Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth...

PETCO!  Okay, honestly I'm not a huge fan of pet stores because you never know what you're going to run into there.  But, the one near us is usually pretty quiet, and Dante just finished his shots last week, so I figured today would be a good time to bring him for the first time. 

Since this was Dante's first time inside any type of store, I wanted to keep it fun.  Not focusing on any commands, but just letting him explore. 

I wasn't really sure what to expect from him, so I was pretty amazed at how well he did.  He was very interested in all the smells and sights, but he never went crazy or seemed overwhelmed.  Even when we stopped to check things out, it was fairly easy to get his attention - if only for a few seconds. 

A few weeks ago during a frustrating moment with Dante, I made a deal with him (if you believe you can make deals with dogs (-; ), that if he would behave himself and listen to me then I would take him to pick out his own toys.  Dante held up his end of the deal, so he got to pick out a toy.  And wouldn't you know, it has a squeaker.  This dog loves his squeaky toys, and walks around so proudly whenever he has one!  I'll never forget the moment Dante first figured out his toys squeaked, and he hasn't stopped since!

My mom also found a bone-shaped Kong, and I think he will love that.

I thought that Dante would be hesitant to walk on this floor, but he loved it, and after walking and pawing it for a few seconds. he made himself right at home!

The fish only held his attention for a few seconds...

...But I think he wants to change his food.

Dante got to greet some people (and hopefully potential puppy-raisers)! 
It was almost impossible for him to hold a "sit" on the floor.

Dante LOVED these, and was trying to sniff all the way to the top!

 We ended up staying longer then I expected (talking to a trainer there, but that's a whole other story), but Dante settled really well and we left on a good note.  And now I have one pretty pooped puppy on my hands, and I think that means we had a successful outing!


  1. What a great outing! You are so lucky that you can let them have squeeky toys! Dante looks like he loves it.

    Random question:
    Does CCI require that the headcollars be worn on outings?

    1. Yes he does! It kept him busy for a good half-hour nonstop.
      That's funny that you ask, because I noticed that sometimes Carrie has one and sometimes she doesn't. Are you just offered that as an option?
      Yes, we are required to use the gentle leader (or halti) whenever we walk them or take them out. My Puppy Program Manager told me that we are not really ever supposed to put their leash on a flat collar, but if Dante is on a long leash or a quick trip to potty, then I'll leave it off. I'm kind of curious to see how he would do out without it, but we really are supposed to leave it on.

    2. Wow! That's much different than us!

      Guide Dogs gives it to us and it is our job to get them used to wearing it, but they want us to focus on them not needing it. I think they want it on about 50% of the time. We actually don't have them wear it in public at all until they are 4ish months with the new food protocol.

      It is important to Guide Dogs that they walk on a loose leash w/o it.

      Thanks so much for answering my question! I love learning about how different the organizations are!

    3. I think that's really nice.
      I had never used a GL before CCI. I like them, but honestly, I wish that I could have time to work him without one, because I think it's important for them to learn how to work without one at a younger age, but I guess that they have had success with it this way, so I don't want to go against their regulations.
      You're so welcome! I love to hear about how other organizations work too!

    4. That's how I have always felt about them too. They are a good tool but ultimately, I feel, they should be phased out.
      That's why I find it so interesting that they are completely relying on them. I am starting to wonder if GDB is headed in that direction.

    5. Exactly! I really don't want it to become a conditioning for good behavior. That is one reason why I am making sure to teach all new commands without the GL, so that he knows he still has to listen to me, and won't think it's "crazy time" when I take it off.

    6. That is soooo weird about the gentle leader use in your area. At CCI in the north central region they are only supposed to wear the gentle leader like on public outing, walks, and training sessions. Any other time the gentle leader doesn't have to be worn, a flat collar is fine even with a leash attached. I like that more, I would hate having to have my pups on a gentle leader all the time, especially when we take them out to play on a long line or to the beach on a long line.

      Very odd how CCI varies between regions.

  2. WOW, what a great outing! He's really starting to mature! Way to go.

  3. Your first sentence in this post is SO TRUE! I went to Petco just on Friday w/o Haddie and so thankful she was not with me. There was a dog fight on the sidewalk as I was walking out of the store. We would have been Right There!!! Sooooo scary. One of the owners was even pushed to the ground during the scuffle. A Great Dane vs an Irish Wolfhound. Yikes!!

    1. OH my goodness! I'm so glad Haddie didn't get into that mess! I wonder why people with dogs like that even think they can take them anywhere.
      I am always leery about taking them to pet-friendly places like that, but they do need the experience (and it helps to have someone with you to check it out before you bring them in).


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