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Teddy | Cavapoo | San Pedro, CA | In-Training



Meet Teddy, he's a one-year-old Cavapoo from San Pedro, California! This sweet and fluffy pup is here with us for our Two Week Board and Train Program, where we will work on teaching him basic obedience and manners, as well as provide potty training. He doesn't have much knowledge of obedience commands yet, and has a short attention span which causes him to be easily distracted. He also tends to be a bit nervous and anxious when in an unfamiliar environment or situation, and sometimes experiences separation anxiety. He also comes to us with some undesirable behaviors, such as excessive barking, play biting, jumping on people, pulling on the leash, and eating things off the ground. Over the next fourteen days, we will be working on improving his obedience and manners to set him on the right path to becoming a well-behaved pup both on and off-leash. Stay tuned for his transformation!


 

Pupdate 7/7/2024



Today Teddy and I spent the day bonding and getting to know each other at the park after he was dropped off with me. He was a bit unsure of me at first, and seemed a bit anxious about his parents leaving. I offered him some of his treats which seemed to help him feel more comfortable with me, and soon he warmed up to me and happily accepted affection from me as well. While walking around the park, he seemed a bit nervous about his surroundings, but also was eager to explore around. His attention span is definitely on the lower end, and overall he was much more focused on investigating everything around us rather than listening to me.


While at the park, I tested his current knowledge of commands to get an idea of where his starting point is and what areas may need some extra focus going forward. He would usually Come to me when called, but it often took several asks before he responded, and once he got to me he was quick to wander back off again. When asked to Heel, he didn't seem to recognize the command at all and was almost always at the end of the leash. He often would walk ahead of or behind me, and didn't seem interested in walking alongside me. He seemed to understand Sit, however he was very inconsistent about following through with it. If he did Sit, he would always stand back up and start walking away after a second or two. He wasn't able to perform Down on command, but he did seem to enjoy relaxing in the shade on his own accord. I also asked him to Place on some low, easy to reach objects, but he didn't seem to understand what was being asked of him. He would sometimes put his two front paws up on the object, but seemed to lack the confidence to jump all the way up, even with plenty of encouragement. He didn't seem to have any understanding of leash pressure either, and would often freeze in place or try to pull against the leash when pressure was created.


After our time at the park, it was time to head home and get him settled into my home. He wasn't able to jump into the car on his own, but was comfortable with being picked up and placed into the car. He also didn't have any issue with going into the kennel within the car, and happily went inside with some gentle guidance and settled in for the ride home, which is a great display of Car Manners. Anytime Teddy is to ride in a car with me, he will be secured in a kennel for his utmost safety. He will also be in a kennel at home during nighttime or any other time he is unsupervised. This will be a useful tool in his potty training journey as well, as pups are instinctually discouraged from going potty inside their sleeping area. Upon arriving home, he had some time to explore around and become familiar with his new environment. When I offered him some food he jumped on me a lot and was very impatient for his food, so we will definitely be working on improving his Food Manners. We will also be setting up a feeding schedule, which will help make his potty habits more routine and predictable, as free feeding is a common cause of unexpected potty accidents. Later, we went out for a walk around my neighborhood to let him go potty and become familiar with the area. When exiting the house to start our walk, Teddy kept trying to run out the door as soon as it was opened, so we will also be working to improve his Door Manners to make sure he can respect the boundary a doorway creates as this will help keep him safe. During the walk, he was a bit unsure of the new environment at first, but eventually felt relaxed enough to go potty in some grass. Starting tomorrow, will be taking walks around the neighborhood multiple times daily to work on potty and obedience training. After our walk, he had a nap in his kennel and relaxed happily inside without any fuss. He seems to be settling in nicely, and we are so excited to begin this training journey together!



