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Scrappy Coco | Wheaten Terrier Poodle Mix | Harbor City, CA | In-Training

Meet Scrappy Coco! A 5 month old Wheaten Terrier Poodle Mix from Harbor City, CA has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program to work on a few behaviors such as puppy nipping, potty training, resource guarding, and overall obedience in a variety of environments, as Scrappy Coco knows a few commands yet only performs whenever he feels like it.

Over these next two weeks Scrappy Coco and I will be working on counter conditioning unwanted behaviors, as well as build a solid foundation for his obedience to help him be the best pup he can possibly be! Stay tuned for his Two Week transformation!


Scrappy Coco and I got to know each other today as we strolled around the neighborhood together. He warmed up to me pretty quickly and was already sitting quite frequently as I applied leash pressure upwards. We then worked on crate training which he did great with! I applied a bit of leash pressure towards the crate and he did not resist. I then rewarded him as I closed the door on him. We will begin to introduce him to new commands tomorrow! 


Scrappy Coco and I started our day by introducing him to a few communication tools such as the slip lead and e collar. The slip lead is used to guide him with directional changes of the leash. I apply leash pressure in the direction I want him to go and the second he follows the path created for him, I turn that pressure off. Any time I apply leash pressure, I apply stimulation from the e collar as well. Scrappy Coco at first resisted the leash pressure. Once I marked and rewarded the few steps he took in the direction I wanted him to go, he began to understand how to turn the pressure off. He still resists every now and then but is learning to follow my lead. 

I introduced him to Come to Sit which is the action of Scrappy Coco coming around behind me to Sit on my left hand side ready to Heel. This is how I begin to build value with Scrappy Coco in a specific position. I then Cued his name frequently, rewarding him when he offered me his attention. This is called the name game and is a great game to practice around distractions to build engagement during training. A focused dog is a dog that is ready to work! 

Scrappy Coco has not had any accidents in the kennel so far which is great! He goes on potty breaks first thing in the morning, and every 3 to 4 hours during the day. While on a break he is told “Go Potty”.  It is important to remain consistent with his potty breaks as well as his feeding schedule. The food bowl should be removed about 30 minutes after he is fed. This teaches him to eat when he is fed, as well as helps us predict when he will need to go on a break. Crate training is an essential part of potty training, as often times accidents happen when a dog has too much freedom before being taken out. Since dogs don’t like to soil in their own bedding, the crate helps teach them to hold it until taken out. 


Today Scrappy Coco and I ventured out to the mall to stay dry while training. We worked on building fluency with his Come to Sit, and Heel as well as introduced him to Extended Place & Down. This was his first time with me in a busy setting, which allowed me to see how he acclimated to his surroundings. When we first arrived, he was hesitant to enter. I encouraged him to Heel with me and rewarded him a bit more frequently to help him overcome his fear and make more of a positive association with his environment, utilizing classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is the action of adding a positive interruptor in a questionable scenario for Scrappy Coco. If he saw something scary and wanted to bark at it, I called his name before he was able to bark. It is always better to be proactive instead of reactive! Once he checked in with me I marked it with a Yes and rewarded him. By doing this enough over these next two weeks, I will condition Scrappy Coco to seek me for guidance when unsure of anything or anyone.

It took Scrappy Coco about 20 minutes in his new environment before he appeared more confident and ready to work. After we Heeled around the mall to expose him a bit, we then worked on introducing him to Extended Place & Down. Place is a great command to use to build confidence in a dog, create a calm state of mind, as well as prevent unwanted behaviors from happening. It can be used essentially on any elevated surface. I recommend purchasing a dog cot to be able to send him to Place at home and work on house training. It can also be transported wherever you take him. Having something familiar to him in an unfamiliar place helps him acclimate to his surroundings much quicker.

Scrappy Coco did great with working up the courage to jump onto new surfaces, and after a few tries was able to follow my lure to perform Down. We practiced this repetitively before I requested him to do it without a treat. Although the treat wasn’t in my hand when I cued Down with a bit of leash pressure downwards, I rewarded him after he performed the behavior so he knows he doesn’t have to visually see the treat to be rewarded. Scrappy caught on to this quickly and was fluently performing Down without a treat by the end of the session. Excellent work Scrappy Coco!


