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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Mo | Bernedoodle | Redondo Beach, CA | In-Training

Meet Mo! He is a six month old Bernedoodle who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program! Mo is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, and jumping to greet. He does very well with people and other dogs, but becomes easily distracted, which makes him not follow through with behaviors at times. The goal for Mo is to have a solid foundation with his commands, and to be on his best behavior around different distractions. Over the next fourteen days, this playful and energetic pup will work on his behavior and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well mannered dog. Check in to see his progress!


Mo and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other. We went for a walk around the park after pick up to establish a bond. During our walk, Mo would pull on his leash and try to walk ahead of me. He would also get behind me and continuously switch from left to right while walking. To correct these behaviors, I introduced Mo to Heel which consists of having him walk with me by remaining on my left side. Anytime he pulled away from me or try to switch sides, I would do the opposite of what he was doing to get him on the right track. If Mo pulled, I would turn and walk in the opposite direction. If he switched, I would also turn the other way to keep him on my left. It is a work in progress that he still needs practice with, but Heel will now be implemented on every walk we go on from here on out.


Mo and I drove out to a local park and continued to work on his Heel. He is making progress and our morning and evening walks have helped. He is not switching off between left and right like our initial sessions, but he does fall a little behind at times. If and when he does fall behind, I walk a little faster and give him some verbal encouragement as he catches up. Mo was also introduced to his recall which is known as Come to Sit. It consists of having him come towards my right, going around behind me, and sitting on my left. I used leash tension as guidance to have him go behind me, and he is catching on pretty quick. Mo is adjusting to his new home for the next two weeks, and he did great sleeping through the night.


Mo and I have been working on Place. This technique is a confidence builder in a pup and serves great purpose for knocks on your door, or if you are having guests over. To teach Mo, I walked him towards the object, and guided him up with leash tension. He was very hesitant initially and would try to pull away. To correct his behavior, I climbed onto the object myself, gave him a little tension until he made an intent. Once his front legs were up, I rewarded him with praise and repeated the exercise. Once Mo began to catch on with what was being asked, I proceeded to give his back legs a boost to fully have him on. It took some time, but with repetition and consistency, Mo is now building his confidence and following through. It is important to keep in mind when introducing a dog to a new object, that not all dogs will immediately hop onto any object that you ask it to. Every pup is different, and some will need more practice than others.


Mo and I drove out to a local park and practiced on what he knows so far. We worked on his recall, which still needs a little more practice, but he is working through it. Mo’s Place has been making good progress, and he continues to build his confidence the more we work on it. He did come out of it once, but once I reset him, he did very well maintaining his position, as other dogs were in the area playing from a distance. He became distracted by a dog passing by as we were walking, and even though Mo looked back, he did not engage or make an approach. By reminding him to “Heel,” Mo remained on track and was able to finish our session and ignore the distraction around him.


Mo and I began working on Down today. It is a technique that can be very difficult to teach a dog, considering the fact that it can make a dog feel vulnerable being down on all fours. To teach Mo, I used an elevated object and leash tension to guide him towards the ground. Anytime he sat up, I would reset him back into position and repeat the process as needed. While guiding Mo down with leash tension, whenever he made an intent to go down to turn off the tension, I released him with a “Break,” and rewarded him with praise. Always keep in mind that patience plays a major role when teaching this behavior to avoid frustration on both parts. It took some time with Mo, but by remaining consistent and taking breaks in between, he was able to work through it and accomplish his Down.


Mo and I went out to condition his Down a little more, as well as the rest of the commands that he has learned. He did very well with them all, but he did have a little trouble with his Down. He did come out of it a couple of times, once when someone was jogging right by him. It is normal for dogs to have some difficulty with certain commands, especially when they are still in the learning process. Distractions like joggers can be enticing for dogs and can divert their attention. It is important to be patient as I continue practicing his Down in various situations. By gradually increasing the level of distractions, it will help Mo become more comfortable and reliable. This approach will allow him to build up his skills and confidence over time, as well as having the opportunity to learn how to stay focused, and respond to commands in more challenging situations.