 

Pupdate 7/8/2024




Teddy and I worked on his training around my neighborhood today. The neighborhood was pretty quiet in the morning hours with not many distractions around, which was a good time to begin introducing Teddy to his training as the calm environment encouraged focus and learning. Closer to the evening hours, the neighborhood got much more lively, with lots of people, dogs, bicycles, and other kinds of distractions out and about. We made sure to give Teddy lots of breaks during training, to let him enjoy sniffing and playing around between training, which helps keep training fun while also serving as a reward for good behavior! Today we focused on introducing him to the concept of leash pressure, the e-collar, and the Come to Sit command. Pressure is a fundamental tool used in teaching basic obedience commands. The idea is that whenever leash pressure is applied, be it from a leash or e-collar, it is paired with a command. The pressure then remains present until Teddy follows the pressure and performs the behavior or command being asked of him. The moment he follows through, the pressure immediately turns off and a reward is given. Yesterday, whenever the leash was used to apply pressure, he would firmly resist it, try to pull in the opposite direction, and made no attempt to turn the pressure off, so it was clear he didn't quite understand the concept of leash pressure just yet. He also seemed to mostly ignore pressure from a flat collar, so we used a slip lead today which is a very helpful tool to both discourage pulling and help him develop a clear understanding of pressure through precise communication. We spent a good amount of time focusing on teaching him what leash pressure means, and how to turn off the pressure once it's applied. We practiced some simple exercises by applying leash pressure, encouraging him to follow it, and rewarding him when he did! He learned that trying to resist it was not successful or rewarding, and that simply following the directional pressure and paying attention to what I was asking of him was very simple and rewarding! After a while of practicing with this, he did much better and began showing a good understanding of leash pressure! In order to properly introduce the e-collar, it's very helpful for Teddy to first have a solid understanding of leash pressure, as leash pressure is the most simple form of pressure due to the clear directional guidance it provides. Once he understood the leash pressure, we began adding in a new form of pressure from the e-collar. By pairing these two forms of pressure simultaneously, he will come to understand that each pressure has the same meaning. With time and practice, this will allow the leash and e-collar to be used interchangeably, and eventually allow the opportunity to begin training with the e-collar only, without the need for a leash! Be sure to check out today's video for an in-depth e-collar tutorial.

Come to Sit is an important command to begin practicing early on in Teddy's training journey, as having a solid recall is important for any pup's safety and obedience training, and will be especially crucial for his safety if he is off-leash. The goal for Come to Sit is for Teddy to come when called, approach my right side, circle around my back, and finish with a Sit facing forward on the left side. He is asked to hold this Sit until released with "Break", or given a new command. This ensures he not only comes when called, but also that he remains stationary until told otherwise. The Come to Sit maneuver when completed in its entirety also sets him up to be in the perfect position to begin walking in a Heel, which we will introduce tomorrow. We introduced the Come to Sit command today by combining the verbal command "Come" with guidance from the leash and stimulation from the e-collar to grab his attention and guide him towards me. Once he came over to me, he was then guided around and to my left side where he was asked to perform a Sit. With each successful repetition, I made sure to give him lots of praise and rewards to build up a positive association with the command and the action of coming to me when called. He'll need some more work with this command before he is consistent with it, though for his first day with this command, he did a good job!


Teddy's potty training is going well so far, but he did have one small urine accident in the afternoon today, around ten minutes after drinking a significant amount of water. I was able to interrupt it and guide him outside to finish his potty in an appropriate location, and we proceeded the rest of the day without any further accidents. During the daytime, I've been taking him outside every couple of hours and encouraging him to go with the "go potty" cue, which he seems to be understanding. We will be working to establish a potty schedule that works for Teddy, and each day we will be very gradually increasing the amount of time in between potty breaks so he can learn to hold it for longer periods throughout the day without having accidents.



 

Pupdate 7/9/2024

Today Teddy and I visited a local park, where we practiced two new commands, Off and Heel. We introduced these commands in the morning while walking around the neighborhood, where the distractions were a bit lower. This helped him to have an easier time relaxing and focusing on learning. In the evening, we walked over to the park to continue practicing his commands around slightly more distractions. The park was not super busy today, but there were some common distractions around such as people, dogs, children, and small animals. Teddy did become distracted at times, but overall did a pretty good job with his commands.

