top of page
  • Writer's pictureSheena Chavez

Nika | Husky Mix | Piru, CA | In-Training

Meet Nika! She is a 6-month-old Husky Mix from Piru, CA who just joined us for our Two-Week Board and Train Program. Nika is a very nervous shy pup who is cautious of her surroundings. She is weary of meeting new people and avoids those who make quick/swift movements. Nika will stay close to her parents while out exploring and loves to play in water. We will be working on exposing Nika to the outside world and becoming more confident in new environments. Stay tuned for her 14-day transformation!


Pupdate 8/14/2022

Nika spent the evening settling into her new temporary home. First, she started off cautiously walking around sniffing her environment. After some time, she became a little more comfortable and her tail was more relaxed. Because she is cautious in new places and weary of new people, we wanted to give her time to adjust to us first. She was hesitant to get into the crate and howls on and off when she hears us. Our first day of training begins tomorrow!


Pupdate 8/15/2022

Today we introduced Nika to the command Come to Sit. Also known as her recall. When we call Nika to Come towards us and end on our left-hand side in a seated position. We do not want her sitting/leaning on us, sitting behind/in front of us, or sitting too far off to the side. We would like her ears to be in line with our left knee. Sometimes Nika takes a short cut and goes directly to our left-hand side instead of coming around behind us. This is okay as long as she ends up in the right position. Nika’s positioning overall positioning isn’t perfect but first we want her to understand the concept of the command. For this we only used leash pressure to help her adjust to the feeling. “Break!” is her release command. When she hears this, she is able to get up, sniff around and be a pup.

This morning after Nika had her potty break, Mike had put Nika back in her crate for breakfast. She walked into the crate no problem, but the leash was still attached. Mike had her come out of the crate to detach the leash. When he did this Nika reacted and bit him, leaving him unable to take the leash off at that moment. From this we noticed that Nika is not very fond of men. She is okay with Sheena handling her and doing just about anything.


Pupdate 8/16/2022

We introduced Nika to the Place command today. For Place we want her to get onto a specified object and Sit/Down. She is to hold is position there until we either release her with Break or ask her to do something else. Nika does have the typical Husky stubbornness to her. She seems to often look for shortcuts or do what she can to not follow through. Consistency and follow through from us humans is going to play a huge role in her training overall. The Place command is great for in the home as well! You can have her Place while you are cooking, cleaning or answering the front door.

Today Mike worked with Nika and hand feeding her to help create a bond. She is very standoffish when near men and is weary walking up to them. Usually, any movement they make overhead will cause Nika to react and move in the opposite direction.

She still howls on and off when inside the crate. Nika does this when we first put her in there, even after some hard work, and when she hears us, and we aren’t near her.


Pupdate 8/17/2022

Today we had Mike practice Come to Sit with Nika. Once Mike has a hold of the leash Nika follows through with relative ease. Nika’s issue with the males here is much worse in/near the crate space. She becomes very territorial and protective of the area. Nika also barks/growls at the dogs when they walk what she feels is ‘too close’ to her crate. This is the same case for when Nika is out and about in public areas.


Pupdate 8/18/2022

The park had very minimal distractions today. Nika is very consumed with what’s going on around her and initially struggled to complete a simple task such as Sit. Last night we worked on her Extended commands. Such as Extended Sit, Down, & Place. She struggled a lot last night as she would immediately get up if she felt no leash tension or if I walked more than 5 ft away. Today I was able to release most of that tension but still only get 5 ft away. The second she gets up I immediately/quickly repeat the command with e-collar stimulation, so she follows through. Nika does like to turn and shift her body to either watch me or other things around her. We are working on building some sense of independence/confidence in Nika.

We are working on making slow introductions with Nika to the other pups.


Pupdate 8/19/2022

We took a long morning pack walk throughout the neighborhood and to our local Starbucks early this morning. Nika did not seem to be bothered by passing cars, gardeners, or children going to school. Her attention was often caught by other dogs barking from inside their houses or behind the gates, but with verbal reminders and e-collar stimulation her attention was back on me. She had some moments here and there when she pulled ahead, to what seemed to be the other dogs, but with appropriate structure she found herself back in the Heel position. (With her ears in line with our left leg). Each of her walks should be structured to keep a nice consistent Heel, which she has improved greatly on!


