Saturday, February 6, 2010

Field trip to PetSmart

We are enjoying a lazy weekend at home, so I decided to take Secret on a field trip to PetSmart today to work on her socialization skills.

The boys came along for the ride, but had to stay in the car while we went in the store. I think Secret tends to use them as her security blanket, because she was very cautious and unsure of everything as we made our way to the store entrance.

There were two very large rough collies standing at the entrance as we approached and Secret was very, very hesitant to get anywhere near them. She ended up hiding behind me as we made our way past. She was so overwhelmed as we entered the store that she actually ignored the piece of food I held in front of her -- a sure sign that she was in full freak-out mode.

She made vast improvements as we made our way around the store. In the beginning she shied away from people and kept wrapping herself behind me, with her tail tucked between her legs the whole time. She became more confident as I allowed her to explore.

The turning point seemed to be when I ran into someone who knows one of my agility students (small world!) and we stood there having a conversation for a while. I continued to pump Secret full of kibble while we stood there and she began to really come out of her shell. She even showed interest in the gentleman's children and her tail came out of hiding.

She was a new dog when we continued our trip around the store. Her tail stayed up and she started to approach people as we went up and down the aisles. At the register she sat nicely for the associate and went back looking for more treats after she inhaled the one she was given. Her attitude on the trip back to the car was one of great confidence.

This was a great trip for her! We must do this every chance we get.

The photo below is of Secret's "teeth tally" -- We're up to three now that she's left for me to find! :o) This is the first puppy canine that she's lost. I'm sure the second is soon to follow.


  1. So glad she came out of her shell by the end of your trip. :) Quite the story! It's amazing the difference from the beginning to the end.

  2. Hi! I just found your blog. What a positive story! I pick up our 8 week rough collie puppy next week. I'll be following your blog!