Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We went out today to do a few errands on foot. I put his jacket on before we even left the house, as he had had his poop so there shouldn’t be a need to go do that (and there wasn’t). Rockwell was first distracted by our neighbour and wanted to go greet him. Robert was kind enough to ignore Rockwell for me and so we carried on. He had a little hissy fit before we even left the neighbourhood but I got that under control pretty fast. Then we hit the main road and the wind distracted him. To be fair, it is gusting to 60 kph and it must feel funny when it blows up under your tail!

He maintained and we walked to the city hall where I paid our property taxes. We had to wait in a line up and he was pretty good. He didn’t sit much, preferring to be on his feet so he could whirl around if circumstances demanded it. There was a small child colouring at a kids table as we came in but Rockwell listened to my “leave it” command. When I stopped paying 100% attention to him to chat with the ladies behind the counter, he started misbehaving and chewing on the leash so we had to leave. It was a bit of a struggle to get him to walk out calmly because it is March Break week and there were kids coming and going left and right. Finally outside again, we headed for the drug store where he was mostly good. He sniffed the candy display which is unfortunately right at dog nose level. But since he doesn’t GET any human food, he didn’t try to snatch any of it.

Then we walked to the bank and again he had to wait in line. Somehow, without me even trying, he has learned the word “wait”. I started using it on him at the front door. he would pull me right out the moment I opened the door and so I started saying “wait” and making him wait. Now, I use it anywhere and he stops what he is doing and waits! Of course, he doesn’t wait very LONG but there is some waiting. So progress is being measured in baby steps.
defying the big dog


At 2:28 p.m., March 14, 2006, Blogger 8675309 said...

We LOVE the "wait" command. Very handy! Isn't it amazing what they learn without our even knowing how we taught them?

I'm reading a very interesting book right now called "The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior." It's really opened my eyes to a few things, and I think it will help me when I get my next puppy and have to deal with the very early formative stages (unlike with Lomax, who was a year old when he came to me). I recommend it to any of you puppy raisers out there!


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