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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Rex | American Staffordshire Terrier | Simi Valley, CA | In-Training

Meet Rex! He is a six year old American Staffordshire Terrier who has joined us for our Three Week Board and Train Program. Rex is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, and not listening to commands. He gets overly excited around other dogs and he likes to be the first one to go through the door. Over the next twenty one days, this friendly boy will work on his obedience and his manners, with the hopes of becoming a well behaved dog. Check in to see his progress!


Rex and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other. He did whine a bit in the kennel on our ride home, but he did stop after a few minutes. We settled in at home and drove out to a local park shortly after. He was much better in the kennel and did not whine. Since Rex pulls heavily on his leash, I introduced him to Heel which consists of having Rex walk next to me on my left side. Every time he would pull away from me, I turned around, and walked in the opposite direction. Rex is catching on and it will now be implied on every walk we go on from here on out.


Rex and I met with other trainers and their dogs today at a local park. We began our session by taking a walk throughout the park to practice his Heel a little more. He did very well walking at my side, and since he gets overly excited around dogs, I asked the other trainers for assistance. They placed their dogs in stationary positions so Rex and I can walk by them. I also had him Sit in between them, and Rex did a great job keeping his composure and not getting excited. I will continue to work on this with Rex, as he will be exposed to other dogs in public areas throughout his Program.


Rex was introduced to Place today, which consists of having him getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. Place is a great technique that can be used whenever guests are over or when there is a knock at the door. Rex understood the concept of it and had no problem getting onto an object when I asked him to. He did very well going into a Sit while on the object, and he remained there until I asked him to “Break,” which is his release word.


Rex and I worked on Come to Sit today. Come to Sit is the recall command which consists of having Rex come towards me on my right side, go around behind me, and Sit on my left side. The first few reps, Rex would stop as soon as he reached my right side. To assist him in not doing so, I used a little leash tension to get him moving behind me and having him Sit on my left side. We have been working on it consistently, and Rex is improving with more guidance and repetition.


Rex has been doing great around other dogs and is not lunging or pulling towards them. He will sniff and make an approach when he is allowed to, but Rex does it without getting overly excited. On the day of pickup, it was mentioned that Rex reacted to Golden Retrievers whenever he saw one. Rex and I have come across a few of them and he has shown no signs of reactivity or aggression towards them. I am also happy to report, that Rex has even interacted with a Golden Retriever that is in training by one of our trainers.


Rex was introduced to Down today. It can be a difficult technique for a dog to learn considering it being a submissive position, and it can also make a dog feel vulnerable being down on all fours. Rex was taught with his treats to lure him towards the ground, and I also used leash tension as guidance to assist him. It took quite a few attempts with breaks in between to avoid frustration, but Rex was able to accomplish his task, and we are now working on it without any treats. We also met with his sister, and had the opportunity to work together. We began with a loose leash walk, and put together a few of the commands that he knows so far. I was able to walk with both Rex and Loba on each side with their leash dragging, and even though there are still a few things that need to be worked on, Rex has made quite the progress in the first few days of his Program.


Rex and I have been working on his Extended Sit but was having trouble maintaining it whenever I would start increasing distance. To help him with that, I moved back one foot at a time with five second increments. One foot back is five seconds, two feet back is ten seconds, three feet back is fifteen and so on. Rex is doing well as he is almost up to one minute. We worked on it at a beach full of distractions such as people, bicycles, skateboards, and other dogs. Initially, Rex did come out of it a couple of times, but after a few repetitions, he was able to follow through.


Rex and I went out for a walk around my neighborhood today. He has been practicing with his leash dragging and has done very well around dog distractions in the area. There were a few times in which Rex would want to stop and interact with a few dogs behind their gates, but by reminding him to Heel, he remained walking at my side. After our walk, we came home, and Rex took a nice nap. Shortly after, I gave him some playtime in my front yard, and had some dinner in my backyard.


Rex and I met with his sister Loba today and worked on their recall a little more. A couple of days ago they were having a little trouble with it, but with practice, they are both making very good improvement. We began with Rex coming first, followed by Loba, who would want to go in between me and Rex when asked to Come. To work her through it, I guided her with her leash to go around Rex, and she began to understand the concept. Although they both might need a little assistance sometimes, Rex is learning to wrap around behind me on the inside, while Loba wraps around behind me on the outside.