Teddy is often easily distracted, as he tends to focus on his surroundings even when asked to perform commands. Moments like this are a great opportunity to implement the Off command. The goal for the Off command is for Teddy to stop whatever he is doing, and focus on his handler. This is a very versatile command, similar to "no" or "leave it", and can be used in various situations, such as to interrupt fixation on distractions, barking, jumping on people, eating or sniffing things he's not supposed to, or any other behaviors that are undesirable or inappropriate at that time. The verbal Off command when paired with leash pressure and the e-collar allows us to interrupt the behavior and help him to refocus so that he is in a better mindset to listen for upcoming instructions. Once the Off command is given, it's beneficial to immediately follow it with another command such as Sit, Come, Heel, etc. Once he stops whatever behavior he was doing, asking him to set his focus on a task will help keep his attention away from what initially distracted him or caused the undesirable behavior. Teddy has shown good progress in understanding the Off command so far, and with each repetition, he seemed to be quicker to respond and refocus when prompted. However, more work will need to be done in various situations before he is fully reliable with the command.


Heel is another important concept for Teddy to begin developing early on in his training. The goal for the Heel command is for Teddy to be able to follow directly alongside me on my left side, and maintain that position while walking unless released or given a new command. This precise positioning takes a lot of practice to master, but it will effectively eliminate pulling on the leash or veering off in different directions, and allow his handler to take the lead on walks instead of him trying to pull them around wherever he pleases. To introduce this command, I kept the leash short but loose, and ensured he stayed on my left side in roughly the Heel position as we walked. If he began to veer off, pull ahead, or otherwise create tension on the leash, he was given some guidance with the leash, stimulation from the e-collar, and the verbal command "Heel" command was given until he returned to the desired position. During Heel, his sole focus should be following his handler's lead, and as such he needs to remain neutral to and ignore his environment, which will definitely take some practice to accomplish. He sometimes struggled to ignore distractions around us, but he eventually began to grasp the concept, stopped trying to pull as much, and instead learned to follow my lead. When walking in the correct Heel position, the leash was loose, no pressure was applied, and lots of praise and rewards were given to create value in this position. We practiced making lots of turns as well, which helped to keep Teddy engaged and focused on his positioning. As he gets better with this command, he will have an easier time staying in the Heel position without as much guidance needed, and will need to be given reminders less frequently. Overall he did a good job today and seemed to catch on pretty quickly, though more work will need to be done before he can Heel reliably, especially around distractions.



 

Pupdate 7/10/2024





Today Teddy and I began our training session at home, where we introduced two new commands, Place and Down. Once he made some progress with these commands, we moved outside to train around the neighborhood with more distractions present. We encountered distractions such as dogs, people, cars, strollers, bicycles, and small animals like birds and squirrels. We continued working on each command he has learned thus far. Overall he did a good job with his training today, and is making good progress with his commands. He is also doing well with the e-collar, and seems to be understanding the communication it provides.


The goal for the Place command is for Teddy to jump or climb onto a designated object, such as a bench, a bed, or another object with defined borders, and hold a stationary command while remaining on the Place object until released or given a new command. We introduced this command at home using a familiar object, a dog cot. He is comfortable climbing onto and relaxing on the cot in his own time, so this was a good object to use and help set him up for success. We used some leash pressure to guide him onto the cot while giving the verbal Place cue, which he quickly picked up on. Once he seemed to understand the behavior, we began pairing leash pressure with e-collar stimulation as additional reinforcement and communication when needed. After a few repetitions, he quickly picked up on what was being asked of him and was able to Place with minimal to no leash pressure. We brought the dog cot outside to continue working on Place around distractions, and he did well with this also. We then practiced on a variety of objects we found outside, such as rocks, low walls, and a small bench, all of which he was able to Place on with little to no issues. We will continue practicing this command with different objects in a variety of environments to improve Teddy's confidence and overall skills with this command!


