Okay, so the day after our field trip to the outdoor mall last week, I received an email from our Trainer suggesting that I try a few things with Haddie when we are on outings. She observed that Haddie was uncomfortable in new situations. The first thought that popped in my mind when I read the sentence was, "It was freeeeezing last night! Her tail didn't wag because she couldn't move it!"
But I know I must not go on the defense as that will never get Team Haddie to improve and go in the direction of our goal. I will take her advice and offer Haddie "play time" and "fun breaks" during our outings to try to spice up her step and get her enthusiastic.
As I've taken her on outings since that revelation, I am finding that perhaps I don't really know what I'm looking for the same way that our Trainer is looking for. Haddie truly does behave in public, and she receives many wide eyed disbelief at her manners when I respond to their questions about her age - the public really can't believe how calm and obedient she is.
I know I am not here to please the general public ... but that does say something about Haddie.
What I need to know is ... what am I supposed to be seeing from Haddie? Does she need to wag her tail vigorously, prance at a higher step, perk her ears forward in curiosity, be a little disobedient? What is the common look of a puppy just shy of 6 months old in public? What am I missing that the professionals are seeing?
I offered Haddie one of her prized toys today in the isle of our Pharmacy. Our Trainer suggested giving Haddie some down time, in new or old places, with a toy to see if she will perk up. Haddie looked at the toy, looked at me, looked at the toy, looked at me ... and sat down. There was no perk or interest - more like, "Excuse me? I am in my vest, on a leash, in public. It is not time to play." I had to smirk back at her, pick up the toy, and move on.
Thoughts, Fellow Puppy Raisers??