heel before I move forward from a stationary position or whenever there is a change of direction/pace in our walk. She is expected to stay by my side, checking in with me frequently.
Mila and I spent the day working on all of her commands such as Come to Sit, Heel, Extended Down, Sit and Place while at the park. There were plenty of distractions present which we worked through by practicing the name game. Mila is checking in with me much more frequently as she performs her Heel on my left hand side. If she tries to take the lead, I turn into her by making a left turn. This creates a barrier in front of her, helping her yield space to me as I pop the leash in a backwards motion, paired with stimulation of the e collar cuing her to Heel. With clear communication, Mila will continue to understand that our walks are structured.
After working on what she has already learned, I then introduced her to a new command, Place. Place is great to use to help create a calm state of mind, builds confidence in a dog, prevents unwanted behaviors, and can essentially be practiced on top of any elevated surface. Dogs are naturally more confident while on elevated surfaces. I recommend purchasing an elevated dog cot to practice with both inside and outside the house. Having something familiar for Mila to Place on while adapting to an unfamiliar environment helps bridge the transition much more quickly.
Mila and I had the opportunity to practice Place on top of different surfaces today, helping desensitize her to new environments with different sounds, smells and crowds. Mila did well with this change of environment, following my lead as I guided her onto Place. At first Mila was unsure of this new elevated surface I was guiding her towards. After a few tries she jumped onto the surface all by herself, holding position until I released her with the cue Break. I included a video of her performing her commands while out at the beach yesterday evening. Great job Mila!