The other command introduced to Teddy today is the Down command. The goal for the Down command is for Teddy to lay down completely when asked, and remain in that position until released or given a new command. To begin working on this command, we used leash pressure and physical guidance to guide Teddy into the Down position while the verbal command was given. Occasional food motivators were also useful in luring, rewarding, and building a positive association with the position. After some practice, he seemed to catch on to the concept and we began adding in the e-collar stimulation as reinforcement when needed. We practiced Down on different surfaces and objects, including on the floor, sidewalks, grass, as well as place objects like the dog cot. We kept the duration for this command pretty short at first with lots of breaks and praise, as this helps make the training fun and rewarding. As we continue to practice this we will continue increasing the duration gradually so he can learn to remain in this position for extended periods of time. We will also continue adding in more distractions so he can be reliable with the command in any situation or environment. At home he was pretty good with the Down command, but outside he tended to be a bit more hesitant and needed some extra guidance and reinforcement for him to follow through.


Teddy's potty training is going very well so far, and he has had no further accidents while indoors. He is learning the go potty verbal cue, and seems to be doing well with the routine we have in place.



 

Pupdate 7/11/2024



Today Teddy and I visited the Santa Monica Pier! This was a great location to practice all of his commands around different kinds of distractions. The pier had an abundance of distractions, including crowds of people, other dogs, food, loud music, and lots of birds. Teddy was definitely a bit overwhelmed when we first arrived here, and needed some time to adjust to the busy environment. We spent some time walking along the pier, and as time passed he seemed to settle down a bit and have an easier time focusing on his training. The Off command was effective in keeping him from getting too distracted by his surroundings but sometimes he got a bit spooked by things and needed a moment to recover before he could refocus. Overall Teddy did good with his Heel, and generally stuck beside me pretty well as we walked around. He would sometimes pause to look at something, but with a reminder he was able to catch back up. The e-collar was useful in communication for this command, but he still needed a bit of leash pressure to help guide him when around lots of distractions. We will need to work some more on his turns, as he sometimes isn't paying quite enough attention to where I am going and ends up falling out of position when I turn away from him. Teddy's Come to Sit was pretty good overall as well, and while he did need some leash guidance sometimes he seems to have a pretty good understanding of the command and was usually quick about coming right to me when called. Teddy did well with his stationary commands also, including Sit, Down, and Place. He was able to perform each command without much trouble, but his duration will still need some work before he is able to reach our goal time of at least two minutes for each position. He was prone to breaking his stationary positions before asked to, so whenever this happened he was immediately asked to return to the position at the original location asked of him. This helps to reinforce the behavior we want from him, and continue working on the concept of an implied "stay". Whenever he was able to hold it until asked, he was rewarded with lots of praise! He typically averaged around thirty seconds of holding a command before he would be tempted to break position. He seemed to struggle the most with the Down command today, but with some more practice he was able to hold it for about as long as his Sit.



 

Pupdate 7/12/2024





Teddy and I visited a local shopping strip today, where we continued practicing each of his commands around distractions. This location provided a variety of distractions to work around, such as people and dogs along the sidewalks and lots of noises from the busy street nearby. Teddy was slightly distracted by his surroundings at first, though he was able to maintain focus more reliably today, and seemed to have an easier time ignoring distractions when asked with the Off command. Teddy is developing a good idea of where he needs to be when the Heel command is given, and he can often correct and maintain his positioning with minimal leash or no pressure needed. He is starting to pay more attention to the position of my legs, my hand signals, and the e-collar for guidance and communication. He rarely fell out of position, only doing so when something like a sudden loud noise or movement spooked him momentarily, but he was always quick to recover and return to position. For Teddy's Come to Sit, he typically needs very minimal or no leash pressure needed at all to get his attention or guide him toward me, however he could use some more work on his positioning once he gets to me. Teddy sometimes gets confused about the maneuver to my left side, and isn't sure where to Sit, so consistent leash pressure is often needed to guide him to where I want him before I ask for the Sit. When he is very focused, he's able to perform the command without this guidance, though his focus while around distractions will need to improve before he can consistently perform the command without guidance from the leash. He did well with Sit and Place today, and seemed comfortable performing both commands with minimal to no leash pressure. He was also able to hold Sit for about one minute today, even while distractions were present, which shows great progress for him! He was able to perform Down without leash pressure or physical guidance most of the time, however there were a few occurrences when he needed the extra reinforcement to help him follow through with the command. He was consistent with holding his Down for around forty-five seconds today.


