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Roscoe | Husky Mix | Laguna Hills, CA | In-Training

Meet Roscoe, a 6-month-old Husky mix from Laguna Hills, CA here for our Two-Week Board and Train Program. Roscoe is a sweet and loving boy who can be skittish and unsure of people and dogs. He is with us for leash pulling, food manners, barking at people and dogs, and to learn basic obedience. Stay tuned for his fourteen-day transformation!


Pupdate 12/16/2021

Today Roscoe and I went to the local Mall Outlets. We walked around and I fed him treats to let him get more comfortable with me. He was a tad bit nervous and barked at a few dogs. In the van he also barked at the puppy in the crate next to his, but didn’t seem bothered by the other dogs. When I opened the crate he allowed me to leash him without any problems. I took him in the dog run and he was sniffing everything in the yard. He was able to eat his food with my dog Juno out and he did not growl and is settling in nicely.


Pupdate 12/17/2021

This morning I worked on desensitizing Roscoe to my hand reaching towards his collar, putting on and taking off the leash and the e-collar. I played the treat chase game and started marking with the clicker. After a while I marked with “yes” to start introducing both marks. After a few repetitions Roscoe started picking up that when he feels the stimulation from the e-collar that means to make his way towards me. I used my verbal marker “yes” with clicker marking every time he made the decision to make his way towards me. I then trade out the clicker for treats and still reward him with my verbal marker “yes” and a treat at the same time.


Pupdate 12/18/2021

Roscoe and I worked on my property this morning to practice his commands place, down, and break. I am pointing at the bed to give him a visual cue of where I want him. When Roscoe has all four paws on the surface, I release him with my verbal marker “yes” and then reward him with a treat. Once he understood place meant climb the bed and to keep all four paws on the surface, I then asked for more and lured him into a down with a treat and directional leash pressure. Seeing that he caught on so quickly I asked for a longer duration of a down. To keep him in the down I gave a verbal marker “good down” along with a treat to keep him in his position. In the afternoon I took him out to a local pet store to work through his commands. He was a little nervous and jumped out of position a few times when people were walking by, but it was more out of curiosity as he was using his nose.


Pupdate 12/19/2021

Today Roscoe and I worked on his commands on my property and the local park. I asked him to place on a bench by the tennis courts and he was so jumpy he could not sit or down. The sounds of the tennis balls going back and fourth and the people playing frightened him. Once I moved about 100 feet away from the tennis courts he was able to perform his commands. On the property he was able to socialize with several of the dogs. He really took a liking to my dog Juno, but was a bit skittish with the other male puppy that is his age.


Pupdate 12/20/2021

Roscoe and I stayed on my property to work on his commands. I had Miranda work with him to get him used to being handled by other people. They mainly focused on his come to sit. She would say "come" along with giving him a hand signal towards her and then reel Roscoe in with the leash by guiding him in her direction using slight leash pressure. Then rewarding with a treat. Once behind her, she would use the treat to lure him behind her back and into a sit position on her right side. When he completed the command, she would then mark it with her verbal marker “yes” and give him the treat. To release him, she would say "break" and throw a treat away from her to help Roscoe understand that break is his release command.


Pupdate 12/21/2021

This morning I had Miranda work with Roscoe again on my property. I purposely had them train in-front of the chicken coop as a distraction. He struggled holding his place and down command a few times because he was so focused on the chickens and duck, but he never tried to go after them. When he got too distracted and started to fixate on the chickens Miranda would use the off command and tap the black button on the left side of the remote. Roscoe is understanding his commands so Miranda started to ask for more by having him hold his commands for a longer period of time. When she noticed he was about to break a command she would use spacial pressure and treats to help him understand he needed to stay where he was until she released him or asked for another command.


Pupdate 12/22/2021

Roscoe and I worked on his commands while my dog, Juno, who he adores, acted as a distraction. I had him "place" on various boulders on the property. He would follow through most of the time, but occasionally got nervous and would not complete the command. When that happened, I would help guide him with the leash. He met one of the other trainers today in the dog run, but would not approach her even when she held food out. She had to turn her body away from him and offer food from behind her back, and when Roscoe finally approached, he was fully stretched out as if he didn't want to get too close.


