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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Stella | Goldendoodle | Torrance, CA | In-Training

Meet Stella! She is a seven month old Goldendoodle who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train Program. Stella is here for basic obedience, jumping to greet, and leash pulling. Stella does not have much exposure with other dogs, but is good with people. She will occassionally nibble on hands and will also dig as well. Over the next fourteen days, this sweet lady will work on her behavior and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well behaved pup. Check in to see her progress!


Stella and I spent the day getting to know each other. She did great in the kennel on our ride home and did not cry or whine. We drove out to a local park and began to establish a bond by going on a walk. Stella was pulling on her leash and was introduced to Heel. Heel consists of having Stella walk next to me on my left side. Whenever she would pull away, I would turn around, walk in the opposite direction, and guide her towards my left side with leash tension. She is understanding the concept, but it is still a work in progress. Heel will now be implied on every walk we go on from here on out.


Stella and I met up with other trainers and their dogs at a local park today. I worked on her Heel a little more as we took a walk throughout the park. She did very well staying next to me but she did fall behind a few times. Stella is very food motivated so I used treats and verbal encouragement to guide her back into position. She is fearful of other dogs and tends to get really anxious around them. Stella does not react to them but she will try to retreat. To begin working her through it, one of the trainers assisted me and put on a coupler leash on her dog and Stella. Initially, she did not want to go on the walk, but with food and leash tension, Stella made good progress and began to follow through.


Stella was introduced to Place today. This technique builds confidence in a dog and is of great use whenever guests are over, or if there is a knock on your door. It consists of having Stella getting onto an elevated object and remaining there in a Sit or a Down. She did very well hopping onto the objects, but was having trouble remaining in a Sit, as she would come out of it almost instantly. To work her through it, I used her kibble as a reward for remaining in a Sit every time she placed. Stella also worked on her socialization with another dog, and was highly praised and rewarded when she made the approach and came within a short distance of the other pup.


Stella was introduced to her recall today which is known as Come to Sit. This technique consists of having Stella come towards me and have her Sit on my left. To teach Stella, I used leash tension and her kibble to lure her into sitting on my left. Initially, Stella would come towards me and Sit in front of me. To assist her in following through, I used her leash as guidance, and used her kibble to lure her into making a u-turn before sitting next to me. She is picking up on it, but at times, she would Sit off to the side of me. When that occurs, I reset with her, work her through it, and reward her with praise when she gets it right.


Stella was introduced to Down today. Down can be a difficult technique to teach considering it being a submissive position to a dog. To teach Stella, I asked her to Sit, and then used leash tension and her kibble to lure her towards the ground. She sat up during our first attempts so I placed my hand over her back and kept her from getting up by applying slight pressure whenever she made an intent. It took time and patience, with breaks in between to avoid frustration, but Stella was able to accomplish her Down.


Stella and I went out to a local shopping center today and worked on loose leash walking. She is doing very well and can maintain her Heel without pulling me and she is improving on not falling behind. We also went on a walk with another trainer who served as a distraction and I began to work on her Extended Sit as well. Stella is good with other dogs if they are in a stationary position from a distance, but if another dog approaches her, there is a chance that Stella will try to retreat. Other than that, Stella has learned all of her commands, and will now focus on holding them by increasing distance and duration.


Stella and I have been working on her Extended Sit but was having trouble maintaining it whenever I would start increasing distance. To help her with that, I moved back one foot at a time with five second increments. One foot back is five seconds, two feet back is ten seconds, three feet back is fifteen and so on. Stella is doing well as she is almost up to one minute, and she did a good job with distractions around her such as people, bicycles, and skateboards. With week one coming to a close, Stella will begin working with her leash dragging, and I will also continue to give her more exposure with other dogs.


Stella and I went for a walk around my neighborhood today. Since she does well with a loose leash, I decided to drop it and let Stella walk with her leash dragging. She was doing really good, but once we came across another dog in its front yard, I picked up the leash to keep her from going into flight mode. Stella is fearful of dogs she does not know, but once she gets comfortable, she will make an approach, and will eventually engage in play. After our walk, I had her rest for a while, and then I gave her some playtime in my front yard with her buddy Rex.


Stella and I began working on some exercises with her leash dragging in a more public setting today. She struggled a few times with Place, as she was unsure about the texture of the bench, but we are working to get that cleaned up. She also worked on her Extended Down and did really well with distractions of people passing by. Stella has entered her final week of training and will work with her leash dragging these next few days, as she prepares for her off leash experience.


Stella and I worked on some more socialization with other dogs today. I have noticed that she is very playful with dogs, but only individually. She can co-exist with other dogs in a pack if the energy around her is calm. If other dogs in a pack are in a playful state of mind and are all playing with each other, Stella will retreat and avoid them. We worked on it in a closed environment, and although she did go into flight mode a few times, for it being her first time around a pack of dogs, it was good to see Stella begin to overcome a big obstacle.


Stella and I have been working on Door Manners since the day I brought her home. Anytime I opened a door, Stella would always want to be the first one to go through. To help her into not doing so, I would ask Stella to Down when we approached a door. Once in a Down position, I proceeded to open the door, and made sure Stella remained in her position. When I opened the door, every time she sat up meant the door would close, and the process would repeat itself.  Once she understood what I was asking, I began to increase time and distance to keep her in a Down longer, which led to Stella achieving her two minute goal.


Stella and I worked all of her commands today and she did very well with people distractions all around her. During our warm up session, Stella was being praised and complimented for her good behavior by employees and shoppers. She was able to work on her Greeting Manners and is able to Sit when someone says hello to her. Stella will be working on her Final the next couple of days as it is going to be the main focus from here on out.


Stella and I worked on her Final today and she put on a very good performance. Everything she has learned throughout her Program was put together. I am proud of the outcome and how far she has come along. Stella can be off leash capable, but I do recommend she remains on leash while around other unfamiliar canines in public. Her Final was done off leash and here is a preview of what Stella can do.


Stella has completed her Two Week Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be her trainer. It was a pleasure to work with her, and I appreciate the trust you had in me for having Stella under my care these last two weeks. She is a bright pup, and with patience and consistency, she can be capable of so much more. Stella’s Final video will be coming soon, but here is a peek at her working on her Food Manners. Thank you Stella!


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