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  • Writer's pictureAdrienne Lascari

Scout | Golden Retriever | Los Angeles | In-Training

Meet Scout, an eight month old Golden Retriever from Los Angeles, CA. He has joined OffLeash for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Scout is the best companion. He is friendly with any person and any dog. He loves to play, explore, and meet new people. Scout is always happy and excited, but his excitement can be hard to control. When going out for walks, Scout will pull on the leash. He is very strong and will tend to pull his owners along for the walk. He struggles to follow through with commands and has little knowledge of them as well. He jumps to greet and eats anything he finds on the ground. Over the next two week, Scout and I will be working on his off leash obedience and manners. Stay tuned to see his transformation!

 

Pupdate 1/28/2024

Scout did great settling into my home! He was nervous to get out of the car at first, so we waited until he was comfortable and ready to get out on his own. Once he came out, he was excited to meet everyone. He made friends right away with all the other pups. He spent the day running around, exploring, and playing. Scout had lots of fun that he was ready for a long nap right after. We can't wait to get started on Scouts training!

 

Pupdate 1/29/2024

Today Scout and I trained at La Mirada Region Park. The first command he is learning is place. In the video I explain what place is and how I taught place to Scout. I am also adding in a video explaining the e-collar that we will be working with to train Scout. The collar also will contain titanium contact points. Please review this video as many times as you need for you will be working with the e-collar when Scout comes home to you.

Scout did well learning place today. He was a bit nervous to step onto the cot at first, but once he got on, he had no problem placing on the cot after. We did lots of repetition to teach Scout the command. We first worked with treats to get Scout excited to learn something new, but after a while we took away the treats and started to correct him with the leash if he made a mistake. Once he understood the command, I then added in the e-collar corrections for when he made a mistake rather than using the leash.

You can see that Scout was distracted today by all the people and dogs walking by. We continued to work him through the distractions which will help him learn to ignore them. At times he would want to break command, but I would hold him accountable and put him back into a place. Doing this will help teach Scout that he cannot break his command until I say the word 'break'.

Place is a great command to use for many things. It can be a place for dogs to relax whether that is when you are eating dinner and want him away from the table, you can have him go into a place. It can also be used when you have guests coming over and you don't want Scout to be right in front of the door, you can send him in a place and then break him once everyone is inside. You can also use place when at the vet and need to have him step on the scale to get his weight. I also love using place while out in public by having the pups place onto a bench and I can get a cute picture of them.

For Scout's first day of training, he did great and was quick to learn a new command!

 

1/30/2024

Today Scout and I worked on his heel at Hacienda Park. In the video I explain what heel is and how I taught it to Scout. He is doing a lot better not pulling on the leash like he did the day of pick up. He was very distracted though by some things going on around the park. There were people playing fetch with their dogs near us and Scout couldn't help but want to join in and play. I worked him through the distractions so he learns to stay focused on me no matter what is going on around us.

We also are continuing to practice place. Scout is showing that he understands the command and is now placing on objects other than the cot. I also had introduced him to the command down. I like to teach down while Scout is in a place because it is more comfortable for them since down is a vulnerable position for dogs. He is doing great holding his sit and place longer and we continue to work on building that duration!

 

Pupdate 1/31/2024

Today Scout learned the command come to sit. In the video I explain what this command is and how I taught it to Scout. What I did not mention in the video is the importance of Scout's position when he goes into a sit. Just like a heel, we want his sit to be structured where he is lined up with our left leg and facing the same direction as us. This position shows he is focused on us and sets him up for success for the next command we give him.

We also continued to practice all the other commands he has learned. He is now going into a down, sit, and place without needing treats. I can also see he is understanding the e-collar corrections and following through after a correction is given. He is getting better at heeling, but there is still room for improvement. We will continue to work on each command and slowly introduce more distractions.

