In recent months, Spencer and I have had quite a few occasions where we’ve had to walk by people in somewhat close quarters. I am always more comfortable if the people are on my side when we pass, but we can get away with them being on his side, with treats and a bit of space. However, Spencer has never voluntarily chosen to walk towards strangers on a narrow path…until the other day. Continue reading
We have not been going to the woods or the park very much recently. There are a few reasons for this:
- The husks of the chestnuts that fall in the autumn hurt Spencer’s feet. (I thought he was being a drama queen until I tried to pick one up one day. Ouch!)
- My schedule has been crazy.
- The few times I tried tried taking him to the park, he led me out of the park almost immediately to go walk in the surrounding neighborhood. (I suspect this is because he has figured out there are very few cats in the park.)
Anyway, this weekend I took him to the woods for the first time in weeks. And he made three really good decisions during the walk that delighted me:
- Shortly after we had started our walk, there was a man and his dog ahead of us on the path. Spencer ran to the end of his long lead, froze, and then looked back at me for reassurance. I clicked to tell him he’d done the right thing, and he came trotting back to me to get a treat.
- We were on a fairly remote path and there was a bend ahead of us. Like usual, Spencer was in front of me on his long lead. We both saw the guy coming from around the bend. I turned around to make a u-turn and called Spencer in a Happy Voice. He turned immediately, ran past me, and took the initiative to run off the path and sit down in the underbrush to let the guy pass. He walked the guy go by with relaxed curiosity while chowing down the liberal amounts of treats he received as a reward.
- The path we were on reached a road, and I heard two cyclists arriving from our left and chatting. I told Spencer to look and come, and he immediately turned and ran back to my side and sat down to let the bikes go by froma safe place.