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January 29, 2014

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

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.

rhodesian ridgeback, dog blog, marking our territory, pet store, adventure,

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

rhodesian ridgeback, dog blog, marking our territory, pet store, adventure,

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!)

  rhodesian ridgeback, dog blog, marking our territory, pet store, adventure,

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.

rhodesian ridgeback, dog blog, marking our territory, pet store, adventure,

“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.

Comments for Practicing Pet Store Patience

  1. Bet he would like some food with chicken today :o)

  2. Victoria says:

    good for you too – Rigs loves the pet store but not for the toys or treats – for the people – especially little toddlers – he wants to lick them all over their face and of course jump on them – we work on his manners but we still have a long ways to go.

  3. raisingdaisy says:

    That’s a great training strategy. Daisy goes crazy in the pet food store too, but not for food or toys – she wants to befriend every single person and dog in the store. We’ve tried everything, but Daisy’s high excitement level deafens her to our commands. She’s such a silly little nut!

  4. raisingdaisy says:

    PS- I think Eko did a great job!

  5. Emma says:

    Stay tuned to my blog on Friday…Bailie and Mom and going to pet stores 2-3 times a week to work on Bailie’s obedience. It is a perfect place with all the temptations – people, dogs, animals, smells, etc. Maybe Eko and Bailie should go together…or not 😉

  6. lindadianefeldt says:

    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!

  7. stevebuddy says:

    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.

  8. as absolutely INSANE as Dakota is at home he is super good at the Pet Store (Dakota is like kids that are really bad for their parents but really good in public) lol

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. My dog LOVES watching the birds, as well as the hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, and sniffing for cats (though I NEVER let her near the cats as chaos will definitely occur)! And she has a love of sniffing through the cat supply aisles — maybe she thinks cats will be near by?
    I love your map widget! Is that places you and Eko have visited? So cool!

  12. Clowie says:

    It’s a great place to practice! They’re usually friendlier to dogs than a lot of other places and, as you said, the ultimate distraction!

  13. Dottie and Tuffy-Cat says:

    It looks like you’ll never have a problem with impulse buying for Eko. He’d never make it to the counter. You’ve given me some new ideas. I wonder how a cat would do in a pet store. Of course I would have to have him in his zippered cat carrier. He is just not sociable with other animals. However, he loves people once he knows them and won’t leave them alone. He even taps his tail in beat to someone tapping their foot. It’s his own language.

    Will, I admire your love for your boy. I have the awful job of finding a home for a great dog that belongs to my neighbor. She’s allergic to animals, and the pup was dumped on her by her irresponsible son. grrrrrr The Humane Society says they will take her if she has shots, spay, etc. I’ll feverishly keep working on it until I can find her a good home, but if the H.S. is my only choice, so be it. Please keep me in your prayers for a good (and quick) resolution to this problem. I’m just too much of a softie with animals and a real push-over in this instance. But, she would be too much for me to take on, especially with Tuffy.

    Dottie and TC

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