Marshall has gotten more and more brave with strangers and odd situations. So today I thought I’d put the leash on him, something he’s been terrified of in the past and take him out in the front yard with Charm just to see what his reaction might be. I was completely prepared to take him back inside if he was overwhelmed with the neighborhood.
Charm always seems to give him courage so the two of them marched around the grass for about ten minutes marking every corner. A car went by and he was startled but didn’t run. He looked up the street and down the street and seemed to be perfectly comfortable in the open space. He didn’t wince at the leash; I purposefully moved it about and retracted it in a couple of times without incident.
So, with little leash training I wasn’t about to tackle any sort of distance. If we had trouble I wanted the space to be able to work through how, exactly, a dog is supposed to walk on a leash. So when he was comfortable with the sidewalk we began. We passed two houses without incident, then three then we were at the corner. He was actively looking around and his tail wasn’t tucked quite so tight. Charm took her good old time smelling everything she came to. I could still hear Sharkey howling from the house at being left out of this equation.
So we continued around the short side of the block and back around the opposite long side to the park. There I let the leash full out and he and Charm trotted about! He seemed happy, thrilled, didn’t start or wince when a truck rumbled by. I gave them about ten minutes and we continued around the last short side to home. He’d made it. Happy, interested and able to overcome new input with relative ease. I was so proud of this big step as small as it may seem to others.