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Primrose | Shih Tzu | Los Angeles, CA| In- Training

Meet Primrose! She's a ten-month-old Shih Tzu from Los Angeles, CA, and she's here for our Three-Week Board and Train Program. Primrose is facing some challenges with barking, nipping, and jumping on people. She has had a few occasions when she would growl at the tiny humans when they had a toy she wanted. During her stay, our main focus will be on addressing these tendencies while also teaching her to remain composed and calm around people. We aim to guide her to become an integrated part of the family, both inside and outside the house. Moreover, we will be working on enhancing her basic obedience skills. Stay tuned for the amazing transformation she'll undergo during these three weeks!


Pupdate 08/06/23

Primrose settled comfortably in the crate on the way home. Throughout the day, we had the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with each other. After picking her up, we enjoyed a short walk and visited a park to assess her existing skills. It turns out she already knows some of her basic commands. She knows a "come" command and has a basic understanding of "sit" and "down." We will work on solidifying those commands. Additionally, her response to leash pressure is good. She had a chance to explore her new surroundings and was able to settle down at home. We're excited to continue building on her existing knowledge and see her progress even further!


Pupdate 08/07/23

Today, we headed to an LA park for a training session. There, she had the opportunity to experience a mini water park, playground, children playing, and other dogs. Although she exhibited slight excitement around other dogs, with gentle leash pressure and calling her name, she promptly refocused on us. We concentrated on reinforcing her "come to sit" and "heel" commands. While she initially hesitated to maneuver around me for the "come to sit," she swiftly caught on after a few repetitions, allowing us to gradually introduce her to the e-collar.

Following a rest post-park session, I worked on her "place" command indoors. I approached her cot, guiding her onto it. The moment all her paws were settled on the cot, I marked the action with a "yes" and rewarded her. As I was focusing on establishing the behavior rather than extending its duration, I immediately released her using her designated release word, "break."

My aim for her is to master the "place" command, enabling her to coexist with the family without being overly excitable all the time.


Pupdate 08/08/23

This morning, we engaged in playtime with Primrose using the flirt pole. A flirt pole is essentially a stick with a string attached, featuring a toy at its end. It serves as an excellent outlet for dogs to exercise and have fun. Primrose had a blast chasing after the toy.

The rest of the day was dedicated to refining her commands: "come to sit," "heel," and "sit." She's becoming more at ease with the "come" command, circling around me smoothly, and is starting to grasp the concept of walking on a specific side during "heel." We also worked on "place". I had her getting onto "place" on different objects in different locations to build up a generalization for that behavior. She's starting to need less guidance for the command.

I've begun introducing the "down" command at home, which tends to be a bit more challenging for dogs to comprehend. I observed that although she initially rolls onto her side or back, some leash guidance helped me achieve a few instances of her correctly assuming the "down" position. It's crucial to only reward them when they're in the correct stance, to avoid reinforcing the wrong position. Instead, ensure to reset and guide them into the accurate position before offering rewards.


Pupdate 08/09/23

Today, we continued refining her commands for "sit," "heel," and "come to sit" once again. Her progress is notable, although she still requires some leash guidance initially. However, after a brief warm-up, she readily assumes the "come to sit" position. Her "sit" command is becoming more consistent, prompting me to introduce duration. As for her "heel," significant improvements have been made. Occasional pulling occurs when she's excited, but a quick "heel" reminder followed by a directional change corrects this.

We also focused on her "place" and "down" commands. For "place," we're introducing distance and duration, maintaining leash connection to reinforce staying put. Although she initially stepped off a few times, using body pressure, leash guidance, and a corrective "no," I got her back onto her designated spot. Her "down" command is also progressing. While she still occasionally ends up on her side, consistent work inside the house is making a difference. By the end of our session, she began offering the correct down position more consistently.


Pupdate 08/10/23

We made further progress with commands like "come to sit," "sit," and "heel." The training is going well, and the actions are becoming smoother. She seems prepared for more challenging environments with higher distractions. Although her "down" command is improving, it still requires some guidance.

