After going to San Diego to work with Pam and have our agility lesson, Rick, Dolce and I headed up to La Jolla (one of our favorite places in the world) beach. It was Dolce's first time, and he did amazingly well! Some dogs do better at home, some dogs do better in new environments, and some dogs are just bad everywhere. Dolce is definitely better in new environments.
Dolce had his first ever encounter with seals and sea lions. The darker one was quite loud and vocal. I'm surprised to say Dolce was interested, but completely unfazed. Horses gave him serious concern when we hiked the Regional Park, so I was very proud of my brave little man!
While we were there, we encountered a black lab puppy. He was very polite about the surprise greeting from behind! I told the owner it's best they not meet face-to-face, my dog was in training. She immediately gave us space, but not much. Dolce was fine either way. Wow!
Happy boys. :)
And then this morning, on our walk, I really pushed the limits -- or so it felt. I have resumed walking Dolce in his Halti (even though no matter how hard I try, it really gets to him occasionally), which makes a huge difference. He's a very visual dog. If he can't see it, it must not be that bad. Anyway, we encountered a golden retriever, who has set Dolce off many times before. This golden is a quiet, older girl, but has a hard stare. Plus the bonus of long hair and bigger dog, which I now know to be triggers for Dolce. He saw her about 15 feet away (very close!), staring at him intently. He stared back momentarily, and I just let him, curious what he'd do. Do you know what this smart boy did next? He looked back at me for directions. Not a treat, directions! So I told him what a good boy, and we walked toward the golden head-on (who was still on our same small patch of grass, but forward and to the left) with me between Dolce and the golden. He got by without much more than a quiet, low, very brief growl and no treats whatsoever, nor a redirection of his face with the Halti. I was stunned. All the while, I was praising him in a whisper, "Oh, look at you, you're such a smart boy! Good boy, Dolce..." When we were in the clear, he got a huge jackpot.