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Old 12-13-2012, 02:23 PM
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Handling Misbehavior in Public

Last night I took Bear to the pet supply store after work, which turned out to be a horrible event. When Bear was younger, he didn't like the car so we took him everywhere with us (normally both my DH and I would be going) and this was my first time taking him out to a "fun" event by myself.

It was a disaster. Don't get me wrong, there were some awesome points like:

1) Stop#1 Bear waited until I exited the vehicle before trying to exit
2) He walked nicely next to me while I pushed a cart - no pulling (once we were past the first two mins there where I had to stop literally every single step)
3) He was very socialable. Never cowered or anything.
4) Once I got him refocused on me, he was very well behaved... for a second.

However, there was alot left to be desired.

1) He did pull. Which I corrected
2) He urinated on everyone who stopped to pet him. (I made sure he pottied before leaving the house)
3) He gently stood up and put his paws on a little girls shoulders. Scared the girl out of her mind, I apologized none stop for a good minute or two. The mother just laughed about it and said not to worry, but oh my such inappropriate behavior.
4) When we got to stop#2 (a different pet supply store b/c the first one didn't have one of my food items), he played "boing boing" at the end of his leash b/c there were PEOPLE AND PETS EVERYWHERE!!!!!! It was a combination of pulling and jumping at the same time. I was working on correcting this by stopping or walking backwards, trying to regain his focus, but none of it worked. He saw people and animals and THEY MUST PET HIM in his mind.
5) When I got him refocused on me and sitting calmly next to me, I'd give him the release and he would CHARGE at the closest creature.

Overall, the trip showed me things I need to work on. My biggest issue with last night, ironically, had to do with people and not Bear.

1) Everyone wanted to pet him, even when I said "He's in training, please do not give him attention." I'd get up to the "He's in" and they're already petting him, no body asked if they could, they just assumed. I tried to shorten it to "No!" but everyone just assumed I was talking to the dog. I'm thinking of making him or buying him a vest that reads "In Training, do not approach" or something like that. I'm trying to teach him that everyone does not have to pay attention to him and he's not in control of who does or when they do. Last night was a huge failure on that. I need to step my game up.

2) An employee asked if Bear could have a treat. I said "Sure" and he proceeds to dump an ENTIRE package of treats on the ground. Bear has been known to be nippy when approached over food, and I didn't have anything to trade him for them, so I just left it alone. But I felt that was an excessive amount of food to give the puppy. And maybe in the future I'll say "Only one" or just simplify it and say "No"

3) A woman walked up to us, asked me how old he was and then told me I needed to get him in training fast because he has no manners. This irritated me to no end. Who the heck do you think you are lady? How would you have handled this? I just told her we ARE in training and walked away.

4) Finally, the crown moment of the night! The security guard outside (this was when Bear was the most obnoxious b/c there was a group of people and 3-4 dogs hanging out outside.) stood next to me and made the "Ssssss" sound while flashing his hand towards Bear. We were outside for nearly 10 mins trying to regain our composure and to get Bear to settle down and the WHOLE TIME THIS MAN WAS DOING THIS! I just ignored it b/c the only comments running through my head where completely snarky and rude.

