Friday, November 2, 2007

Traning Day 5

Working the gate

Today was a FANTASTIC day!

Now that we've gotten past the gate exercise, we can start going to fun places and kill two birds with one stone: socialization and training.

We started out this morning with a third round of the open gate distraction. This time, Pete did not charge ahead, but he did walk ahead of me and got a very mild bump when I changed direction. Instead of walking back and forth in front of the house, we took a walk around the block. At the opposite corner from us is a house where two little terriers live, contained on the property by an electronic fence system. These dogs are pretty good - I've walked by there with dogs before and they've never run through their boundary. But they sure make some noise!

That was the only part of the walk where Pete forgot I was there. That didn't last long. It took a couple of tries to be able to walk him past the property while staying next to me, but he did it. Good job!

This afternoon we did the gate thing again - this time, he did forge on ahead of me because Dick was on the other side, trying to take a couple of pictures. Third try was a charm.

Instead of tooling around the block (which was very quiet, thanks to some chilly weather), I headed him over to the truck and we took a drive to a garden shop at the corner of our subdivision. We walked around in the parking lot for a while and had real fun with the automatic double doors. Poor Pete couldn't figure out what triggered them to open! I didn't pass through the doors with him right away - we took a walk down the path toward a reservoir at the subdivision entrance. There we encountered two ladies with young children in strollers. Pete woofed and got redirected. After they passed us, we walked behind them for a while so he could get used to them.

After a few more minutes of walking in the parking lot, I decided to take him inside for socialization. I coiled up the longe line and went in. I introduced myself to some of the staff and told them that Pete is being trained to be a hearing ear dog, but we're working on obedience and socialization. I was impressed that most of them knew they're not supposed to pet service dogs, but I said that I wanted him socialized, so at this point it's okay to ask to pet. He ate up all the attention he could get. What nice gals...

Back to the truck, where I opened the door and repeated the gate exercise, sort of. He has already learned that he is not to jump in or out of a vehicle without permission. This needs to be practiced a lot, however.

Looks like I'll be driving this little guy around an awful lot just to keep him on his toes!

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