Teddy had one small urine accident in the house today. He had drunk some water and then was playing around with a toy and suddenly squatted and began having an accident on the floor. He was likely feeling just a bit too excited and playful, and had a lapse of impulse control in that moment. He was quickly interrupted, and brought outside to go potty in an appropriate area which he happily did. Apart from this, he has been doing very well with his potty training and has been consistently going potty outside without issue.



 

Pupdate 7/13/2024


Teddy and I visited an outdoor mall today, where we practiced all of his commands around distractions. The mall wasn't overly busy, but still had a moderate amount of distractions including groups of people, other dogs, food, and birds. Overall Teddy did a good job staying focused here, and warmed up to the new environment fairly quickly.


Today's focus was on practicing his commands with as little leash pressure as possible. In order for Teddy to be reliable with his commands while off leash, he first needs to master his performance with them on leash without the leash needing to be used to guide or reinforce. This is done by focusing more on the verbal cues and hand signals for the commands, and using only the e-collar as reinforcement. By reserving the use of the leash only for when he truly needs it, we can wean him off the concept of always needing physical guidance for his commands, and instead teach him to problem solve and use his knowledge of commands to follow instructions given to him. We utilized a long leash during today's training, as this tool can give him ample physical freedom to make choices, which is a good way to simulate how he might behave while off leash while still having a physical tether in the event it is needed. The long leash was also useful in creating distance from Teddy during his stationary commands, as he tends to be quite clingy so getting him used to the added distance will be beneficial for his confidence and independence. He was able to perform Sit, Down, Place, and Heel consistently all without any leash pressure today! He seems to have a good understanding of these commands, and did not rely on physical guidance for any of them. He did break his Down sometimes, but with more repetitions, he was able to maintain it for around one minute without issue. His Heel was very good despite no leash pressure being used, and while he did fall out of position on occasion, he was always able to correct himself without needing leash pressure and he never strayed too far from me despite having the physical freedom to do so with the long leash. The command Teddy struggled with the most with a complete lack of leash pressure was Come to Sit. When no leash pressure was used at all, he would often end up sitting in front of me or attempting to approach from the wrong side. Taking small steps back and forward helped him a bit, though this is something we will wean out as much as possible going forward as preferably his handler should be able to stand still and let him do all the work for his position. When leash pressure was needed for this command, we made a point to use it as minimally as possible which was successful.



 

Pupdate 7/14/2024





Today Teddy and I visited an outdoor mall, where we practiced all of his commands around heavy distractions. The mall was very busy due to the weekend, so we had numerous distractions to practice around, including crowds of people, lots of children, other dogs, strollers, bicycles, food, and more. Teddy did appear to be a bit overwhelmed by it all when we first arrived, so we spent some time warming up in an area that was slightly quieter before moving into the more busy areas. While working in the busy areas, he definitely needed lots of reminders to focus on his commands, but overall he did a good job! We also spent some time training alongside his buddy, Sky the border collie puppy, who is also staying with us for a board and train. They usually spend most of their time playing together at home, so training around him was a good way to test his focus and obedience around a new kind of distraction.


Teddy did well with his Heel overall and was almost always in the correct position at my side as we walked. Every now and then he would lose focus and begin falling out of position, but he was able to correct himself without any leash pressure. Teddy did decently with his Come to Sit for the most part, and did a good job coming to me when called. He still needed to be asked to correct his positioning for the Sit sometimes, but he was usually able to do this without leash pressure or with very minimal leash pressure needed. His Sit, Place, and Down commands were all good, and he was able to remain in his positions for a little over a minute consistently. Teddy's potty training is coming along nicely, and he has had no potty accidents since the last update. He is able to go potty on command with the "go potty" cue, and can wait at least four hours in between potty breaks without issue. He is also starting to get better about communicating his need to go potty, and instead of impulsively looking for a place to potty while inside the moment he feels the urge to go, he will instead sit by the door to outside and wait patiently. While this is a subtle way of communicating, it is effective as he is always supervised so it does not go unnoticed.



