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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Rana | Australian Shepherd | Montebello, CA | In-Training

Meet Rana! She is a one year old Australian Shepherd who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program, along with a few additional days of Boarding. Rana is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, counter surfing, barking at people and other dogs, and potty training. The goals for Rana are to be able to walk her comfortably without her pulling on her leash. She pulls heavily and will only listen when called back when she wants to. She tends to get very vocal as people are passing by her, which scare them to the point that Rana cannot be approached. Once she warms up to someone, she has a tendency of jumping to greet which can knock someone down as she does not know her own strength. Rana also needs to work on her potty training. Although she has a schedule to go, she still has a tendency of going in her crate. She does know a few commands, but she has trouble holding them for a certain amount of time. Rana also does a lot of counter surfing at the dinner table, and even if she is told “Off,” she will remain there waiting to take some food. Rana needs structure, and in the next fourteen days, I will help this sweet pup build a strong foundation, and assist her in becoming the best pup that she can be. Check in to see her progress!


Rana and I spent some time at the park today and began to bond. She is still a little nervous around me, but she is starting to warm up to me the more time we spend together. She did not want to eat dinner, but I will leave her food out in case she does eat.


Rana and I spent the day at home. She explored the backyard a little more, and although she is a little nervous around her new environment, she is slowly getting acclimated to it. She ate a little bit of her dinner last night, and I hand fed her about a cup of her breakfast as well. I will also hand feed her for dinner to keep establishing a bond with Rana.


Rana and I spent the day bonding with playtime in the front yard. She is adjusting well and enjoys running around me in circles. She is now eating from her bowl, and she is more comfortable eating inside of her kennel which is normal with some dogs. I am looking forward to making more progress with her training these next two weeks.


Rana and I went for a walk at a local park today. She was a little nervous initially, but she eventually adjusted to her surroundings. Throughout our walk, she was distracted by people and a few squirrels in the area and she began to pull on her leash. To correct her behavior, I redirected Rana in the opposite direction and she was introduced to Heel. This technique consists of having Rana walk with me on my left side. Anytime she pulled away, I would turn, walk in the opposite direction, and guide her with leash tension back towards my left side. Whenever she would fall behind, I would walk a little faster, and have her catch up with verbal encouragement. She also did well at not reacting to people walking by and remained in a Sit as they passed by.


Rana and I worked on Place today. This technique consists of having Rana getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down, and can be of great use anytime there is a knock on your door, or if you are having guests over. Rana is doing a little better adjusting to her surroundings, and becomes a very confident pup once she does so. To teach her Place, I introduced Rana to the objects we were going to be working on, and since she is very food motivated, I used some treats to assist her into getting on. She did very well and hopped onto the objects we worked on with no problem. She did react towards other dogs in the area, as she would bark at them and try to interact. I redirected her in the opposite direction, but Rana would remain looking behind her until I corrected her behavior with a verbal “Off.” I will be working on her socialization and behavior towards other pups by meeting with other trainers in the next day or so.


Rana and I met up with other trainers and their pups today at a local park who assisted us by serving as a distraction. Rana has been reactive towards dogs and other people in the past, so I am slowly working her through that behavior by continuing to gradually expose her to public settings. Rana was pretty good today working around children distractions, and did well around other dogs walking near her. She did get up a few times, but did not lunge or bark. She instead used her nose and was in much more of a relaxed state than she was before.


Rana and I worked on Down today. This technique can be one of the most difficult to teach a dog considering it being a submissive position, and it can also make them feel vulnerable being down on all fours. To teach Rana, I used her treats since she is very food motivated. To make it easier on us both, I asked her to Place on an object, and proceeded to begin the exercise by asking her to Sit. Once in position, I began to lure Rana with a treat by placing it in front of her nose, having her follow it down to her chest, and sliding it away from her nose once it touched the ground. Rana did come out of her Sit as soon as the treat touched the ground, so I reset her and repeated the process once again. This time around, she stiffened up her front legs, so I gently pressed in between her shoulder blades and guided her down. She slowly began to understand the concept by making intents to go into a down, which were rewarded with lots of praise since it is leading to the behavior that I want from her. By remaining patient and taking my time with breaks in between to avoid frustration, I was able to have Rana accomplish her Down.


Rana and I worked on her recall which is known as Come to Sit. This technique consists of having Rana come towards my right side, go around behind me, and Sit on my left. To teach Rana, I used her biggest source of motivation which are her treats. She did very well coming towards my right, but when it came to going behind me, she needed some guidance. With her treats, I was able to lure her around and have her Sit on my left. There were a few times that she would Sit behind me, so I took two steps forward and guided her with the treat in my hand to get her in position. She still needs a little practice and will Sit sideways at times, so I will use a ninety degree wall barrier to have Rana position herself in a straighter Sit.


