Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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Street Fair Exposure

Saturday we went to downtown Dunedin for lunch and then the plan was to go over to the concert in the park and see if we could find Coastie.  But we got distracted by the street fair that was going on in Dunedin and ended up spending our afternoon in Dunedin.

Coach and Fred getting reading to start walking down the Pinellas Trail to Dunedin.

The nice thing about Dunedin is that it is so dog friendly.  The bad thing about Dunedin is that it is so dog friendly.  This visit was going to be an exposure heavily laden with dog distractions.  However, since we were on the trail, our first distraction proved to be bicycles:

You can see two cyclists off in the distance on the the trail.
As we were standing there putting on Coach's coat, the cyclists came up from behind, called out that they were coming up from behind and on the left and then passed us.  Coach calmly looked around at them.  No problem.

A lady in a wheelchair is being wheeled down the cobblestone walk.
Not only were there bikes, but there were canes, walkers and wheelchairs, too.  Coach was indifferent to them all.

Photo of a chocolate standard poodle walking toward us.  The poodle is being held closely to the owner.

He was moderately indifferent to all the dogs.  What has happened with other puppies (Bingo and Jam) is that we would get lunging and jumping.  We got none of that with Coach.

Here is a chocolate lab being held closely to the owner and walking toward us.  
 Coach doesn't lunge or jump.  He does a mean stare though.

Coach staring at a small Westie.  Fred has him on a high collar. 
Unfortunately, at street fairs, it isn't just Coach's behavior that you have to be aware of.  You also have to be aware of all the dogs around you.  Not only in front of you, but coming up behind you.

A backend view of the doberman who sniffed Coach's butt.

The owner of the doberman in the photo above was not paying attention to him and just let him wander all over the place. Of course this big, scary dog was going up to every dog he could and sniffing them.  He managed to get up to Coach's butt and goose him.  I had been watching out in front, but moved over to the other side of Fred to be on Coach's left and keep the doberman away after the initial goose.

Honestly.  If people would just pay attention to what they are doing!!

Coach walking in a nice loose leash on the cobblestones.

There is a yellow dog project (see the photo of their poster above for more details) that seeks to highlight dogs who really do need more space by placing a yellow ribbon on their leash.  If you see that ribbon, you should give them space, NO MATTER WHAT.  In our case, our dogs are working.  They shouldn't be distracted by your dogs sniffing them or wanting to introduce themselves or by saying hello.  They have a job to do and learning to ignore you and other dogs is part of it.  

Coach did really well.  I am also going to be on the lookout for a yellow ribbon too.  It looks so pretty with blue!

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