Saturday, 20 August 2011
We went to town today, since a) I wasn't busy in the morning and b) the weather was actually good. I set out feeling confident, and everything went just shy of perfect. She didn't give a single vocalisation: not a single bark, growl or anything. And she had to face some pretty intense stuff at times.
These were the highlights:
- A man and young child appeared suddenly around the corner, when we were only two feet or so away. I had to give a small amount of feedback on the leash to move her out of the way when everyone froze (gently guiding her back and to the side), but even that sudden tension and forced movement didn't make her react.
- We were walking up the street behind a trio of two women and a young boy, who was waving his arms around, possibly slapping at flies. Despite his fairly erratic behaviour, Lola remained cool and calm as we walked behind them, at an average distance of about two and a half to three metres, for five minutes.
- I'd forgotten what day it was; and I'd forgotten that the market was on. I took advantage of it and sat down with Lola, a little closer than I'd have liked, to practice some Look At That and incompatible trick behaviours in the presence of around a hundred or so people at a time. She did great! Her ears flicked back more than I desired, and she got a little whale-eyed and leapt almost out of her skin when a woman ran past (suddenly appearing, too) about a foot away. But she recovered fast, and her tail was up for about 99% of the time we were sat there, so I'm quite pleased. She showed off a small amount of her tricks: touch, paw, sit, down, off, up. No refusal of food at all, and only twice she had to be re-cued for a trick.
- Whilst we were sat up town, three dogs went past, the closest of which was only about one metre away from us. Lola looked at the dogs, but there was no huffing, no charging or straining at the leash, no intense stare, no piloerection, and no vocalisations. Truly fantastic.
- On the way back, a limping man suddenly appeared around the corner, only about one foot away from us. Lola stared and shifted her weight forward, but then self-interrupted and followed me in an arc around and away from him toward home.