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Oakley | Great Dane | Stevenson Ranch, CA | In Training

Meet Oakley! She's a seven month old Great Dane from Stevenson Ranch, California here for our Two-Week Board and Train Program! Oakley is super sweet but becomes very nervous in new places and around new people, especially men. She loves dogs and other animals so she'll stop at nothing to get to play with and chase them! She's getting much larger and she doesn't know her own strength, so pulling on her leash is becoming a huge problem. She also needs work on her basic commands and manners. Over the next fourteen days, we'll build Oakley's confidence, tighten up her obedience skills, work on her manners in and out of the house, work on her impulse control, and show her how to be the best pup she can possibly be! Stay tuned for Oakley's two week transformation!


Pupdate: 6/17/2024

After picking up Oakley, we spent some time at the park getting to know each other! She was a little skiddish around me at first, as well as other people at the park.

In the above video you can see me simply asking for some basic commands. Oakley was a little too nervous to perform commands for me, but she started giving me a very hesitant Sit after a while.

Once we got home, I let Oakley sniff around my home and tried to get her comfortable. She's doing a much better job relaxing at home than at the park and she is starting to like me! She also met my personal dog and they seem to be getting along well so far!

I also fitted Oakley with an E-collar, pictured above, and I'm uploading a tutorial video on how the device works!


Pupdate: 6/18/2024

Oakley and I went to Almansor Park today for her first full day of training! It was warm in the afternoon so we went a few minutes at a time throughout the day. This gave us plenty of time at home to relax since she is still getting used to me and this new environment. She's starting to open up little by little, although she growled at me when I first started putting on her E collar and prong collar.

At the park, she was scanning the environment frequently, even when we were in isolated areas with few distractions. When someone walked by, it was very difficult for her to not look.

Her Heel command is starting to take shape, and she's doing a good job of walking with me, although she wants to stay a couple feet to my left most of the time. Ideally, I want her head right at my left hip. She's doing a good job, I think it will be easier for her once she fully trusts me!


Pupdate: 6/19/2024

Oakley and I went to the park to continue her work! She still growls at me when we first start the day, but once she gets moving she warms up to me. Still a lot of nerves while out and about.

Her commands are coming along well, however. She's starting to pay attention to me as we walk and she's starting get used to being by my side. We also started working on her Come To Sit command. For this command, I want her to come to my right side, walk around my legs and sit at my left side with her ears at my hip. She's getting the motion of this command, she just tends to take her time getting started.


Pupdate: 6/20/2024

Oakley and I went to Santa Monica Pier today for training! It was nice to be closer to the ocean breeze. She did a much better job than I thought she would. She was very nervous for most of our outing. The increased distractions, however, seemed to make her appreciate me more, leading to her sticking a little closer to me than she has been. We worked on each basic command, but spent a lot of time on her Place and Down commands. For Place, I want Oakley to hop onto an object, such as a bench, and remain there until I either release her from command or ask her to perform a new command. While out in public, this can be a great confidence building exercise, which Oakley needs plenty of. At home, we can also use this command with her bed or a place cot. Giving her a specific spot inside that she knows is hers and goes to when asked can make everyday situations a lot more manageable. I love to use this command when I need to cook or clean, or if I'm expecting guests!


Pupdate: 6/21/2024

Oakley and I went to Santa Monica Pier today for training! This weekend is going to be very hot so we got as much outside time today as possible before the weekend. Her nerves are still showing, and it's tough for her to relax, but she's growing every day and doing well with her commands!

Oakley had an accident in her crate right after we went back inside. She got into the bathtub pretty easily, but snapped at me when I was washing her paws off. We spent some time relaxing together and she definitely likes me, but strange situations still make her extremely nervous.


Pupdate: 6/22/2024

Oakley and I went to Almansor Park today for training! I started trying to work on her commands with the leash dragging. Allowing the leash to drag gives me some idea of how she might perform off leash while still having access to the leash should I need it. So far, she's willing to perform the motions of her commands without the leash in my hand, however, her reluctance to come close to me is leading to her giving me a wide berth when heeling and sitting next to me. For these commands, I need to pick up the leash every time and guide her close to me. I've tried using her food to lure her close to me, but she doesn't seem interested. We'll be going to an indoor location tomorrow while it's hot, and continue working with the leash dragging, her ability to safely go off leash with me will depend on how she does tomorrow! On the bright side, I believe today is the first day Oakley hasn't growled at me at all!