Pupdate 8/20/2022

After spending some days on careful introductions to the other pups Nika has become a great playmate with them. She loves playing with Roxie, whom she was the least fond of when she arrived! She absolutely loves her time to run around with them. Nika often tries to play in the water bowl. When we see this a simple “No” or “Off” does the trick. Although she periodically goes back to the bowl to splash in the water again. So, a close eye on her is needed to help preventing this from happening.


Pupdate 8/21/2022

In todays video you can see Nika run through all of her commands she has learned. This included Come to Sit, Extended Sit, Down/Extended Down, Heel, Place/Extended Place. Nika often needs some guidance and repetition on her Come to Sit command. She likes to turn her body to face me, rather that sitting directly inline with me facing the same way. She still sifts her body to face me from time to time during her extended commands as well. Nika does well when working around the house and the neighborhood!


Pupdate 8/22/2022

We took a trip to Fashion Island with other OffLeash trainers. Nika is starting to do well with other pups in a controlled environment. Although, there may be other dogs here and there that she isn’t fond of. An example is a French Bull Dog who was overly excited, barking and pulling towards Nika. In these situations, I make sure I have Nika’s focus and keep an appropriate distance. It is important to note that dogs don’t always get along with ALL other dogs.

Nika is slowly becoming more ‘okay’ with having some other males near her. You can tell by her body language that she isn’t fully comfortable with having them nearby. Whenever a male is approaching, I keep her attention on me and often cue “off”. I do this when she focuses on them, gives the avoidance side eye, her ears perk up or when she pins her ears down, and when she stiffens her posture. When she is out in public a close watch needs to be kept on her. With this consistence she will improve slowly but surely. If she reacts, immediately follow up with a firm “no” and give her a command to follow through with, essentially redirecting her attention.


Pupdate 8/23/2022

Mike has continued to try and establish a bond between him and Nika. He will hand feed her at times or give her treats. Nika is okay with Mike letting her in and out of the crate along with putting on/off her e-collar! When Nika is already geared up she will work for Mike as well. Although, he is still unable to approach like normal to give her some quick pets. She will sniff him and let him get in a good pat or two, but that is just about it.

Nika did have a bit of runny stool today, so we added pumpkin to her kibble to help soothe her stomach.


Pupdate 8/24/2022

Nika took a trip to a local park to practice all of her commands off leash. She does very well and only made minor small mistakes. Nika relies on us, as her humans, to let her know what she should be doing. As long as we provide the guidance and structure Nika will continue to thrive. Consistency is also going to play a large role in her long-term progression. Nika has become comfortable working alongside the other trainers and the other dogs being trained as well. Always be aware of other canines who are barking, lunging, growling, etc.


Pupdate 8/25/2022

Nika enjoys all her adventures we take with her. She has come a long way from the first few days she spent with us, and her true personality has come to light. Nika is a very smart girl who can follow through with all of her commands. Nika knows the rules but sometimes she may try and test her boundaries a bit. She has become a little more comfortable coexisting with men around, but you can tell when she becomes a bit uncomfortable. It will always be best to provide Nika with another task when this happens. Us humans must remain confident and comfortable when handling Nika, especially when off leash. Canines often feed off our energy and how we feel, and we don’t want Nika to feel like she needs to protect us.


Pupdate 8/26/2022

We worked on Nika’s house manners. These include greeting manners, door manners, food manners and car manners. Greeting manners Nika is to remain in a sit/down while someone says ‘hi’ to her. If she gets up then the petting should stop, then have her sit/down again. Door manners we want Nika to sit/down and wait before going in/out of any doorway. Even if it is left open. Food manners work similar to door manners where Nika must sit/down and wait to be released to get her food. The same rule applies for treats too! Nika came to us with good knowledge of car manners but sometimes she should push her way in/out of the car. Keeping this structured will go a long way!



bottom of page