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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Rocky | XL Bully | San Pedro, CA | In-Training

Meet Rocky! He is a six month old XL Bully who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Rocky is here for basic obedience, leash pulling, and jumping to greet. Rocky is still a puppy, and considering his size, he does not know his own strength, and can easily knock someone down by jumping on them. Over the next fourteen days, Rocky will be working on his behavior and be given the structure that is needed, so he can become the best pup that he can be. Check in to see his progress!


Rocky and I spent the day getting to know each other by taking a walk around the park to establish a bond. During our walk, Rocky was not pulling much on his leash, but still tried to veer off and smell the grass, as well as slightly trying to walk ahead of me. To keep him from doing so, I introduced Rocky to heel, which consists of having Rocky walk next to me on my left side. Anytime he would pull away from me, I turned, walked in the opposite direction, and guided him back towards me with leash tension. If Rockyveered off to the left, I would go right and guide him back the same way. He is responding well to leash tension, and he is beginning to understand the concept of heel. Rocky and I will continue to work on it, as it will now be applied on every walk we go on.


Rocky and I worked on his recall today which is known as come to sit. This consists of having Rockycome towards my right, go around behind me, and sit on my left. He is responding to leash pressure, which helped Rocky follow through. By using tension, I guided Rocky towards my right, but he would stop there at times. To keep him from doing so, and to assist him in going behind me, I took a step forward and applied leash tension to get him to sit on my left. He is doing well with it, and is understanding what is being asked of him. Rocky does get tired quicker than most dogs, so we keep our sessions a little shorter with water breaks in between. He did very well his first night here, and slept throughout the night in his kennel.


Rocky and I worked on place today. It consists of having Rocky getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a sit or a down. It can be of great use when guests are over, and it can also build confidence in a dog. To teach Rocky, I introduced him to a low level object and guided him onto it with leash tension. He did really well and was able to get onto it almost immediately. I rewarded him with praise as we continued with a few more reps of getting on and off. Once I saw consistency, I began asking for a sit from Rocky while on the object. He followed through really well, so we moved to a higher object, which was a little more challenging to Rocky. Although he was able to place his front legs onto the object, he was having trouble getting his back legs up. To help him fully get on, I walked towards the object, climbed onto it myself, and helped Rocky with leash tension. It is still taking Rocky a little time, but I continue to work him through it as he continues to progress. 


Rocky and I drove out to a local park today and worked on his recall and place a little more. Our morning and evening walks have been helping Rockyimprove on his heel. There are a few instances in which he attempts to veer off and smell the grass, but with the use of the e-collar and a verbal heel, I am able to have Rocky get back to my left side as we continue on our walk. Rocky is doing very well with place and continues to build his confidence more as we work on different objects. As he is fully understanding place and come to sit, I gave Rocky a little challenge, and combined both commands together during our session. He did really well following through, and as we keep moving forward, I will be gradually increasing the amount of distractions for Rocky by having him train in a more public setting


Rocky and I have been working on down. Down can be one of the most difficult commands to teach considering it being a submissive position, and it can also make a dog feel vulnerable being down on all fours. To teach Rocky, I used leash tension and his kibble as a lure to guide him towards the ground. I placed his kibble in front of his nose and had him follow it towards the ground. Once it was close enough to the ground, I slid his kibble forward, and rewarded him with it as soon as he went into a down. After a few repetitions, I began to fade out the treats by rewarding him randomly once I saw consistency. He is doing well, but he does need some leash guidance at times. Rocky also tries to down in front of me, so I will continue to practice having him down next to me. 


Rocky and I drove out to a local Lowe’s and worked on some leash dragging exercises. He did really well for it being his first time, but he still needs a little more guidance at times. He had the most trouble with his come to sit, but I am working on it with him to have it cleaned up. Rocky does get distracted by certain smells while we are on a heel, but with a little e-collar stim and verbal communication, I am able to get him back on track. We got a little tangled up with his leash which is why there is a small transition in this clip. Rocky is doing much better with his down, and is learning not to go into a down in front of me. As we continue practicing leash dragging exercises, I will also be working on distance and duration with a longer leash as we move forward with Rocky’s training. 


