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  • Writer's pictureScott Hansen

Moose | Husky Mix | Covina, CA | In-Training

Meet Moose! Moose is a six-month-old Husky mix from Covina, CA. Moose has joined us for our Two-Week Board and Train Program! Moose is a beautiful young pup who lacks confidence. Moose is a calm pup who likes to relax and hang out and isn’t into obedience very much. Moose does not like jumping into cars. Moose has joined us for structure, obedience, and some confidence-building! Stay tuned for Moose’s 14-day transformation!



Today Moose came home to his home away from home for the next two weeks! Moose was introduced into my pack. Moose was not overly interested in any one person. I introduced Moose to my pup, Ms. Toji. Toji is a german shorthaired pointer who is the big sister around here. She will be the one to show Moose how we do things around here. Moose and I took a walk around the block to see how he behaves. This is his one "free" walk where he gets to do whatever he wants while he gets used to the neighborhood and environment. Tomorrow we start the training full speed ahead!


Pupdate 3/13/23

Today Mr. Moose and I loaded up and headed over to Whittier Narrows in El Monte, CA. We met up with some of our fellow Off-Leash trainers and their pups. Mr. Moose was happy to be out and about with all the other pups. The main focus today was the "heel" and "sit". These are the cornerstones of the rest of the training. Mr. Moose will be required to do these two tasks the most over the next 2 weeks. I also introduced the e-collar to Mr. Moose. I tried starting the training with a pinch collar to be clear on what I needed him to do but Mr. Moose was not a fan of that! All good because we have lots of tools. I switched over to the slip lead. This worked great for Mr. Moose. Then we went to work on the e-collar. He was responsive to about 20-25. These numbers are good and they should come down but if they don't, no worries. We walked around practicing the "heel" and "sit" once we got our tools under control. Mr. Moose said hi to the other pups and was friendly. He seems to be talking to me more and more which is good. I even got him to look at me a few times for confirmation. Lastly, I used my ramp to work on getting him into the vehicle. He was able to be convinced to go up and get in. Great first day!

Food note: This morning he only ate the wet food but when we got home from the training, I mixed it up, threw in a treat and he ate the rest.



Today Mr. Moose and I ran out to Rynerson Park in Lakewood, CA before the rain started coming to take care of our training for today. Overall, Mr. Moose did well. Mr. Moose is showing signs of avoidance behavior such as sitting with his back to me. He avoids eye contact (as you mentioned). These are all avoidance behaviors. I will keep working with him and gaining his trust. We introduced the "place" today. Also, Mr. Moose offered "down" behavior. When a pup offers the behavior then I simply capitalize on it and mark it with a "good, down!". This makes it more positive and less of a battle especially with something like the "down" where the pups typically give opposition reflex behavior and don't want to do the "down" despite the downward leash pressure. We continued to build on the "heel" and "down" from yesterday. I used the slip lead as this seems to be what he is most comfortable with. By the end of our session, he was performing the "sit" after I would stop with just the voice command. Lastly, if you noticed I went up and down on the bench with him as I am working on restoring his confidence in jumping onto things and hopefully, this will transfer over to loading into the vehicle. I was very pleased with his progress today. Tomorrow, I'll work more on the "come to sit" even though we did a little bit today and officially introduce the "down". After tomorrow, we will be off to the races with repetitions and fine-tuning everything. I also hope to transition to the flat collar in the next 2-3 days as long as he is showing good proficiency in his obedience tasks.

Food note: I think when I gave him the rest of his food when we got back yesterday it threw off his schedule. Because of that he only ate the puppy topper again at dinner time and a little bit more kibble overnight. Since there was still food in the bowl this morning, I skipped breakfast this morning to get him back on track this evening. I think this will get us back to where we need to be and I don't want to waste the food if he's not going to eat it. Will update again tomorrow!


Pupdate 3/15/23

Today Mr. Moose and I headed over to Mayfair Park in Lakewood, CA. Luckily the rain finally stopped but since the weather was still gloomy there weren't too many distractions around. This is fine in the early stages as I was introducing the "down" and the "come to sit" formally. I'd say that Mr. Moose's best command right now is the "heel". He does "down" a lot on his own but when I ask him to do it, he is inconsistent as he is still learning. As of today, I have introduced all the commands for him which are:

1) Sit

2) Down

3) Place

4) Come

5) Break

6) Off

Now we just build on these and training gets more and more repetitive. We will do these commands in my backyard in short bursts, we will use these for door manners, car manners, greeting manners, and anywhere else we might venture off to with more distractors. Good thing is that Mr. Moose isn't too distracted by what's going on around him. Actually, he looks like he's about to fall asleep most of the time! I have been really working on climbing up and over benches and tables with him to work on his agility and confidence. He is a little clumsy when climbing onto things at the moment. On another note, he is going up into the vehicle with a little momentum and upward leash pressure. One day we will dedicate ourselves to going in and out of the vehicle so that he is comfortable with it.

