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  • Writer's pictureJose Ayala

Wesson | Tibetan Mastiff | Azusa, CA | In-Training

Meet Wesson! He is a four month old Tibetan Mastiff who has joined us for our Three Week Puppy Board and Train Program. Wesson is here for basic obedience and potty training. Wesson is a laid back pup who needs structure so he can grow to be a responsible companion. He has a tendency of stopping during walks, scratching doors for attention, and chewing on wood. He is a gentle boy who needs guidance and consistency. Over the next twenty one days, Wesson will be working on his behavior and be set up for success, with the hopes of becoming a well mannered pup. Check in to see his progress!


Wesson and I spent some time getting to know each other this afternoon. We took a walk around the neighborhood as it is a great way to help Wesson get used to his new surroundings and start building a bond with me. He is still a little shy and nervous around me, but that is normal for a dog, as he is still getting used to me and his new home. It is important to be patient and understanding during this time, and to gradually introduce him to new experiences and people at a pace that he is comfortable with. Having Sheeba around helps Wesson feel more comfortable, as dogs often feel more confident and secure in the presence of other dogs. I will continue to provide Wesson with patience and positivity as he adjusts to his new home.


Wesson and I drove out to a local park today to work on his walking. He is still nervous and shy, so he does fall behind on our walk. Using verbal encouragement and gentle leash tugs can be effective ways to communicate with Wesson and guide him during his walks, and it is also important to remember to stay positive and patient with Wesson. Dogs can pick up on our emotions, so maintaining a calm and positive demeanor can help Wesson feel more at ease. Using a slip lead can be helpful in providing gentle pressure to guide Wesson without causing discomfort. Wesson did do slightly well when other dogs were around, but he still needs guidance. It is a work in progress but I will continue to help him work through it the best way I possibly can. His ears needed a little cleaning and he was able to sleep through the night without any crying or whining in his crate.


Wesson and I drove out to a local park and did some more walking and worked on some confidence building. With his walking I am taking it step by step as being patient is important when working with dogs in general, especially when building their confidence. I introduced Wesson to Place, and applied gentle leash pressure when guiding him onto the object. It is important to not apply too much pressure on a dog like Wesson as it can cause him to immediately shut down. Rewarding Wesson with praise for following through is also a great way to strengthen positive behaviors and encourage him to continue making progress. I keep training sessions short and positive with breaks in between, and always end them on a high note. I am hoping that with more consistency and patience, Wesson will continue to make progress and become more confident.


Wesson is making some improvement with his leash training. He is responding well to the slip lead and I was able to keep him closer during our Heel. I am using fewer leash tugs which can help make the walk more enjoyable for Wesson.

He is still having trouble with turns as he tends to stop, but it is not uncommon for dogs to struggle with this at first. It is still taking some practice and patience, but with consistency, I can help him understand what I am asking for. I will continue to use gentle leash pressure to help him stay on track. Over time, I am hoping to have Wesson understand what I am asking for and have him follow through.


Wesson was introduced to Down today. With a dog like Wesson it is important to remember that all dogs learn at their own pace and in their own way, so taking breaks and providing plenty of positive encouragement can be key to keeping them engaged and motivated. Given the behavior he is learning, it is important to avoid frustration in order to keep him from shutting down. I took longer breaks with Wesson and gave him a good rest before continuing our sessions. With leash guidance towards the ground after a few tries, Wesson began to grasp onto the concept, and successfully began to accomplish his Down. We also met with his brother Krueger and made a little more progress with his walk by walking his brother in front of him to motivate Wesson.


Wesson is doing well with his Heel and Down commands, and he is learning to potty in the grass and not on concrete. During our walk, I notice that Wesson is distracted by dogs in the area and wants to engage in play with them. It is common for dogs to get distracted by other dogs during walks, and it is important to redirect their attention back to you. Using gentle pressure and verbal cues like "Off,” help Wesson stay focused on me. It is also important to continue socializing Wesson with other dogs in a controlled environment, such as my backyard or front yard, so that he can learn appropriate behavior around other dogs. With patience and consistency, I am hoping Wesson will continue to improve in his training and become a well-behaved companion.


