Small Success! Confidence with Children

Hey guys! Guess what? Little humans ain’t so bad after all! Well, at least not all of them. I used to be very scared of them because they’re strange and unpredictable. Once when I was puppy and still getting used to all the new sights and sounds I was ambushed by a little girl. Mommy and I were minding our own business when I was grabbed from behind by the little human! She didn’t even ask if it was okay to pet me! Even the ones that asked nicely made me nervous after that.

Any how, back to the good stuff! I had a great play date with Mommy’s 2 year-old niece and 6 year-old nephew today. I met them a long time ago when I was a pup but I was too easily excitable then, and scared them (I can appreciate the irony here). It also didn’t help that I the only way I knew how to play was with my mouth which was armed with sharp puppy teeth! But now that I’m a big doggy I’m much better! Mommy was a little nervous about how I’d react to them but I made her proud!

Mommy’s nephew wanted to play chase, which happens to be one of my favourite games! We had lots of fun running around in the yard and I remembered not to use my mouth. Then, when we were inside I let the little boy give me lots of pets. I was even okay when he stood over me and pretended to ride me like a pony, I just sat and let him give me a big hug.

I had lots of fun with mommy’s niece too. She was much slower and gentler than the little boy so I was calmer too. She would very delicately pet my back and helped mommy give me treats and water. We also played fetch for a little while until I accidentally lost the ball under the porch-Oops!  It’s okay though, to make up for it I taught her how to “woof”. Now if the doorbell rings again she’ll know what to do 😉

Overall we had a great day and mommy says we’re going back next week! Here’s what she has to say about my progress:

I was thrilled with how well Riley did. Since the weather has been warming up there have been more people and more kids out meaning, more people who want to “pet the cute doggie”. I wish I could take credit for how well he did today but I really can’t. What seems to really help Riley is exposure. We’ve been going on our usual walk but he’s just been encountering more children. Thankfully, he hasn’t been getting any “physical” attention just passing comments and stares. I’ve also been randomly rewarding him if we walk by a noisy playground or school which may be helping.  He’s still a little fearful on-leash but I’m feeling very optimistic with his progress. Dreams of therapy dog status are slowly creeping back in, hopefully someday..fingers-crossed!




Posted on June 5, 2013, in Behaviour, Training and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Riley looks so happy about this! I’ll admit, when Mom & Dad took me on a walk a month ago, a little boy approached us, and wanted to pet me. He was excited and I was excited, and well, Mom and Dad were kind of nervous and not ready for it. It was my first time to meet a tiny person. I jumped up on him, which made him run and cry.

    I’m getting better now! They teach me how to act with people like Grandma, and other excited humans.

    • Yes, little humans are strange, you never know what they’re gonna do! I’m glad you’re getting better! Keep it up- the more humans you meet the more pets and treats you receive!

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