Food note: Only ate about 50% or so of his breakfast. Not sure how much food he will eat for dinner but his weight and poop look normal so we will keep on going. He definitely eats all the puppy toppers and I try to give him treats throughout the day to fill in the missed calories. He seems to be getting along well with my other board and train and Ms. Toji.


Pupdate 3/16/23

Today Mr. Moose and I took some time to enjoy the sun finally coming back! We worked in my backyard aka the "lab". This is a great place for me to review all the commands in a controlled environment and with minimal distractions so that I can ensure that the obedience commands have been imprinted. We start in areas with minimal distractors this way I know they know the commands and then we ramp up to high distractor areas. I still introduce distractors as you can see today, I kicked around my son's soccer ball. Mr. Moose is not too worried about distractors. Mr. Moose did a great job and is showing a really good understanding of the commands. I introduced some of the leash-dragging with him and he did pretty well. I am pleased with his progress and how he is coming along. I took some time at the end to groom, Mr. Moose. He is looking pretty good!

Food note: He is still reluctant to eat his breakfast, about 25-50%, and eats about 50% of his dinner at first but at some point in the evening he decides to chow down the rest.


Pupdate 3/17/23

Today Moose and I worked on his door manners. I specifically worked on him performing a "place" and then performing the "down" and waiting there while I go in and out of the house. Mr. Moose struggled a little bit due to his anxiousness to be by someone or something. Every time I would turn my back or get too far (for him), he would get up. He only walked out the door once but stayed there as he saw I was coming back. I also had him perform the "down" on the floor. I understand that there isn't a dog bed at every door in the house to condition the pup to perform a "down" and wait so I wanted to make sure to have him do it on the regular floor as well.

After this training session, I took Mr. Moose for another walk around the block. This time we did the entire thing with the leash-dragging! Woohoo! Mr. Moose has got this down pretty well after about a minute or two. In the early part, he tends to be a little bit velcro-ish which we don't want since you said you have two left feet. I'll keep working on trying to clean it up so he stays out of your way. Lastly, he does well when I stop, he performs a good "sit" and waits to be told "heel" again. Great job, today Mr. Moose!

Food note: He did wind up eating about 75-80% of his food last night and this morning he ate about 75% again. As I've stated before, his weight, energy, coat, and poop are all looking normal so I think we will see more of the same throughout the training but we always like to be transparent about your pup's status.


Pupdate 3/18/23

Moose and I loaded up and headed out to the Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA. We had a good time and Mr. Moose enjoyed being out and about with lots of people. I enjoyed taking him out and getting lots of compliments on him. Mr. Moose is still a little timid in these environments. Mr. Moose is also still a little too close at the beginning of walking in the "heel" but other than that he did well. His "come to sit" was a little off when we started but by the time we left he was doing it well. Mr. Moose is mellow and even when confused he mostly just stands still while trying to figure out what to do. As you can see in the video, I had attempted to have him "sit" in the middle of the mall but the floor was too slippery so he kept sliding down into a "down". We did a lot of the commands with the leash dragging and Mr. Moose did well. I used my lightest leash so that it feels like it's not there other than when I apply the leash pressure or he wanders too far off. He is doing well overall with his understanding of the commands. Mr. Moose even jumped in the car all on his own (without me asking him to). Great job today Mr. Moose!


Pupdate 3/19/23

Today Mr. Moose and I loaded up and headed over to Rhynerson Park in Lakewood, CA. We started off focusing on his "load-up" which is getting into the vehicle. Once we practiced that for a while and he got the hang of it we moved on to the rest of the park.

I took Mr. Moose over to the playground area and he performed his extended "place" and extended "down", extended "sit", and "heel" and attempted his "come to sit". We did this all with the 15' leash dragging just in case of emergency but Mr. Moose showed me that he is pretty much ready for his off-leash work. The only struggle he is having right now is his come to "sit". I will focus on this tomorrow and the rest of the week to make it more clear and clean it up. Overall, he did great!


Pupdate 3/20/23

Today Mr. Moose and I worked on his "come to sit" at my house. But before I put the pedal to the metal on that task, we had some practice walking with my tiny human. Nothing like having a tiny person walk Mr. Moose politely. I had her use the leash and I was controlling the e-collar with the remote. Mr. Moose was a little confused at times but he figured it out that he was supposed to "heel" with her and was doing well. He even listened when she had him "sit" at the end. As you can tell, we both gave him lots of love for his "Break!" when we were done with that part of our training today.

I then went to work on his "come to sit". Mr. Moose knows that "come" means to make his way over to me and do something. He keeps trying to take shortcuts and cut through my legs or go to my left side without spinning around or even trying to get into the "heel" position. He can do it perfectly when the leash is on which is phenomenal; however, we pride ourselves on getting the pup off-leash with all the commands. This will be the primary focus this week as all his other commands seem to be looking really nice right now. I am proud of all his hard work.