Wesson and I spent the day at home socializing. He enjoys playing with other dogs and shows no signs of aggression or reactivity. Socialization is an important aspect of a dog's development, as it helps them become well-adjusted and comfortable in a variety of different situations and environments. Exposing puppies to a wide range of people, animals, sounds, and experiences during their early development period is critical for their socialization. During this time, puppies are particularly receptive and adaptable to new experiences, and positive socialization experiences during this period can help prevent behavior problems later in life. It is also important to continue socializing dogs throughout their lives, as their social needs and preferences can change over time. Regular socialization experiences can help keep dogs well-adjusted and confident, and can help prevent behavioral issues such as fear, anxiety, and aggression. This coming week, I will begin to expose Wesson to different environments that will start with minimal distractions, and slowly begin to increase them with hopes of having him adjust well to his surroundings.


Happy Mother’s Day! Wesson and I drove out to a local park and worked on his duration Sit. He was being very stubborn today and did not want to walk. I corrected his behavior by using leash tension anytime he came to a halt. It is important to note that with a dog like Wesson, patience is key. By taking my time and using leash tension gently, I can avoid Wesson from becoming overwhelmed and keep him from shutting down. As soon as he would take a step forward, I released pressure and praised him for following through. It took some time, but Wesson was able to continue with our walk. He did pretty well with his Sit, but initially he would almost immediately go into a Down. To keep him from doing so, I stood next to him after asking him to Sit, and anytime he made an intent, I used leash tension to keep him in a Sit. He is comprehending what I am asking, and as he continues to progress, I will begin increasing distance and adding distractions.


Wesson and I are working on Come to Sit which is his recall. It is a work in progress that is requiring patience and leash pressure. It is taking him some time to grasp on to the concept as he continues to have trouble understanding what I am asking. He has made progress in coming towards me, but still has difficulty going around behind me. He tends to stop and Sit behind me, but I am working him through it by applying leash pressure to have him Sit on my left. I remain consistent with Wesson and I also reward him with praise to help keep him engaged and to also encourage him into performing his behavior.


Wesson and I worked on his Extended Down and he is making good progress by remaining in his position whenever I ask him to. It is great that he understands the concept and follows through, but there are times that he does need assistance with a little leash guidance and hand signal. Using these combinations as well as his verbal cue were very helpful in teaching Wesson to Down. He is learning to remain calm around other dogs and does not try to engage with them while in the down position. This is an important skill that can help prevent unwanted behaviors such as barking, lunging, or aggression. We are also working on distance in which he is doing well with as I can step away about six to seven feet. Gradually increasing the distance between Wesson and other dogs is a good way to build his confidence and help him learn to stay calm in a variety of situations.


Today we met with two other trainers to work on Wesson’s Come to Sit command with a new technique. This consists of having Wesson tethered to another dog while practicing his recall. Sometimes dogs have the “monkey see, monkey do” mentality. So not only did Wesson see the other dog doing the work but he was attached to him being tugged along. Wesson goes back and forth of being stubborn. This largely only lies with the Come to Sit command. He likes to take his time and take shortcuts. We will continue to hone in on this command to continue improving.


Wesson and I worked on his Extended Place and he was initially struggling maintaining his position and would either come out of it immediately, or go into a Down after asking him to Sit. We had to reset a few times to correct his behavior but Wesson was able to follow through.  As for his recall, he continues to be a little stubborn with it, but he is now taking treats which I use as a reward whenever Wesson works through it. There is still some trouble when it comes to Wesson coming towards my right, but I am using verbal encouragement along with leash tension to guide him towards me. With Wesson now taking treats, it has been a big help, which has made him progress at going around behind me and sitting on my left.


