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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Sheeba | American Akita | Azusa, CA | In-Training

Meet Sheeba. She is a four month old American Akita who has joined us for our Three Week Puppy Board and Train Program. Sheeba is here for basic obedience, jumping to greet, nipping, and barking for attention. She can be full of energy and getting her to calm down can be a task at hand. She is a little uncertain at times and can be shy when meeting someone new. Sheeba is smart but stubborn, and will only listen when she wants to. Over the next twenty one days, Sheeba will be working on her behavior and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well mannered pup. Check in to see her progress!


Sheeba and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other by going for a walk around the park. She was pulling heavily on her leash, so she was introduced to Heel which consists of having her walk next to me on my right side. Since puppies do have short attention spans, we worked on a five to ten minute session with breaks in between. Whenever Sheeba would pull away from me, I would walk in the opposite direction, and guide her back towards me with leash tension. She is beginning to understand leash pressure and is rewarded with praise whenever she follows through. I will continue to work on her Heel as it is still a work in progress, but it will now be implied on every walk we go on.


Sheeba was introduced to Place today. This is a technique that consists of having Sheeba getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. It can build confidence in a dog and can also be of great use whenever guests are over. I began by having Sheeba Place  on a low object, used leash tension to guide her onto the object, and rewarded her with praise once she was fully on in a Sit. Whenever Sheeba came out of her Sit, which was almost immediately, I would simply reset her and ask her to Sit again. She is understanding the concept, and as training continues, I will gradually increase the duration of her Sit by rewarding her for remaining in her position for longer periods of time.


Sheeba is making good progress with her Heel and Place training. She does fall a little behind at times, but it is common for dogs to fall behind when learning a new behavior. With a little leash tension, which she is responding to very well, I am able to guide her back towards me and continue on our walk. As she continues to practice, Sheeba will likely become more confident and require less guidance. She is building more confidence with her Place technique, and it is important to help Sheeba work through any uncertainty she may feel when learning a new behavior. By getting onto the object myself and guiding her through it, I am helping her understand what is expected of her.


Sheeba was introduced to Down today which can be a challenging position for some dogs to learn. It is important to keep in mind that this position can be stressful for some dogs, as it can make them feel vulnerable or submissive.

Using an elevated object to help guide Sheeba into the "Down" position is a good technique, as it can make it easier for her to understand what I am asking her to do. Using gentle leash tension can also help guide her into the correct position.

It is also important to be patient with Sheeba and to reward her with praise for any progress she makes, even if she does not get into the Down position right away. Using a hand on her back to help keep her in the correct position can be helpful, and I always make sure to use gentle pressure and not force her into the position. It took time and patience, with breaks in between to avoid frustration, but Sheeba is understanding the concept and following through with her Down.


Sheeba and I worked on her recall today which is known as Come to Sit. It consists of having Sheeba come towards my left side, going around behind me, and sitting on my right. By using leash tension and rewarding Sheeba with praise anytime she took a step towards me, it encourages her to follow through. Similarly, praising her for going around behind me and sitting on my right will strengthen the behavior. Sheeba was having trouble sitting next to me and would sit off to the side, but I am going to work on that by using walls and ninety degree angles as barriers to work on a better Sit.


Sheeba and I took a trip to a local Home Depot today and worked on some noise desensitizing by exposing her to loud machinery and forklift sounds. Exposing dogs to different environments and sounds can help them become more confident and adaptable in new situations. I continued to practice her Come to Sit by using the aisles as barriers to keep Sheeba from sitting off to the side. It is also important to work on recall in different settings to help strengthen the behavior in various contexts. Sheeba is making good progress and she continues to build her confidence as she is exposed to new experiences in a positive and controlled way.


Sheeba and I have been working on improving her duration in stationary positions. We have been practicing in five second increments for every foot I stepped back, and releasing her with her “Break” command. It is important to practice in these increments and gradually increase the amount of time she can remain in position. By serving as a distraction myself during our sessions, Sheeba would initially come out of position anytime I moved around. By resetting and remaining consistent with repetition, Sheeba began to understand what was being asked, and continues to progress by following through with her behavior.


Sheeba and I worked on more duration exercises today with a few distractions at a local park. Working around distractions can be challenging for dogs, especially when there are other dogs around. I started with short distances and gradually increased the distance as Sheeba became more comfortable and confident with the exercise. Sheeba and I began our session with dogs walking by at a good distance, and eventually worked her up to having dogs walk closer and closer to her, while she remains in position. This is helping Sheeba gain more confidence and resilience in the face of distractions.


Sheeba and I met with Cheyenne and did some training together. She did very well around her sister and both were able to remain calm. Sheeba was great throughout our walk and adjusted very well to her environment. We worked together on Heel, Sit, Come To Sit, and Place. Training with Sheeba everyday improves her obedience and her behavior. She was having a little trouble with Place, but with a quick reset, I was able to work Sheeba through it. What helps most of the time in this situation, is a running start. It can amp a dog up and encourage it to follow through with that behavior. Sheeba and Cheyenne had a great session today, and will continue to meet throughout the remainder of their Program.


