Monday, February 4, 2013


Yesterday we took Bugs to Menards. It was cold and she's a pup, so we kept training very short, but it was positive for both of us!

My husband took the boys inside while Bugs and I worked in the parking lot. It wasn't too busy, but there were people coming and going. She was absolutely great - no barking at strangers, no signs of anxiety. After three or four minutes of just hanging out and treating (and asking her to look at me - I didn't want to make her sit in the ice and snow) I noticed that there was an unused door down at the end of the building.

We walked over there, treating all the way. She approached the door and saw her reflection in the glass, and her hair went up and she growled. I redirected her attention and treated. That was it - she didn't notice herself anymore after that.

The area was covered so we worked on sits and looks. When a car drove by, I treated her - but only if she noticed it and then looked at me. If she put her hair up or growled at it, no treat. If she was interested and calm, lots of treats. By the third car she wasn't nervous anymore.

After a few minutes we stopped the formal stuff and just played. We romped around and jogged and just had fun - with LOTS of treats. I want to show her that being in public is lots and lots of fun. While we were playing, a couple came up towards us. Bugs wasn't too interested at first; she was very focused on me. From about 25 feet away the man asked if we were training. I told him yes, we're working on socialization. He asked if he could pet her, and I said sure. I gave him a handful of treats and he approached her exactly the way I want someone to approach my dogs - confident, calm, straight back (not stooped over.) He reached his hand out and treated her. She was so good, didn't even go dobershark on his hands.

His wife patted her and was equally good, no excitement, just calm energy. Then they told me they had a doberman at home, which explains why they knew how to approach her.

Around that time, my husband came out of the store, so we got back in the car and headed home. He bought her a toy which she squeaked all the way home, and then she came home, went potty, and wrestled with Bruno until bedtime.

It went so well, and I am so proud of my Bugs!!

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