Wesson and I went out into a more public setting  as I begin to expose him to different distractions. He adjusted very well to his surroundings and did very well around people, bicycles, and skateboards. Dogs were a big distraction to him, but he would not pull away to try and engage. He would just look in their direction, and by applying leash tension, I was able to steer him back towards me and proceed on our walk. His recall continues to progress, as he did really well with distractions around him, and without the use of treats. I will continue to stay consistent with Wesson and keep encouraging him verbally and rewarding him with lots of praise as he continues to improve.


Wesson and I took a trip back to the beach and continued the exposure to distractions. Exposure to different environments and distractions is an essential part of socializing a dog and building their confidence. We walked around the skatepark and he adjusted very well to the noises and the skateboarders passing by. He remained in his stationary positions until I released him with a “Break.” We also took a walk on the side of the bicycle path to make him more comfortable around objects with wheels, and he was able to remain in a Heel throughout the walk. Wesson was a real head turner given his breed, and he also received many compliments for being so well behaved.


Wesson enjoyed some playtime with his buddy Dexter today. When I first introduced him to Dexter, Wesson was a little shy and nervous around him. He would not come out of his kennel when I would let them roam around the house. It took some time for Wesson to warm up to him and it was not until I let them out in the backyard that Wesson began engaging in playtime with him. Once he comes out of his shell, he is the most playful puppy and he enjoys being the submissive one. They are now great pals and they enjoy each other’s company.


Wesson and I went out for a walk around the neighborhood today. He was falling behind during his Heel, but with verbal encouragement and picking up my pace, I was able to get Wesson back on my left side. We also continue to make progress with his recall as I am now using less leash tension while he comes towards me. There were a few instances where Wesson did Sit behind me, but with repetition and guidance, he was able to fully go around me and Sit on my left. With consistent practice and positive reinforcement, I am helping Wesson become more comfortable with his exercises. With his final week in training, I will begin to piece everything he has learned together and prepare him for his Final.


Wesson and I drove out to a local park and worked on all of his commands. There were a few dogs in the area that did distract him initially, which can be challenging at times, but I was able to work him through it. While working on his Place technique, there were a few instances in which Wesson would hold his Place with a Sit, but will then go into a Down. I corrected his behavior with leash pressure and by verbally asking him to Sit. While practicing his recall, Wesson was very impressive, as I was able to get to the end of the long line, reel it in without using much leash tension, and have him come to me from a fifteen foot distance. He did very well today and he continues to improve and progress throughout our sessions.


Wesson and I went out to a local shopping center and worked in a public setting with different distractions that included other dogs and strollers. Throughout our walk, Wesson did very well adjusting to his surroundings, but was still distracted by dogs passing by as we worked on Heel. By asking him to Heel and saying “Off,” Wesson began to ignore the other pups in the area and would continue to stroll along. There are still a few minor adjustments to be made, but Wesson is just about ready to begin his Final, and it will be the main focus for the remainder of his program.


Wesson is making progress with his exposure to people, dogs, and bicycles. He is also responding well to my voice and is able to follow through with his commands in the presence of distractions. He was a little nervous during our walk around the bicycles, but once he adjusted to his surroundings, Wesson was able to work through it. It is normal for dogs to be initially nervous around new things, but with continued exposure and positive reinforcement, Wesson will likely become more confident and comfortable in those situations.


Wesson and I have been working on his Greeting Manners. He was a little nervous around people initially, but has now learned throughout his Program that it is ok as long as we as owners allow it. Wesson is a gentle giant and will remain in a Sit when someone wants to approach and say hello. When we first began working on it, he would go into a Down and lay on his side considering the fact that he is a submissive pup. He attracts a lot of attention, which I used to our advantage, and he can now properly Sit and follow through whenever he is greeted.


Wesson has completed his Three Week Puppy Board and Train Program and is ready to come home. Thank you once again for the opportunity to work with another one of your pups. It was a real pleasure and I am proud of Wesson’s progress. It took lots of patience with this big guy, but we worked through it all and got it done. I am looking forward to showing you what he has learned, and I am sure that he can not wait to reunite with Krueger, Sheeba, and Cheyenne. His Final video will be up soon, but in the meantime, here is a peek at Wesson working on his Door Manners. Thank you Wesson!


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