 

Pupdate 7/15/2024



Today Teddy and I visited an indoor mall, where we practiced all of his commands around distractions. The mall wasn't super busy, but we still had a good amount of distractions to practice around, including groups of people, other dogs, music, and food. Overall Teddy did a very good job staying focused, and whenever he did begin to lose focus the Off command was effective in regaining his focus.


Teddy did well with his Heel overall, and was able to maintain his position with good consistency. He would sometimes lose focus when passing by major distractions, but he was quick to regain focus and give me his full attention once prompted. He would also tend to walk between my legs instead of at my left side when he was feeling a bit overwhelmed, so we worked to correct this as well. His Come to Sit was also good, and he was always able to come right to me when called as well as finding the correct position beside me when called. He sometimes needed a bit of leash pressure to guide him, but more often than not he was able to perform the command without guidance.


We spent some extra time working on his stationary commands today, as he would tend to break his position if I walked behind him. When he broke command, he would tend to turn around to face me or attempt to move closer to me. The goal is for him to be able to remain in his Sit, Down, or Place regardless of where his handler is. He would also tend to break positions to investigate distractions, such as a group of people walking past us. We continued to work on the concept of an implied stay, and after more repetitions, he began to be more consistent with holding the position asked of him.



 

Pupdate 7/16/2024





Today Teddy and I visited a Petco, where we practiced all of his commands around distractions. The store had a variety of distractions to work around, including people, other dogs, treats, and toys! Teddy was a bit unsure of the new environment, but after spending some time walking around and training he warmed up a lot and began having an easier time staying calm and focused. He seemed a bit nervous around shopping carts at first, so we spent some extra time working around them to get him desensitized to the movement and noises they made. Eventually, he was able to walk alongside me in a Heel while I pushed a shopping cart which was impressive considering he initially wanted to run away from any that came near us. During today's training, we focused on practicing his commands without any leash pressure. He ended up doing very well with this, and we ended up transitioning to practicing with the leash dragging as we practiced his commands. This is another great way to test how Teddy will behave while off leash, while still having it readily available should it be needed. He did great with his Heel overall, and stuck beside me even and while we passed by numerous different distractions. When he was feeling a bit nervous around something he would sometimes try to walk between my legs instead of on my left but this was easily corrected with a reminder and he was able to return to the proper position without me needing to pick up the leash. Teddy did well with his Come to Sit overall as well, and while some minor positioning mistakes were made on occasion, he was a lot better about performing the command consistently today even without any leash pressure. He did good with his stationary commands as well, and rarely broke command once he was asked to perform it.


While at the store, there were lots of nice people who were impressed with Teddy's obedience skills, and wanted to come say hello to him, which was a good opportunity to work on Teddy's Greeting Manners. The goal for Greeting Manners is for Teddy to remain calm, collected, and polite while greeting people, whether it's by someone he knows or if it's someone new. Before allowing someone to approach him, we first ask Teddy to focus on holding a stationary command, such as Sit or Down, which helps to prevent over-excitement, jumping, or other impolite behaviors from occurring, as his focus is instead directed to holding the position. If he breaks position or begins behaving impolitely, he is immediately asked to refocus and return to the position asked of him. Before the greeting takes place, it's important to inform the person or people that Teddy is in training, and that they can help him learn by only petting him when he is listening, stationary, and calm. Giving him attention or praise when he is over-excited, jumping up, or otherwise behaving impolitely will result in those behaviors becoming encouraged, which would be detrimental to his progress. By ensuring all praise and affection are reserved strictly for when he is holding the position asked of him and behaving calmly, we can work to encourage good behavior. Today Teddy did a good job with polite greetings for most people he met, though some people he was a bit nervous about meeting and would break position to hide behind me and get away from them. When this happened, we would give Teddy some time to settle down and not force him to interact with the person. By having him sit by my side as I talked to the person for a few minutes, he could have some time to sniff them from a distance, and come to understand that they were not a threat. Once he was showing an interest in greeting them, then we could continue with the greeting process.



