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  • Tanner Strong

Velvet | Toy Poodle | La Cañada Flintridge, CA | In Training


Meet Velvet! He's an eighteen month old Toy Poodle from La Cañada Flintridge, California here for our Two-Week Board and Train Program. Velvet is a sweetie, who loves his playtime and his family! He does, however, have a lot of anxiety being in new places, and especially when he's away from his family. He loves to bark at passing neighbors at home, and he hates car rides. He also has trouble following basic commands. Over the next fourteen days, we will work with Velvet to build his confidence, help him with his basic obedience skills, and start his journey to becoming the confident little pup we know he can be! Stay tuned for Velvet's two week transformation!

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Pupdate: 3/26/2023


After picking up Velvet, we stayed at Garfield Park for a while to get to know each other! He was very anxious when we first met, and after his family left, he continued to try to look for them, which made me sad. Luckily, he started to warm up to me soon after and we played around at the park before I tried to get him into his kennel in my car! His family told me he hates car rides, so I gave him treats as he got into his crate and gave him lots of praise once he was inside. He isn't crate trained, and he doesn't like the car, so I wanted to make his first car ride in a crate as easy as possible for him. He cried a little bit on the way home, but he seemed generally alright! Once we got home I walked him around my neighborhood and let him sniff around my house. Once he got used to being here, he's been fairly easygoing. I think he's starting to settle in, although he didn't eat very much of the food I offered him. It often takes some time for a dog to be comfortable eating a full meal when in a new place like this, but I'll continue to offer him his dinner throughout the night to see if he accepts the rest from me!

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Pupdate: 3/27/2023


Velvet went to Central Park in Pasadena for his first full day of training! We worked on his Heel and his Sit commands. He seems to understand Sit for the most part, but I'd like him to be a bit more responsive when asked to Sit, and I'd like him to be able to hold the position for long periods of time. His Heel is coming along nicely. For Heel, I want Velvet to walk politely at my left side with his ears at my leg. He seems to have taken to me pretty well, so he doesn't have very much issue sticking close to me and staying in a fairly good Heel position! Sometimes he gets distracted or falls behind slightly but he's doing very well for his first full day! His anxiety was much more under control today. He seems to be well settled in here and I think he's happy to be working with me! He also ate much more of his food today than he did last night!

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Pupdate: 3/28/2023


We had a successful training session with Velvet today at Almansor Park, where we worked on his Come To Sit command! This command involves having Velvet come to my right side, walk around my legs, and sit at my left side with his ears at my leg. We're happy to report that Velvet's confidence is growing with each training session. He seemed more comfortable and at ease today than he did in previous sessions, and we think he's starting to enjoy his training sessions with us. The Come To Sit command is a valuable tool for improving Velvet's control, obedience, and focus, and we're confident that Velvet is making great progress in this area. With consistent practice and reinforcement, I'm sure that he'll master this command in no time.

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Pupdate: 3/29/2023


Velvet had an exciting day at Home Depot and Almansor Park today! We started our day at Home Depot, in an effort to avoid the rain. Velvet behaved wonderfully, but when we made our way to the lumber department, he showed some nervousness around the loud forklifts. He managed to work through it, however, and continued responding well to his commands. After the rain started to clear up, we headed over to the park, where Velvet had a lot more fun! He got quite a lot of exercise today, so when we got home, Velvet took a well earned nap.

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Pupdate: 3/30/2023


Velvet and I went to Almansor Park today for training! We spent the most time working on his Place command! For Place, I want Velvet to hop onto a raised object, such as a bench, and hold the position. I was worried that Velvet would struggle to jump onto certain benches due to his size, but as you can see in the above video, he is happy to jump! Placing a dog in a raised position can help to bolster their confidence, and I'm hoping that practicing this will help to reduce Velvet's nervousness in certain areas.

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Pupdate: 3/31/2023


Velvet went to Venice Beach today! He was a little nervous among the crowds, but he had a great day nonetheless. He wasn't as anxious as he was at Home Depot, I think because the area is more open and the noises don't echo around an enclosed space. He felt most at home on the grassy areas, where he was able to relax a bit more and have some fun! Velvet has come to love the Place command; He seems to be excited to jump up onto new spots! Velvet doesn't cry while we drive now, and we spent a lot of time in traffic today, so I feel confident in saying this. I believe this is in part due to him feeling safe and secure in his kennel.

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Pupdate: 4/1/2023


Velvet had a fun day in the sun for his training! I still have him on a leash for his training in public, but we've been working on his manners off leash inside. For his video today, I wanted to show one of the manners we've been working on. Velvet isn't very driven to eat his kibble, but he loves his raw meat. Either way, I'd like him to sit patiently for his food and then eat when I release him! He's done a good job with this so far, although I'd like to be able to walk away and have him hold his sit without breaking toward me or his meat before his training is over. He's only halfway through his program, so I think he'll continue to progress with his household manners!

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Pupdate 4/2/2023


Velvet and I went to Highlands Park today to train! I started letting the leash drag while performing his commands. This allows me to get an idea of how he might perform off leash while still having access to the leash should I need it. He did a fine job, although he still needs a ton of encouragement! I have found that speaking very clearly and frequently to Velvet has given the best results. Much like in yesterday's video, where I was constantly encouraging him to hold his sit, while he worked with his leash dragging I was constantly telling him what a good boy he is and reminding him where he needed to be!

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Pupdate: 4/3/2023


Velvet and I went to Lincoln Park today! We worked on his commands with his leash dragging. There was one dog in the park that Velvet wasn't a huge fan of, and Velvet wanted to keep his distance. It seems to me that Velvet responds very well to a lot of praise and encouragement while we work! For example, in the above video, he loves when I'm talking to him and asking him to come with me! He's just still nervous enough that he sometimes struggles to move in other locations!

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Pupdate: 4/4/2023


Velvet and I went to Almansor Park today for training! He was off leash for some of the time and behaved well in the less distraction-heavy areas of the park. I'd still like him to become a little more responsive, but today was a big step for him! We worked on each command with his leash off and he did well, however I still put the leash on when we were in areas with other dogs large numbers of people!

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Pupdate: 4/5/2023


Velvet went back to Almansor Park for more training today! He did a good job on leash, but seemed very nervous and distant when the leash came off around distractions, so I quickly put his leash back on. I also wanted to show his door manners today! For door manners, I want Velvet to wait patiently when I open a door, without trying to rush through. He's getting good with this, but it's taken a lot of practice, as he often wanted to follow me when I go through the door!

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Pupdate: 4/6/2023


Velvet went to Santa Monica Pier today! He was a little nervous around all the commotion, but he did a good job! He was off leash for some of the time. When we moved very slowly and gave him a lot of encouragement, he did well with each of his commands off leash! There were several very loud distractions, such as street musicians and helicopters, around which Velvet felt very nervous, but he seemed to generally calm down throughout the day!

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Pupdate: 4/7/2023


Velvet and I went to Home Depot today! He was a little nervous but still did a good job! He was off leash, and as you can see in the above video, if you take it nice and slow with Velvet, he does a great job! He responds very well to a lot of encouragement and vocals to keep his mind of the surroundings and distractions.

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Pupdate: 4/8/2023


Velvet and I went to Almansor Park for his last full day of training! He's done a great job here, and I'm very proud of him! He's done an amazing job with his commands, and is a very sweet little guy. I've loved having him in my home and he's lucky he gets to go home to a loving, encouraging family!


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