Practicing Pet Store Patience

We’ve had another few zero degree days here in Chicago so outdoor adventures were once again put on hold.  Eko’s appetite is never on hold though, and he burned through another bag of food which meant it was time to visit the pet store.

When I first got Eko I was so proud at how quickly I taught him to sit politely and then lay down.  However, I was quickly humbled when I brought Eko to the pet store for the first time and he absolutely disregarded everything I taught him.  That’s when I learned the hard truth that Eko can resist everything but temptation.  These days I continue to bring Eko to the pet store as often as possible to practice patience and good manners.

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Eko was quite impatient when we arrived and he tried to dart in on his own

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I like to practice polite “sit” and “stay” commands in areas of the store where Eko is most distracted.  It’s not easy, and there are usually a couple whines involved, but Eko does his best

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As a reward I let him sniff through all the fun toys (no picking them up though!)

 
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Eko’s loose leash walking (and my shoulder socket) get put to the test as we walk past aisle after aisle of interesting products.  Eko wants to smell them all, so it’s a good way to practice walking past distractions

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The pet store also offers plenty of novelty.  I like introducing Eko to different stimuli to challenge him mentally and to help practice being polite when confronted with new experiences

rhodesian ridgeback, dog blog, marking our territory, pet store, adventure, However, once he started licking his lips at the bird I thought it was best we move along!

By far the greatest challenge at the pet store is picking up Eko’s food and making it to the checkout aisle with Eko retaining his good manners and sanity.  He can barely contain himself when surrounded by stacks and stacks of food.  He really lays on the “puppy-dog-eyes” when we’re in the dog food aisle.


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“Come on, Will. Just let me eat them all right now!”

Would it be easier to pick up Eko’s food on my own? Of course.  But the pet store offers the ultimate challenge for Eko’s patience and some well needed humility for me.  I also like the knowledge that if Eko follows my command perfectly in a pet store, then following that command anywhere else in the world is a piece of cake.

23 thoughts on “Practicing Pet Store Patience”

  1. The pet store is SO much fun! Mom lets me sniff every single rawhide, pig ear, and hoof in there. Those hard, crispy things are puzzling. Mom tries to give them to me and I just don’t know what to do with them. I am not a chewer, but I enjoy going back and forth and back and forth in that aisle, sniffing every bin over and over.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    Reply
  2. Wow, he is such a good doggy. Our hoomans can have us piggies follow simple commands most of the time when offering treats but the second the food is elsewhere or whee are distracted whee completely ignore her! Hehehe

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil
    xxxxx

    Reply
  3. Will, I always wonder what is going though Buddy’s mind when I bring him in the Pet store ?
    Does he think, why isn’t home set up like this?
    Or does he think, Ok we have had fun together, I just found Doggie Heaven, so you can leave me here, I will be good ?
    It is funny how Buddy knows when.we are going to the Pet store, before we leave the house, and then how he starts to act as we pull into the parking lot.
    I always think, what would Buddy do if I did leave him run free in the Pet store, where would he go first, what toys would he want and so on ?
    Will maybe one day one of us could win the lottery, and buy a Pet store and really find out ?
    Wish Buddy would be more like Eko in the Pet store, it’s the one place Buddy acts like he is deaf and does not hear a word I say.

    Reply
    • Haha those are all great questions that I would love to know the answer to. If I let Eko off leash at the pet store it would likely be absolute mayhem. I’m off to buy my lotto ticket now, I’ll let you know how it goes.

      Reply
  4. A piece of cake? Nala would like in on that. We had a great socialization experience at the phone store the other day, with my small dog. After a half hour walk through snow and ice and frigid temperatures he was very well behaved and waited patiently. This week I also took the small dog to an outdoor/clothing store that is enthusiastic about helping to socialize dogs. I wish more stores were willing to be part of dog training and socializing. They get all my business!

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    • Pet-friendly businesses are the best. And I feel like I get better service whenever I bring Eko along. People enjoy a quick break from work to get some love from a happy pup.

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      • I was paying a tax bill and the county treasurer asked me to bring my dog upstairs. Nearly the whole office came out to enjoy her. It (almost) makes me want to pay taxes more often they were so excited to have a dog in the building! I didn’t expect that from a govt. office.

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