Meet Venus! An energetic and sweet 10 month old Belgian Malinios from Palmdale, CA who has joined us for our Two Week Board and Train program. Over these next two weeks Venus and I will be working on on Greeting Manners, puppy behaviors like nipping, potty training, and overall obedience in different environments with the ultimate goal of being Off Leash! Stay tuned for his Two Week Transformation!
Venus and I went on a stroll around the neighborhood together to help her explore her new surroundings. We then got her all settled in at her new temporary home and will begin introducing her to some new commands tomorrow!
Today Venus had the chance to work with myself and a few other trainers. She was introduced to communication tools such as the prong collar and e collar. At first Venus was not a fan of leash pressure, resisting it and redirect nipping at the leash and our legs when she did not want to follow the pressure path created for her. After added movement which helped Venus follow my lead, and frequent breaks, she did well and came to my left hand side to Sit. She improved with her Heel (which is the action of her walking with me on my left hand side) once I removed the prong collar and utilized leash pressure with the flat collar.
Venus is hyper focused on her surroundings and other dogs, displaying signs of insecurity as she was near new dogs. Once we spent some time working near them, she became more desensitized and less focused on her distractions, not growling as she did before.
We then worked on her Extended Sit as she demonstrated she was able to hold it for up to 30 seconds. Her release word is Break! Which is when she is free to do her thing and explore her surroundings.
Venus and I went on a trip to an indoor Mall where we worked on introducing her to the Down Command with Place. We also worked on her Heel which is the action of her walking on my left hand side, matching my pace, turning when I turn and sitting whenever I stop walking. She checks in with me frequently as we make frequent turns. I always mark her engagement with a Yes and reward any eye contact she offers, especially when somewhere new!
At first she works on higher levels, as she takes about 20 to 30 minutes to become consistent with her commands. I give her frequent breaks to keep her engaged and let her explore her surroundings which helps her gain confidence. We then worked on Place which is another confident builder. Place is the action of Venus jumping onto a new surface and holding a Down position until released. Her release word is Break. Venus was quite confident with jumping onto different surfaces and even offered a Down with some slight leash pressure. We will now begin to add duration to her Place and Down command!
Venus and I visited The Outlets today and worked on her Heel, Place with Down, Come to Sit and engagement. Venus has improved with her Heel not pulling nearly as much as she used to. It does take her some time to exit the kennel since I need to close the door often on her to help her learn to not bulldoze her way out of the kennel. It took Venus some time initially to perform Down. I utilized leash pressure to help her into the Down position after she jumped onto Place. After some repetitions, she became more fluent with her Down.
We then worked on her recall. Venus comes to Sit on my left hand side frequently, yet at times sits behind me. We are working on getting her to Sit right next
to me with added leash pressure in a forward direction, rewarding frequently on my side to build value in that position.
Venus and I started our day by going for a run. She wakes up quite early and is very eager to get out of the house and do some exercise. We ran around the neighborhood in the morning together, mainly focusing on releasing energy. She matched my pace quite nicely, speeding up whenever I did and slowing down for me as well.
We then ventured out to the park where we worked on her Come to Sit, Heel, Extended Place and Down. Venus has shown consistency with her Down while in Place yet struggled to perform Down whenever elsewhere. We worked through this by adding leash pressure downwards until she followed the direction of the leash. She did redirect nip a few times, until she gave up the fight and followed the leash pressure path. I am rewarding Down frequently, to help build motivation with offering the behavior all on her own.
Venus and I emphasized our work on proofing her Extended Sit while in a public setting. She initially struggled to Sit while I walked to the end of the leash. Venus can lack confidence when somewhere unfamiliar to her, trying to stay glued to my side or even go in between my legs. After many repetitions, and rewarding her for holding her Sit while gradually adding distance, she was able to Sit for a minute and a half straight while I was at the end of the leash. We will keep working towards building confidence while apart, and in new environments!
Venus and I spent the day together working on all of her manners, potty training, and obedience with less leash pressure. Venus waits more patiently as I release her from the kennel. This was something that took her time to learn as she can be very excitable. She has not had any accidents in the kennel, and goes to a specific area in the backyard where I tell her to go potty. She goes right away and looks to me for praise when she is done. She goes for potty breaks every four hours during the day then goes out for potty right before bed. If she drinks a lot of water which she loves to do, I make sure to give her extra potty breaks whenever arriving somewhere new or about to go back into the kennel. It is important to keep her on a consistent schedule of when she eats and drinks so we can predict when she may need to go out for a break.
The kennel is a great way to monitor her potty training. It is recommended to send her to the kennel right after a meal until she goes out for a potty break to avoid accidents around the house. If she has gone potty she may then have more freedom in the house. Dogs are creatures of routine and catch on to this quickly!
