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TEXT: Barnum’s first time in a store! We start out shaky and improve greatly!

TEXT: I start with cues when he’s too distracted. I switch to clicking for focus.

Sharon in powerchair next to side of the van, door open. A relatively quiet unpaved parking lot. Barnum stands, panting, wearing a blue backpack over a black harness. He is looking around.

Sharon: Barnum, sit.

Barnum starts to sit and then looks away instead.

Sharon: Barnum, watch me.

Barnum looks away. Sharon moves closer so she is right in front of him. When he looks at her she clicks and treats. They do several click/treat for eye contact.

Sharon: Barnum, sit.

Sharon clicks and treats for sitting.

Sharon: Out of the car.

Barnum jumps down.

TEXT: Now we have something to work with, though still distracted.

TEXT: I try to capture focus and create opportunities to click.

Barnum is looking away.

Sharon: Barnum sit.

He looks away. Sharon uses a hand signal for sit when he looks back, and he sits.

Sharon: Yes.

Sharon gives him a treat.

TEXT: Better. . . .

TEXT: Now I get several opportunities to click for eye contact.

Sharon and Barnum wait while cars drive in and out around them. Sharon clicks and treats repeatedly for eye contact.

Sharon: Come by.

Barnum crosses to Sharon’s left side and starts to turn but then gets distracted and watches something and wanders slowly to stand at her left side.

TEXT: He’s trying to follow cues but still a little too distracted to finish them.

TEXT: Now we’ve got focus (& the occasional choking on a treat!).

Sharon: Good dog, yes!

She clicks and treats and Barnum coughs on one of the treats. Sharon rolls her eyes in a humorous way. She drops one of the treats. Barnum bends down to eat it.

Sharon: Leave it.

Barnum looks up at Sharon who clicks and treats. He reaches for the treat on the ground again.

Sharon: Leave it.

Barnum looks up, Sharon clicks and treats. Then start walking past the van toward the store, Barnum at Sharon’s left. She clicks and treats repeatedly for eye contact. Barnum ends up in front of her, facing her, to get his treats.

Sharon: Come by.

Barnum goes to her left, turns, and aligns himself in heel position next to her chair.

Sharon: Yes, good dog. Good boy.

TEXT: We’re on our way toward the store, moving as a team!

TEXT: We’ll need to work Zen near the flowers. But once oriented on the porch…

Passing by an area of greenery, Barnum stops to sniff.

Sharon: Leave it.

Barnum continues sniffing so Sharon just pulls ahead onto the ramp and Barnum has no choice but to follow behind her. The stop on the wooden porch of the store in front of the door. Barnum mills around for a bit, looking at the new surroundings. Sharon waits for him to make eye contact, then clicks and treats.

Sharon: Barnum, side.

Barnum starts to swing behind Sharon’s chair to get in position, but the leash (attached to Sharon’s waist), gets caught on Sharon’s chair.

Sharon: Sorry.

She unhooks the leash.

Sharon: Barnum, side.

Barnum gets in place immediately. Sharon clicks and treats.

Sharon: Good dog. Watch me. Yes.

Sharon says “yes,” and treats for uncued eye contact a couple of times.

Sharon: Barnum, sit.

Barnum sits. Sharon says yes and gives treats several times for staying in a sit and maintaining eye contact. He holds the sit while Sharon opens the door.

TEXT: Barnum is quite focused. (And my camera person has to hold the door for me.)

TEXT: Barnum’s focus and position work with the chair are terrific!

Inside a store with wooden floors and shelving. It’s a combination grocery and general store, with a rustic look. Instrumental music, mostly flute, plays in the background.

Barnum pulls ahead, feels the leash get tight, and turns around to return to Sharon.

Sharon: Side.

Barnum moves into side position and Sharon continually says yes and treats him for position and for making eye contact as he walks.

Sharon: Right.

She takes a right turn down an aisle. Barnum moves next to her.

Sharon: Behind. Yes.

Barnum walks behind her down a narrow aisle. Sharon stops halfway down and picks a box off a high shelf and puts it on her foot plate. Sharon constantly says yes, and treats for staying quietly behind and then for moving behind, and for coming back to her left side at the end of the aisle. Space is tight at the end of the aisle as the pass between a refrigerator case and a wall of popcorn and chips.

Sharon: Side.

Barnum starts to move back and then doesn’t get into position. He stands perpendicular to her, looking into her face. Sharon backs up and then forward to give him more space. She signals “side” again and he moves into position. They turn left down a more spacious aisle, so Barnum can walk at Sharon’s side. She says “yes” and treats about once a second for eye contact as they move.

TEXT: Then we encounter an unexpected distraction…

TEXT: Barnum’s upset by a baby’s cries. But look how he checks in with me for reassurance.

Sharon and Barnum are moving side by side. A baby cries ahead of them (unseen). Barnum stops and his ears perk up as he listens. He doesn’t show great anxiety, more concern and curiosity. His body language suggests listening and uncertainty. After a moment, he turns his head and gives Sharon eye contact. The baby cries again. This time, after listening, ears perked again, he immediately turns to look at Sharon after registering the cry. She verbally marks with “Yes,” and treats him.

Sharon: Barnum, sit.

The baby cries just at that moment, and Barnum looks toward the crying, then at Sharon, then looks away and up at the shelves of food on his other side. He sniffs the ground and looks like he’s reaching for something on the floor.

Sharon: Leave it.

Barnum looks up at her.

Sharon: Yes.

TEXT: The “Look at That” (LAT) game is serving us well!

TEXT: We move right into practicing positional cues.

Sharon: Sit, yes. Platz.

Barnum lies down.

Sharon: Yes. Side.

Barnum stands up.

Sharon: Yes. Barnum, platz, yes. Barnum sit, yes. Stand up, yes.

Barnum stands at Sharon’s side. Sharon “Yes”es him for that and for more eye contact.

TEXT: And one more unexpected distraction before we leave…

TEXT: Barnum uses LAT again to deal with the harmonica sound.

Coming around a corner, the background music grows louder, and a harmonica wails. Barnum stops, ears pricked, listening. He turns and looks at Sharon.

Sharon: Yes.

He continues to look at Sharon.

Sharon: Yes.

They are about to tight a tight left turn.

Sharon: Barnum, back up.

Barnum backs up a couple of paces.

Sharon: Back up.

He backs up another couple of paces.

Sharon: Yes.

After treating him, she takes the turn and he moves with her. They wind their way through a very short aisle and toward the checkout counter on their right and the door in front of them.

TEXT: I pay for my cookies, and we’re headed out the door.

TEXT: I’m very proud of my improved handling/training skills & Barnum’s increased focus!

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