Last Friday (August 2010), I took Romeo to another new park. Actually, he had been there once before, but he was only 3 or 4 months old at the time, so I’m sure as far as he knew, it was new to him. I brought a few kinds of treats along, and since it was late morning and he had not wanted his breakfast, I assumed he would be hungry. But he had no interest in any of the treats I had.

I had to figure out what I could use to reward him for walking nicely with me since the treats were not working. Knowing Romeo, the opportunity to sniff new things would be far more valuable than the treats anyway. So, I asked him to check in with me – at my left side and making eye contact – before giving him permission to go sniff for a few seconds. Then I would ask him to check in again, walk with me a bit, and then give him permission to go sniff again. While treats would have been easier, the opportunity to sniff worked pretty well.