Rex was introduced to Under today which is a technique that can be of great use for outdoor dining and even park tables. It is the opposite of Place, so instead of getting onto an object, Rex will go Under an object. He had a little trouble distinguishing Place from Under due to him already knowing Place, but with a few sessions and repetition, Rex is understanding what I am asking, and is comprehending the meaning of Under.


Rex and I have been working on Door Manners since the day I brought him home. Anytime I opened a door, Rex would always want to be the first one to go through. To help him into not doing so, I would ask Rex to Down when we approached a door. Once in a Down position, I proceeded to open the door, and made sure Rex remained in his position. When I opened the door, every time he sat up meant the door would close, and the process would repeat itself.  Once he understood what I was asking, I began to increase time and distance to keep him in a Down longer, which led to Rex achieving his two minute goal.


Rex and I drove out to a local park today and worked on his Under a little more. He is doing really well and usually does it on his own after being introduced to it a couple of times. He was also introduced to Send Away to Place today, which is like Place, but instead of leading him onto an object, I point to the object and have him Place from a distance. He is still having a little trouble figuring it out, but with more practice, Rex will begin to pick up on it.


Rex is doing great with his leash dragging and is just about off leash capable. His Send Away to Place is improving, as he is now working on it without leash guidance. Rex was also introduced to Come to Heel, which consists of me patting my leg from a distance, asking Rex to Heel, and have him catch up to me from one of his stationary positions. Rex has now learned all of his commands, and will be ready to begin working off leash in the coming days.


Rex and I worked on building his confidence more today.  I had him Place onto different objects with different textures. We began with chairs and a few tables that were easy for him to hop onto with no problem. Throughout our session, I found smaller objects that he can Place on in a round shape. Rex was a little hesitant with the object due to its size, as he would place his front legs on it and then jump completely over it. I stood in front of him to avoid him from jumping over, and assisted him with leash tension to have him fully hop on. After a few attempts, Rex began to follow through and was rewarded with lots of praise.


Rex and I went out for a walk around my neighborhood today and began his off leash conditioning. We had a few warm up sessions in my backyard which went very well before taking him out. Rex did very well throughout our session and he remained at my side throughout our walk. He will continue working off leash for the remainder of his Program and will be introduced to more distractions as we move into his final week of training.


Rex and I worked on his Send Away to Place around distractions today and it was a little difficult for him considering it being his first time working on it with no leash guidance. Within a short distance, Rex does very well, but once I increase the distance, that is where he begins to struggle a little more. It took time and practice to have Rex follow through, but he is understanding the concept and making a great effort.


Rex and I did some off leash work around other dogs serving as a distraction. Rex does fine as we are walking by them, but when he is in a stationary position, there are times where he comes out of it, and tries to interact. I correct his behavior by using the word “Off” and asking him to Sit or Down. Rex is learning that it is not ok to approach a dog for safety reasons, and he is to wait for my cue before he can be released.


Rex and I are piecing everything he has learned together in preparation for his Final. Today we focused on Under, Come to Heel, and Send Away to Place. These were the techniques that Rex was having some trouble with, but he is showing improvement with practice and by staying consistent with the training. Rex is just about ready to begin his Final, and it will be the main focus for the remainder of his Program.


Rex and I worked all of his commands today and he did very well with distractions all around him. During our warm up session, Rex was being praised and complimented for his good behavior by employees and shoppers. He was able to work on his Greeting Manners which consist of having him remain in a Sit when someone approaches and greets him.


Rex and I worked on his Final today and he put on a very good performance. Everything he has learned was put together and came out very nicely. Rex has great potential, and with practice and consistency, he can be capable of so much more. He has come a long way, and it is great to see the progress he has made. For your enjoyment, here is a clip of what Rex can do.


Rex has completed his Three Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. He has done a great job and I will miss his companionship. He was an amazing co-pilot and I enjoyed every moment of training with him. I want to thank you for trusting me with Rex while he was under my care for these last twenty one days, and I am grateful for the opportunity in being his trainer. I am looking forward to showing you what he can do and to have him reunited with Loba once again. Thank you Rex!


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