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  • Writer's pictureAlexx Rodriguez

Oreo | Bernedoodle | Stevenson Ranch, CA | In Training

Introducing Oreo, the vivacious Bernedoodle coming from Stevenson Ranch, CA! She's undeniably sweet and affectionate, but her walks often involve some enthusiastic pulling. Oreo's energy extends to her eagerness to play with other dogs and her tendency to climb up on people when greeting them. At the moment, maintaining calm composure during visits is a bit challenging for her, and her owners are on a mission to minimize her barking. Despite her initial overexcitement, Oreo's inherent friendliness makes her a charming companion, and we're excited to share her journey through our transformative two-week board and train program. Stay tuned for updates on Oreo's progress!

 

Pupdate 11/12/23


Today, we brought Oreo into our home and started assessing her skills. It's clear that Oreo is an affectionate and gentle girl, yet she tends to get overly excited and playful. There's room for improvement in her heeling and greeting manners. We also introduced Oreo to the household, letting her explore and adjust to the new environment. Though initially hesitant, she eventually relaxed and embraced her new living quarters. I'm eager for Oreo's transformative journey—stay tuned.

 

Pupdate 11/13/23

Today in the morning, Oreo was hesitant  when entering and exiting the kennel, so I stayed outside, offering pets and treats until she gained confidence and revealed her lively energy.  Took some time but she emerged her lively and colorful self.


While walking her outside my home, I immediately introduced heeling rules and incorporated corrective u-turns in the driveway to reinforce the desired behaviors. (The goal is to have her walk beside me with her ear to my hip so that she is focused on me)


I decided that breaking  the training into short sessions throughout the day, help towards my aim  of associating outings with both excitement and obedience. Although obedience is the primary focus, I wanted Oreo to perceive training as a fun adventure. Using treats to build trust, it didn't take long for her to enjoy my company.


We later introduced commands like "down," "place," and "sit," and she performed them well, but we plan to gradually introduce more distractions as she is a happy and enthusiastic learner.


Our adventure is already off to a great start and we’re having so much fun getting to know each other. I can tell Oreo is a gem, and I can’t wait to  see what lies ahead. Stay tuned for more!

 

Puodate 11/14/23

Today, I took Oreo to West Covina Mall. The mall offered a busy environment for training. She wasn't quite ready to train inside the mall, so we mostly trained outside where she could feel more confident


Heeling Drills: Before venturing into environments requiring a straight line, I ran heeling drills to ensure Oreo focused on me. Walking straight is challenging without mastering heeling, so practicing in a busy but less demanding place was crucial.


Place Commands: "Place" commands are vital; I want Oreo to confidently get on any platform. This not only reinforces obedience but also teaches her to relax amid high-distraction environments. The ability to do nothing is crucial, especially for dogs prone to impulsive behaviors (like Oreo).


Down Cues: Teaching Oreo to "down" on cue, especially on elevated platforms, is important. Combining "down" and "place" helps her learn to relax as people and dogs pass by.


After each successful session:

Break Time: Teaching the "break" cue is essential to maintain a fun-loving environment. It serves as a reward system, allowing Oreo time for obedience and play, reinforcing positive behavior.


Exposure Training: Exposing Oreo to various stimuli is a must. Despite encountering other dogs, she behaved well enough for me to regain control. Allowing her to sit and soak up the environment is a valuable part of exposure training


Over all Oreo had an amazing day and honed in on some vital skills that we will continue to develop. Stay tuned for more!

 

Pupdate 11/15/23

Today, Oreo and I revisited the mall, though my original plan was to head to a park for some distraction training among other dogs. Weather constraints shifted my plans.


Before leaving, we practiced essential cues at home, including the "place" cue with my other dogs. Oreo initially showed eager excitement, but with gentle reminders, she settled into displaying proper manners.


At the mall, we focused on maintaining all cues. Despite Oreo's usual excitement leading to occasional cue breaks, she impressively held them for up to two minutes today. This marks a significant improvement, especially considering

her previous tendency to get overly excited when people passed by. On platforms, she displays some uncertainty and "downs" with timid body language. I believe consistent exposure and positive reinforcement will boost her confidence on platforms over time.


Her "come to sit" cues requires special attention and will be the primary focus of tomorrow's training session. While she is beginning to grasp the concept, a noticeable lack of confidence causes her to sit at a distance. This behavior is also evident when she exits her kennels. However, it's not a major concern, and positive reinforcements and treats have been effective. While I don't use treats during the training session itself, incorporating them at the session's start and end aids in building trust and strengthening our bond. The goal is to avoid creating a dependency on treats and maintain a balanced approach to training. Stay tuned for

more!

 

Pupdate 11/16/23

Today, we brought Oreo to a park featuring a lengthy track for heeling. The park also had a exercise platforms, providing an opportunity for confidence-building and reinforcing her "place" cue. Despite Oreo's usual shakiness, she adapted well to these benches designed for sitting rather than lying down.

Amidst ample reinforcement and praise, Oreo conquered sitting on the platforms, gradually becoming eager to get back on them. Then, we focused on reinforcing all her cues and extending duration, addressing challenges like maintaining a "sit" despite her enthusiasm, often requiring leash pressure for compliance.

We incorporated leash dragging exercises, alternating between using leash pressure. Oreo's performance varied, aligning with our training expectations. To cap off the day, we let her run freely through a grassy field, joining in for a breif run, leaving her thoroughly content and tired.