How do you correct your pup and the people around you when you're out and about? Should I just not take him when I have to go and accomplish things (i.e. picking up food, etc)?
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:38 PM
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I do take puppies out to stores too. Bear is pretty young to be able to handle himself well in public. I wouldn't take him to a pet store, too many overwhelming smells of other pets and food. I would try a sporting good, hardware, or home supply store or something with less good smells. Don't use a cart, just have him leash walk with you. Don't buy anything. Mostly ignore him and just walk normally pausing to look at items on the racks. Try going when the stores are less busy. Don't make eye contact with people, they will be less likely to approach. Just pretend like everything is fine and it will be eventually. It just takes time. I wouldn't expect stays, downs or even many sits at this age when you are out in public. He sounds like a good boy with lots of potential. He's just really young right now and very impressionable. His attention span is very short, so don't expect a lot of him. Remember to make it fun. It's all new to him, the world is his oyster.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Alaska7133 View Post
I do take puppies out to stores too. Bear is pretty young to be able to handle himself well in public. I wouldn't take him to a pet store, too many overwhelming smells of other pets and food. I would try a sporting good, hardware, or home supply store or something with less good smells. Don't use a cart, just have him leash walk with you. Don't buy anything. Mostly ignore him and just walk normally pausing to look at items on the racks. Try going when the stores are less busy. Don't make eye contact with people, they will be less likely to approach. Just pretend like everything is fine and it will be eventually. It just takes time. I wouldn't expect stays, downs or even many sits at this age when you are out in public. He sounds like a good boy with lots of potential. He's just really young right now and very impressionable. His attention span is very short, so don't expect a lot of him. Remember to make it fun. It's all new to him, the world is his oyster.
This is interesting. The only stores in my city that allow pets other than service animals are pet stores. Even then, not all of them allow them.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:52 PM
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You are Brave. I'm so sorry but I got a chuckle out of some of this. Jesse is now 15 and has always LOVED people. One would think that an arthritic 15 year old dog couldn't still jump on people, but she surprised us the other day when we had someone over for the first time and she actually jumped on them. I was apologetic, but so happy that she actually could still do it when we spent so many of her young years trying to stop that behavior. She used to be so bad in stores. If stores could be empty she would have been the best behaved dog, but they all have people who were put there to pay attention to her. Tayla is much better because she is not so people oriented as Jesse which is fine with me. As others have said 4 months is way to young to expect much better behavior, but you keep taking Bear out and working on it and someday you will be proud when your arthritic dog actually jumps on someone
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tayla's Mom View Post
You are Brave. I'm so sorry but I got a chuckle out of some of this... As others have said 4 months is way to young to expect much better behavior, but you keep taking Bear out and working on it...
LOL! That's awesome!

No other stores around here will allow dogs unless they are service animals. I've checked w/ Lowe's and Home Depot and while the stated policy is 'No' I've been told, that it depends on whose on staff and what the dog is doing. I'm leery of trying it b/c I don't like confrontation and the most embarrassing thing would be getting kicked out of the store.

I'm thinking of bringing him to the coffee shop and sitting outside. Or taking him to the dog park, but just walking around the outside.

I know he's young. I know his attention span is short. And maybe my expectations of him are too big. All I really expect him to do is not pull and no charging

Believe it or not, he's gotten better. Before he wouldn't even sit still if I was still. He'd pace back and forth and whine if he saw another dog or person.

I guess my first mistake was taking him when I knew I had to get stuff. The cart was necessary b/c I was picking up 50 lbs worth of food, plus chewies and toys and treats. He was fine around the cart. When I stopped to get something he would immediately sit or lay down. No pulling at all. And he was always ready to move on as soon as I said "lets go"

On our way out of the first store, I stopped at the edge of the sidewalk, about to cross, and Bear was focused and sat down on my foot. A woman walking by with her husband complimented us, saying she's never seen a dog do that before. Voluntarily stop and sit when his owner stopped.

I think I'll take him to the store more often - but without needing to buy anything and with treats and the clicker on hand to work on his behavior.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:33 PM
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First, I think four months is very young and your expectations for Bear are maybe a little unrealistic.

I would get into an obedience class and learn loose leash walking and practice that for awhile. Usually in class they work on socializing dogs with each other and learn commands such as "bypass" to teach the dogs to ignore each other.

Stores like Petco are a good place to practice, because dogs are welcome there. We have taken Max many times to Home Depot and have never had a problem. Tonight, our obedience class is being held at our local Home Depot.

