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  • Writer's pictureReine Melnick

Otis| German Shepherd/ Husky mix | Los Angeles, CA| In-Training

Meet Otis, a 9 month old German Shepherd /Husky mix from Los Angeles, CA! He will be joining us for a Two Week Board and Train program. Otis is a very sweet, goofy, playful pup who loves affection! During his stay with us, he will be learning basic obedience, offleash manners, crate training, and learning to use the bathroom outside! Stay tuned for his two week transformation!


Pupdate 2/16/22

Today Otis and I spent most of the day just hanging out walking around the neighborhood so that he could get comfortable and understand his new surroundings! During our walk, if I put any leash pressure on him he would start vocalizing loudly . I decided to do his introduction to his basic commands inside to not disrupt the neighbors. He did pretty well besides the vocalizations to leash pressure. I believe this is due to him being on a front clip harness. So, I am likely going to train him on a slip lead to try and reduce his vocalizations! Other than that, he was a very good boy and has been pretty quiet in his crate!


Pupdate 2/17/22

Today Otis and I continued working on his basic obedience indoors due to him being super vocal when asked to do anything! We did end up taking some small walks around the neighborhood just to let him explore his surroundings a little bit more! The only real times he gets really vocal would be when I am teaching him his commands or if he is overly excited. We also did work on his crate manners this morning and he has gotten a lot better at going into his crate! So far making baby steps each day!


Pupdate 2/18/22

Today we primarily focused on Come, Heel, and Down in my neighborhood due to Otis being super vocal during his training sessions. He was still pretty vocal but relaxed after 20 minutes. Once he relaxed a bit, we went to a quiet park close by and continued working on Down, Place, and Come. He did pretty well! I have noticed that Otis gets really stressed out by loud noises and gets super fixated on people that are out walking around. Other than that, Otis has been really good and learning a lot!


Pupdate 2/19/22

Today we continued working on heel, place, down, and come at home before going out in public. Since Otis was pretty good inside the home, I decided to take him to Petco and practice slowly out in a semi public place. He started out really well but showed signs of fear when a worker was moving big things near by. Since he was nervous, I decided to move to an isle and put Otis in a down to try and get him relaxed again, however once he got into that “flight” mindset it was very hard for him to settle back down and focus. I decided to end out session and go back home and work on his training at my house. I will be working on desensitizing Otis as best as I can during his board and train. This will need to be continued as well once he goes home after.


Pupdate 2/20/22

Today Otis and I split our day into two parts, first part of the day we worked on his basic commands such as Heel, Down, Place, and Come while at my house. The reason for this choice was because knowing and witnessing his flight response to anything that startles or spooks him, I wanted to try and keep his mind calm and focused so that Otis is making progress in his commands and training. The second part of the day we went out to Home Depot and worked on exposure and desensitization to loud noises. In my video I started out like a typical training session, where I begin Otis in a heel, and head over to the lumber section. I make sure that before we get there, that Otis is in a calm and relaxed state of mind. Once we get close enough to the lumber section, Otis instantly reacts and tries to escape once the people start loading and moving things around. Otis probably reacted for about 30 seconds before he calmed down enough to sit. Once he calmed down for a minute, I continued walking through and he tried to bolt a few more times. After we left the lumber area, I decided to put Otis on place and let him decompress and process everything while still having him performing a task. Once Otis calmed down, I released him and gave him tons of praise for pushing though his fear while still trying to cooperate. I personally believe that Otis in those moments of fear, goes into survival mode and believes that running away or at least “trying” to escape is the best option for him. I will be splitting each day into two parts much like today, morning relaxed basic obedience training and in the second half of the day working on exposure work.


Pupdate 2/21/22

This morning Otis and I worked on basic obedience at a quiet park by my house. He was very focused and did very well! With little to no distractions, Otis performs extremely well and doesn’t have any tantrums and is eager to work. Later in the day, I decided to take Otis to my outdoor mall which is usually mellow and not super crowded. In the video I go through what is happening and why he reacts the way he does. It was super windy and Otis began displaying his typical fear response. I decided to place him against a wall where he was able to stop and process what was actually happening in the environment around him. Once he calmed down, we went home and gave him a break to process and relax from everything in our training session.