Today Scrappy Coco and I worked on building fluency with his Down and Place command. He initially struggled performing it, and fought the added leash pressure towards the ground. After many repetitions, he began to understand how to turn that pressure off. I then rewarded him for the ones he performed more quickly, without much resistance. I also captured and rewarded the few times he offered the Down all on his own. 

Once we began to work on his Place command, his confidence immediately improved and he performed Down fluently. When dogs are on elevated surfaces, they naturally feel more confident. This helped Scrappy Coco overcome his resistance of the Down. We will keep emphasizing our work on his Down as well as begin to utilize a 15 ft leash to build distance between us for his commands. 

I did notice last night that Scrappy Coco has had a lot of diarrhea and pooped in his kennel overnight. He has been doing well with his potty training before this, so it must have been due to an upset tummy. I eliminated the wet food and only fed him his kibble, with added anti diarrhea liquid, as well as boiled chicken with white rice. This seemed to help him significantly, as I noticed his next stool was solid again. 


Scrappy Coco and I worked on proofing his commands some more as well as worked towards building fluency with his Down and Place command. He demonstrated much more fluency with his Down today, following the guidance of the leash pressure towards the floor quite nicely. Place has been one of his favorite commands to perform! He is a happy, energetic pup that is always ready to jump onto new surfaces when cued to do so. We successfully met his two minute duration goal for his Sit and Down. Now that we have met this, we will keep building distance between us as well as bring him around plenty of distractions. Good work Scrappy Coco!


Scrappy Coco and I ventured out to The Block where we worked on everything he has learned so far, utilizing a 15ft leash. As we added distance, he initially tried to release himself. I positioned him back into the Down, which helped him eventually hold his Extended Down and Place for up to a minute and a half. He occasionally barks at people that he is unsure of, but has improved with his confidence when out and about,  only barking once today which is an improvement from before!

We then worked on his Greeting Manners with friendly people that wanted to say hi. I remind him to Sit as he is pet which helps him hold is Sit. The petting only continues if he’s being a good boy! It stops if he nips or jumps up. 


Scrappy Coco and I spent our day working on all of his commands with the leash dragging today. This allows us to work towards our Off Leash goal, while still being able to utilize the leash when necessary. He is able to Come and Sit by my side from a distance of 15 ft away, as well as hold his Sit or Down for a minimum of two minutes. Scrappy Coco is an energetic pup, so sending him to Place  is a great way of helping him enter a more calm state of mind as well as prevent unwanted behaviors. Daily activity is what will help enrich Scrappy Coco’s needs. Tug of war, playtime with other pups or long walks is a great way to help release his energy in a healthy way. Constant exposure to new environments, along with working on obedience & classical conditioning will help him gain more confidence everyday. 


Scrappy Coco and I worked towards his Off Leash goal today as we began to drag the leash while working on all of his commands. First we worked on his Come to Sit with minimal leash pressure. After utilizing the leash the first few times, I dropped it and began to use more visual cues along with stimulation of the e collar. We Heeled as we used the toys on the floor as a distraction. At first he was very adamant about getting the toy. I cued Off and kept the stimulation there until he left it alone and came back by my side. I then called him away from the toys to Come and Sit by my side. As we repeatedly practiced this, he became more consistent with this! We will continue to add more distractions as well as drag the leash when in different environments. 


Scrappy Coco and I went to the park today to work on his obedience with the leash dragging as we Heeled around the whole park together. I occasionally call his name to grab his attention, then praise him with a big Yes when he looks my way. This is called the name game and builds Scrappy Coco’s engagement during training. 

While we explored the park, Scrappy was very interested in the ducks and tried to chase them. I popped the leash with stimulation of the e collar cuing Off. This grabbed his attention quickly as he Came back to Sit by my side. We then kept working near the ducks to proof his Heel, and desensitize him. Scrappy Coco remained consistent with his Heel moving forward.  He was able to Come to Sit by my side reliably without leash pressure .  He can happily run to perform Place from about five feet away which we are working on adding on more distance to. 


Today Scrappy Coco and I visited The Citadel Outlets as we worked on proofing his commands around more distractions. Whenever we arrive somewhere new, I give him a potty break in a grassy area and cue him to “Go Potty”. He responds to this rather quickly and typically goes before we begin our training session. We then Heeled around the Outlets together where we worked on his Come to Sit, Extended Sit, Down and Place. He can hold his position for a minimum of two minutes as I create distance between us. He has improved with his Off command, stopping whatever he is doing when told to do so. It is best to be proactive and cue Off if you know something will capture his attention beforehand. Doing this, will help prevent unwanted behaviors from forming. 