We take Max out in public a lot. He is a big boy. Usually people ask to pet him, but not always. When I see people that are going to approach us, I usually speak up first, and tell them if it is OK to touch Max. Most of the time, I do not mind if people pet him. However, with Bear, people probably assume that it is ok to pet him because he is a puppy.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:34 PM
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Sorry ...I had to smile as I read through your posting. I was actually thinking we should take Loki into our pet shop, as they keep asking us when are they going to meet up with him. But our pet shop is a forty min drive, in the city, & like Bear, Loki can get very excited when there are lots of people & other dogs around, so after reading this, I have made a mental note " do not take Loki anywhere near the pet shop" lol.

Some of Bear's behaviour reminds me of our trip with Loki to an open market last weekend. Like Bear, Loki thinks that every person on the planet was put there for the sole purpose of making a fuss of him. I can actually see the disappointment on his face when people just walk on by. He is coming up to five months old ( next week), & he adores everybody. Thankfully he is very well-behaved when anyone stops to pet him ...he goes immediately into a sit & stares adoringly up at them ....sometimes he will turn & plonk himself on their feet in a sit, still staring up at them with adoration ...even with young children he does this ...I haven't taught him to do it, he just does it naturally. So I am never worried when people want to pat him. It's when they don't want to, that I worry ...like your Bear, Loki will pull towards them on his leash, & when we walked him through the open market last weekend, he started the pulling jumping thing, which he has never done before. I put it down to him being overwhelmed by so many people walking passed him ...new place .....different smells .....lots of truck traffic noise from the main highway next to the market. When a couple of people did stop to pat him, he behaved in his usual polite way. So we walked him across the road to a cafe, & sat at a table on the pavement with coffee & cake, & Loki sat down in the shade & quietly watched all the people scurrying about. We decided not to take him back to this very busy market, as just too overwhelming for him at this age.

Now I park the car in town & walk him through town on our way to the park every alternate day. We live in a rural town of just 5000 people, so the town isn't thronged with people, but enough to give him socialisation. He is gradually getting used to the idea that not everyone is going to stop & pet him, & has not jumped again ...he will sometimes pull towards them, but I then pull gently on the lead & say " this way!". It seems to be working, but it is an on-going process. I would say that Bear got very excited & the urinating when he got petted was due to that. It hasn't happened with Loki, but I have read about it. Bear actually sounds adorable! And I bet you had a good chuckle about it later! Loki only has to lay his head on my lap & stare up at me, & every misdemeanour is forgiven. I bet it's the same with your Bear.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:42 PM
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Pet stores are tough. Bella gets way too excited, and pulls and pulls. There isn't much I can do about it at this point. It's the one place where I feel like I have little control, other than to just hold her on a short leash. I haven't taken her to one for about a month. Maybe I'll give a try in the next few days. I don't really care if the people in there want to pet her, or give her a treat.

I keep hearing about Home Depots and other stores allowing dogs. That's not the case around here. Otherwise I would do it all the time. There are a few restaurants that allow dogs, but I'm pretty sure Bella isn't ready for that.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:52 PM
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Practice, practice, practice.

Best suggestion I have is to bring him there very tired from playing, and keep the trip as short as possible. If it's a day when your purpose is accomplishing shopping, perhaps don't take him. Go when your purpose can be training him, and if you get some shopping done, that's gravy.

Good luck. Don't get discouraged. This too will pass. And you'll have a great dog.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:02 PM
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Even at 15 years old I can see the disappointment on Jesse’s face when kids don’t notice her. She loves kids and has always been especially good with handicapped children. For as wild as she was when she was young, she was always so gentle with kids. She still loves all the kid attention she can get.

I shied away from letting a lot of people pet Tayla until recently. She had that biting issue with us and I was afraid she would do it with a stranger, but she never has so I’ve been letting people pet her when we are out. She is good about 90% of the time and will just sit there. A couple times she has poped up and goes to jump but I have her on a short leash so she can’t. Most of the times it’s with kids who are overly aggressive with their petting techniques and it gets her all excited. For all her issues she is fairly calm with people for a year old Golden. I’m grateful.
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