Sheeba is making good progress with her exposure to public settings. She is able to ignore other dogs and remain calm in a stationary position. These are important skills for any dog to have when out in public. It was also encouraging that Sheeba was able to lay calmly beside me during a water break in a busy area. This shows that she is becoming more comfortable in a variety of settings and is able to relax even when there are distractions around her. As she becomes more comfortable, I will gradually increase the level of difficulty in public areas, but I will also make sure to keep things within her comfort zone so that she may continue to build positive associations with being out in public, and become a confident and well-adjusted companion.


Sheeba and I did some training at a local park around dog distractions. She continues to thrive when socializing and is learning how to behave properly when dogs are at short distance from her. We worked on her Extended Sit and her Extended Down as a few pups circled around her. She did really well with her Sit but was a little hesitant when it came to her Down. I used leash tension to guide her towards the ground and released pressure when Sheeba followed through. It is important to keep in mind that a dog feels vulnerable at times being down on all four, thus making them quite nervous when performing certain behavior.


Sheeba and I did a little shopping at a local outdoor mall and she behaved very well inside of every store we went into. She received a lot of attention and was praised for being such a good pup by people throughout the stores. I enjoy watching the progress Sheeba continues to make and how during our walks, she will automatically walk on my right side on her own. Now that we have established a good duration with distractions in her stationary positions, I will now begin to increase distance with Sheeba with a longer line and have her reach her goal.


Sheeba and I had a productive training session at a local park. We worked on distance and duration with distractions, as it is an important part of training that can help Sheeba learn to remain focused even in distracting environments. Sheeba was able to remain in a Sit, even with other dogs around. She did bark at a jogger running by, but I was able to correct her barking behavior using her "Off" command. Consistent use of commands can help encourage good behavior and discourage unwanted behavior. Working on Place with distance is a great exercise, as it helps Sheeba learn to remain calm and focused while other dogs or people are nearby. It is important to gradually increase the distance and duration of the exercise to challenge her and help her continue to improve.


Sheeba is doing well with her distance training and we have been practicing at home to improve her training. In a public setting, Sheeba did come out of position after a few seconds of someone passing by. It is not uncommon for dogs to struggle with staying in a Sit or Down position, especially when there are distractions around. However, I continue to help Sheeba overcome this by resetting her and taking her back to the same spot to try again. By bringing Sheeba out to practice around people serving as distractions, it helps her learn to focus even when there are things going on around her. It is normal for dogs to be curious about people passing by, but it is also important to remind her to stay in the position I have asked her to. She is following through and I will continue to strengthen her training at home and in different environments.


Sheeba is becoming accustomed to distractions around her in different environments. She does well adapting to her surroundings and is learning to remain focused when working on her behaviors even in the face of distractions. Sheeba’s Heel did need an adjustment initially, as she would slightly pull away during our walk. By working her through it will help make walks more enjoyable for Sheeba and yourself. During her Extended Down, Sheeba did well remaining in her Down and not reacting to anyone passing nearby. This is a great indication of her ability to stay calm and focused even in busy environments. Sheeba is on the right track and in a few days, she will begin working on her Final.


Sheeba and I have been working on her Greeting Manners. She has learned that she is to remain in a Sit whenever she is approached by someone that wants to say hello. In the beginning of her training, Sheeba would come out of her position whenever I stepped away, but throughout her Program she began to understand the concept. Repetition and consistency were once again key, and Sheeba has now managed to successfully be greeted without coming out of her stationary position.


Sheeba is able to adjust to her surroundings and perform well in public settings with distractions the more I expose her. She did really well in an elevator and I continue to build her confidence by challenging her abilities to perform her behaviors. Introducing her to new objects and tasks can sometimes be challenging, but it is important to remain patient and persistent in her training. Continuing to challenge and train her will not only strengthen her existing behaviors, but it will also help her learn new ones, which will be beneficial in the long run.


Sheeba continues to thrive in her training. She has had no accidents in the house since she has been in training. When it comes to housebreaking a puppy, consistency is key. I have established a good routine for taking her out and she is learning to associate going to the bathroom with being outside I take her out every thirty to forty five minutes after each meal and wait for her to go. I have her go every morning before our walk, after breakfast and dinner, before our evening walks, and one more time before she turns in for the night. Sheeba has picked out her own spot in one of the corners in my backyard, and as long as I keep up with the routine, I avoid having accidents in the household.


Sheeba and I spent the day at home today. She got some exercise and playtime together with her buddy Gracie who is also in training. They enjoy each other’s company in the house and love running around the yard. Socialization is very important for dogs, especially during their early years, as it helps them develop good behavior and communication skills with other dogs and people. Regular playtime and interactions with other dogs can also help prevent boredom and promote mental stimulation, which is important for a dog's overall well-being. We ended the day with a cookout and had some dinner outside.


Sheeba and I had a great day at the park as we worked on all of her commands. Her confidence has grown over these past three weeks, which is a testament of her intelligence and the dedication that is put into her training. Consistency and patience continue to be key when it comes to training and I am proud of the progression Sheeba has made. Sheeba is a very bright lady, and can be capable of so much more as long as we as owners put in the effort and the dedication to have her continue succeeding.


Sheeba has completed her Three Week Puppy Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for trusting me with Sheeba over these last three weeks while she was under my care. It was a pleasure to be her trainer and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to showing you what she can do, but in the meantime here is a clip of Sheeba working on her Food Manners. Thank you Sheeba!

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