Since Scrappy has demonstrated he is ready, we will begin to film content for his Final video tomorrow! 


Scrappy Coco and I began to film content for his Final video today! He had the opportunity to practice his Greeting Manners with new friendly people that wanted to say hi. I reminded him to Sit as he was pet. He did well with this and held position, even as the crowd of people were being very energetic! 

We then brushed up his Off Leash Heel as we walked around the outlets together. I utilize many hand signals while Heeling to help Scrappy maintain his position next to me. By tapping on my left hand side whenever I remind him to Heel, he checks in with me and is very attentive. We then practiced Place on different surfaces. Scrappy Coco held his Place for a record of 5 minutes today! This is great for an energetic pup like him to keep practicing, which helps teach him how to be calm. Scrappy Coco has fun with being sent to Place, always running towards the elevated surface with a bunch of enthusiasm! 


Scrappy Coco and I worked on filming some more content for his Final as well as proofed his commands while out near distractions. He has done well with remaining fluent with his commands, yet performs best when given a few breaks in between, which is common for puppies!

He has had fun while in the backyard with the other pups. We practice his Come to Sit and Off command frequently as he plays with the other dogs. He can be quite rough when playing. I step in every so often to remind him to give the other dog space as I send him to Place. He also has improved significantly with coming when called during playtime


Scrappy Coco and I had an eventful beach day today at Venice! We strolled around the beach on a pack walk as we got some exercise in. After working on our Heel, and Come to Sit we then filmed his Final video! There were plenty of distractions as he held his Place and Extended Sit for a minimum of two minutes as I created distance between us. 

We then practiced his Greeting Manners which he did well with, remaining consistent as he received all the love from friendly people that wanted to say hi. It helps to remind whoever is petting him to only pet him if all four paws are on the floor. When he is excitable, it helps to remind him to Sit occasionally. Once he is released, I often release him to come over to me and receive praise as well. It’s great to be the reward to your pup as well! 


Scrappy Coco has learned boundaries, not jumping on the door to open it anymore. He has learned that when he sits and waits patiently, the door will open. If he gets up, the door closes on him. The door is an important threshold to remain consistent with so Scrappy Coco won’t have a habit of being the first one out. 

After Heeling together around the neighborhood and working on his Manners, we played together in the backyard with the other pups. Playtime is a great outlet for Scrappy Coco to release his energy. Since he is a very energetic pup, this is highly recommended with another dog you trust. 

Over these last two weeks, Scrappy Coco has done well with me taking food as well as toys away from him. For the first time yesterday, he displayed signs of resource guarding once he got a hold of a dog food wrapper. I cued Off as I came closer to him. He covered it and slightly growled at me. I then called him to Come along with stimulation of the E collar which helped him leave it alone and come to me instead. It is important to remove Scrappy away from anything valuable by calling him to come. If a dog tends to resource guard, it can be dangerous to try to remove anything from them and only makes them more possessive of their item of value. A strong Off command is essential, which is what we have been emphasizing our work on over these last few weeks. 

Scrappy has overall become more confident, can hold his Place and Extended Sit for a minimum of two minutes, and can Come to Sit from about 15 ft away. At times he is still not a fan of the crate when he would rather be playing outside with his furry friends. Cuing crate, while pointing to it along with stimulation of the e collar helps reinforce the crate command. Keeping up with intervals of time for him to be in the crate is recommended to prevent any separation anxiety he may have from escalating. It prepares him for time apart as well as helps him learn how to calm down throughout the day. Often times accidents happen in the house when a dog is given too much freedom without supervision. Frequent potty breaks with a consistent schedule is essential to keep up with his potty training. If he has eaten and drank, sending him to the crate right after helps prevent him from going inside the house. Potty breaks after meals, first thing in the morning and right before bed are a great routine to have with him, as it is our routine that we have implemented. 

 I recommend constantly taking Scrappy Coco to new environments. Exposure to new environments is a great way to further improve his training.He is a loving boy who needs a lot of guidance, structure and leadership to thrive and follow instructions. He has come a long way and we can not wait to show you what he has learned. Thank you for trusting me with Scrappy Coco! 


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