Socialization Corner- Jackson Hole, WY
I take Butter to a new city anytime I have the opportunity. A new city presents obstacles and opportunities to socialize. Today we are featuring Jackson Hole, WY on our way to visit family. This was not only a break for Butter, but had some great opportunities for new experiences.
When we are visiting a new city with Butter, I attempt to look at the city with a new set of eyes. I like to think of “agility” and all the different events and tasks dogs will do. What can be a new surface, odd shape, weird texture and how can I expose Butter to this? I do this for three reasons.
First, I want to grow our relationship and trust.
Second, I want to continue training in all opportunities.
Third, it is good socialization since I do not want Butter to be scared of different situations and act in a negative manner.
I always bring treats and do positive reward based training through these new opportunities.
In Jackson we found many opportunities including statues, benches, covered walkways, wooden paths, small enclosures and of course cars, people and animals.
Previously Butter had been around children statues and had licked their hands attempting to get pets. This time she seemed to recognize they were statues and just sniffed them. I guess she really does learn from these moments!
At times, Butter can be embarrassing such as trying to get pets from every person, but I continue taking her to the city with the hope that someday she will be better. It is hard to remember that she is just a puppy at times.
Despite her desire to have many people pet her, I have noticed that there are specific people Butter will do anything to get to. At first I found this to be mortifying as she pulls me towards them. Lately, though, I have noticed that Butter knows what she is doing. These people always seem to connect with her, have a story about a lab they have loved or just love dogs and desire a connection. Other times she could easily access a person we are passing and she ignores them. She is amazing in ways I will never fully grasp. I just hope I can learn to listen better and keep her from jumping up on people!
When Butter is not embarrassing us, I am doing my best to take her place. For example, when getting a picture of Butter on the bench (seen previously) we managed to gather a crowd of about 6 people. They stood there watching us for about 5 minutes. Since I know I am a little silly with my ideas, I just ignore it…unless they want to pet Butter of course. Without a doubt, taking Butter places always pushes me out of my comfort zone.
For Jackson specifically, I found it a great place to give Butter a break and push her mind by having her participate in the different tasks we came up with. However, I did not find Jackson to be the most dog friendly place as many of the parks have signs that read “no dogs” posted. Restaurants are in tight places on main street and it is rare that you find outdoor seating areas. I feel this would be a good place to have two people (if you bring your dog) so that one can go into the restaurant or store while the other stays with the dog.
Whenever we go to the city we respect the signs, do not leave Butter in a hot or cold car, bring poop bags and leave areas cleaner than we found it. Please continue to do the same as we do not want more and more places to have “no dogs allowed” signs keeping us from enjoying a great city.