Mo and I began working on his stationary positions by adding distance and duration. He does well with his Sit and Place but he was still having a little trouble with his Down. As soon as I  would step away, Mo would almost immediately come out of it and begin to walk in my direction. To correct his behavior, I reset him and walked him back to the same spot and repeated the exercise. With most dogs, I take a step back and wait 5 seconds before releasing them, but with Mo I waited 3 seconds. He began to follow through and I am working in 3 second increments for every foot I step back. As week one is coming to a close, Mo and I will continue to work on these exercises, and once I can get to the end of the six foot leash, I will then begin to use a fifteen foot long line, to gradually increase distance and condition his duration.


Mo and I spent the day at home while I did a little lawn mowing in my front yard. I had guests over and Mo tried to jump on them initially. By verbally asking Mo to “Off,” I was able to correct his behavior. He did well with my niece and nephews as we threw a ball around with him. He enjoys being chased and is full of energy. I then gave him some playtime with his buddy Ottis, and let them run around the front yard. They get along very well and they enjoy their time together. Shortly after, we had a cookout in the backyard and enjoyed some dinner.


Mo and I began working on some leash dragging exercises today. He did well with Place and was doing fine with his Heel. There was an instance where Mo veered off and began walking towards the car. Once I stopped him by asking him to Sit, I repeated the exercise once again, and Mo was able to work through it. He was also having trouble with his Down initially, considering that he is used to the leash tension to guide him. It took us a few tries, but Mo began to understand my hand signal, and followed through. We will continue working on leash dragging exercises these next few days, in order to prepare him for his off leash experience.


Mo and I met with other trainers and their pups today as we worked on distance and duration with distractions using a long line. He did very well maintaining his position as the other trainers and pups walked around him. I can also get to the end of the long line without Mo getting up which took some time to do. With consistency and repetition, he is making progression in reaching his goals. Mo is almost ready to begin working fully off leash, but still needs a little more conditioning. I will be working with him in an enclosed area like my backyard, before exposing him off leash in a public setting.


Mo and I have been working on his off leash conditioning in my backyard. He is doing well so we decided to drive out to a local park and practiced a little more. There were minimal distractions, but overall, Mo followed through with his behaviors. During our Heel, he tried to veer off into the grass, but with a verbal “Off” and “Heel,” I was able to have Mo get back into position as we continued our walk. Mo is ready to begin filming for his Final, and it will be our main focus for the remainder of his Program.


Mo and I have been working on Door Manners since day one of his Program. When I first opened a door for him to go through, he always wanted to be the first one in or out. Throughout his training, I conditioned Mo to remain in a Sit or a Down anytime I opened a door. If he came out of his position when opening a door, I would close it, put him back into position, and repeat the process as needed. Once Mo understood the concept, I began to add distance and duration, and he was able to follow through. By remaining consistent and correcting unwanted behavior, Mo was able to reach his goal and wait for my cue, in order to go through a door.


Mo and I have been working on his Greeting Manners. In the initial phase of his training, once he learned how to Sit, I began to reward him with praise. Anytime Mo came out of his position as I praised him, I would stop and ask him to Sit again. By remaining consistent with this exercise, Mo understood what I was asking, and throughout his Program, he made very good progress. Anytime someone wants to approach Mo and say hello, it is important that he is in a calm relaxed state, and in a stationary position. If he fails to do so, remember to reset him, and repeat the process as needed. The more consistent we remain as owners, the greater the results.


Mo has completed his Two Week Board and Train Program. It was a pleasure to have him in my home for the past fourteen days, and I want to thank you for trusting me while he was under my care. We have become great friends and I will miss his companionship. He has learned so much in just a short amount of time, and I am looking forward to showing you what he can do. Mo’s Final will be coming soon, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek of him working on his Food Manners. Thank you Mo!


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