 

Pupdate 2/1/2024

Today, Scout and I worked at Lowe’s to practice all the commands he has learned. Scout also got to work with OffLeash trainer, Amanda. In the video I explain how we are implementing the e-collar into Scout’s training. I know, Scout had an issue of not following through with commands unless treats were given, so by giving the e-collar corrections it will help eliminate that issue. Lowe’s was not as busy today with little distractions for Scout to work around. Either way, it was great to start introducing Scout to public areas and new environments! He was a little curious about all the noises around him, such as forklifts beeping, people talking in the next aisle, and other loud random noises around us. It is understandable for Scout to be distracted since environments like this are all new to him. As we continued to train, he started to become less distracted and more focused. On the first day of training, Scout would normally not look at me when I called his name and not even check in with me at all. Now I am noticing he makes eye contact with me looking when I call his name and checks in when I give a command. Scout was being a little stubborn today when having him go into a sit or a down and he even struggled a little with come to sit. We made sure to hold him accountable to following through with the commands. Overall, Scout is already showing lots of improvement!

 

Pupdate 2/2/2024

Today Scout and I trained at Whittwood Town Center. He was very distracted in the beginning, even by leaves that flew by. He kept losing focus and had trouble following through with commands. As we continued to train and I gave corrections, Scout began to bring his energy down. He struggled with come to sit, so we focused more on that command and by the end of training today, Scout was doing come to sit correctly. Scout was doing great holding his place as I moved around and created space. With sit and down he did break them a few times, but after giving a correction he held command till I told him break. By the end of training, I dropped the leash and Scout was able to drag it during a heel! 

 

Pupdate 2/3/2024

Today Scout and I trained at the Brea Mall. It was very busy so Scout was able to be exposed to lots of distractions. He definitely had a hard time keeping his focus. We started off by doing lots of laps around the mall to get Scout familiar with a new environment. I also wanted him to able to bring his nerves down before I asked him to do any commands. His heel was good, but he did try to lead a few times because he was distracted. I gave him a correction and slowed my pace to get him to not lead anymore. Once he calmed down, we headed to a quiet area of the mall where we worked on all the commands. Scout still would get distracted by people walking by, but we were still able to practice and get him to follow through by giving corrections. He is holding his sit and down longer and I can make more distance between us as he holds command. He is getting better at his come to sit and I was even able to get Scout to leash drag!

 

2/4/2024

Today Scout and I headed back to Lowe's to train out of the rain. We practiced more of his leash dragging skills around the store. He is doing great with his heel. He still is being stubborn when doing come to sit, but I am holding him accountable by giving corrections until he follows through. He still gets distracted easily, but by consistently reinforcing with the e-collar we can bring him back to focus. A women came up to Scout and I as we were training and said Scout was doing a great job. She pet Scout while he was in a sit and he was polite and did not jump or break command!

 

Pupdate 2/5/2024

Today Scout and I trained at Home Depot. He becomes very distracted by any thing such as people walking by, people pushing carts, forklifts, or loud noises going on around the store. He constantly is checking his surroundings. As we heeled around the store, Scout stayed by my side, but you can see in the video, he checks back to watch who is recording us, or he will be too distracted to follow through with a command if someone walks close by. Since Scout has never been exposed to distractions, he tends to get anxiety and stress. The signs of this are constant panting, always checking surroundings, and trying to move out of the way when things pass by. Working him through his anxiety and holding him accountable to following through with commands will help ease his anxiousness. I find it beneficial to find a spot to warm up with Scout before we start to walk around busy areas. It helps bring his nerves down and he is able to focus more. Each day exposing Scout to new or busy environments will help him become more confident. When it comes the time for Scout to go home, not only is it beneficial to bring him around distraction to build his confidence, but also you working him through his anxiety as you both are out will show him there is nothing to worry about. Being confident in our pups and holding them accountable helps build their confidence since they do feed off our energy.


I also would like to point out in the video I am not allowing Scout to scratch his neck. This is because I do not want him moving the e-collar which can cause irritation. He tends to scratch a lot when he does not want to follow through with a command. If we stop giving correction when he scratches, he will learn that every time he does scratch, he won’t have to do a command and the corrections will stop. So, I just prevent him from scratching and continue to have him follow through with the command.


