Because of Moray's unfortunate luck with sickness (here and here), the only time he has been out of the house was to go to the vet. While we do not take baby puppies inside public places yet, it is good for them to get used to car rides, parking lots, greeting people, etc.
When Dante first came, I was getting him out at least 2-3 times a week. I was beginning to feel like I am getting behind with Moray. While I know for a fact that we're in no way "behind," it was time for us to get out of the house.
Moray is still not the biggest fan of car rides, so a 5-minute-away trip to Target was in order tonight.
He did fantastic in the car, with no whining or barking. I think that may have had something to do with the stuffed Kong in his kennel, but I'll take it. ;-) After we parked, we sat in the car with the back open, watching cars go by, and taking it all in.
I debated on whether or not to take him out into the parking lot, but when he started trying to jump out himself, I decided that he was indeed ready for it. This boy does not lack in the confidence area!
I carried him up to the entrance of the store where we practiced Checking In when I call his name, and "sit." This boy is a rock star and did everything I asked of him on the first time!
The people. Oh, the people! I forget how many people a puppy attracts. I had Dante running errands with me most of the day. When people see an older dog, it is mostly, "Look at the service dog!" "We can't pet him because he's working, can we?" With Baby Moray it is "Oh my gosh, the puppy!" "Isn't he the most adorable thing ever?!" Hehe! We sat here for about 10 minutes, and greeted around 20 people, and all but three or four people coming out of the store did not stop by. Dante is very people-oriented, so the answer to petting is usually "no," so to be inviting people over so Moray can learn proper greetings felt a little funny at first. He soaked up the attention, and did extremely well for this being our first time really focusing on sitting for petting.
Short, sweet, and to the point is the way to go! We stayed long enough for Moray to get comfortable, and short enough for it to be stress-free and fun. Not asking too much from him, but eye contact and eating treats from my hand as people pet him. This boy is so much fun to work with, and I would say his first outing was a success!