Pupdate 12/23/2021

Roscoe and I worked on his commands at Irvine Spectrum Center. He struggled with all of the activity and noise, but mainly walking past so many people. He was able to place and hold his duration sit, but could not complete his come to sit in this environment. He went into flight a few times, but I was able to guide him back to me with the leash. The good thing is when he was sitting higher than the foot traffic he was calm and able to observe what was going on around him. He was also able to take food, although a bit rougher than normal.


Pupdate 12/24/2021

Roscoe and I worked on his commands outside of the movie theater at Irvine Spectrum Center with Juno as a helper dog. Having a confident dog who he looks up to walking next to him helped him relax as we walked through the crowds. He is still very nervous around people so I found a spot under an awning to have him sit next to Juno and work on eye contact. He would turn to watch the people walking by and then bring his gaze back to me. When he did, I would mark it with a "yes" and reward him with some kibble. We also practiced his extended down, which was much harder for him. Whenever he would pop up, I would say "no, down," and guide him back down using leash pressure. He is able to eat his food with other dogs in the kennel next to him and my dog is in the room with him. In the dog run he doesn't always come to the door like the other dogs, so I have to approach him slowly and get him to sit before reaching for his collar. He is still skittish even with me, although considerably better than when we met.


Pupdate 12/25/2021

Roscoe and I worked on his come to sit since he turns outward when he does sit to my right. I'm using a Klimb platform to keep him from turning out, a Cato Board to target where to sit, and using a wall to prevent him from making a wide turn behind my back. From there we focused on recall while he was on a 50 foot line. He's still skittish at times so I'm pairing the stim from the e-collar with food so he can continue to make a positive association with that sensation.


Pupdate 12/26/2021

Haley worked with Roscoe today at Oceanside Harbor. She had him on a long line and e-collar and used a combination of leash pressure, body language, and the stim from the e-collar to get him to follow her. Roscoe has a tendency to sit facing whoever his handler is so Haley used the curb as a barrier to help him sit straighter. Roscoe was less skittish today while taking in his environment.


Pupdate 12/27/2021

Haley worked Roscoe at Dana Point Harbor while I worked another dog. She focused on confidence building, teaching him to follow while on the e-collar, and engagement. Roscoe did well in a lower distracting environment while other dogs walked past them at a distance.


Pupdate 12/28/2021

Roscoe and I worked on recall while he was in the run playing with the other dogs. When he wasn’t paying attention to me I would tap the e-collar and call his name. The moment he turned towards me I would mark with “yes” and reward him with kibble once he reached me. We were able to get some good reps in but he caught on to the game and decided to stay by my side rather than play. He did snarl at another dog that came close when I was feeding him so I used the “off” command and tapped the button on the remote.


Pupdate 12/29/2021

Roscoe and I worked on recall while he was in the dog run with a group of dogs. This is how I proof recall in a high distraction environment. Roscoe is very food motivated so using his kibble to reward him for coming to me is key. I don't just feed one piece, but several, and often handfuls at a time. You don't want your dog checking out because it's one and done! Mark with "yes" when the dog turns, then feed when they arrive in front of you, and feed again, and again. Mix up the reward ratio. Maybe he gets one reward this time and is released, but the next time he gets two or three before being released.


Pupdate 12/30/2021

Roscoe and I worked on his command at the Carlsbad Outlet Mall. He was able to complete them 70% of the time if he wasn't startled by a person walking past us. In the evening, I asked a client who was picking their dog up from boarding to help with Roscoe's training by hand feeding him his dinner. This client has a dog who acted similar to Roscoe as a puppy so they were happy to help. After he was done giving Roscoe his food, Roscoe followed him around the dog run and was less hesitant to approach him.


Pupdate 12/31/2021

Roscoe and I worked on getting him more comfortable around people in a somewhat busy environment. He is doing better than when we started two weeks ago but is still pretty skittish. Children running really scare him. I found a spot in the middle of the courtyard to put him in a down and then would click and feed when he looked back at me after looking at things in the environment. We worked on his come to sit, which is a bit turned out and environmental exposure.


Pupdate 1/1/2022

Roscoe and I worked his commands at The Strand in Oceanside. It was busy, but we were able to practice within distance of people where Roscoe still felt comfortable completing his commands. He did very well considering he is still fearful of people and building his confidence in those scenarios will take time.


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