Pupdate 3/21/23

Today was a rainy day! And of course, as soon as I finish my training the rain stops. It's ok, today the theme was about persistence and consistency. Moose can be a little anxious and confused. We started but he wanted to go outside so I gave him a chance to go outside and use the restroom. It is important that we meet all the pups' basic needs such as food, water, and potty breaks. Once I was sure that he was good to go, when he would leave it was a matter of him not wanting to do it. I had to stay persistent and consistent with my commands. I also used my body positioning to encourage him to perform the tasks so it wasn't only stimulation. This means I don't have to go as high on the stimulation if I move and give him a chance to figure it out based on where I am. I tried starting off-leash but he wasn't sure what to do so I put the leash back on. This is fine and when you get Mr. Moose back if he ever regresses or is confused, we can take a step back and show him what he wants him to do by guiding him with the leash and then give him another chance to perform off-leash tasks. Once again, we kept at it until he did it properly. This is going to be a high-priority focus this week.

Today Mr. Moose heads to Mr. Mike's house where his training will continue! Mr. Moose is almost there, he understands that we are asking him to perform certain tasks but he is really anxious and if he doesn't get play time or stimulation such as on a rainy day like today then he is a bit overwhelmed. Stay persistent and consistent! Stay tuned for his continued progress!


Pupdate 3/22/23

Moose is very much your stereotypical Husky pup. Very vocal and very willful. He often displays avoidance behaviors. Consisting of turning away from you (putting his back to you), trying to take shortcuts, pushing boundaries at any given moment, and trying to perform “place” by leaning against the target or only placing two paws on top. During our trip to Home Depot, it was noticed he has some anxiety. This is displayed by excessive panting, drooling, and sweaty paws. He isn’t necessarily nervous by any particular sound, just the overall new environment. Staying consistent with the task and ensuring Moose follows through is going to be key. Pushing through his stubbornness is going to do the most benefit for you.

It was quickly discovered that Moose has made a severe connection and bond with his training buddy Kona. If Moose knows Kona is nearby, he very much struggles to follow through with his commands. This definitely increases his anxiety. When Moose is worked around any other canines he does much better as he hasn’t spent days playing and bonding with him. We did move Moose up to the larger model of e-collar along with some longer contact points. Since Moose has thick dense fur (likely going to get more dense as he gets older) the longer contact points make a much better connection. Moose had no issues switching his new temporary home.


Pupdate 3/23/23

We made a trip out to the Santa Monica Pier today to work out some rather new and unusual distractions. Moose worked on all their obedience commands both on and off leash. In new areas especially in high distraction environments, we always want to keep the leash on until you and your pup are 100% confident in this environment. Specifically, you (the handler) are confident in your abilities to manage your pup.

Moose was a bit overwhelmed, which was expected. It took a good warmup before we took the leash off. While the leash was off, we were vigilant in reminding them of the command at that given moment. This eliminates them veering off, walking up to say hi to others, chasing birds and eating stuff off the ground. With less distractions you may not need as many reminders but that depends on the pup! They are not robots and just like us, they may let curiosity get the best of them or simply need a little bit more assistance. Overall, it was a successful outing and took a much-needed long nap when arriving home.

Potty notes- When Moose went potty late last night he had a white piece of cloth in his poo. A photo has been attached for visual reference. It didn’t seem to cause any issues with his overall bowel movements.


Pupdate 3/24/23

This morning Moose went on a walk to Starbucks to enjoy a pup cup! We tried testing out his abilities without the e-collar and only used the leash. It was learned that Moose is not ready to work on his obedience without the collar on. He was even more testy and pushy with his boundaries. This can be taken as a good discovery because now we (and you) know that without the training tool, we can’t expect and ask much of him. Since he is still very young we can not lax on the structure and obedience. The best way to have everything stick is to stay consistent with all commands and boundaries you set for him. Puppies are very much like children and will take any opportunity they can to do things they want.

He also made another trip to Santa Monica. Moose was significantly more comfortable in this environment than he was yesterday. This is where consistent exposure is key. The more he is taken into the real world the more desensitized he will be to all the distractions. Moose made an amazing turnaround in the last couple of days and enjoys his daily walks around the neighborhood off-leash!


Pupdate 3/25/23

Today Moose and I reviewed his commands in the lab which include food manners (food denial), car manners "load up", and door manners. We even took a trip to the Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA to work on his greeting manners. Moose and I can't wait to show you everything he has learned over the past two weeks. As a reminder here are the commands he has learned:

1.) Sit/Extended Sit

2.) Down/Extended Down

3.) Place/Extended Place

4.) Heel

5.) Off!

6.) Break!

7.) Door Manners

8.) Food Manners/Food Denial

9.) Car Manners

10.) Greeting Manners

Please keep in mind that the training that Mr. Moose has received is a foundation. All obedience and training can and will diminish without practice and reinforcement. You will have to set new boundaries over the next few weeks and remember to be consistent and persistent with Mr. Moose.

Moose was happy to be back with Toji. Moose, Toji, and my other board and train are party pups. They tore up every toy I gave them and have been very vocal with each other for the past two weeks. Moose and I can't wait to show you everything he has learned over the past two weeks.



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