Tonight's walk tired the pup out. We walked for an hour and took a new route and actually passed about five other owners walking their dogs and a lot of others behind fences and on chains. Overall it was a good challenge for Spencer.
The dog that was tied up in the front yard was the biggest challenge for the pup. Several tugs on the lead, a "leave it" and for us to keep walking all helped him to keep moving forward and stop excitedly staring in the direction of the dog. There was no fence and the dog was running from side to side, barking like crazy. I am not sure Spence realized the dog was on a chain. We ended up passing that dog twice as we circled a dead-end block and the second time Spence was much better, and a lot less excited about it.
Spence got better and better with each dog we passed. He kept walking, but he still looked a little too much in the direction of the other dogs that were barking at him. Bruno, on the other hand, only glanced and kept trotting along.
Toward the end of the walk I spotted an owner with a Giant Schnauzer from across the street. The dog had stopped to poop and the owner forgot to pick it up, hmmm. As soon as the large dog spotted Bruno and Spencer he started whining a high-pitched whine until we were out of sight. The big fellow was leading his human on the leash, pulling toward us. The owner was sweet-talking him to be quiet, which was like saying "Good boy for behaving like that." Bruno only gave the dog a quick glance and Spencer looked a little more, needing a tug to stop him from reacting, and he kept walking.
Before ending the walk we passed three dogs inside a fenced front yard that were running their border, barking like mad. We had passed these dogs before on other walks and Spence did a great job ignoring them.
Spencer is not perfect on a leash, but thinking back he seems to be easier to handle than Bruno was at the same age. We still have some work to do, however. The goal is to get it so no correction is needed no matter what we are passing.
Only one of the five dogs we passed tonight was actually heeling on the lead, and sure enough that was the only dog that ignored Bruno and Spencer. Passing that dog was a piece of cake; Spence totally ignored it. The others that were leading their owners put up a fuss as we passed and in return would excite Spence. If Bruno can ignore fussing dogs however, so can the Spence-man, in time.
Just about every night I have to kick Bruno out of the crate so I can tell Spence to get in. The night I took this pic I walked up to the crate and Bruno started to wag is nub of a tail at me. Does he even know his tongue is sticking out? "Come on Bruno, time to get out." When Bruno comes out one command to Spence, "cage," is all it takes for the pup to happily walk into the crate and go to sleep. If my kitchen were bigger I'd put two crates in there, but that's not going to happen. Bruno, good boys don't need to be locked in crates. Now go to your dog bed and go back to sleep.
We had walked back to the skate park several times, but there had been no one there. This time however, the park was loaded with kids rolling and jumping their boards. Spencer's reaction to the park was very different than in the past. When he first heard the kids, the banging and rolling of the boards he perked up. He seemed happy about it. I kept looking down to observe his tail. It was bouncing up and down as he walked in its normal hanging position, which told me he was relaxed. Spencer's whole body was relaxed. He looked curious, happy to be there and not afraid in the slightest. Tacoma the Great Pyrenees, standing next to Spencer, used to be afraid of the skate park as well. She was an adult when she first encountered a skate park and it had freaked her out. Using the same natural dog communication as I did on Spencer I was able to tell Tacoma that the park was nothing to be afraid of.