We had a very busy Adventure day! Starting with the customary play sessions in which we successfully introduced Higgins the Standard Poodle off leash and off muzzle, even with a few of the small dogs around! Joining us for the first time was Mixed Breed Millie’s sister: Maya the German Shepherd! It was again a full day with 10 Explorers to join in our adventure. We had Cooper the Golden, Millie the mix, Maya the German Shepherd, Flash the Mini Schnauzer, Tippy the Mix, Sabine the Border Collie Mix, Higgins the Poodle, Satya the Bulldog, Bruno the Boxer and Sinbad the Cavalier.
After a fun and energizing morning play session, the first group of Explorers headed out for the morning field trip. The morning group consisted of Higgins, Cooper, Flash, Tippy, Sabine, Satya and Sinbad. This group visited Fuch’s Park in the City of South Miami. The plan was to expose them to lots of real world distractions, and test our group stays that were worked on last week. The morning group was split in two teams: the Large dogs and the Little dogs. Each Team worked stays as a group, and also had practice walking together on leash in a larger group. Though the park was pretty silent, there were a few visitors, a lady with an umbrella and another with a stroller, to provide some mild distractions. There were also birds, and ducks floating in the pond, not to mention traffic noise from nearby US 1. The dogs performed above and beyond, staying in position calmly and walking nicely on leash in a group. Even the younger dogs in the Little dog group did well with the distractions!
Back at Paws in Motion, we switched the Large Dog group for Millie, Maya and Bruno and headed out to Sunset Drive & Red Road. There we walked along the stores and practiced loose leash walking in a different, yet just as distracting, environment. The dogs posed for pictures by water fountains, walked across streets, waited calmly at pedestrian crossings and were exposed to many strangers. The first group: Millie, Maya and Simbad, got to go into the mall and see some of the stores. The second group: Bruno, Satya and Flash, visited The Dog from Ipanema store were they got lots of kisses and attention, and of course did some shopping! Both outings were a success and showed how much our Explorers have learned and how well they are working. It was great exposure, specially for the younger dogs in the pack.
To finish off the day, we worked on toy drive, retrieving, bringing the toy to hand and releasing it, as well as taking and holding different objects. Each dog worked individually with one of our trainers, some started off with simple hand touches, others did more advanced exercises. All worked at their own level, using clicker training and treats. By the end of the day, many had successfully tugged on a toy, or retrieved it from a few steps away. A great beginning to what could become a wonderful game with their owners!!!!