Pupdate: 6/23/2024

Oakley and I went to Home Depot today for training! She was still quite nervous but she did much better than yesterday. The number of times I have to pick up the leash to help her positioning is decreasing by a lot. I'm still going to take my time and be very cautious, but I believe she is well on her way to working off leash.

She got distracted and nervous when loud carts passed us throughout the store, but she stuck with me well for the most part.

In other news, Oakley actually came out of her shell a little more today! So far, she's been tolerant and well behaved around my personal dog, but hasn't wanted to play. She finally gave the play bow and started playing with us of her own volition! This is awesome because it means her comfort level is rising greatly, it has just taken longer than expected.


Pupdate: 7/24/2024

Oakley and I went back to Home Depot today to avoid the heat during the day! She continued working on her leash dragging commands and continued progressing well! The distractions are starting to make her less nervous, although she still tends to look around any time something in the environment changes.

While at home, Oakley did a good job of opening up and playing with me more, but also did a great job of being respectful and staying put on her place cot when asked. Once the sun started going down, we went to the park for some additional exercise.


Pupdate: 6/25/2024

Oakley and I went to Whittier Narrows Park today for training! We continued working on her commands with the leash dragging. We were there with a lot of other trainers and their dogs. After some warm up time, she did a pretty good job, although she was doing her best to avoid walking near men and often wanted to go towards the women. She's doing great with her commands, but is still having trouble getting comfortable around new people, specifically new men. To try to help this, we had other male trainers work with her which you can see at the end of the above video. With this trainer, she did well with her commands, but growled at him once he tried dropping the leash to do the commands leash dragging. This exercise was great for her, and also for me to see where she still needs time and work!


Pupdate: 6/26/2024

Oakley and I went to Almansor Park today for training! We spent much of the day inside working on her indoor manners while the temperature was high. She spent some quality time with me and my personal dog, both playing and relaxing. She's done great getting along with other dogs, although it takes a lot of time for her to warm up and want to play at all.


Oakley and I went to Almansor Park today for training in the morning and evening, and stayed home in the afternoon. We worked on her manners while at home, specifically her door manners!

For door manners, I want Oakley to wait patiently when the door opens, without trying to run through. Ideally, the door opening should be a nonevent, and not an invitation to go through. This goes for leaving and arriving home, as well as any other thresholds such as gates and fences. Oakley hasn't tried to fully run out, but she would often try to push through before me instead of waiting for my okay or heeling out with me. We practice this each time we go through the door by asking her to sit for at least a few seconds before walking through together. She doesn't necessarily have to be sitting. She can be placed on her bed, sitting or laying down. She's doing much better with this now!


Pupdate: 6/28/2024

Oakley and I spent the day in and out of the house going to the park and back. A couple times we walked with the new puppy I just picked up. Oakley is in love with him. All she wants to do is play with the new puppy. This was great, not only because it's always nice to see Oakley come out of her shell, but also because it was good practice. While in her super playful mood, she was a lot less inclined to heel politely with me and stay on her place cot when asked. Adding this extra distraction around the house that she really likes has been great for testing her and pushing her training further!


Pupdate: 6/29/2024

Oakley and I went to Santa Anita Mall today for training! It was very busy and Oakley needed a few minutes to get comfortable. She did well at sticking close to me and performing her commands reliably. Despite her nervousness, she also did much better with her greeting manners. At a certain point, she had a whole line of people wanting to compliment her or pet her. For the first couple people she ducked away and tried to hide behind me, but with a lot of encouragement she started politely sitting to receive all the attention!


Pupdate: 6/30/2024

Oakley and I spent most of our day inside and at the park in the morning and evening. For her video today, I wanted to show more of the manners we've been working on! For her food manners/food refusal, I want to be able to place food in front of her without her feeling the need to grab it. This can make feeding time more manageable but can also be a great safety measure to prevent her from eating something dropped accidentally. I definitely don't want Oakley eating the fried chicken in the above video for example, and practicing this impulse control will help to keep her safe.

For her car manners, I want Oakley to wait patiently when I open the car, but then hop in when asked and walk directly into her crate.

Oakley will be going home tomorrow, and I am so proud of how much her confidence has grown! She's been a pleasure to have and I will miss her when she leaves.


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