Yesterday was my son’s 14th birthday party so we barely had time to think let alone get any real training in unfortunately. Today we made up for it with a short training outing. First we ran out some energy with frisbee time then I put Lad’s harness on and we loaded into the car for our trip. Lad was obviously a little anxious both wearing his harness and leash and leaving the house as he has been recently but he did well. He does have car riding anxiety but he is past the excessive drooling and carsickness he experienced as a younger puppy.
At HPB Lad was able to walk politely to the clearance shelves outside the store where we browsed for about 20minutes. He “downed” on command and took treats I offered. He did jump up when he saw people walk by and sniffed the ground and books a good bit (he also ate a couple of leaves on the ground). We will need to work some more on his “leave it” out of the house. He was solid on that a few months ago but adolescence is definitely working against him.
We had a cute experience with a family walking by with two little boys. One boy pointed to Lad and said “look it is a cute dog” and the other boy said “we can’t pet that dog he is a service dog”. The first boy said “why not” and the boy said “if you pet a service dog he could be distracted, you can’t do that.” His mom told him what a great job he was doing and they walked on by. Lad wasn’t even marked at all, just wearing his Hurtta harness and I thought he was acting pretty puppy. Just made me smile. A little girl walked by and came back and politely asked if she could pet Lad. He was being so well behaved (laying and waiting to be released) and she asked nicely so I said yes and told him to go say hello. He did great, no pushing or jumping.
After a little bit we went inside to see how Tim and the boys were doing. Lad walked through the store nicely, turned when I asked and only sniffed the floor once while walking. We stopped and looked at clearance books for a bit. Lad waited nicely in a down at my feet and only fidgeted a bit (he did scoot forward at first and lick the concrete, he really likes to lick cold concrete). He jumped up once when some one came very close but he ignored a woman who needed to shelve books above him which was great. No one asked to pet him which I thought was awesome. Again, he was not marked and I definitely would have allowed some petting because he was being so well behaved. I heard a few comments about him being a SD so I think everyone just assumed he was working. Towards the end he got a little fidgety in the children’s section (I guess the floor smelled better in there) but he made it out doing pretty well and walked nicely to the car. He was still taking treats well and making good eye contact which is a huge improvement for him. We can definitely work with impulse control, I expected to need to work on that again (and again) at this stage.