Sunday, February 2, 2014

Moray loves little kids.  The first couple times I witnessed how enamored he was with them, I was worried that he was nervous about them.  But nope, he just loves them.  He loves to watch them and their exciting, unpredictable movements, and he especially loves when they pet him, hug him, and love on him.  

While it is great that he isn't afraid of them or worried about them, it is not very becoming of a future service dog to be so enthralled and excited whenever he sees children.  My mom and I happened to sign up for the same month of teaching children's church for the toddlers during the month of February.  Usually during the months I help I just send Moray with my mom and she works him for the morning.  It wasn't until after we had already signed up that we realized we didn't know what to do with Moray since we would both be together.  We could leave him home, but that would mean a 5+ hour stretch in his kennel every week, and losing valuable training time that he really does need around lots of people at church.  

 We decided to go for it and see how he does with us.  Today was his first morning teaching the littles, and he did fairly well.  Between Dante and Moray coming to church for nearly two years now, I'm fairly certain the kids don't remember NOT having a dog in church, so there was little surprise about Moray, and they all were very, very good.
My mom showing off Moray's "shake."
Moray did not do quite as well as I expect from him, but he was far from horrible.  He was super excited when we first started, but settled in and was completely calm laid back by the end of our hour and 45 minutes.  
He is getting much better and being calm with lots of little hands (and tugging on his tail!).
I put him on tie down on the table, and gave him a small toy to give him something constructive to do.  He popped up several times, but was pretty easily corrected back into a "Down." The kids were cute and always echoed my commands of "sit" or "down."  I think I'm going to rearrange some chairs so that I can tie him on the other side up against the wall where he won't have kids walking all around and be tempted to jump up.  I'm sure that by the end of the month, Moray will be well on his way to desensitizing to little ones, and listening to only me in the midst of some mini chaos!

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