Have you ever been in a coffee store, patiently waiting for your Crème Brulee with Coconut Milk, and there, off to the side is a bedraggled parent with a screaming kid, that is demanding some yummy delight, and all you can do is smile and hope that they give that kid something to settle him down, and you thank all stars that you are NOT that parent. And you know that everyone goes through it right?
Well, maybe not.
I’ll never forget the day when my mom had all five of us Freitas kids at the grocery store. We had two full carts, we were in line for the checkout and I started to pitch a fit about not getting the cereal I wanted. I started to shriek, and quicker than I could catch my next breath, my mom told the clerk, “I’m so sorry, you will have to take my carts back” and she promptly grabbed my arm and out of the store we marched. My brothers and sister were not happy with me at all. I was thunderstruck that my mom was willing to forgo our groceries and deal with my poor choices. I threw a fit, and she absolutely let me know that she would not allow me to impinge upon the rest of the public, nor would she tolerate such a decision. As I was sent to my room to stay for the rest of the night, my mom let me know that I did not have the right to ruin every other person’s time at the store. She also let me know that if I ever thought of acting that way again, I would NEVER get the cereal I was willing to pitch a fit about. And my brother’s added that I’d be lucky if I ever got any cereal ever again! I learned my lesson.
When I take my dogs out in public I am ALWAYS prepared to immediately leave if any of my dogs are having a hard time making good choices. My desire to eat, or get my Crème Brulee coffee or to train my dogs DOES NOT allow me to interrupt the rest of the restaurant’s right to a peaceful meal. Listen, dogs are not robots, they will have good days, bad days, and you have to be prepared to help your dog make good choices, and also be prepared to leave if they aren’t able to make them in that moment. Sometimes, being willing to leave home, is the BEST training decision you can make.
Before heading out to lunch with one dog or nine dogs, here a few pointers to help set your dogs up for success:
- Make sure you’ve had plenty of purposeful exercise before you head out.
- Give your dog a potty break before you go.
- Have your training tools correctly fitted and in proper working order
- Be ready to interrupt any poor choice your dog is making. PAY ATTENTION and act early.
- Be sure you’ve done your homework with your leash manners and your dog’s ability to JUST BE when you are at rest before you tackle public outings.
Now get ready, and go live life with your dog in a safe, sane and civilized way!