 

Puldate 11/17/23

Today, we took Oreo to the Santa Monica Pier for exposure training and cue work. Oreo performed well, but the busy city made her a bit anxious, particularly when asked to go on top of a designated "place." She also showed a lack of confidence descending stairs, revealing Oreo's fear of heights. As her trainer, addressing this fear is crucial, so we repeatedly navigated stairs and had Oreo "place" on elevated surfaces with leash tension. Gradually, she gained confidence, making it a successful day. Also, we worked on her manners and jumping on people. She got plenty of praise and love from strangers and was consistently reminded to mind her manners. She did so well today.


Oreo needs to continue her progress, especially in busy environments, where regression occurs. Additionally exposure and generalization training will ensure her progression.

 

Pupdate 11/18/23

Today, I brought Oreo to the park for training in a stimulating environment. The focus was on addressing her fear of heights without using the E collar. Instead, I patiently applied leash tension, encouraging her to lift herself onto the designated object. It took a few attempts, but with positive reinforcement and patience, she grasped the idea. Despite displaying anxiety, I kept the atmosphere light, offering praise. We progressed to reinforcing cue duration, correcting her excited interruptions by gently redirecting and having her redo the requested cues until she settled and grasped the concept.


Back home she did a bit better when lured with treats. I tried to alternate giving her treats and giving her praise however she will need more treat luring to build her confidence. This will be the top priority for the rest of the week.


 

Pupdate 11/19/23


Today, Oreo had an exciting day. We began with basic obedience at home and then headed to a Dog Park for exposure training. Unfortunately, she's not allowed inside but she is allowed to heel outside of the vicinity so that she can work to her distractibility. Next, we visited City Hall to work "place" command with elevated surfaces.


Over the past few days, Oreo struggled with the "place" command, but with positive reinforcement and treats, she eventually mastered it.


We had to work on surfaces that did not feel like elevated surfaces like curbs, stairs, etc.

Celebrating her success, we eventually got her to confidently navigate high surfaces and heel on them.


Initially, it took leash guidance and tension to walk on elevated surfaces, but after consistent encouragement and celebrations, she gained the confidence to do it independently. Each time she followed the cue, we threw a big party for her, and she responded with excitement and happiness. Oreo's progress today is something to be proud of, and I'm thrilled to witness this significant improvement in her abilities.


 

Pupdate 11/20/23

(Please hear audio)

Today, Oreo's day began with a relaxing walk through the neighborhood, where she showed her impressive heeling skills. I aimed to embrace the morning with joy, so that her evening training started with the same enthusiastic energy.

Later, we visited the mall, focusing on cues like "place" and "come to sit."


We then worked through the mall's outskirts, and continued refining these cues, showing significant improvement towards the end. Oreo had the chance to unwind on an elevated surface as people passed by, I wanted her to soak up the environment with ease and relaxation.Eventually, we returned home for dinner and some relaxation in my living room.

 

Pupdate 11/21/22

Today we took Oreo to the park to work on all her cues. Her “come to sit” needs work but I'm certain we will perfect it soon. It usually starts off sloppy then gradually improves as she burns off excess energy. She has a tendency to sit too forward or too behind or get lost behind me. We want to assure she sits to my left side, ears to my hip, feet aligned with mine.


Her training consisted of working on cues, followed by her “break” cue where she was allowed to run free and wild. She has a great time doing this and it serves as a great reward system. As she continued her day, she improved on her cues and duration.    

Back home, we did more of the same, and allowed her to rest on her cot in the living room. She loves being around people and wags her tail all day long. The day then concluded with dinner and play time.


 

Pupdate 11/22/23

Today, we focused on Oreo's cues, and she's nearly ready to head home. In the meantime, we'll continue polishing her skills, enjoying our time together, and playing as much as we can. By the day's end, Oreo was quite tired and chose to relax in her kennel instead of staying with me. I rewarded her with treats and allowed her to rest. While she's not solely relying on treats for cues, I still provide ample treats to let her know she's a good girl.

 

Pupdate 11/23/23

Today, we visited a baseball field to test Oreo's focus amidst a crowd. In the holiday spirit, I brought plenty of treats to reward her for excellent behavior. Despite occasional slip-ups, she quickly resumed executing cues exceptionally well. There were enjoyable breaks where she sprinted through the field at full speed. Our time with Oreo was fantastic, as usual. Upon returning home, she relaxed on the living room cot, maintaining good manners while observing everyone.

 

Pupdate 11/24/23

Today, Oreo enjoyed lounging and relaxing in the living room. We even watched a movie together while maintaining her "place" cue. I let my little dogs run around, testing Oreo's impulse control because I know how excited she gets around dogs. Of course, she did great! We then worked on refining her manners including door, food, and car door manners.

Last night, she also had opportunities to demonstrate good manners without jumping on people. Oreo is doing exceptionally well, and I'm proud of her. However, it's crucial to approach her with a calm demeanor, considering her naturally excited nature. Greeting her when she's relaxed and

well-mannered is essential to avoid overexcitement.

 

Pupdate 11/25/23

Today, we visited Santa Anita Mall to shoot our final video. Oreo showcased her impeccable skills, impressing the world. Her remarkable journey has been filled with cherished moments, laughter, playtime, work, and so much progress. As I spend my last night with Oreo, I'm left with wonderful memories.


Dear Oreo, thank you for an incredible journey. Wishing you the best life possible.


With love,

Alexx Rodríguez

Off Leash Socal


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