Bit of a stressful and eventful walk/training session! We're home now and Thistle carried herself incredibly well!
Basically every thursday or friday I take her to a pet store while puppy classes are on and late night shopping. We walk around practicing being calm, impulse control, looking at people, heeling, tricks, recall...whatever feels right depending on the business of the store.
Tonight started averagely enough, speed walked past some goldens in the doorway and started doing our thing. Little while in, another dog saw us as we came out of an aisle, saw we were on a collision course with them and turned for a different aisle. The dog started screaming! Like full on screaming and scrambling at us! Never heard a dog scream before (except the time Thistle was attacked and it was more yelping-screams, this was a throaty scream). Anyway, Thistle was alarmed but we calmly walked away and she offered focus as we did. Very brave doggo!
We did some backs in the aisle cause it's our entry in weekly competition at dog school this week. It was not good, entering anyway
Watched puppy classes walk around and rewarded looking at me or watching calmly ( no concern-ears or leaning forwards!)
What then kept us occupied for the next 20-40 minutes was...after class ended...one of the owners gave lead of small pup to a small child! Who then started running laps of the store! It is a big store with wide aisles but I still expect a small child with a small puppy running around loudly could be alarming. For the first 10 minutes we hid in the aquarium aisle and practiced our backs and also our stands with a staff member.
Then we went to the vet section and people watched, anytime I heard the running kids coming I would put Thistle behind the vet's counter (they were closed and we have special "weekly visitor privileges aka can hide in staff areas if need be"
Also had to be careful as kittens in the rescue kitten adoption "shed" and Thistle would like to kill them. We did some recalls from them, at a distance where she was least "tunnel visioned"
Continued to avoid the running children at santas corner (she was more curious than alarmed, but I was stressed to high hell they'd run into us or drop the puppies lead or tread on this tiny little puppy!)
Got cornered by the running children! I asked thistle to stand on the mini forklift in case they dropped the lead and small puppy ran over. Answered some questions (what is she! is she a dalmation*?) while also telling them "she's shy, you can look but don't touch. your puppy is too small to say hello". They went on their way. Polite kids.
(she concerned, always so concerned. I was getting tail wags though, she wags a little more in the store every week)
Followed a lady with a big rattling trolley about as she cleaned. Did Stand For Exam with another staff member
Showed fave staff member ( a male~~) her new trick. Complimented on her adorableness
Thistle was alarmed at a big tall guy walking past at a distance. He was just walking but very big. But she didn't hide behind me, just sat down and watched him go past.
Children accidentally ran into us, managed to untangle, avoid any k9 incidents and go on our ways (they even apologised! Feeling a bit sorry for the tired puppy though).
Then we went home, with a "leave it" successfully past a smushed bigmac in the car park.
What a night!
We are both exhausted. It's not normally THAT busy or tricky to navigate