Today, my primary focus was on enhancing her engagement with other people. Given the increased number of individuals in the house, I concentrated on encouraging her to stay engaged with me when in their presence. She faced significant distractions, particularly when approaching someone closely. To manage this, I used the leash to prevent her from jumping on the person. I rewarded her whenever she shifted her attention back to me. While she's still learning not to approach and greet people without permission, I'm currently restricting her choices to give her an easier win. Additionally, I kept her on a leash and her designated place mat indoors. If she attempted to leave the "place" without her release word, I guided her back using the leash. After several repetition, she settled down and remained on her designated spot.


Pupdate 08/11/23

Given Primrose's challenge with maintaining duration, we made it a priority today. All our commands involve an implied stay, which means she must maintain the given command until she hears the release word, "break," or is given a new command. If she breaks position prematurely, I gently guide her back.

I began the session with the "sit" command, as it's one of her stronger commands. After a few gentle corrections, she performed well. Next, I introduced the "place" command. While she needed some guidance back to the place mat, she responded positively. I even incorporated some distance, considering her prior success holding a "place" indoors.

However, the "down" command posed the most challenge. Almost immediately after I stood up from placing her in a down position, she tried to stand up as well. Each time this happened, I calmly placed her back into a down position. I only released her when she remained down without attempting to stand. While our focus remains on preventing the premature popping up during downs, we did manage to achieve a few successful downs where she stayed in position for a brief period.


Pupdate 08/12/23

Today, we enjoyed a walk to a nearby park. To enhance her focus, I began by engaging her. Whenever she directed her attention to me rather than exciting stimuli in the environment, she was rewarded. Moving forward, I progressed to fundamental obedience exercises, keeping them short in terms of time and distance due to her increasing fatigue.

Later in the day, I continued to reinforce her basic obedience skills within the house, now incorporating longer durations and increased distances. While she's making progress with the "down" position, she still requires assistance to maintain it until her release command. Encouragingly, she's displaying aptitude in holding positions for longer periods and further distances for "place," and I've started combining distance and duration for her "sit" command as well.


Pupdate 08/13/23

This morning, we headed to our nearby park for our session. Our session went well despite the ongoing maintenance nearby. During the session, my emphasis was on refining her "come to sit," "heel," "sit," and "place" commands. I was able to gradually build up duration with her commands before she started getting tired.

I worked on her basic obedience with more duration and distance outside the house for our later session. We are still working downs inside the house. I'm having to still hold the leash when she's getting into the down but she's popping up less when she goes into a down. She was able to hold a place in the house while I was doing household task with minimal intervention.


Pupdate 08/14/23

Today's training session at the playground was productive. We covered commands like "place," sit, "heel," "come to sit/heel," and "down." Despite the distractions from kids, parents, and dogs, she did well. I had her "place" on random objects to build up her generalization. She only needed a bit of guidance for objects above knee height. She excelled in sending away for objects below that height. Her "downs" are showing improvement with fewer instances of popping up. The development of her "sit" and "come" commands is promising. Although she got excited around kids and occasionally broke commands, quick corrections helped maintain her focus. We wrapped up the park session once she started consistently followed commands.

Throughout the day, I continued focusing on improving her "downs," achieving longer durations indoors. I introduced her to the "under" command, initially using a lure and eventually transitioning to leash pressure after a few successful attempts


Pupdate 08/15/23

Primrose had an exciting day joining a team training session. She was able to remain calm around new dogs and people. She was even able to recieve pets calmly from others. During the team training, we were able to get a few sessions throughout focused on fundamental commands like "sit," "down," "come to sit/heel," and "heel." We also got to practiced the "under" command.

After the team session, I dedicated time to reinforce Primrose's down stay, helping her understand the importance of staying down. Progressively, she's improving her "under" and "place" commands, although she still requires some leash guidance for "under." Her execution is becoming smoother.


Pupdate 08/16/23

Primrose joined another team training today. She got to participate in a "place" demonstration. We were able to work on commands like polite greetings, "under", "heel", "come to heel", "sit", and "down". While she momentarily attempted to jump on someone after being petted, I promptly guided her with leash pressure and the "off" cue, which serves as a no/leave it command. This command is used when we want them to refrain from interacting with something, like avoiding the trash, redirecting their focus from other dogs, or in Primrose's case, getting off somebody.

