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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Pennyrico | French Bulldog | Culver City, CA | In-Training

Meet Pennyrico! He is a six month old French Bulldog who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Pennyrico is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, jumping to greet, and potty training. The goal for Pennyrico is to have proper leash manners while on walks, as he has a tendency of shutting down, and only walking when he feels like it. Over the next fourteen days, Pennyrico will be working on his behavior and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well mannered pup. Check in to see his progress!


Pennyrico and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other. We began to go for a walk to establish a bond, but Pennyrico did not want to walk. He would stiffen up his paws and go into a down, which is understandable as I am a complete stranger to him. When working with pups, patience is key. To get Pennyrico to walk, I introduced him to leash pressure. We worked with a slip lead, and when he came to a complete stop, I applied slight tension, and released it once he made his way towards me. Once he reaches me, I reward him with praise, which helps in motivating him to continue performing his behavior. I also introduced him to his recall which is known as come to sit. It will consist of having Pennyrico come towards my right, go around behind me, and sit on my left. By using leash tension as guidance, Pennyrico began to understand what I was asking, and did pretty well in our session. We then took a water break, drove home, and he is now settling into his new environment for the next fourteen days.


Pennyrico and I drove out to a local park and worked on more leash conditioning. He has made a little progress, and is responding a lot better than his first day. Today, I was able to introduce Pennyrico to heel, which consists of having him walk beside me on my left side. As we were walking initially, he tried to pull ahead of me a couple of times. To keep him from doing so, I turned, walked in the opposite direction, and guided him towards me with leash tension. Pennyrico is understanding the concept, and he is following through. I will continue to practice heel with him, as it will now be applied on every walk that we go on from here on out. Pennyrico did very well his first night here, and slept through the night in his crate. I have also been monitoring him throughout the day, and he has had no accidents at all.


Pennyrico and I worked on place today. Place consists of having Pennyrico getting onto a designated object and remaining there in a sit or a down. It can be of great use when guests are over, or if there is a knock on your door. To make Pennyrico comfortable with what I was asking, we began with low level objects. Starting with low-level objects allows your pup to gain confidence in successfully completing the command before moving on to more challenging items. With easier objects and gradually increasing the difficulty, you provide a clear progression for Pennyrico to follow, making it easier for him to learn and understand the command. It helps prevent frustration in him if he is unable to perform the command with more challenging items right away. We worked on my small steps in my front yard, and once I saw consistency after a few reps, I paired the word “place,” with the behavior. We then moved on to a slightly higher object which I consider my place box, and although he was a little hesitant at first, I was able to work him through it. When introducing him to a new object, there will be times in which Pennyrico will not want to place. It is important for us as owners to remain patient and work at our pup’s pace. If he places one paw on the object, take it as a win, release him with a “break,” and give him lots of praise. The more positive encouragement you reward him with, the more it motivates him to perform the behavior for you. He is doing well with the objects we have practiced on, and considering his size, I will only have him place on objects that are within his reach.


Pennyrico and I have been working on his down. It can be the most difficult command to teach a dog considering it being a submissive position, which can make a dog vulnerable being down on all fours. To teach Pennyrico, I asked him to place on my place box and asked him to sit. Once in a sit position, I used leash tension to guide him towards the ground. Any slight intent that Pennyrico made towards going down was rewarded with lots of praise. Like I mentioned before, patience is key. It is important to work at your puppy's pace when teaching a command like down, since puppies in general learn at a different rate and have their own comfort level with new behaviors. By working at Pennyrico’s pace, you can ensure that the training process is positive and stress free for him, leading to better results in the long run. Pushing a puppy too quickly can cause confusion, frustration, and resistance to learning. Patience and consistency are key when teaching new commands to puppies. He has done well accomplishing his down at home, and it was also great to see him work on it in a public setting. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!


Pennyrico and I worked on all of his commands today. He was having trouble with his come to sit, as he would sit far off to the left. I did a little reconditioning by working next to a wall and using it as a barrier. After a few reps, Pennyrico began to follow through, so we moved away and practiced without the use of the wall, and he did really well. He is also doing pretty good with his stationary positions, and now that he has learned all of his commands, Pennyrico and I will begin working on extending his sit, place, and down as we introduce distance and duration.


Pennyrico and I worked on his stationary positions by adding distance and duration with a long line. We worked on it in five second increments. For one foot back, I waited five seconds before releasing him with a “break.” Once Pennyrico showed consistency, I then moved two feet back and waited ten seconds. He did come out of his sit a few times, so I reset him, and restarted the session back to one foot back. He did really well, and now that he is following through, I am able to move about four or five feet back, and I am also able to walk around him. With week one coming to a close, I am looking forward to making more progress with Pennyrico in his final week.


