Hi, my name is Max.
I’m a very anxious boy. I tend to whine and pace when I’m uncomfortable, which is often.
I like to crawl on shoulders and perch like a bird.
The Club Pet Academy is helping me learn how to relax in new spaces with lots of well timed praise and treats.
My goal is to be able to go into new environments without being uncomfortable.
Max’s Dog Training Photo’s and Videos
Dog Training Log
Dog Training Session 1
Today was Max’s first training session at Club Pet Academy.
We focused on Max following a treat and lightly touched on an eye contact command. We also worked on waiting at doorways until he is released.
These are imperative for Max to learn in order to stop his leash reactivity.
To practice at home:
Start is a low distraction space, like the bathroom or a small room in the house.
Get a high value treat (we used hot dogs today). Show Max that you have a treat.
Any time Max looks at the treat, give it to him.
Next, try luring Max with the treat. Having him walk a couple steps behind it.
Finally, draw the hot dog up to eye level when he has his attention on it.
I want this to be your primary focus at home this week. When he masters following the treat in one space, move to another in the house. When he masters the house move to the backyard on leash.
Start working on Max’s doorways as well. You want to go through first, then let Max through after. This is putting you in the role of authority, instead of Max.
To do this
Have Max on a leash.
Open the door slightly with your body blocking the opening.
Move one leg towards Max over and over creating a ring around the open space, giving you a couple feet distance from each other.
When Max looks up at you, say “okay” and allow him through.
This will become more advanced the better he gets at it.
Practice at every doorway!!!
Dog Training Session 2
I can tell you really worked with Max.
I wanted to give you a timeline on how Max’s training went today.
Max investigated the suite we went into for about 15 minutes. He had no focus on me and would not take treats.
At 17 minutes, he started investigating me and the treats, picking them up and spitting them out.
At 20 minutes, he started taking treats. He continued to run around and focus for about 5 seconds at a time.
Max was then able to follow treats to my eyes for 5 minutes (for about 5 seconds at a time). This is where I started noticing your work, he did really well with look.
I really want you to focus on not rewarding Max when he whines, scratches at you, or jumps on you.
For whining and scratching at the ankles, completely ignore Max (no speaking, no touching, no eye contact). Once he has all four feet on the floor pet him or give him a treat.
When Max is whining, ignore him, when he pauses for a second, reward with pets or treats. The second he starts whining again, remove the praise and treats.
In order for these things to work, you will need to stay consistent. Every time Max is doing one of these behaviors, he must be ignored.
Additionally, I want you to work on Max standing on you while sitting. Max is putting himself in a position of authority. We want it to be the other way around, so Max can begin to rely on you.
Every time Max jumps up on your lap or steps onto you, I want you to stand up immediately. It’s important not to use your hands to push him off (this is a reward) or talk to him while it is happening (this is a reward as well).
Please continue working on luring Max with treats. Really striving for eye contact.
Also focus on his door waits. This will also help put you in a position of authority, which will help with his anxiety in the long run.
Dog Training Session 3
Max did so well today!!!
I noticed his anxiety levels were down quite a bit!
It took him 2 minutes to take treats then spit them out. Then 7 minutes to start taking treats and swallowing. Then 10 minutes to be able to focus on the treat. 15 to start performing the eye contact command and following the treat.
This was much faster than last time!
Keep practicing the same things as before! It’s starting to show!
I wanted to also remind you that we will be going at Max’s pace, so it will be a slow progression, both here and at home.
Dog Training Session 4
Max had a huge breakthrough today!
He was able to perform the look command after 3 minutes. He consistently got it down for the rest of his session.
His whining was down by quite a bit and he barely needed any time to investigate the room.
He did really well with his luring and was able to quickly follow treats.
We worked our way up from the ground. Max was able to look when I was seated on a bed.
We then gradually made our way up to a standing look. He got this twice.
Try to follow this progression at home.
Also focus on step three of the eye contact homework. We want to get Max looking every time on command.
We also attached the leash today. As he gets better at eye contact while I am in a standing position, we will start walking on the leash in the suite.
Keep working on any jumping, whining, and waiting at doors for eye contact. He is already making great progress.
Dog Training Session 5
Max did fantastic! Another breakthrough day!
He’s responding to waiting at doors much quicker now. He has a few seconds of panicked looking around, then makes eye contact.
We started by working in one of our Penthouse Suites as usual. He started responding to treats very quickly, about 2 minutes. He was taking treats at 5 minutes.
His whining was down to almost non existent!
We started working on his leash manners, in the small space, by luring him with a treat behind me. The leash was clipped to his collar, so he could start getting used to the loose feeling of the leash dragging with praise.
After 10 minutes, I had another person come in the room to up the distraction level and see if it triggered his anxiety.
He continued to stay focused and his anxiety levels stayed down.
After 15 minutes, we worked our way out of the room.
I had Max do a door wait to test his anxiety levels.
He definitely thought I was going to leave him, so he started panicking.
We waited out the panic. He started to calm down and make eye contact. When he would make eye contact, I would try to give him a treat. He would not take it, telling me he was at a higher anxiety level. Then every time he would look up, I would pet him and give him verbal praise. He gradually calmed down and took treats.
We then sat in the hallway and started the whole process again. He was taking treats about 5 minutes into being in the hallway. His whining levels were way up and his attention span was way down, but this was expected. All together he is progressing spectacularly.
I’d like you to start working on a sit stay with Max. We need to continue expanding his attention span. As always, start in a low distraction environment (in the home) and work you way up to a more distracting environment.
At home, practice with Max in a new slightly more distracting environment, working on his eye contact and luring. This new area may just be the backyard.
Assess where Max is at in this new environment with his whining level, how long it takes him to take treats, and how often he tries to climb on you. Please feel free to let me know how these go!
Dog Training Session 6
Vanessa thought that Max could benefit from training with a new handler. Today was my first session with Max and it went well for our first time training together.
He did awesome with door waits! He tried to sneak out for about 5 seconds but then looked at me for permission and we passed through.
We went into a Penthouse Suite. I sat on the floor waiting for Max to show me he was ready to work and wasn’t too anxious.
His whining was very minimal and I praised him every time he was calm.
He only scratched at the door a couple times for a few seconds but I was able to redirect him by luring him away from the door and saying “look.”
It took him 10 minutes to take a treat from me and only took three treats during the session. However, he still sat and looked 50% of the time and I rewarded with a ton of pets and attention.
We didn’t make it out of the suite but that was to be expected this time.
Once Max was able to focus on me, we practiced some leash manners. I made circles around the suite, luring him with a treat, and Max followed right behind me.
We ended on a positive note with him following me and making eye contact.
Please keep practicing eye contact and sit stay. Your hard work shows!
Overall, Max did great working through his anxiety especially with an unfamiliar trainer. I look forward to training with Max again!