We met Helen at Lowes this afternoon for our training session. We chose to meet at Lowes for its variety of distractions, friendly employees and outdoor furniture. That's right, when training in public it's helpful to have a place where you can sit and talk following the session.
Helen brought Merlin, her 9-year-old Papillon, with her to our session today. She walked him past Bo while Austin had Bo in a down stay. The idea was for Bo to stay down and focused on Austin when he really wanted to go and say hello to Merlin. She started at a distance and moved closer. During the first pass at close distance, Bo broke his down stay but on the second and third tries he held it.
Helen had Austin practice putting Bo in a down stay near the check-out lanes. People passed by and made eye contact with Bo and he stayed down. One of our homework assigments is to set-up scenarios where Bo is in a down stay in public and people walk by and look at him. This is so he learns to stay at Austin's side even when strangers make full eye contact with him.
Next week, Austin will begin handling Bo in one of Helen's level one puppy classes. The purpose of this class for Bo will be to learn to work and stay focused on Austin in the company of other dogs. Austin is looking forward to Helen's group class. He really enjoys her training style and her personality. "Helen is so nice," he said following today's session.
I forgot my camera today but Syl remembered hers and she was kind enough to let me use it. I hope you enjoy these pictures of boy and pup working along side one another. They are going to make a great team!