If something 4x your size on wheels was in your personal space, how would you feel?
Exactly! That’s why we acclimate our dogs to shopping carts - something we humans take for granted; but, typically not an everyday walking buddy for a dog.
Here Tailer works with Highlander to get him comfortable with walking next to a small shopping cart in our training building. We start here because there are fewer distractions and our dogs are already familiar with the environment.
Next, we progress to training in stores. Two new factors here: it’s a lot busier and the shopping carts are bigger! Our dogs advance heeling through aisles as we push a larger grocery cart. We put a few items into the cart and even work our way up to checking out.
Our dogs become adept at stopping and starting, ignoring the items filling the shelves and focusing on their handler while accepting pets from admiring shoppers.
By the time, we match them with their new partners, Highlander and his classmates are experienced at navigating busy stores including grocery stores!
We put in hours of public training is to make sure that SDI dogs are practically invisible in public. That’s why in 35 years we have never had a complaint from a business about our dogs’ behavior - only huge smiles!