I am the happiest dog ever! Stealin’ hearts and takin’ names!
I love praise and belly rubs the most. People are my favorite! I also really like fetch; it’s pretty great!
I do an awesome job walking myself!
I am a very fast learner. I now walk like a pro on leash and can stop moving on command.
Dog Training Log
Dog Training Session 1
Gracie and I began working on her new and improved leash manners.
We started out by refitting her gentle leader. It was a little to big, now it is the standard size.
After practicing on the gentle leader, I noticed that Gracie mostly shut down. So we removed it and continued training without it. We practiced just on her regular collar.
After this she did much better. She preferred verbal praise and pets to treats, which is awesome!
Dog Training Session 2
You guys are the best! Thank you for practicing at home, I CAN TELL!
Gracie was fabulous today. She did really well on the leash in a low distraction space. I’d like to work more on it in high distraction, outside.
I’d also like to work on her pulling through doorways more as well.
To practice this at home, do not allow Gracie through first. Have her wait, which she is very skilled at. Walk towards her and loop back through the doorway together. This desensitizes her to the thrill of bursting through the door.
If she still bursts through, loop in and out of the doorway until she calmly goes through the door looking at you.
Next time, we will work on stopping on command and high distraction walking.
Dog Training Session 3
Gracie is doing great! She is walking with a loose leash a majority of the time.
What we really need is her eye contact level to go up. She has almost no eye contact when she walks.
To do this, we will need to be as unpredictable as possible. So walking in zig-zags, suddenly running, doing suicides. Anything out of the ordinary that will make her want to watch you.
***We want to make sure she is rewarded every time she looks at you!!! Always have her eyes in your periphery and give her lots of praise when she does make that eye contact, even if it is just at your body. Big reward if she looks at your face!
We still need to work on her doorways. At home, definitely work on going in and out of those thrilling doors like the garage door or the front door.
Dog Training Session 4
We worked on more of her pulling and eye contact while on leash. She did great!
She does really well with verbal and physical reinforcement.
At home make sure you are marking the exact moment Gracie looks at you with a “yes” and verbal/physical reinforcement.
We also worked on her doorways, she is still struggling in this area.
Dog Training Session 5
We of course worked on her leash manners today. I used more treats today to try to get eyes on me.
This was very effective. In the past she wasn’t very interested.
It clicked. The treats really helped her make the association between having eyes on me and being able to follow me rather than pull.
At home, please practice with treats.
Your goal is to only give them when Gracie has her eyes on you while walking.
A good way to test if she is truly paying attention is to stop suddenly.
If she continues walking, she is not.
If she stops with you, it means you have her full focus. You want to give a big reward for this!
This is exactly what you are looking for!
Also, a good way to get Gracie’s eyes on you it to do suicides (the running drill). This forces her to look at you or she will be left in the dust or suddenly pulled.
You only have to do this for a couple minutes, rewarding every time she is behind and eyes on you (this can be verbal or with treats if you are capable) for her to really get the hang of perfect manners.
Dog Training Session 6
Gracie was great today. We worked further on her leash manners and started the “stop” command.
Gracie now has eye contact 99% of the time in low distraction.
We are able to walk for long stretches without having to turn to get her attention.
We upped the distraction level to high today (in the lobby and outside).
She had eye contact on me about 50% of the time in the lobby, after the initial thrill. And had a loose leash 75% of the time.
When we worked outside in front of the building, she had a loose leash about 75% of the time and eyes on me about 20%.
She’s really getting the hang of it.
We started laying the foundation for “stop”. This will be useful when Gracie is off leash and you need her to stop moving.
I’ve attached some guidelines on “stop”. It’s very simplistic, but effective. If you practice it at every crossing, this will teach Gracie not to cross streets without your okay first.
Dog Training Session 7
We continued working on Gracie’s leash manners and stop today.
She can now walk with a loose leash inside and outside with total eye contact. She has basically perfected the loose leash!
Her stop is looking great. We will continue making the association while she is next you. When she really understands the word, we can begin doing it from a distance.
Her doorways are also getting smoother! Only a slight pull through over exciting doorways.
Dog Training Session 8
We continued working on her leash manners, doorways, and stops. We worked in an extremely distracting space with lots of people in the lobby.
We also worked outside, she struggled a little in this space but got the hang of it as usual.
