Here’s a quick video of Bo Obama’s intro to the world. I saw several things that they did right, and some that they could’ve done better (of course, can’t we all?)
First dog training success: the Obamas didn’t punish Bo for being a dog. He’s in front of this huge crowd, and while they did keep thinking he could sit on cue (not yet, with all of those distractions!), they didn’t yell at him or punish him for not doing it. I didn’t see the Obamas do single leash-pop, which made my heart burst with joy.
Michelle Obama kept Bo from choking himself by kneeling down to be with him. Bo didn’t jump up at all, which is a feat for a 6 month old puppy! In a different video, I heard Barack Obama say that this crowd was new to Bo, clearly showing that he knows that you have to lower your expectations on the dog when you increase the level of distraction level. Dogs are very specific about what signals are important, and with new people trying to tell him what to do, in a completely new environment, it’s no wonder he couldn’t do it.
Since Bo’s just getting started with all this fanfare, the Obamas could’ve brought some stinky treats or a tug-toy. If he pulled one way, they could’ve turned the other way, and encouraged him to follow. Bo could’ve been wearing a harness so that they didn’t have him pulling on his collar. They did let him pull them around, but hey, it’s their first WEEK as dog owners, so what can we expect? Have you ever tried learning something new on national TV? I thought not.
The Obamas clearly love Bo already, and think he’s a rock star. He will be, just wait and see!