Niko | German Shepherd | Long Beach, CA | In Training
Meet Niko! She's a five year old German Shepherd from Long Beach, California here for our Two-Week Board and Train Program. Niko is a sweetheart, but she has some issues with pulling on her leash and following basic commands. She can also be reactive to small dogs and she needs some potty training while she's here. Over the next fourteen days, we'll work on Niko's obedience skills in and out of the house, build her confidence, and show Niko how to be the best pup she can be! Stay tuned for Niko's two week transformation!
After picking up Niko, we stayed at Bell Gardens Park for a little while to get to know each other. She barked and growled at some smaller dogs at the park, and she definitely loves pulling on her leash. She started to get more comfortable around me, so we went home, where I let Niko sniff around my house and get used to being here. She seems to be settling in well. She hasn't had a potty accident yet!
Niko and I went to Studio City Recreation Center today for training. She didn't snap at any of the small dogs today, but she was still very anxious any time we were close to other dogs. For her commands, we started working on her Sit and his Come To Sit command. She is pretty good with sitting, but I'd like her to be a bit more responsive when asked. For Come To Sit, I want Niko to come to my right side, walk around my legs and sit at my left side with her ears at my knee. She's doing well with the commands so far. Usually her mistakes come from being nervous if there's another dog in sight!
Niko and I went to Almansor Park today for training! She continued working on her Come To Sit command and we started on her Heel command. For Heel, I want Niko to walk politely next to me, with her ears at my knee. She's doing well with this! There weren't very many other dogs at the park today, but the few that were there got her attention any time they walked into view. She also got very excited to see some squirrels, which served as her main distraction today!
Niko went to Garfield Park today for training! She had a fun day for the most part. There was one little dog at the park that Niko had a reaction to. When Niko reacts to a dog, I use a stimulation from her E collar, and use the Off command. Off is our "do not do" command and it can be used whenever Niko hyperfocuses on a distraction, or otherwise does something she isn't supposed to. We also worked on her Down and Place commands today. She started the Down command fairly easily and she's doing well with it. For Place, I want Niko to hop up onto a raised object, such as a bench. It took a few tries for her to gain the courage to make the jump, but after doing it once, she continued performing the command very well! This command is great for building confidence, which I believe will help with Niko's nervousness and potentially help her to not feel the need to react poorly to other dogs. No potty accidents today, however, Niko's stool was a bit loose, so for her dinner I gave her a little less chicken and added some pumpkin to her meal. This should help settle her stomach.
Niko and I went to Santa Anita Mall today for training! We stayed in the outside areas for much of the day, and went inside for the bouts of rain. She was quite nervous for a lot of the time, but performed her commands very well. She did have a reaction to a couple small dogs, but more mild than the other times. In today's video, you'll see Niko performing her Come To Sit, Place and Down commands! She breaks her down once, but she holds it very well for the most part! You can tell she isn't completely relaxed from how much she's looking around and her slightly heavy breathing. Despite this, she does well with her commands. She's doing great, she just needs much more exposure to the outside world! No potty accidents today!
Niko and I went to Almansor Park today for training! She was a little less nervous today, but still slightly on edge. She whined and tried to pull toward one small dog, but didn't bark or growl at them today. She did well with each command, although she didn't seem to want to hold her Down for very long. We will work on extending her durations so that she can hold her positions for about two minutes around most distractions. Niko has been doing a great job with her potty training. No accidents so far in her kennels or in my house. My goal for Niko's potty training is to get her to understand the words "go potty" so that when I say them, she knows she's in the right place for a potty break! Most mornings Niko does her business as soon as we step outside, which tells me she's doing a great job at holding it overnight. As soon as she starts going potty in the appropriate location, I give her tons of praise and repeat the phrase "go potty" so she links the words with the potty sensation.
Niko and I went back to Almansor Park for training today! She was actually a little more nervous than yesterday. The park was a bit more crowded, which I think got to her. We worked on all of her commands, but to try to help her relax, we spent a lot of time working on her durations and simply allowing her to lay down and observe her surroundings. In today's video, we work with a little Place cot for Niko to hop on. Even though she was nervous, which you can see in the video, I'm proud of her because there was a little dog barking at us nearly the whole time and she still performed fairly well. It's clear she wasn't happy the little dog was there, but she didn't bark or growl at all! No potty accidents today!
Niko and I went to Santa Anita Mall today! It was very crowded, and she was nervous the whole time we were there, however, she was less nervous than yesterday at the park, which is strange to me. As usual, she was on point with her commands, and managed to walk past a small, yappy dog in a stroller without a huge reaction. She whined and perked up when she noticed the dog, but she didn't bark or growl! One thing that took some time today was walking on the top floor where Niko was able to see down to the ground floor. She didn't want to get near the edge at first but after moving around in the area, she slowly grew more comfortable.
Niko and I went to Maple Park today for training! We worked around several other dogs, and while Niko was still nervous around them, she did a solid job with her commands she didn't have a strong reaction to the to the small dog. For Nikos potty training, I've been taking her outside for the last time between 9:00 and 10:00 at night, and between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning. She has been able to hold it consistently throughout the night, and still hasn't had an accident yet! Great job Niko!
Niko had a fun day at the park today! It wasn't too crowded today, and Niko was a little more comfortable. She did a great job with her commands too! She did try to go after a squirrel, but that was the most distracted she got. It took a few tries for Niko to place on the bleachers like she is in one of the above pictures. I think the different texture of the bleachers threw her off, as she usually hops right onto most benches! Either way, she did a great job. No potty accidents today!
Niko had a fun day at Huntington Beach today today! She was very nervous for the first half of the day, but she seemed to calm down pretty well as the day went on. She didn't seem to have any issue with the bikes zooming by us, she was only interested in the dogs going by! There were several small dogs who caught Niko's attention. She did very well with her commands all day! No potty accidents today.
Niko went to the Santa Monica Pier today! The crowds were a little much for her but she behaved well! She alerted to a couple of the dogs we passed, and barked at one, however, the one she barked at reacted to her first, so it's hard to blame Niko too much. She didn't want to get too close to the edge of the pier, but after slowly working her closer and closer, she didn't mind too much. As for her commands, she did great! She was Heeling through fairly large crowds of people with zero issue.
Niko and I went to Almansor Park today for training! She did a great job with all of her commands. There weren't too many distractions today, however there was a period of time when the school next door had recess at the park, so the park became flooded with children for a short time. Several of them approached Niko and wanted to pet her, and she sat very nicely for them while she received pets! Very proud of her. For Niko's video today, I wanted to show some of the manners we've been working on. For door manners, I want Niko to sit patiently when the front door opens, without trying to rush out. We work on this each time we leave and come home, so she's gotten pretty good at it! For car manners, I want Niko to hop into my car and walk directly into her kennel when asked. At first, Niko had a bit of trouble jumping up, but after she got used to the Place command and gained some confidence, she started nailing it every time! No potty accidents!
Niko went to Santa Anita Mall today! It was quite crowded, but Niko nailed her commands. She was a little nervous, but managed to remain calm for most of the day. No major issues today, she walked by a few dogs without incident. For her video today, I wanted to show some more of the manners we've been working on. For Niko's food manners, I want her to sit patiently when I put food in front of her, and wait for me to release her to enjoy her meal. She really loves the chicken she gets, so this one took some time to perfect! For Niko's greeting manners, I want her to politely sit when approached by a stranger without jumping, backing away, or moving toward the person. Niko likes people, so the most difficult part for her has been not trying to move closer to the person for cuddles. No potty accidents today!