We also took a tour of the entire facility on a loose leash. She really has the hang of it!
Her stops are looking great. I can tell you have been working with her.
Dog Training Session 9
Gracie was awesome today!
She nailed her loose leash walking and consistently makes eye contact with me, which is amazing!
We worked on her “stop” command which she’s learning quickly. A few times when I said “stop”, she even automatically sat at my side and waited for me to start walking again. Very impressive!
We practiced waiting at multiple doorways. She struggles the most at the door leading into the lobby which makes a lot of sense since she’s used to excitedly running through it to greet you at pick up.
The “stop” command will help with door dashing as well.
Please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like me to work on with Gracie. She’s such a smart girl!
Dog Training Session 10
Today, I got to see Gracie in full force in the snow! She gets so excited! And loved playing in it. We worked on harnessing that excitement and using it for good leash manners.
Every time Gracie made eye contact with me and had a loose leash, I would toss her a snowball. She loved this game.
I know you said she has a hard time staying calm in the snow, this is a good way to reel her in and focus.
Dog Training Session 11
We worked on walking politely on leash in the snow again today. She was so overly stimulated by it that she struggled to stay calm.
We walked about 5 feet politely, then she was too excited and zoomed around in the snow.
I think a good way to help Gracie stay calm and focus on you when walking in the snow is by furthering your “look at me” command. If Gracie learns to check in with you constantly, when in the snow, you will be able to tell her when to play and when to walk nicely.
To start, I would like Gracie to consistently look at your eyes when you say, “look at me”.
After she becomes a pro at this, we can start practicing it in higher and higher distraction levels, eventually working in the snow.
I have attached a guide on “look”, you’re welcome to keep saying “look at me”.
We really want to make sure Gracie is looking the first time you say the command, not after a couple tries.
Dog Training Session 12
Amanda, one of the assistant trainers, worked with Gracie today and she was wonderful!
We practiced loose leash walking which she’s a pro at now! We walked outside in the employee parking lot where there were many distractions.
There are still a few times when she pulls towards people or doors. To help with this, I started teaching her the “heel” command. When she’s pulling ahead, turn around and walk the opposite direction, just like when you taught her loose leash walking, except now you’ll add in “heel” at the moment she turns towards you to walk in the same direction.
We also focused on “look.” I can tell you’re practicing! Keep it up especially during leash walking.
We worked on “come.” She came to me every time! I also had her sit in front of me after she came until I said “free.”
I suggest using a high value treat like chicken or her favorite dog treat as a reward. This keeps her motivation up and makes her SUPER excited to come to you!
I’ve attached instructions for “come.” Please practice this at home along with “look” and “heel.”
She comes so fast she is liable to take you out haha! Be careful when practicing at home, we will work on her stop time.
She also really likes her over excited pets as a reward.
She even came when she was zooming around with excitement.
Dog Training Session 13
Gracie was fantastic as always. We worked on her leash manners and recall throughout the facility and in the snow.
She had fantastic recall inside, always running to me.
We worked on her pacing herself and sitting when arriving. She is much better at this.
Practice her sitting when she reaches you at home.
In the snow she still “came” 100% of the time, just more at her own pace. Set her up for success by letting her play for a couple minutes, then ask her to “come”.
When she starts heading your way act extremely excited, this will get her moving quicker!
Dog Training Session 14
Today we focused on Gracie’s leash manners and “come” in the snow.
She was very good at her “come” in the snow. She came 100% of the time!
However, her leash manners were pretty bad. We worked on getting her eye contact so we could walk a couple steps at a time.
When you are working on “come” on the long line and Gracie runs to the end of it, she feels a tugging sensation. This is the same sensation she feels when she pulls on the leash.
Inadvertently, we are conditioning her to walk back to us (come) when she pulls.
Dog Training Session 15
We worked on Gracie’s “come” and leash manners again.
She had 100% recall in the noisy hallways where boarding dogs stay.
I did have to gently pull the leash to get her attention twice, but she completed the “come” after I got her attention.
She had about 50% recall outside in the leaves.
She was a fairly distracted by all of smells. I had to gently pull her 90% of the time.
A majority of the time, she would come all the way to me and sit.
A couple of the times, she would walk slowly and was very distracted, never making eye contact or coming fully to me.
To help with this, I had to make myself more interesting. I would run a little, raise my voice, clap my hands, pat the ground, anything to excite her!