As you mentioned, Scout likes to find things off the floor and eat them. Each time we go out, he does go up to any little thing to eat it. Since he has a habit of this, it is important to keep a close eye on him and give corrections when necessary. For example, today Scout wanted to eat small pieces of wood that were on the floor. Each time he tried to put his nose to the ground I would correct him and tell him off. When he did end up picking things up in his mouth I would turn up the dial on the remote, give a correction, tell him off, and have him spit out whatever it was that he was chewing. No matter what command Scout is in, we do not want him to have his nose to the ground and be distracted so we correct that behavior.


Although Scout is anxious in public, I still am able to get him to leash drag. I am confident enough in him to correct his mistakes when the e-collar corrections are given. For being nervous out in public, Scout is doing a great job and is showing improvements each day. I will continue to expose him to new environments and high distraction areas to help build his confidence.

 

Pupdate 2/6/2024

Scout and I met up with some OffLeash trainers at Cerritos Mall today. Scout showed lots of improvement and we were even able to work off leash! I first walked with Scout on leash when we entered the mall, but as he became more comfortable with the environment, he was able to work off leash. He still was a little anxious, but he was able to work past it which shows his confidence is growing. Scout heeled perfectly and only made little mistakes. He was able to hold his sit, down, and place even when people and other dogs passed by. He still can be stubborn when it comes to asking him to go into a down, but after giving a correction, he follows through.


After training, Scout had some fun in the rain. He ran around the yard and jumped in puddles around my home. Scout may love the rain, but he does not like having to get blowed dried when coming back in. Scout will definitely be getting a bath once the rain is gone.

 

Pupdate 2/7/2024

Today, Scout and I worked at home on his food and door manners and car load up. I wanted to focus more on Scout refusing food, especially if something is dropped on the floor or food being right in front of him that he cannot eat. We practiced by dropping some treats in front of Scout and putting a container of food on the floor. Anytime Scout got up to try and get to the food, I would give a correction with the e-collar and asked him to go back into a sit. After some practice Scout was able to refuse any food that was dropped, and I was able to heal him around the food without him putting his nose to the ground. 


We also practiced his door manners, where I have him either sit or down in front of the door as I open it and walk out. This is great for preventing Scout from bolting out the door. Scout loves to go outside and play so we did lots of repetition where Scout would down as I open the door. I even brought around my pups as distractions.


With load up, I have Scout wait to get in and out of the car until I say break. This again, prevents Scout from bolting out of the car once the door opens, or jumping into the car when we do not want him to. Scout had a great day of training, had even more fun outside playing now that the rain is gone. 

 

Pupdate 2/8/2024

Today, Scout and I trained at the Citadel Outlets. We first walked in with him on leash, but Scout showed no signs of being anxious, so I was able to work with him off leash right away. Scout’s confidence has grown so much over these past few days! There was only a few times he had gotten scared, which was when delivery men passed by with carts. Overall, Scout is doing great following through with commands and being less distracted. He still tends to look around at his surroundings, but now it does not cause him to break command. 

 

Pupdate 2/9/2024

Today, Scout and I went to the Shoppes in Chino Hills. Today Scout was a little anxious. It could have been from the fountain we were working and also a train that drives around the mall. It caused him to have a hard time focusing as you can see in the video when I have Scout do a come to sit. We did not walk around the mall but instead got right to work so Scout did not have time to warm up to his surroundings. It would have been beneficial if we did a few laps before getting to work to bring down Scout’s anxiousness. When Scout comes home and you decide to take him out in public, I recommend heeling him around the new environment and having him work through commands when you notice he is anxious. He may make mistakes because he is not focused, but It makes for a great opportunity to work on building his confidence. The more Scout is exposed to new distractions and environments the more confidence he will have. 

Scout also joined me and my sister for some lunch. I had put him in a down, and he waited patiently as we sat and ate. He did get bored after a while, which is understandable because he is a puppy, and he had gotten up and tried to move around. I had given him a toy that was in my bag, which kept him occupied for the rest of the time. 

Once we had gotten home, Scout had found his new favorite toy that was in my yard. He had spent the rest of the day running around with his new toy. 

 

Pupdate 2/10/2024

After Scout’s hard work these past two weeks, he got the day off today to play. Scout met two new friends and played with them all day. He does great meeting new pups. Scout also went for a walk around the neighborhood which he did great doing an off leash heel! Scout can’t wait to go home and show you everything he has learned! 


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