Monday, March 19, 2012

Some obedience work

On Sunday I had the day off from work, so I decided it was a great day to put together my indoor dog therapy pool that I had been planning for a while. (For details, check out my blog post about it at Crazy Dog Projects, my new blog.)
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Koira in her new indoor swimming pool

I went to Home Depot to pick up the materials, and used it as an opportunity to do some training with Koira. Home Depot has a policy of allowing leashed dogs in the store. We saw two other dogs in the time that we were there, along with many, many people, children, and shopping carts and trollies of all sizes and shapes.

I spent some time just getting Koira to give me some of her attention, just by rewarding her when she did look at me. Once she was giving me her attention readily, we did some heeling practice up and down the aisle, weaving in and out and around people and objects. We also practiced halts, fronts, finishes, and both sit-walk-arounds and down-walk-arounds. No stay practice because I only had my four foot leash with me and want to make sure to follow the on-leash rule to the letter. Next time I'll bring my 10 foot long line and do some stay practice on the less busy aisles.

Koira was a bit afraid of the large carts used for hauling lumber around, so I did some treating on the cart until she was comfortable enough to even ride on it for a while. We got some strange looks from people, but most of the comments were about how adorable she was.

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Koira riding on the shopping cart. (I was told a dog in a cart counts as being on leash)

Overall, Koira did great with her obedience practice. She was paying good attention to me (though I did have treats along) and seemed happy and eager to work, even with all the distractions of being in a new, different, and busy place.


  1. Hopped over to say "Hi". I did not know that about Home Depot. Sounds like a great place to socialize our new pup. :)

    Glad to hear Koira did so well with obedience practice. :)

  2. You've got your own indoor pool? Now that's way cool!! Have you got a slide?

    I didn't know about the Home Depot policy, oooh - I think my Mum needs to know about this - yay!!

    Have fun,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  3. I didn't know that Home Depot allowed dogs either! That's a great place to train and socialize a dog! Her own pool? Wow!

  4. What a cool idea! My dog hates the water but I'd love to build something like this anyway. Maybe if she had her own pool she would learn that swimming isn't the worst thing in the world?

    I've heard that Home Depot is pet friendly but have never checked it out. Good on Koira for behaving so well in such a busy place!

  5. It's always nice exposing your dog to different sounds and scenery. I really want to try bringing my pups to Home Depot!

  6. I never knew that Home Depot allowed on-leash dogs!! Cool!! You learn something new every day!! ;-}
    I discovered your other site quite by accident.... On someone's Monday Blog Hop!! There was a picture of Pallo's BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE face, and I thought: "Wait. I know that mutt...."!! ;op

  7. She looks so concerned about the cart!

  8. hi there! i've just recently started reading your blog, and i'm really enjoying it.

    i've heard that home depot and lowe's allow dogs but have never seen a pup in either store over the years. we've wanted to bring desmond with us, but didn't want to be "those people with the dog at the store".

    were the customers and staff receptive to her?

  9. The staff and other customers were great. Some of the staff had dog cookies in their aprons to give to the dogs.

    I did, however, make sure that my dogs were under my control at all times. I would not go on a serious shopping trip and bring them along, because I wouldn't be able to pay them full attention.