Giuseppe, Oliver, and I went to Petsmart to get kitty litter. I decided to take his treats in with us. Normally, I use his kibble during the week to train. I didn't think that he would want to work in Petsmart for some dry dog food. But I thought it wouldn't hurt to take it along. We walked around the store for a little bit. He had a great time sniffing, greeting people, and unsuccessfully trying to find bits of treats on the floor. After a while, I decided to see if he would like to work. I asked for a few steps of heeling, treated, and released him to sniff. After a few times, I had perfect Beagle attention. We did a few steps of heeling, fronts, right side heeling, and left finishes. He did such a wonderful job! He remained focused in an area with different smells and people walking by. He was also close to the cat cages. Even though he couldn't see that cats from where he was and vice versa, I know he could smell them.
I am very proud and impressed that he worked so well in Petsmart. The store must have thousands and thousands of smells on the floor between pets, food, people, and products. That must be very distracting to a Beagle nose! I am extremely curious to see how he does this weekend at the Rally Obedience run thru. This will be his first time in a trial-like environment. From our experience yesterday, I think he is more ready for a trial environment than I originally thought. But we will take it at his pace. I'd rather go in having a plan to help him rather than thinking that he will be just fine. Whatever happens, I'm sure that we will have a blast!