I have been wanting to get Turbo out to socialize with other people and dogs.. since I don't really know his history or how he is with other people or animals, I've been somewhat apprehensive. Plus, there aren't a lot of opportunities for that in my town. The closest dog park is 30 minutes away, and I've previously had a bad experience at that park so I won't go back (it's in a bad area anyway).
But today I had an idea. I live in a town where the Erie Canal used to pass through, and around here parts of the Erie Canal still exist, though it's not in use anymore. (If you're not familiar with the Erie Canal, read my post on Bubblews explaining it: http://www.bubblews.com/news/535068-the-erie-canal). These days most parts of the Erie Canal are used as walking trails, and there are actually a few Erie Canal parks. One particular one has a museum with some information on the history of the canal. They also have different trails to walk. There are the tow path trails along side the canal that the mules used to travel.. or this particular park also has some wooded trails that start and stop along the canal trail.
Dogs are still allowed at this park, as long as they're leashed, so we brought Turbo and went for a walk.
We walked the wooded trail for awhile, as it's less crowded, and gives Turbo more opportunities to sniff. We enjoyed this part of the walk as well. Three of the kids came along with us, and they enjoyed looking for wildlife, I told them they might spot a frog, turtle, or snake along the canal. Of course we also saw squirrels and chipmunks. They also enjoyed looking at these signs that told us what some of the plants were.
Most people just walked on past without so much as notice of us. Turbo seemed interested in most people, he wanted to go give them a sniff.. but we just kept walking and he did well with not being able to say hi to everyone he saw.
One particular lady was walking a small breed dog, and she'd let the dog off leash while walking, so he came over to give Turbo a sniff. Turbo was very excited and wanted to play with the small dog, but the small dog was older (8 years old) and only wanted to sniff.. so he decided to keep his distance from Turbo. Turbo got a little jumpy and barked at the little dog.. but his tail was wagging the whole time, so obviously he really just wanted to play.
We chatted with the owner of the small dog for a few minutes. This is how we learned the small dog was 8 years old. We also learned her dog had also been adopted from the same shelter as Turbo, though of course he'd been adopted years ago.
All in all, we were quite proud of Turbo's behavior. We've learned he is definitely a very friendly dog towards other people and dogs.. he is just hyper and wants to play with everyone.. as expected since he's still just a puppy! So we are happy with the results.
We think we'll probably visit this park regularly, hopefully on a weekly basis, to continue to socialize the dog.. not to mention it's great mental stimulation for him and great exercise for all of us!
Read my posts on Bubblews about today's walk:
We Went For A Nature Hike