Re: Public Reaction to Sarge
Well, there's no "pets allowed" sign on the front door, but I had head from a number of websites and most Lowes and Home Depots will "tolerate" well behaved pets. I was a little worried myself, so I actually called my local stores to see if it was okay.
After speaking with the manager of the store, the reponses I got were something along "well, people bring them in all the time - so I don't care as long as they're behaving okay. If it becomes a problem with a pet owner, we ask them to leave their dog in the vehicle or at home, depending on the weather"
Anoher great place I've found you can take your pet to socialize is the local feed store or farm-supply store. We live on the fringe of town,so there are a few small mom-and-pop stores around that I have to visit for various reasons. Any time I'm in a store like that I ask what their policy on pets is in the store (usually at checkout, so they remember that I am a paying customer) - most of them are happy to allow you to bring your dog in, as long as it is behaved.
I can tell you that teaching sarge to sit, down, stay and walk in a heel has been critical to his acceptance in most businesses.
The coolest part about it all? the list of things that don't even phase him anymore, but USED to freak him out
Traffic in parking lots
tires moving on a gravel surface
water being splashed as vehicles drove by
the "ding" of some business doors when you open them
shopping carts or those bug lumber carts
kids running up to him
the list goes on and on, and through it all, he is always focused on me and my commands.. I'm very proud!
German Shepherd - Victors Comic Soldier, AKA "Sarge" Born 11-29-2008
Cocker Spaniel - Castles Yummy Biscuit, AKA "Biscuit" Born 11-24-2001
Yorkshier Terrier - Misty's Princess PooPoo, AKA Chloe Born 04-30-2008