Following the lesson, I worked on a leash dragging session with Primrose. This is a predecessor to her being off leash. I reinforced her grasp of "place", "heel", "sit", and "come" commands during this session. Since it was her first time , I started off with some leash reps, I transitioned to using only the e-collar and hand signals after a few reps. Although Primrose displayed a bit of hesitation with the dragging leash, I successfully encouraged her using hand signals.


Pupdate 08/17/23

Today's team training was quite productive. We had the chance to explore some new tricks with Primrose. She got to learn commands like "touch," "front," "back," and "center." "Touch" involves placing her front paws on an object, which is useful for controlled interactions. "Front" has her sit in front of you, making it a playful recall method. "Back" helps her learn to back up, handy for maintaining personal space. "Center" teaches her to move between your legs, useful for distancing or redirecting focus. With more practice and reps, she can easily learn these tricks.

Additionally, we practiced "place" and house manners. Sending Primrose to a designated spot while simulating doorbell or knocking sounds helps reinforce calm behavior during arrivals. Despite a minor lapse in her leash-bound place when I approached the door, she quickly recovered when I told her to go back to place. She's also getting accustomed to sending away to place on various objects, as demonstrated by her successful placement on a playground.


Pupdate 08/18/23

Today's session was dedicated to honing Primrose's command proficiency. I was able to get a few sessions of going over her commands before she got tired at team training. 

A notable area of improvement is her interaction with people. Primrose is making substantial headway in greeting individuals calmly, without jumping on them. This shows her growing understanding and control in social situations.

Furthermore, I concentrated on enhancing her abilities in distance and duration. Notably, her sits and downs are experiencing remarkable advancement in both distance and the duration she can maintain them. This signifies her impressive development and commitment to mastering these commands. She does still get a little distracted around grass, dogs, and people. During these instances, she benefits from additional encouragement to stay focused and engaged.


Pupdate 08/19/23

Today's sessions at the local park were quite eventful. I noticed a party being set up, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and attend multiple times. During each session, I focused on refining her skills, including "sit," "down," "come," "heel," and "place." In the first round, she performed admirably. Primrose still requires some guidance with her "downs," but she's making progress by maintaining the position for longer periods without popping up.

On our second visit to the park, the party was underway, and some people were present. Knowing she was a bit distracted, I engaged her in play before our training session. This playful start helped boost her engagement and enthusiasm for working with me. Once the session began, she was attuned to my cues. During our third session, the party was in full swing, and although she grew excited as we approached, I used the ecollar and gentle leash pressure to regain her focus.

We took a short break during which I had her practice going "under" a bench before resuming more repetitions. Our training concluded with messing around at the playground. As the weather turned windy and cloudy, I seized the opportunity to concentrate on reinforcing her "place" command. To do this, I incorporated a doorbell/knocking soundtrack, sending her to her designated place each time she heard a knock. She held place even when she got excited.


Pupdate 08/20/23

With the tropical storm approaching, Primrose got to work at her indoor skills. She's becoming a master at "place." She's stayed on her cot even when I was out of sight for an extended periods. I was able to stimulate a guest arriving. I had a friend come over and when they knocked, I sent her away to place. She stayed there even when I left the room and the guest was still in the room. Even when she was excited, she was able to self regulate and stay on place. Her "downs" have shown remarkable improvement as well. She now only requires subtle hand signals to transition into a down position, and she can maintain these downs for significantly longer durations and distances.

Taking advantage of a break in the heavy rain, we ventured outside the house to engage in some training activities. Primrose engaged in leash dragging, which served as valuable exposure to rainy conditions. It's crucial to remember that when guiding a dog through unfamiliar situations, providing additional guidance is essential. An advantageous aspect of the e-collar is its waterproof feature, allowing us to continue training in rainy conditions or during swimming sessions. However, it's important to remove the collar once they're out of the water, allowing it to dry along with the dog before reapplying it.


