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Puppy diary, volume 6. Socialising
by, 22-06-2014 at 14:13 (937 Views)
It was with great anticipation that this weekend came round. After waiting what seemed like an age enough time had finally elapsed after Poppy's vaccinations to take her out and about properly in the big wide world.
She's been going to work with my wife a few days a week, and we often have people coming and going at home, so she wasn't totally fresh, but this would be the first time she'd be exposed to so much at once. We took her out early to a local FC nature reserve/visitor centre type place, before the crowds got too big, but there were still enough cyclists, toddlers, joggers and other dogs to get her exposed to plenty of new experiences.
I'm pleased to say she coped very well! She hasn't really got the hang of walking on the lead yet (she keeps trying to grab it and retrieve it or play rig of war), but she was happy to trot alongwith ears pricked and tail wagging. We took her for a short little walk and as soon as the hubbub of the visitor centre thinned out I took her off the beaten track a bit and off the lead. Lots of sniffing around, even the odd tentative little point (at flowers, insects and crisp packets) which she seems to have started doing a lot now when she finds something that interests her. She managed to cross a little stream quite happily, not quite swimming depth, after I reassured my wife that it wasn't mean for us to cross first and let her work out how to follow. Back towards the car park, and she had a great time back on the lead meeting a few other dogs and then being cooed over by lots of children (and a fair few adults). I've learned that everyone can recognize a Labrador cross, but nobody had heard of a GWP when they ask "with what?"
The whole time she went into everything with happy curiosity, never seemed put off or unsure, but also didn't get over enthusiastic or wound up about anything. We sat around a picnic table for a bit, letting her watch the world go by (and harass a poor yellow lab who was doing his best to ignore her).
Whilst we were walking I even managed a couple of recalls away from smells and sights, although admittedly a bit more reluctant than the practice she gets in the house and garden.
She's now sleeping like a log, poor thing must have a lot to process!