Last week Doodlebug challenged us to work! Well, we are not ones to step down from a challenge, so we took his orders very seriously. We used his magical formula:
Change enviroment: check
Exposure to a Challenge: Check
and Active training: Check!
We headed just down the road to Fort McHenry (remember when we took Bodie this time last year?) which is a wonderful place for us to visit. The #1 reason? No off-leash dogs! Baltimore city is pretty notorious for off-leash dogs in the wonderful public parks (which we tend to avoid…sad face…due to all the unwelcome approaches), but since Fort McHenry is a National Monument, there are actual Park Rangers, which take the leash laws pretty seriously. So, we realized we need to get here more often. I’m embarrassed to say this was Chocko’s first visit, but it certainly won’t be his last!
We knew just being in a new place would provide many challenges, and though we didn’t have any dog on dog interactions, (I think it would have been too much for him this first trip anyway) we had some unexpected (but welcomed) challenges!
First, that Kite! A bright pink thing that whizzed in the sky, bombed the ground and made very odd noises… Chocko was very distracted and confused by it.
Here he is, in a deep trance, staring at the pink whizzer.
We also had obstacles such as….water! I never would have imagined how distracted this guy would be by the splashing waves along the seawall.
We embraced these two unexpected challenges and were able to work through them and get him to focus on me (still working on the ‘watch’ command) and walk with a loose leash. Though it wasn’t immediate, we did succeed!
Here he is doing a down stay (the down is quite difficult for this guy, as you can see from the awkward pose) with the kite in the distance.
And a few prettier stays 🙂
We incorporated all the elements and had an awesomely successful trip! Chocko was praised with treats, love and playtime in between and during training commands and challenges.
And how do we know just how successful it was? By his epic sun-spot nap, of course!
Thanks for the challenge, Dude! We’re looking forward to many more walks at the Fort to practice in the near future!