Venus and I worked towards her Off Leash obedience today at home, only utilizing the leash when necessary to help her follow through with what was asked of her. She was very engaged as we worked together in a playful manner, breaking her frequently which definitely helped her Come around and Sit by my left hand side quickly. The first few times we practiced without leash pressure she went in between my legs. I stimulated her and created space between us to have her Come and Sit on my left hand side. If she sat behind me, I guided her with the leash in a forward direction. We used the toys on the floor as a distraction to Heel near. If she tried to go after it I cued Off along with stimulation of the e collar. After a few repetitions she was consistently Heeling next
to me with the leash dragging. Excellent work Venus!
Venus and I focused our work on her Come to Sit and Heel with the leash dragging. After some repetitions she was consistently coming when called with moderate distractions. Once we got to the more distracting areas, Venus needed more work on engagement as she was fixating quite a lot on a dog that was playing frisbee. Once I marked and rewarded her eye contact while moving frequently with her, she was able to Come and Sit by my side despite all of the major distractions.
We then emphasized our work on her Down. Venus knows what is asked of her yet takes her time with offering Down until we have practiced several repetitions of the Place and Down. Once her momentum is there, she becomes more fluent with her Down. We will keep practicing puppy push ups to improve her Down. Venus’ Heel has remained the most consistent command for her. Even when I Break her she chooses to stay by my left hand side, checking in with me often!
Venus and I began and our work completely Off Leash today at the Beach! After warming up with a nice Heel around her new environment, she demonstrated consistency with all of her commands. We worked on her Come to Sit, Heel, and Extended Place with Down. Venus did not fight the Down command nearly as much today, which is great! She’s automatically offering it as she goes to Place and holds it. Other dogs are her biggest distraction yet so we play the name game whenever dogs are near, to keep her engaged with me and not her environment.
Venus and I went on a trip to the local mall today to further proof her commands Off Leash around a distracted environment. After about 15 minutes of warming her up on leash she remained consistent with her commands and was able to be Off Leash as crowds of people passed by her. She had the chance to practice her Greeting Manners with friendly people that wanted to say hi and only pet her as she was sitting patiently. We will begin filming for her final video tomorrow!
Venus and I began to film for her final video today at Huntington Beach! There were plenty of distractions for her to work near, as we practiced her Come to Sit, Heel, Greeting Manners, Extended Place & Down. Venus has improved with her Extended Down command and is working on becoming more fluent. After warming her up, she then is quick to respond to her Down when asked. Since she is a Malinios with plenty of energy, holding a Down is something we can expect more of once she is properly exercised however it is great to request Down in all scenarios to keep building her impulse control. Venus did well with Heeling Off Leash, even as the birds flew by her which definitely got her attention! She is a confident pup who is eager to please for some head and chin scratches.
Today Venus enjoyed playtime with the other board and train pup Axel, while practicing her recall and Place command. It takes great impulse control to stop playtime and Come when called. I make it extra rewarding for her using high value treats and releasing her to go play again. After a few repetitions, Venus was consistently coming when called and going to Place.
We then went on a trip to the outlets where Venus practiced all of her commands on and off leash. She has improved with her Down, not taking nearly as long to offer the behavior fluently. We practiced greeting manners as well where she held her Sit while a friendly lady said hi to her. Venus is a sweet girl that loves the attention and just needs some extra guidance to help her hold her Sit while receiving affection.
Venus and I spent our day together working on all of her commands as we strolled around the neighborhood. We emphasized our work on distance away from each other, which I recommend keeping up with to prevent separation anxiety. It is best to never make it a big deal when you come and go so Venus doesn’t see it is a big deal either. Crate training also greatly helps with separation anxiety, especially when at home with her. Periods of time alone throughout the day helps prepare her for time apart.
Crate training is also recommended to keep up with for potty training. Venus never had an accident in her kennel which is great! Dogs don’t like to soil their own bedding which is why our routine has been to feed her in the kennel and take away the food about 30 minutes after it is served. This teaches her to eat when you feed her and you will be able to predict when she has to go out for a potty break. Consistency is key to maintain a schedule of feeding and potty breaks. She eats with me at 7 a.m and 4 p.m. Her potty breaks are an hour after feeding, and every four hours during the day. If she just ate or drank a lot of water, she is sent to the kennel to prevent accidents around the house. Too much freedom will be taken advantage of, especially for a puppy like Venus! Keep her busy with durable toys in rotation since she is a heavy chewer and gets bored easily. Rotating the toys help keep her interested. Himalayan chews are great for her as well, they are healthy, help clean her teeth, and keep her busy.
Venus has overall become more confident, can hold her Place and Extended Sit for a minimum of two minutes, and can Come to Sit from about 15 ft away. I recommend constantly taking Venus to new environments. Desensitization to new places will only further improve her training. She is a loving girl who needs a lot of guidance, structure and leadership to thrive and follow instructions. We can not wait to show you what she has learned. Thank you for trusting me with Venus!