without feeling like people were watching and judging him

A longer summary of our obedience class, in bullets:

  • The trainer is awesome, and we love her. Even Bear isn’t very afraid of her. She brought her very well trained, gorgeous spaniel (the big kind, is that springer spaniel?) to demonstrate for us.
  • There’s another very nervous dog in the class, which helps me be more at ease, because I feel less like other people are judging me for Bear’s performance without knowing how big this is for him.
  • We weren’t the worst behaved! Someone pooped inside and nobody in the class knows how to heel yet.
  • Bear got overwhelmed a couple of times and lay down unresponsive, but we relaxed and talked through it, and the trainer said it is a-okay for him to be in a “down” and watch when he’s too worried to work.
  • Bear succeeded at a sit-stay exercise with me pivoting when lots of other dogs were unable to do it! He’s getting a LOT better at listening to commands in public, but it’s still a hard thing for him to listen to me when he’s scared.