The Mindful Puppy Blog
By PAPIA ROWE
Anyone for Coffee?
Who doesn’t like to stop by their favourite café to enjoy a beautifully made cup of coffee? I love having a single shot vanilla latte – what’s your favourite? Well, one of the best things to happen after our puppies had received their final set up vaccinations, was the ability to take them with us to our café for a few coffees. Since it’s such a regular pastime for us, having our puppies know how to behave, and be comfortable in this environment is really important.
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It was really wonderful to see how the calming techniques that we have been using with them, and that we teach on our puppy preschool, helped the puppies to stay calm and stress-free in this totally new situation. Their default response to me stopping and relaxing, is to lie down and chill themselves. Given that they have never been to a café before, it really was a wait and see for me to know if they would enact this default response here.
The Deli on the Corner – Cambridge
Hurray – that’s exactly what they did! Of course, I reinforced that this was a good decision to make by rewarding this choice of behaviour with treats and positive wording.
The thing is, when you are out in the big wide world with your puppies, you are still responsible for their education, so treats were at the ready and I am always being alert to the way I behave and respond and watching out for people and other dogs that may come within the world of my puppies so that you can manage it. You would not believe how many children and adults appear out of nowhere to grab/ stroke my puppy without asking me first and just expecting that my puppy wants to interact, or more typically, that the puppy has no choice and should be interacting!
The puppies had lots of positive interactions with lots of dogs, adults and some children – although sometimes they did not know it themselves! Sometimes, a kid on a bike or a scooter went past, sometimes a person who was big or tall or short walked past. We had one of those automated wheelchairs / mini cars go past and of course the elder human sitting in the vehicle had a walking stick poking out. Since we were both alert and aware, we were able to keep each experience supervised and positive. Luckily, I don’t drink my coffee boiling hot so I still got to enjoy my coffee in between these supervised socialisation opportunities.
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