Free Exploration Time!
Azul and I were shopping at a pet friendly store and we're surprised to see another dog in the store. This raised Azul's excitement level a bit so after we were done shopping we took a 15-18 min sniff-a-bout.
The location is a small practice football field that is empty and the grass is long because it's not football season. That means extra smells for Azul! There are baseball fields nearby with some practice sessions just starting so there are people coming and going in the distance. And there is occasional road noise from the traffic. Azul is wearing his everyday harness and flat collar. There is a traffic lead attached to the back harness clip incase another dog shows up or I need one of Azul's Service Dog tasks. And there is a 10ft Paracord leash attached to Azul's back clip and my waist belt to ensure that we are save in this wide open environment. Azul is free to explore the field going any direction he wants as long as he doesn't go too fast. I try to be as quiet as I can so that Azul can do his doggy thing uninterrupted. I might give so gentle encouragement to explore a certain area such, "Oh what's over here!" And I will no doubt offer praise and encouragement for making choices that I like such as exploring these tires. This kind of free activity is important to help dogs develop good habits and make good choices appropriate to their ability which in turn helps develop their confidence and makes them more resilient when life doesn't go as planned.
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