November 25th 2012 2:45 pm
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Today I took Angie downtown to walk along the river with Claire and Yuki. I was a little apprehensive how this would go, as Yuki sometimes has fear aggression issues with strange dogs and is therefore not the best role model for Angie. We did have a bark fest when one dog, a rather tense-looking shepherd mix, walked past but given that dog's body language, I rather expected it. The upset over the Golden retriever was unexpected but mild. Angie proved willing to be distracted by treats, which is a new development for her. The people walking by bothered Angie not at all, even though they were all (except one) strangers. She was very interested in the new scents and scenes and though she was very alert whenever we saw a new person, her ear and tail position remained good.
Only twice did she get over-excited, when runners went past us. The first runner clearly upset her. When we saw another runner, I asked for her attention and she did turn away a few times to check the runner out, but quickly returned attention to me and the treats. The third runner she attempted to jump on, but it was a neighbor about whom Angie has started to feel cautiously friendly, so I am not sure what would have happened if she hadn't hit the end of her leash and flipped back to me (thank goodness she was on the harness and not a collar).
Towards the end of the walk, I asked Angie for a sit. She doesn't know the command yet but she knows to sit when I hold a treat in my hand. Despite traffic, wind, and all the distractions that come of being in a new location, she sat reliably multiple times along our walk, even when I was not asking for (or getting) a sit from my dogs.
Whoever adopts Angie will be getting a great dog. And at this rate, one who is moderately well-trained. Perhaps that will make up for the skittishness.
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