Friday, November 5, 2010

Looking Back......

I recently attended the Grand Opening for a local pet supply store, Blue Ribbon Pet Supply, in which I was invited to attend to answer questions, help out, and put on training demonstrations. The weather wasn't the greatest, it would rain on and off, and the ground was quite wet in general, so we were limited in what we could do outdoors, but we made the best of it. But, it was a super-busy time and there were lots of people out and about!

Shimmer and Zipper were pretty model citizens in terms of being greeters. They would practice their down/stays on mats while customers milled about, stopped to see them, and asked questions - the biggest one being "how did you teach that?". It was a nice segue into clicker training and how to teach behaviours that will hold up in even high distractions.

Shimmer practiced some of her Rally-O behaviours, some heeling, fronts, pivots, etc, and some fun tricks that she knows. She is a fun demonstrator because she gets quite into it and really bounces around. Gaci had the opportunity to show off some of her tricks as well. She practiced cleaning up her toys, opening/closing cupboard doors, climbing/perching on various objects, as well as some other tricks like Take a Bow, Spin Left/Right, etc. Gaci found the situation a bit stressful at first and was distracted by all of the folks looking at her, but eventually she settled in to work.

It's hard with Gaci though because people are so drawn to touching her and interacting with her, and she really doesn't enjoy it, so I had to balance the fun stuff with putting her to bed before I had to do too much of the "She would prefer not to be petted, but you can give her a treat!" routine. I am still torn on pulling her from public demonstrations altogether because of that, but at the same time she does enjoy the working aspect as she loves to work. 

All in all, it was a good demo weekend. There are some things I would have done differently, although the weather did dictate what we could and couldn't do, but not bad for a sort of last-minute planning situation. Here are a few more photos from that day.

Cleaning up toys!

Taking a *perch*!

Shimmer practicing some Rally obedience! 

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