Rocky and I drove out to a local Home Depot and worked on distance and duration with a long line. Once Rocky was in a sit or a down, he would almost immediately get up if I began to walk away. To keep him from doing so, I worked by taking a foot back in five second increments. For one foot back, I waited five seconds before releasing him with a break and rewarding him  with praise. For two feet back I have him wait ten seconds, for three feet it is fifteen seconds, and so on. He is doing really well, and I am able to distance myself to about six or seven feet without Rocky getting up. If he were to get up at seven feet, I reset him, go back to six feet reps, and move back to seven once he is being consistent. With week one coming to a close, I am looking forward to making more progress with Rocky entering his final week in training. 


Rocky and I drove out to a local park and continued on his long line conditioning. He is doing well with his distance and duration, so today I had him work around people and dog distractions. He did a good job maintaining his stationary positions with my added distance, and even received many compliments on his good behavior. Rocky is just about ready to begin working off leash, but still needs a little reconditioning on his place and come to sit. He does tend to get a little stubborn at times during our sessions, and likes to challenge me, which is normal in dogs. He tried that today, but the key is to remain patient and work your pup through it. Avoid frustration by taking breaks in between sessions, and resume once you are in a calmer state. 


Rocky and I worked on some off leash conditioning at a local park, and he was having some trouble with his come to sit. When practicing his recall, Rocky would stop as soon as he came to my right side, or he would stop and sit in front of me. To keep him from doing so, I did some reconditioning reps with his leash, and after seeing consistency, I restarted the off leash exercise. He is following through and making progress, so I will continue to work off leash with Rocky as he prepares for his final.


Rocky and I continued on his off leash training today, and he has improved his recall. His down needed a little more practice today, as he was being a little stubborn and did not want to do it. He got up from it a few times, and he also expressed his puppy behavior and began to roll around. I reset him to work him through it, and Rocky followed through. Always keep in mind when working with Rocky, that he at times will try to get playful and a little goofy to get away from training, so during training sessions, make sure that he completes the task at hand before rewarding him with any kind of praise and affection.


Rocky and I have been working on his greeting manners since his training program began. He would always try to jump for attention, and would get overly excited when he saw dogs and other people. Throughout the course of his training, I have worked with Rocky into not jumping by using e-collar stim and a verbal “Off” if he made an intent. Now that he has an understanding of what is being asked of him, I began to gradually expose him to public areas where he receives plenty of attention. When someone asks if it is ok for him to be greeted, Rocky has to remain in a stationary position before someone says hello. If he sits up, then kindly ask that person to take a step back, and reset Rocky back to his position. He has been doing really well with his greeting manners, and as long as there is consistency, the results will be greater.


Rocky and I worked on his final, and he did very well piecing everything that he has learned together. He is a very mellow pup once he releases his pent up energy, so always keep in mind to give Rocky some exercise by going on walks, and by continuing his training, as it stimulates his mind. He receives many compliments on his good looks anywhere we go, and he is also complimented on how well behaved he is. Always remember to remain consistent with his training, so that he may continue to progress with great results.


Rocky and I have been working on his food manners. During the initial phase of his program, Rocky would immediately begin to jump on me when I had the bowl in my hand. He would also not let me put it down, as he was overly excited and wanted to get to his food. With time, we established structure by asking him to sit from a distance before placing his food on the ground. If he sat up, I would pick the bowl up, reset him, and repeat the process as needed. After remaining consistent with the exercise, Rocky has learned to wait for my cue in a calm relaxed state, so that he may eat his food.


Rocky has completed his two week board and train program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity in being Rocky’s trainer, as well as trusting me with him while he was under my care. He was a great pup to work with, and I am going to miss his companionship. I am looking forward to showing you what he can do, as he learned so much in a short amount of time. HIs final video will be up soon, but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek at Rocky working on his door manners. Thank you Rocky!


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