Odd places to train?
These photos we shot at the recycle station in town. We were on our way to go hiking in the forest and explore some old ruins but as Joeri was finding the right container for every type of material, I thought it would be a good practice for Mogwai to help a bit and do some tricks that she likes while people where carrying boxes, dumping glass and doing all kinds of weird things. Oona and Lizzie stayed in the car, just 2meters away from us as, for them, that was enough challenge for now.
I mentioned before that training a dog here and finding enough distractions is super difficult. Last week I went to town with Oona twice, to walk around for at least an hour, hoping to see dogs in order to train on her reactions. The first time we saw 5 adults and one child, no dogs. The second time we spotted 4 dogs some more people and a few skaters. With Oona, the people aren’t the issue, only dogs, but just to explain how quiet it can be here :-). Soon we’ll be traveling some more and people will be out on the streets enjoying the summer weather, that will help!
Because you might wonder why I train at odd places- except for not having a regular dog school here- I like my dogs to be able to handle as many different situations as possible. All of them are doing great in the forest but for Lizzie, busy street life is still a bit scary and Oona has both difficulties with relaxing in a busy environment as with unknown dogs. While making baby steps of progress, I can trust them more, predict their reactions faster, I can see their trust in me and the world grow and their self-confidence gets so much better. And the better they listen and understand their world, the more freedom we can have together.
Btw, training in as many different situations as possible also helps them to be confident when we have a photoshoot planned in an unknown location.