Mom has been teaching me to stay close to her when we are out. "Side" means the right and "heel" means the left. She wants to make sure I don't pull ahead so my toes won't get pinched by a shopping cart. She holds two fingers by her side to direct me when I forget and occasionally slips me kibble held by her hip. We also practice "switch", which means to change sides behind her. Trainer Lynnda says this will help me stay focused and add distance from a distraction, such as food on the floor. We go to one or two stores most days after the dog park to practice. We also practice turning circles at home and on our neighborhood walk. I am usually positioned on the right of mom at a store.  Mom says "stop" to alert me then says "turn" to go right.  Left turns don't need a signal because she turns her body and I follow along. I love going out to stores and seeing the world. I work hard to follow directions and my skills improve every week!
 
 
I love the outdoor off-leash dog park! Mom takes me most mornings to run and play now that the Bark Park closed in August. I now sit politely every time Mom asks me to sit at the gates and to remove my leash. I am getting to know the regular dogs and their owners as well as the paths in this nine-acre park. The parents walk the trails while I zig-zag around chasing any dog that wants to run. I am super fast, so far the only dogs that out-run me are a pair of Afghan Hounds that show up now and then. Most of the dogs just trot along beside their parents, but I hear they are older than me. Trainer Lynnda said I should learn to check in with mom instead of her asking for my attention. So she walks along with the human group and I remember I am supposed to return with eye contact every 5 -10 minutes or so. I run hard so we only stay about 30 - 40 minutes. When it is time to go, mom calls me once and walks towards the gate. I am tired, so I have learned to trot along beside her and she gives me a treat at the gate when she puts my leash on.  I have learned many new skills during the last month and a morning playtime run helps me focus on my tasks.