This 4th of July weekend, I spent some time with a puppy named Theo, who is a friend of Dogs R Us Boston. So far, I’ve had the pleasure of walking two puppies, and just like with children, everything is new to them. Theo was a quick-learner, though. At first, he was hesitant to walk down the three stories of stairs that lead to the sidewalk. No problem!
Here’s a tip: when a gentle pull doesn’t get a dog moving, try a gentle push. A mother dog, who does not have the luxury of a leash, nudges her pups forward to get them moving. We can do the same.
And so at each set of stairs, I encouraged Theo to take the first steps – and he responded instantly, hopping down the rest of the way. I used the same technique outside when he anchored down at the sound of a truck or the sight of other people.
I always kept in mind that this world is new to him, and that it’s my job to let him know that as long as I’m around, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Theo naturally moved with me, especially when I took very short jogging steps. The sight and sound of a higher cadence seemed to resonate with him and he walked right along with me.
And in the end, Theo seemed that he really enjoyed himself!