21 months 3
Stitch and I were in the airport in Calgary on our way home from Ohio. They have a 6' stuffed bear toy dressed in a Mounted Police uniform in the mall area of the airport. We got near the bear, and Stitch did an amazing double-take. She wasn't freaking out, screaming or flopping around on the floor, but she tucked her tail away from the bear, lowered her head, and moved to the opposite side of me at the end of the leash. We had lots of space and a couple of hours' layover until our next plane, so we worked on the bear. We went 'way down the mall until she could concentrate comfortably on me and do some simple retrieves. We slowly got closer to the bear. I was clicking her for looking at the bear, and for offering me her Service Dog walk, and for retrieves. When I judged she was as close to the bear as she could get without losing it again - when it was obvious that she was working because she COULD work but she wasn't at all comfortable - I clicked her once more for looking at the bear and then we moved back down the mall and relaxed before trying it again. It took us maybe six minutes to get right up to the bear. At that point she was able to think and able to work - as long as I was between her and the bear. Then I asked her to pawtouch my foot three times, which she did, and then I asked her to pawtouch the bear's foot. She hesitated for a moment, then reached out over my foot and touched the bear. I clicked, treated, and we walked back down the mall. The next time we approached, I asked her to pawtouch the bear's foot right away, which she did. I asked for it three times, and then we walked away. The third time we approached the bear, she was watching me closely, and as soon as I asked her to touch the bear, she jumped forward and whapped him on the knee, obviously having concluded that the bear was a stuffed toy and not worth worrying about. An hour or so later we found another, naked, 6' bear. She glanced at it, recognized it, asked me if I wanted her to touch it, and when I declined, she walked calmly past it. Further on we found some lifesize metal horses, which she readily pawed-up on.