When I first started taking Dante on public outings, he had a hard time figuring out what he was supposed to do. He did well if I was continually working him and giving him commands/walking, but as soon as we stopped, he would start barking because he didn't understand that he could just sit or lie down and chill out.
So, up until around six weeks ago, his outing would be really short (under 15 minutes). He was with me but I wasn't "working" him in the sense that he was doing commands and such, but trying to teach him that it is OK to do nothing sometimes. About six weeks ago I think it finally clicked into his brain, and he has been doing fantastic ever since. He will only let out the very occasional woof! and has even been able to come with me and sleep through church and lunch afterwards.
The last few weeks, I have been re-introducing "real work" into Dante's outings, and he has proven himself to be a fabulous sidekick who can transition easily from working to sleeping ;-)
A funny example: A few weeks ago, I had Dante at Kroger, and he was barking like crazy and I couldn't get him to quiet down, so I left with him. My mom took him back the next week by herself, and one the employees came up to them and said, "Dante is doing so well today; he hasn't barked at all!" I get really embarrassed when Dante starts barking, so I love that our grocery store is so welcoming of puppies in training and understand that "in training" does mean that they are not perfect!
I love practicing "jump" at Kroger, because these are low, wide and sturdy, and a different surface under his paws.
We practiced some obedience in the empty isles.
|I have proof that you can sit well on a slick floor. You now have no excuses.|
"I can even jump onto a slippery shelf!"
|Only $5.99? You're coming with me, cutie pie!|
And then when my ankle starts hurting, Dante can settle well at a table while we wait for my mom to finish her shopping.
Tired puppy = successful day!