Pupdate 2/22/22

This morning Otis and I worked on all of his basic obedience near my house and he was very focused and calm! Later we went to Santa Monica Promenade to work on his exposure to the outside world. He started out pretty well but quickly became overwhelmed and panicky. He got nervous due to there being loud noises and people walking around. We spent probably 30 minutes working Otis through his stress before he was able to calm himself down. After he calmed down, he was still very much on alert and hyper aware of everything that was around. Once we got home, I gave him a break to decompress before working him some more at home where he is more focused.


Pupdate 2/23/22

Today we started the morning with a training session near my house with not very many distractions. He did really well and very responsive. He did get spooked a couple times at cars driving by or someone laughing but was able to regain himself. Later we went to Jann’s Marketplace to work on mild exposure training. He started out really well and was paying attention but got overly nervous and alert once something startled him. Once he got in that mindset, we went home to let him regain his composure. After a couple hours we went to do some confidence/exposure work in Petco where he started out strong and did most of his commands but his fear of loud noises overwhelmed him. Before ending the session, I wanted him to go into a sit for a few seconds so he ends the session on a good note. Afterwards we went home and relaxed for the rest of the night!


Pupdate 2/24/22

Today we started the morning like usual with basic obedience in my driveway then we met up with other trainer at a recreational park. I worked on his heel, down, come, and sit. He did really well so I wanted to push his capabilities by having Otis work with another trainer. I wanted to see how well he would perform with someone different. Otis started really well but had a minor tantrum when asked to stay in a duration place. I noticed that he doesn’t like staying stationary for long periods of time because it causes him to get in his head and over analyze his surroundings. After he was released and started heeling, Otis was better but still hyper aware and alert about his surroundings.


Pupdate 1/25/22

This morning we worked in the neighborhood and practiced putting all of Otis’s commands together! He was very focused and on top of all of his commands. Later we went to Simi Valley Mall and practiced all of his commands. Otis started out pretty good and very focused but once the wind picked up and there were people scrubbing the ground, he started getting restless but was better than before!


Pupdate 1/26/22

Today we did our usual routine of morning work session at home before heading out to some enclosed tennis courts! He was pretty good while there but got a bit spooked when people started playing tennis close by. He was able to refocus and finish the session pretty strong! Later we worked on door manners and food manner. He overall has been doing really good in his training but his expose will still be work in progress and will need to be continued after he goes home Sunday!


Pupdate 1/27/22

Today we did our routine of starting the morning with a training session at home and he was very well behaved! We then went to Valencia Mall to work on exposure training, but once we got there Otis got very stressed out with the wind, kids running around, and cars driving by. He started having his usual vocal temper tantrum and wasn’t willing to listen to his commands. We decided to try and go to Jann’s Marketplace because he has been there before, but once he got out of the car Otis got anxious and started having a vocal tantrum. He kept trying to bolt while on leash and couldn’t focus to anything I was asking him to do. We decided to cut the session short and go home to try and have a productive training session. Once we got home and started working, he was super happy to work and even playful.


Pupdate 1/28/22

Today we started this morning with a mellow training session! Otis has been doing great while there are very little distractions and listens! Afterwards we went to Simi Valley Mall to try working his with some mild distractions, and he started pretty good until the wind picked up, which stressed him out. He was also spooked while a small kid was running around. We decided to go work at a park near my house that is more mellow and he performed pretty well.


Pupdate 1/29/22

Today we had a mellow training day and primarily worked in parks with either no distractions or very minor distractions. I wanted to set him up for as much success as possible for tomorrow! He did great and was very focused to commands given! We also hung out at the house and worked on staying calm around the house while I cleaned my home. He was very relaxed and wasn’t too bothered by me sweeping and dusting!


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