Beau has very busy schedule and I’m having a hard time writing it all down. So this is my attempt at making up for last four days.
On Monday Beau joined me for a day working at school. When I didn’t have to teach I took him on off leash walks; around and inside the school. I like doing as much as possible off leash to give puppies more space to make some choices plus to learn that it is his business to stay close to me. I would attempt to do this with a dog that is fearful or runs off, I also choose places that are safe even if the puppy does take off. Beau did not show any fear during his time at the school. He ignored sounds of heavy machinery and of an alarm. He run towards two unknown men working with shovels, said hi and run back to me 😉 I do not stop him from approaching people because he does not approach everyone and I can call him away. I do not encourage him to engage with every person and his interactions with people are not overly exciting.
Unfortunately Monday ended with a very tragic event…one of the tracking dogs (I will not name him/her) ate the buggy. And since it happened on the way back we had to travel home without it. Beau pretty much didn’t care, and we were lucky that the train was not too busy.
On Wednesday we were off to SIFD training location, traveling without the buggy. Walk to the station went well, he was bit interested in a small green road sing but I distracted him so we can move away. Normally I would allow him to investigate but in this case I decided not to for few reasons a) he seemed like he is just below the threshold and it would’t take him long to react with fear b) it was dark, c) we could hear children playing very loud in a school near by d) there was a man walking a dog towards us. One of those things alone could make a puppy react, Beau is a stable puppy but I am not going to take my chances.
On the train he did great again, my main concern was making sure he doesn’t run off. I allowed him to explore parts of the train initially but since he was not struggling I moved on to reinforcing being close to me and staying still (he got things too chew). I do wish I had the buggy with me. He was doing great but I could see he is getting over stimulated and tired, and since the train was very busy he didn’t have a chance to rest (I always try to find a place where the dog can get bit of space but because people were getting in and out of the train he was continuously getting distracted).
When we arrived at the training location Beau got some time to run around free, play and explore. He also played with a dog of a friend who is very good with puppies and likes Beau a lot.
I try not to plan too much in one day with a puppy (generally sticking to one thing if its’ intense) but e did have to go to the vet in the evening. I got a temporary buggy by then so at least Beau could chill on the way to the vet. I made sure we will see a female vet I’ve met before. She has very nice energy around dogs and is not forceful. Beau was completely fine in the clinic, he didn’t notice two injections (he was too busy with food).
On Thursday we were at SIFD again and Beau had a chance to play with some metal chains. They made a lot of noise but he loved them. I would not do that if he showed any sigs of fear around loud sounds. Plus I didn’t just drop them at him, I moved them when they were on a table first to see if he reacts, then carried them, let one drag on the floor and so on. Often there is a thin line between “socialising” a dog and traumatising it.
In the afternoon we did three short tracks with the help from Lilian Op Heij (who was visiting SIFD for instructor course).