 

Pupdate 7/17/2024


Today Teddy and I visited a park, where we met up with some other OffLeash SoCal trainers and their pups! This was a good opportunity to work on his commands within close proximity to dog and people distractions. This park was also located across the street from a gun range, so there were lots of loud noises in the distance while we trained. Teddy was a bit distracted by the other dogs but was able to keep his focus around them with some reminders of the Off command. He didn't seem to mind the noises specifically, though he did have some moments of feeling nervous overall without any specific triggers. We continued practicing Teddy's commands with the leash dragging today. Overall he did well with his Heel, but he had a few moments when his nerves would get the best of him and he would make mistakes such as falling behind, stopping, or trying to walk between my legs. When this happened he was given multiple chances to correct himself with the e-collar as reinforcement, though there were a few instances when I needed to pick up the leash to get him to return to position. His Come to Sit was also pretty good, though similar to his Heel he would sometimes tense up and refuse to perform the command fully unless I picked up the leash. Teddy's strongest commands today seemed to be his stationary commands, as he was generally very reliable about performing and holding them, and did not need me to pick up the leash and guide him at any point.


Teddy's potty training continues to come along well! He has had no further accidents indoors, and continues to do well with the potty routine we have in place. He seems comfortable going potty outside, and no longer seems tempted to have accidents while indoors.



 

Pupdate 7/18/2024






Today Teddy and I visited a local park, where we practiced all of his commands around distractions. The park was pretty busy when we visited, with lots of people, children, other dogs, bicycles, sports games, and other kinds of distractions around. Teddy was a bit unsure of it all when we first arrived, but after some time spent training he began focusing on his commands very well. When we first arrived we spent some time on leash as we helped him warm up to the new environment. While on leash, we made it a point to not use any leash pressure as usual, though having it attached and in hand was beneficial for him as a safety measure until he was calm and focused. Once he began showing an increased level of familiarity with the location and was performing his commands well, we transitioned to leash dragging and continued his training. After some time with this, he proved the leash to be unnecessary, so we went ahead and removed it and continued practicing each of his commands while off leash! Teddy did a very good job with his Heel today! Even while off leash, he never strayed too far from me, and always focused on his positioning beside me. We were able to pass by most distractions without his attention faltering, though whenever he did begin to lose focus, the Off command was effective in helping him to refocus and was followed up by a reminder of the Heel command to ensure he returned to or maintained his position. Teddy's stationary commands were all great as well, and he was able to perform and hold Sit, Down, and Place all while off leash, as well was maintain the position for extended periods of time until he was released or given a new command. Teddy did decently with his Come to Sit and was consistent with it by the end of the session, though when we first arrived he showed his tendency to freeze up and refuse to come when called. Before we allowed him off leash, we made sure that his Come to Sit was reliable. While on leash, we opted to not use any leash pressure even during these moments, and remained persistent with e-collar reinforcement combined with the verbal command and hand signals until he followed through. This set him up for success with off leash training, and after many repetitions he was no longer inconsistent with his recall or Come to Sit command and we were able to successfully have him perform it while off leash without any further issues.



 

Pupdate 7/19/2024






Today Teddy and I visited an indoor mall, where we practiced all of his commands off leash around distractions. The mall had a significant amount of distractions around, such as crowds of people, food, music, and some other dogs. We also met up with some other OffLeash SoCal trainers and their pups, which provided an additional level of distractions. With their help, we were also able to film some fantastic content of Teddy performing all of his commands that will be used in putting together his final video, so be sure to check out today's pupdate for a sneak peek! Teddy did fantastic with his Heel today, and stuck directly beside me in the proper position as we walked around the mall with him off leash. We passed through crowds of people and past other distractions with no issues. His Come to Sit was also excellent, and at no point did he have any issues with his recall or positioning. His stationary commands were also solid and reliable, and he was able to perform Sit, Down, and Place anywhere he was asked to without issue. He was also able to maintain his positioning for extended periods of time with ease, and did not seem tempted to break command even as distractions passed by all around him. Teddy also did great with his Greeting Manners, and was very polite and calm when being greeted by people. Some people he needed a minute to warm up to before he was comfortable being petted, so as always we paid attention to his body language and advocated for his space until he felt comfortable being greeted up close. Potty training with Teddy continues to go very well! He has had no further accidents in my home, and consistently is able to go potty when asked to while outside. Apart from directly after a mealtime, he can wait for five to six hours during the daytime without needing to go potty, and is able to sleep for eight hours overnight without needing any breaks.



