It rained all day Wednesday.
And most of the day Thursday.
Then, it rained all day today.
Ginger usually spends most of the day outside, so it was a pretty lousy week, in her opinion. So, we decided to have a bit of fun this afternoon.
We had our second training class this past Monday, which went really, really well. (Even better than our first week of class.) Ginger was noticeably calmer this week and seemed a lot more at ease. One thing our instructor has suggested is that we start taking the dogs lots of places—get them use to meeting new people, going to strange places, and relaxed in a variety of different environments. Also, dogs don’t generalize as well as humans, so working on training and commands in different places is really important.
So, we went to Petsmart this afternoon. Ginger had never been to Petsmart before, so it was very exciting! (The picture above is from the car ride—Ginger absolutely adores sniffing the A/C vents in the car.) Lots of new smells to smell, new dogs to meet, people everywhere!, a few dozen birds, more smells, more squeaky toys than she knew existed, and so on.
She’s still at the point where new places are so over-exciting that she cannot focus. We tried a bit of practice on some of the commands she knows really well (look when she hears her name, sit, down) and she’d listen and perform the command, but she was too worked up to want to take the treat. So, we didn’t try to do any training, since there was so much going on that yummy little treats were not an enticing enough reinforcer. But, it was really good for her to get out of the house for awhile and go somewhere new.
We’re planning to go back to Petsmart a few times in the near future. Once she gets more comfortable and calm at Petsmart, it would be a great place to work on training with distractions since there’s so many people and animals and things going on.
Here’s Ginger dozing off on the car ride home: