Today I took Alice to TJ Maxx in the afternoon to do some people watching. I brought my wheelchair to sit in, as I can’t stand for very long.
We found a nice spot to park right off the main walkway and I put Alice on the ground as I sat in my wheelchair. The only problem was that I had forgotten that Alice doesn’t like being on the floor while I am in my wheelchair! She is used to being in my lap if I am sitting or being carried or on the ground if I’m standing. So her being on the floor while I am sitting in a wheelchair is a bit of a struggle. We had worked on it about a year ago when I was using a wheelchair and she had puppy class. But I had since forgotten about the issue.
So we trained. I started out giving her treats for not going to the end of the leash. Then I graduated to giving treats for eye contact. After about 5 minutes, I was slowing down giving treats for eye contact because she was doing so well, so she started throwing sits and downs at me. So then I gave her treats for sits and downs for the last five minutes.
She didn’t care a lick about the people walking past and pushing carts past in the main aisle right next to us! So overall it was good. I got to see that she needs more work walking around near people and not watching other people while being stationary. And she got some work in being on the floor while I’m in the wheelchair.
Next I parked the wheelchair in an out of the way place and we walked down one aisle and back up another one. We chose the aisle with the woven baskets in it that we did last time. Tracey had suggested me touching and talking to the items that she seemed a bit worried about. Each dog is different, and this turned out to be more worrisome to Alice than if I just ignored the items. So that’s good to know.
Then we headed back into the main aisle and I saw a nice looking woman looking at some stuff on a shelf. I asked if we could practice walking past her a few times. So we walked past her four times! Alice did very well! She didn’t really want to get started walking past the woman, but once she made up her mind that was what she was going to do, then she did it perfectly with no stopping! I didn’t even have to toss any treats on the floor! I was very pleased.
After that, we left. All in all we were in the store probably a little over 15 minutes. That’s a good amount of training time I think!
I got some pictures of Alice sitting and downing while I was sitting in the wheelchair. They are below. In them, Alice is a tiny sable and white Japanese Chin wearing a purple service dog harness. There is one picture of her sitting, another of her sitting while licking her nose, and the last is of her lying down.