Pennyrico and I went out and did a little shopping. We worked on his distance and duration a little more with people serving as a distraction. He did very well and did not try to veer off and interact with people as they passed by. Practicing distance and duration around distractions can help Pennyrico focus on you more despite the environment around him. It can help reduce unwanted behaviors and improve his obedience. Exposing him to various distractions in a controlled manner helps Pennyrico become more socialized and adaptable to different situations, people, and animals. This can lead to a more well rounded and confident adult dog. Developing a foundation of obedience and focus early on will make it easier to train your Pennyrico in the future. It sets the stage for more advanced training, and helps prevent behavior problems down the line.


Pennyrico and I drove out to a local park and worked on some leash dragging exercises. By working with his leash dragging, it allows me to quickly regain control of Pennyrico if he tries to run off or get distracted during our training sessions. We began in my backyard since it is an enclosed area, and once there was consistency with Pennyrico, I was comfortable enough to take him to a park. He did really well but he tried to veer off to the left a little while working on heel. With the use of the e-collar stim and a verbal heel, Pennyrico came back into position. Now that he is demonstrating consistent understanding with the leash dragging, in the coming days I will be working on transitioning Pennyrico to practice off leash and adding more distractions, as he begins preparation for his final.


Pennyrico and I worked on his place a little more. He was having some trouble initially, and would walk under the object rather than placing on it. To help him overcome that, I picked up his leash, and guided him with tension onto the object. We repeated a few times, and once he was consistent, I dropped the leash and restarted the session. It took Pennyrico a few tries, but with a running start, I was able to have him follow through. He is doing very well, and I am very close to having Pennyrico begin working off leash.


Pennyrico and I have been working on his door manners. I have been practicing with Pennyrico by having him go into a sit or a down before I open any door. Once in position, I proceed to open a door, and if Pennyrico sits up, I close the door and repeat the process as needed. Once the door is open and he remains in position, I went through the door, had him wait a few seconds, then released him to go through. I have been gradually increasing his duration along with distance with his long line, and by remaining consistent, we have been working on it off leash. Pennyrico is doing very well, and can now wait for his release before going through any door.


Pennyrico and I have been working on his greeting manners. Anytime someone approached Pennyrico, he would get up and try to interact with them. To keep him from doing so, we have practiced on a leash throughout his program, and has learned that he is to remain in a sit or a down when being approached. If he sits up, I would kindly ask that person to take a step back while I reset him and repeat the exercise. Once he is being greeted, always keep an eye on him to make sure he remains in his stationary position. With consistency and repetition, Pennyrico has been following through with his greeting manners, and has learned to do so in a calm relaxed state.


When working with Pennyrico, remember that it should be fun and positive, as it creates a strong bond between you and him, making Pennyrico more eager to learn and follow through. Positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and playtime, help motivate him and build his confidence. By making training enjoyable, Pennyrico will be more engaged, responsive, and willing to participate in learning new behaviors. This approach also fosters a trusting and loving relationship between you and your furry friend.


Throughout Pennyrico’s training program, I mentioned consistency a lot, as it is key in helping Pennyrico succeed. Consistency helps him understand what is expected of him. By using the same cues, commands, and expectations, you are effectively communicating with Pennyrico and strengthening desired behaviors. Dogs thrive on routine and structure, so consistency in training helps establish a predictable routine that your dog can rely on, leading to a sense of security and stability. It helps build trust between you and your dog. When he knows what to expect from you, he is more likely to feel secure and trust your guidance. By adding repetition, you are helping Pennyrico learn more quickly and effectively. Inconsistency can confuse him and lead to frustration for both you and him. By remaining consistent, you can avoid mixed signals and ensure that he understands what is expected in various situations. Overall, it promotes clear communication, routine, trust, faster learning, and prevents confusion. By staying consistent in your training efforts, you are setting Pennyrico up for success and strengthening your bond with him.


Pennyrico has completed his Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for trusting me with Pennyrico while he was under my care, and for giving me the opportunity in being his trainer. I enjoyed his companionship and he will truly be missed. He is a very smart pup and is capable of so much more. Keep up with his training, and remember to keep it positive, but most of all have fun. His final video will be coming soon, but here is a sneak peek at Pennyrico off leash at Santa Monica. Thank you Pennyrico!



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