I decided instead of taking a dog training class this session, I would focus on Felix’s restaurant behavior. So the money I would have spent on dog class, I will spend that or less on weekly restaurant outings. And today Starbucks had a special where you get a grande specialty coffee for only $3! That’s almost half off! Plus I have gift cards for Starbucks still.
I took my wheelchair because for Felix’s Public Access Test, I will be using my wheelchair. So I want to practice restaurants with me in my wheelchair.
He did a fantastic job going through the manual door to get into Starbucks! He heeled beautifully over to pick up my drink (I picked it up, not him!). Then I had to get across the coffee shop holding my hot coffee with one hand and driving my wheelchair with the other. That didn’t leave any free hands to hold onto Felix’s leash!
On the way to our seat, he did walk in front of me (the same position he uses for “through” when he goes through doors ahead of me) but he wasn’t pulling. The pathway was a little narrow so I allowed it.
We ended up sitting right in front of the place where people order. There was a narrow pathway that you can use to get from the door to the counter right next to where we were sitting, but it’s probably not intended for that purpose. I wanted to push Felix’s training a bit and work on his down stay with distraction, so I put him near the counter, which was right next to this pathway (but in line with the table still so he wouldn’t be stepped on accidentally if anyone did use the pathway!).
He did SO WELL!!!!! We were there for about half an hour, and he did get up to reposition himself on the mat two or three times, and he got up to try to wander two or three times. When he got up to try to wander, I got his attention and directed him back to the mat which he did immediately. When he got up to reposition, I let him reposition himself to where he was comfortable. I was so proud of him!
While we were there, one person walked by us, and I caught it on video! You can see the person’s feet as they walk past Felix, and then I also show how close behind us he was standing and Felix was still maintaining his down on his mat!
It took me about 30 minutes to drink my coffee, and towards the end of the 30 minutes, I noticed Felix was starting to seem a little antsy. So I called it a very big win for the training session and packed up to leave.
This time when we walked across the coffee shop, again with me not being able to hold onto his leash as I had trash in one hand and had to drive the wheelchair with the other, he heeled perfectly next to my wheelchair. We had to stop and wait for someone to come into the store, then we walked past the door to the trash can, then came back to the door to exit. All perfect!
I am very pleased with his behavior this outing, and hope to see this sort of thing continue as we practice restaurants more.
Below is a picture of Felix in his down next to me. He is lying on a rainbow mat, and is wearing a galaxy service dog vest with an in training leash slide on the leash. He is a sable and white Japanese Chin.