Pupdate 08/21/23

As the rain gradually subsided, we were able to focus on refining Primrose's leash dragging skills. The post-storm debris and smells were quite distracting for her, so I started by gently engaging her by using leash pressure. I had to use a combination of motivation and hand signals to help get her attention. she demonstrated progress in her automatic sits and the "come to heel" command when I would call her to me. While her "downs" required some guidance via leash pressure initially, with consistent reminders, she managed to maintain the position.

Throughout the day, we persisted in practicing leash dragging and maintaining her commands. Notably, she's improving her ability to remain in a sit until released or given a subsequent command. While her "downs" are progressing, they still need work.


Pupdate 08/22/23

This morning, we attended a small team training session with Primrose, where she interacted with other dogs and people. During the session, we focused on commands like "heel," "come to sit/heel," "sit," "down," "under," and "place." Primrose demonstrated improvement in holding commands like sit, down, under, and place, both in terms of duration and distance. Although she needed initial reminders, she quickly grasped the commands with a few repetitions. To accommodate her energy level, we incorporated breaks into her training session.

Later in the afternoon, due to the warm weather, we concentrated on reinforcing her house manners. We practiced door etiquette, where she's expected to stay in position while we're at the door, only moving when given a command or released. This helps ensure her safety and prevents her from dashing outside. Similarly, her crate manners align with the door rules – she shouldn't rush out when the crate is opened. Regarding food manners, we required her to hold a command until released before approaching her food, even if we're out of sight. This "break" command signifies that she is released from holding her command.


Pupdate 08/23/23

Today's training session included leash dragging and off-leash work at the park. We reinforced her basic commands such as heel, sit/heel from a distance, under, down, sit, and place. Our focus was on improving her generalization of the "place" command. While she's showing progress in maintaining duration and distance, there are moments when she defaults to a down position out of laziness. In such cases, we guide her back to the correct position. Once she holds the command consistently, we transition to the "down" command, ensuring she follows instructions without choosing other behaviors.

We also took her to a local shopping mall for practice, which presented higher distractions. Initially, we engaged her to combat the influence of surrounding people. However, she managed to sustain her commands for longer durations after a few repetitions. Given the greater distraction, she required increased motivation, so I made sure to reward her with ample praise and affection.


Pupdate 08/24/23

This morning, Primrose and I had a successful training session at a school. We diligently practiced her commands, and she impressively maintained her sit and down positions even when kids walked by. To keep her focus sharp, I gently called her name whenever she seemed distracted or overly excited, reinforcing her obedience with praise.

Later in the day, we continued our training at the park. Despite the distractions of gardeners, people, and other dogs passing by, Primrose showcased her skills. I employed a warming-up technique with her leash initially before letting it drag. During our session, she worked on commands like heel, sit, down, and send away to place here. While the "down" command needs a bit more reinforcement, once she assumes the position, she's able to maintain it. She needs plenty of encouragement and praise for the heel. Her auto sit and duration and distance in her sits are progressing well. 


Pupdate 08/25/23

Today, we had an eventful day starting at the park and then heading to the mall. Amidst all this, we spent time working on our final project. Primrose had the chance to experience new surroundings, interact with unfamiliar faces, and acclimate to various sounds. Initially, she faced some challenges with her "come" command, but with consistent practice, incorporating ecollar pressure and gentle hand guidance, she gradually found her rhythm. 

Our training session extended to include commands such as heel, sit, down, place, come to heel, and under, all executed successfully without the need for a leash. Notably, a family even had the chance to interact with her. Although her "send away to place" still requires attention, her ability to stay and heel has notably improved through our efforts.


Pupdate 08/26/22

We continued working on our final today. We dedicated time to honing the skills that required attention. Our primary focus was on perfecting "come to sit," "place," and the "under" command. We also had some time to go over her manners. Encouragingly, we've observed notable progress in these areas. Maintaining consistent pressure during her recall to sit has proven effective in holding her accountable, while gentle encouragement keeps her motivated. She's progressing for her send away to place. She does need extra motivation and guidance for places that are taller than her cot. As for her duration in the "under" command, it's improving, she tends to fidget a bit under the object especially after some duration, but still remains underneath. We've been conducting sessions at different locations to help proof her skills.


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