Rana and I have been working in more public areas and she is doing a lot better around people. Although still a little nervous in new places initially, Rana does adjust after some time and gets comfortable. She does well in her stationary positions but she does come out of them when she sees another dog. Even though it is a behavior we do not want, she has improved by not lunging or barking wanting to interact with them. When this behavior happens, I place her back into position and remind her to Sit or Down. Rana does follow through and begins to use her nose instead of getting up, but will only remain in position for a short period of time. Now that she knows all of her commands, I will be working on having Rana remain in place by increasing duration with a longer leash with minimal distractions.


Rana and I went for a walk around the neighborhood today and worked on Heel with her leash dragging. We worked on it in my backyard since it is an enclosed area, and once we had a good session, I proceeded to taking her outside. She did well, but still needs more practice as she became easily distracted by the grass smells, and by my son while he was recording for me. With the low stimulation of the E-Collar and a verbal “Heel,” I am able to get Rana back on track and continue on our walk. She will continue to work on leash dragging exercises as she prepares for her off leash experience entering her final week of training.


Rana and I worked on distance and duration at a local park today. We have been using a long line to gradually increase distance while she remains in a Sit or Down. Initially, Rana would come out of her stationary position as soon as I would begin to walk away. To help her into not doing so, I worked her in five second increments, which means that for every foot I stepped back, I waited five seconds before releasing her with a “Break.” One foot back is five seconds, two feet back is ten seconds, three feet back is fifteen seconds, and so on. She did well remaining in position, but was having trouble holding her Sit, as she would go into a Down after some time. Whenever that would happen, I would reset, ask her to Sit, and keep repeating the exercise for a shorter amount of time, until she was able to follow through. Rana is doing much better and is almost at her two minute goal.


Rana and I worked on some off leash conditioning today in my front yard. We practiced all of her behaviors and she did really well. I was able to walk around her, and I was also able to add some distance while having Rana remain in her stationary positions. Her Heel is improving as she is showing less interest in the grass smells around her while we are walking. Her Come to Sit needed a little cleanup as she would Sit far off to my left side, but she is making progress at keeping a closer Sit. Rana also tends to go into a Down while working on her Sit, but I work her through it with an E-Collar stim and verbal “Sit.” She has also been doing great with her potty training and has not had an accident since her Training Program began.


Rana and I drove out to a local shopping center and worked with her leash dragging in a public setting. She was very curious and a little nervous initially throughout our walk, but she eventually acclimated to her surroundings after a lap around the area. She did very well around people, and although it did look like Rana wanted to make an approach, she remained in a Heel alongside me. She did come out of her Down a couple of times as people passed by, but I was able to reset her and work her through it. Rana will now be working off leash as she prepares for her Final.


Rana and I worked off leash in a public setting full of people and dog distractions. We went for a walk throughout the pier on leash to have her adjust to the environment around her. It took her some time, and she was a little nervous initially given everything going on around her. She was distracted and overly stimulated by the sights and sounds of birds, the waves below us, and the loud music playing throughout the pier. We continued moving through the crowds of people, and slowly but surely, Rana began to go into a much more calm relaxed state. Once she was comfortable enough with her surroundings, I removed her leash and worked on some of her behaviors with added distance, duration, and distractions. She did very well and did not react to people passing by her.


Rana and I have been working on her Greeting Manners. She was very nervous around people, and she would also lunge at anyone trying to approach her during the initial stages of her Training Program. As I exposed Rana to more public settings, she began to feel more comfortable and not react or try to lunge at people near her. I began working her through it by having fellow trainers assist me in approaching her by using treats. This was the same approach that you saw me use with her at the time of pickup. By remaining consistent with these exercises, Rana made a positive association with people, and can now be greeted without any reaction.


Rana and I worked on her Door Manners. Initially she would wait by the door for a short period of time, and would eventually try to go through it on her own. Anytime that occurred, I would close the door and repeat the exercise. While working on her distance and duration Sit or Down, I applied it to the door thresholds, and Rana began to make more progress. If anyone was walking by across the street, she would immediately sit up and come out. In that situation, I reset her and place her back into position. In this clip you can see someone walking across the street, and Rana remaining in her position. She can now wait patiently by the door until I release her with a Break. 


Rana has completed her Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for trusting me with Rana while she was under my care, and for the opportunity in being her trainer. She has come a long way and I am very proud of her results. I am looking forward to showing you how much she has learned these past two weeks. Remember to always remain consistent and patient with her training. We became great friends, and I will miss her companionship. Thank you Rana!


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