Hops had a really big day today. It started with a couple of hours at the trial where he did some socializing. Then on the way home I had Jeremiah pull over when I saw a horse near the side of the road. Hops has yet to meet one close up. The horse was curious and came closer when we got out, Hops though thought he was pretty scary and woofed a little. I picked him up and walked closer to the horse, feeding Hops the whole time we came nearer and while I petted the horse. He still was not sure. Then the other two horses in the pasture then came up to us too. Hops was scared but calm enough to eat so I kept feeding him while I petted all the horses. Eventually he sniffed them all, nose to nose while in my arms. Good puppy!
In the afternoon, Renee and Taffy came over and we all went to the park. When we arrived we watched a couple of kids play on the playground then when they left we played on the playground! Hops and Taffy put their front paws on different things that moved and they climbed up and down slides and stairs. They had lots of fun climbing and had no fears! That however, changed when we approached the skate park. Hops made it to about 30 feet away before it became too scary to go closer. I squatted down, put him between my legs and fed him while we watched the kids skateboard. At first I fed him non stop, then as he grew more comfortable I fed only when the skateboards banged, then only when they banged closer to him. I also moved us closer as he grew more comfortable. When the two boys stopped for a moment I asked if we could approach and Hops was able to go up to them and eat cookies close to the scary skateboards. Good puppy! We walked around the park some more and he did very well until we approached the playground again and there were people on the swings. He thought they were pretty scary too. So I did the same thing, fed him and moved him closer as he was able to. After they left he was able to walk right up to the swings and had no fear of them then, even when I swung on them a little.
The fourth scary thing to happen to Hops today was Jeremiah vacuumed the bedroom while I sat on the bed with Hops. We have mostly hard floors that are swept, not vacuumed so he has not heard it very often. Even though he was afraid, he was able to eat the entire time and after the room was clean we spent some time with the vacuum on and us on the floor with Hops. By the end he was able to eat treats off the floor right next to the vacuum while it was on. Good puppy!
Hops also had to put up with a pedicure tonight. I trimmed his toenails, filed his nails and trimmed his paw hair. He was a trooper even though this was the first time I did it all on my own, so he was only fed after every clip/file/cut. He was very calm the majority of the time. I was very proud!
Later both Jeremiah and I had a play session with Hops. He played fetch and tug nicely for both of us. Off to bed now after a very big day for Hops!