Bo had his first adventure in Amsterdam. We went for lunch at a cafe next to University of Amsterdam. If I didn’t have a buggy with me I wouldn’t have done this at this point. Without it he would not have a place to sleep, a moment to shut down plus he would be continuously bombarded with stimuli. He didn’t stay in the buggy all the time, before lunch (and after our metro trip) I took him to a little park where he could be off leash. If I take a puppy for a ‘socialization trip” I always look for calm places where they can take a little break and explore freely, sometimes we play and sometimes we just sit together and observe. I take those little breaks before the puppy gets too ‘full’ from all the stimulation and even if the break lasts few minutes I do see that it helps them a lot. My goal is to keep them always below threshold. Stressed brain doesn’t learn.
Our lunch was at a pretty busy place and I left the buggy downstairs, I did create a little ‘cave’ for Bo under our table, with a blanket and something to chew on. He quickly fell asleep and ended up sleeping under a chair pretty close to the main floor. I was having lunch with a friend but if at any time Bo would not feel comfortable I would have left. If I had a meeting that I could’t leave puppy would not be with me. For the same reason I made sure there is nothing I have to rush to and that we can take as much time as Bo needs. On the way back to the metro he had a walk on a side street (still with people passing by, bikes and cars) and we took our time. He explored new smells, chased a plastic bag, got messy like a monkey in a puddle of mudd and discovered pigeons. I think it is very important not to rush with a puppy. to give them time to take everything in. And no it doesn’t mean that I will be forever taking hours to get somewhere but those first weeks are very important and if we rush we can put the dog in a situations that are too difficult.
I do like his responses to the environment, he is not fearful and not reactive. He takes time to observe and think which I find a very good quality in a dog. But even with a dog like this we can get in trouble if we push and try to do too much too fast. That’s why tomorrow we will focus on training at home and on Friday we go on another adventure.