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.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another lovely weather day - currently 24C (75F) and sunny. Our morning walk was very nice. If all you think I do is walk with this dog well it's not entirely true. I also sit and commune with him and we sew together and blog together and watch tv together and occasionally go to the pub. But the morning walk tends to be where the action is for the day!

I decided to walk around some of the strictly suburban loops that open onto Centrepointe, like Pinetrail and Mapleview. You turn off the main road and onto these subdivision roads with no sidewalks. The only traffic is people leaving their driveways to go to work. And some school buses. I used to walk there with Uma when she still could walk and it's very quiet, lots of bird song (Rockwell stopped to look when a robin whistled for him) and lovely, well-tended gardens. I guess I haven't been with Rockwell until today because I thought he should have traffic around him to get used to it.

We left at about 8am and I packed a lunch because I thought we might be out there for a while, based on the previous two days. I was determined to keep him out as long as possible and look for signs that he might actually want to go home. [But I'm just kidding about the lunch - we were home by 9.] I kept him moving but let him look at things as we went by. A couple of times, I let him stop to sniff a post. Eventually when I saw his tongue start hanging out, I turned for home and got no quarrel -- until we were actually in sight of home. And then he grabbed the leash in his mouth and started dancing around. I tried to get it from him by jerking it out of his mouth but that didn't work. I remembered the thought from yesterday (expressed in comments!) that maybe ignoring the bad behaviour had an effect. Amazingly, I turned my back on him, crossed my arms on my chest like Stanley Coren suggests (I saw it on his tv show once upon a time) and looked up. He stopped pulling! I waited and started forward again and he went for the leash. Stop, look away, ignore the dog and he stopped pulling. Of course, I realize this may not work tomorrow but I'm pretty happy about it today!


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