Ace is the (puppy) place

Today we went for a training outing to Ace Hardware again! We met up with Scarlet and Barbara with Tikki. Tikki is a Golden puppy who is 2 days younger than Alice.

Alice did a great job! When we got to the store, she was walking around outside totally confidently, and also walked into the store through the automatic doors like a champ! She also had no fear of Scarlet’s forearm crutches.

Backlit by the glass door, Alice looks up at Scarlet while Veronica stands by.

She was eager to get going walking through the store, but we waited near the entrance for Barbara and Tikki. Alice did a great job of not getting too distracted by Tikki. She was interested for sure, but was easily called back to paying attention to me.

Alice looks up at Veronica as Tikki gets a treat from Barbara

Several people pet Alice, and she did a great job of saying hi without getting too excited. I’m letting her greet more people than I usually would let a service dog prospect greet since she’s so tiny. I want to be absolutely sure she’s comfortable with people petting her before I start training her to ignore people.

Alice doesn’t shy away at all as a woman pats her on the head

We followed Barbara and Tikki through the store in a loop around the perimeter, and Alice did so well! No pulling, and only a little bit of hesitancy past some of the large boxes and things that looked strange from her angle.

This picture is taken from right behind Alice at her level. She is slightly out of focus as the camera is on Tikki walking with Barbara ahead.

Near the end of the loop, Alice went first and she was so brave passing the slightly menacing looking grills!

Veronica and Alice walk past the grills, as Barbara with Tikki follow behind.

Brad got a picture of her after the grill aisle and edited it to make it like those old school photos where there was a main picture of a kid and then a like shadow-image of the kid. Only Brad made several shadow images of Alice!

Alice with the shadow-Alices

Last time we were at Ace, I just walked around the store with her and didn’t really do any training. This time I clicked and treated for eye contact, and we did a few sits, touches, and downs. She was able to do the sits and touches no problem right away. But I had to go back and re-teach down from the beginning in this new place (you have to teach something in 100 places before a dog generalizes it!). After I did that, her downs were on point, too.

Veronica points at the floor while Alice does a down. Barbara and Tikki are walking in the background.

We made one loop around the store and started to make a second loop. But at the end of the first main aisle, Alice stopped and didn’t want to go forward any more. I realized that she was done with training for the day, which is huge for me to realize it without Brad having to point it out to me! So we went to a grassy area to potty, and then headed home.

Closeup on Tikki’s nose and mouth

Go Alice!

In the pictures, I have my hair in a ponytail and am wearing a galaxy dress and mask. Alice is a small sable and white Chin puppy. Scarlet is wearing a black skirt and black crop top and uses forearm crutches. I forgot to get a picture of Brad 🙁 Barbara is wearing shorts and a t-shirt and Tikki is a Golden Retriever puppy.

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