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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Mila | Pitbull Mix | Long Beach, CA | In-Training

Meet Mila! She is a one year old Pitbull mix who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program! Mila is stubborn, does not listen to commands, and is here for basic obedience, stealing food, counter surfing, nipping, and taking objects that do not belong to her. Over the next fourteen days, this lovely girl will work on her behavior, with hopes of becoming a well behaved pup. Check in to see her progress!


Mila and I spent the day getting to know each other by taking a walk throughout the park and around my neighborhood. She was a little nervous initially, but she relaxed as we continued our walk. Mila was introduced to Heel which consists of having Mila walking next to me on my left side. She likes to pull, so whenever the pulling occurred, I would turn around and walk in the opposite direction. It took a few attempts, but Mila is understanding what I am asking from her. She does walk a little ahead of me sometimes, but she is pulling less. We will keep practicing as it will now be implied on every walk we go on. Mila has settled in well, and is adjusting to her new surroundings.


Mila and I drove out to a local park today and practiced her Heel a little more. She is making good progress by remaining at my side during our walks and she is improving at not pulling away. Mila was also introduced to Place, which is a technique that consists of Mila getting onto an elevated object. It builds confidence in a dog and is of great use whenever guests are over or if there is a knock on your door. Mila did well learning Place and only needed a little leash guidance to help her get up on a few park benches that we worked on.


Mila was introduced to Come to Sit today. Come to Sit is the recall command which consists of having Mila come towards me on my right side, go around behind me, and Sit on my left side. The first few reps, Mila would stop as soon as she reached my right side. To assist her in not doing so, I used a little leash tension to get her moving behind me and having her Sit on my left side. We are still working on it, but Mila is improving with more guidance and repetition.


Mila was introduced to Down today. This technique can be difficult to teach considering it is a submissive position to a dog. To teach Mila, I asked her to Place on a bench and then asked her to Sit. Once in position, I began to guide Mila down with a little leash tension. Whenever she made an effort to follow through, I released the tension and rewarded her with lots of praise. It took time and patience with a few breaks in between to avoid frustration, but Mila was able to successfully accomplish her task.


Mila has been working on her Extended Sit 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. Mila is doing well as she is almost up to one minute. Today at a local mall, we worked on it around shoppers serving as a distraction. Although Mila did come out of it a couple of times, I was able to reset and work Mila through it.


Mila and I met with other trainers and their dogs today that served as a distraction by walking around her. She is still a little nervous at maintaining a stationary position by herself, as she tends to come out of it and gravitate towards the closest person or dog to her. In this session, Mila did make some progress as she only came out of it once, and worked through it once we reset. She will continue to practice in more public settings by working through low distractions, and shortly increase them as needed whenever she follows through.


Mila and I took a trip to a local Home Depot and worked on some confidence building today. I began by asking her to Place on low objects with different textures and increased the height of the object as we walked throughout the store. Moving through the aisles, Mila also practiced her Extended Down and has improved at not getting up when people are around. She did come out of it as a flatbed cart was coming through, but Mila worked through it by walking next to me as I pushed the cart myself.


Mila and I went out for a walk around my neighborhood today and began working with her leash dragging. Mila does fall a little behind at times but we are working on it to get it cleaned up. We also practiced a Come to Sit in which she needs a little more practice on, but did good considering it being her first time with no leash guidance. Mila and I will continue working this way for the next few days, to work her through different distractions.


Mila and I drove out to a local park today to work on some leash dragging exercises with dog and people distractions. Mila does very well in a low level distraction setting, and can get a very anxious as the distraction setting level increases. She was able to walk by other dogs, as well as Sit right next to them. I can increase distance and walk around Mila without her getting up, and she even assisted other trainers by serving as a distraction for their dogs. There are still a few things we need to work on with her Heel, but I will continue to condition her to have it cleaned up.


Mila and I have been working on her Door Manners. When I would open any door, whether it would be to go inside or outside, Mila would want to be the first one to go through. To condition her into not doing so, I ask Mila to Down before I open the door. If she gets up, I close the door and try again. Every day that she has been practicing, I increased her time to have her Down longer. Mila has done very well and has accomplished her two minute goal!


Mila and I drove out to a local shopping center today and she did really well with her leash dragging as I worked on her commands throughout the mall. I have been working on her Heel for the past few days, and Mila has made an improvement by not moving ahead or staying behind. Moving forward, I am going to focus on having her work off leash and begin to work on her Final video.


Mila did very well around distractions such as people and dogs today all while working off leash. She still tends to get anxious, but Mila is in a much calmer state and can work through it. She followed through on everything we worked on and she was also praised by many people on her good behavior. We were approached by a few people wanting to say hello, so I asked Mila to Sit, then proceed to having them approach Mila and greet her. Considering how nervous she was around people including myself in the beginning, this was a big obstacle for Mila to overcome.


Mila and I worked on her Final and she put on a very good performance. Everything she has learned was put together and came out very nicely. We also went on a pack walk with other trainers and their dogs with kids playing in the grass serving as a distraction. Mila has great potential, and with practice and consistency, she can be capable of much more. She has come a long way, and it is great to see the progress she has made.


Mila 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 accomplished in the short time she was in training with me. She was a great co-pilot and I am going to miss her companionship. I want to thank you for trusting me with Mila while she was under my care, and also for giving me the opportunity to be her trainer.

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