If you're a regular Smart Dog Blog reader, you know how vigilant I am about socializing Talos. Take a look at this week's calendar:
- Frederick Community College for a business meeting
- Shopping at Costco
- trip to the bank to make deposits
- visit the hair salon for my hair cut
- doggie daycare (twice)
- Out and About class in downtown Frederick and
- Arlington National Cemetery
This dog gets out. I've rearranged my schedule to afford him socialization opportunities, and I can see the results. He's an even-tempered, easy going, laid-back dog.
Until you ask him to lay quietly in a very quiet room. You may remember my ill-fated library trip a few weeks ago. And the analysis of my reaction and Talos' not-so-stellar behavior.
So the meeting we attended today started off great: I took Talos through the breakfast buffet line and he managed to keep his head off the table and out of the bacon dish. (That is no small victory!)
We found a spacious location and he immediately laid on his mat. I'm pleasantly surprised- this is going so well!No bacon off the buffet and he's going to lay down?! Fantastic.
Until the entire room gets quiet and the emcee begins to talk. Talos begins his own speech. Except it's in dog-language and he's not even on topic.
Being the resourceful trainer I am, I took the opportunity to play the "target my hand" game and he did fine with that for three minutes. Then he went right back to talking. Or singing. Or whatever it is that he does when the room is as quiet as a tomb.
We took a quick walk around the campus of Frederick Community College, which gave us even more socialization experiences. He'd never run across people in hoodies with backpacks. What were these strange creatures? He stood, mesmerized, for a good two minutes – keeping an eye on these new beings. He gave a couple "buuufs" – not real barks, but rather some exploratory vocalizations, I think to see if these new things would react to him. At 8:00a, these kids didn't even notice him, let alone react to him. There was also campus construction so lots of noise, dust, and machinery. He took it all in, calmly for the most part.
So while I missed some of my meeting, Talos got a lot out of the morning. Again, I am reminded that there's a lot more to socializing a service dog than just mere exposure to different things. I still need to work on his relaxing – quietly! – in a quiet room. Ah, the training never ends…
I love your anazlysis of Talos’ speech. What do you think his subject was? Was it clear and consice? Do you think that he persuaded people to his way of thinking?
Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart says
Talos, the toastmaster! Silly boy. I’ll be interested how you train him to be quiet. It is NOT something I’ve done well, myself. All too often, I find myself hollering for my 2 to zip it!!!
Laurie Luck says
Stace – yes he was quite clear: I’m bored and this is boring and you are boring and I don’t think I could be more bored. Aren’t you bored, too?
And don’t you think it would be so much more fun to pay attention to me? Look at me, I’m rolling over – you can see my entire tummy! Watch me! I’m rubbing my face along the carpet – could you get any cuter and more entertaining than me?!
Forget entrepreneurship people – petting dogs (me, that is) is where it’s at. Business, schmisness. Pet me.
Laurie Luck says
Roxanne, I think my job is this: start working on a settle. Then build duration. Start to add distractions (settle in the backyard, for instance; then the front yard.)
When we move to quiet public places (the library for instance), I think I’ll go with the goal of getting 3 – 5 quiet minutes out of him. Then we’ll leave. Steady and sure, we’ll build up to longer duration.
That’s the plan at least. Isn’t there a quote about the best laid plans??
Oh Talos and your speech, what a goof. Boy you have some work to do so get to stepp’n or being quiet that is and make us proud. You are going to have a very special job one day. Someone is depending on you. Love you. Keep it up you two!
Lisa Harmon says
I follow the blog–does that make me a Talos groupie?! Ha! My guy also gets whiny and antsy after being still in a quiet place for long. Looking forward to how you teach and progress on “settle”!
Laurie Luck says
Lisa, thanks for the comment. I think I may run some video of the settle training and post it on the blog so people can measure his progress. I need to write a comprehensive training plan, then just get to it! 😉
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