This morning I took him to a park that has a large (about 200 yards in length) green space between two playgrounds. I really like this location since I can park close, have lots of room to work towards or away from the play ground depending on how the puppy reacts, and I’m usually just about guaranteed to find people and children there. We went pretty early which worked out well since there was a good number of children. Maybe 20 at the one playground and 10 at the other. Also, a few dogs and lots of strollers and bikes. He got to meet 3 children, which was great. He went right up to them looking for treats (awesome!). We worked a little on loose leash walking and some sit, down, spin, and leave it.
I was really pleased with how he did. He’s still whining in the car (not that I would expect much else), but seems better on flowy roads. He was really good last night driving out of town to the park for our photo shoot; the stop and go traffic seems to keep him upset longer. So when possible I’ll try to drive in the city less with him; hopefully that helps him settle a little quicker.
We started puppy class this evening as well. It was interesting to see him in class. We started with play time and he was pretty unsure about the other dogs. Which was odd to see since he has been jumping all over Tess since arriving and keeps trying to incite play. He warmed up towards the end of the class, but I think we’ll need to do a few socialization classes with similar playing dogs, and hopefully some older dogs as well.
He seems a little “behind” Tess at this age, and not quite ready (mentally) for class, but I’m glad we are starting. Even if all we get out of it is some positive association with training and get to work on focus in a distracting environment it’ll be worth it to me. I hope we get more out of it than that, and I’m sure we will; but it’s a good test of where we are at. I need to bring some yummier treats next time since he was having a hard time focusing. But he seemed to be more toy drivey so I was pleased to see that, it was distracting to the other puppies so I tried not to use it too much, but it’s good info for me when I work with him. I’m feeling like he’s ready to be pushed a bit more on the socialization side now, so I can start to bring him to some busier places. All of which should help in class. While we have been working on obedience off and on, the real focus for me right now is the socialization side. And that will continue to be the case for a few more weeks.