 

Pupdate 7/20/2024




Today Teddy and I visited a park where we put all of his learned skills to use to have a great last day together! He did fantastic work today, and was very enthusiastic about his training! The park was full of all kinds of distractions, but Teddy was unbothered and performed all of his commands excellently even while off leash. Teddy is not only excelling with his skills and manners while out in public, but he has also made huge transformations in his behavior inside the home as well! House manners are something we have been working on little by little each day since day one. Even seemingly mundane day-to-day tasks can provide excellent opportunities for training. These manners include areas such as Food Manners, Door Manners, and Car Manners.


The goal for Food Manners is for Teddy to be able to hold a stationary command while his food is prepared and set in front of him. He is then asked to remain in that position until he is released before he can get up and eat his food. Teddy always gets excited about his food, and in the early stages of his training, he was prone to jumping on me or counters when anticipating food, and rushing to the food bowl the moment it was set down. As he progressed in his overall obedience and impulse control, he quickly replaced his bad habits and learned to be polite and patient even when faced with very tempting distractions such as food directly in front of him!


Another area of manners we have been working on is Teddy's Door Manners. The goal of Door Manners is for Teddy to hold a stationary position while near a door and remain there until released or given a new command, such as Come or Heel. He is asked to hold the position at the location asked of him, and not break the command even if the door is left open, if someone is knocking on it, or if people walk in or out of it. This practice teaches important boundaries, and prevents impolite and possibly dangerous behaviors such as trying to escape through open doors, shoving past people when walking through doors, or rushing over to jump on people who enter through the door. With daily practice, Teddy has made great progress with his manners related to doors, and understands to follow instructions no matter what distractions the door may create. After Teddy has been asked for a stationary command, a door can be left wide open, and he understands to not walk through the doorway unless given permission to, and when invited he can walk nicely through the doorway without shoving through or trying to rush out. I can even leave his sight completely and walk outside without him feeling the need to get up and follow me. Having proper Door Manners is also a great way to set Teddy up for success with in-home Greeting Manners as well, as he is prompted to hold the position asked of him and is discouraged from jumping on or barking at people.


Having good Car manners makes transporting Teddy easy, safe, and as hassle-free as possible. The goal for Car Manners is for Teddy to be confident and able to jump into the car when prompted without needing any physical assistance. Once in the car, the goal is for him to willingly enter a kennel when asked, without needing to be physically guided or lured inside. In the early stages of training Teddy lacked the confidence and skill to jump into my car, but now he is able to effortlessly hop up using only a small boost from a place cot! He also enters right into the kennel when prompted, and has no issues settling in and relaxing once inside.


Teddy has made such an amazing transformation in these past two weeks, and the differences in him are truly night and day! Before the program, he had a tendency to immediately become overexcited, overwhelmed, and overstimulated by everything around him, causing him to struggle to pay attention or follow commands. He has since learned to stay calm, focused, and neutral to his surroundings even in the most busy of places. His acquired skills and good behavior now allow him to safely enjoy the freedom and fun that comes with being off leash, which opens the door for training and fun times without the hassle of a leash! While he may seem like a whole new dog, he is still the same goofy, loving, and playful pup he always has been, and with his new obedience skills he is even more of a joy to be around and take with on all sorts of adventures! Teddy has been such a pleasure to train and share my home with, and I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to help this good boy become the best version of himself! The sky is the limit for this pup, and I know he has a very bright future ahead in his continued training journey with his family!



 




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