One of the few downers of living in the sticks is that it takes much more effort to socialize puppies.
Well, let's see. First, I accustomed Viljo to all the noise and commotion by leaving him in his crate so he could acclimate. After that, we took short walks through the place followed by longer walks. Viljo took it all in and became very comfortable. Then he became playful.
It was really cute when we watched some agility and Viljo saw dogs 'disappear' into the tunnel by us. He tilted his head and craned his neck looking for the dogs that disappeared. Ha, ha. And while we were wandering the many booths, a guy who sells dog treats went under a table to dig around in a box for something and Viljo went under there to help him. He got a treat for that. Either it was payment for helping, or payment to stop helping, could've been either one.
Many dog lovers from the general public attend these shows and Viljo got a lot of attention. He is not really an affectionate dog with people (not with me, either) because he is too busy to be affectionate. He always has things to do! In the spirit of keeping busy and doing things, however, Viljo likes to shake hands. Children, especially, thought that was fun.
Thanks to their agreeable owners, Viljo said Hi! to a springer spaniel, wanted to play with a beagle, was turned off by a pushy Belgian sheepdog, was turned on by a big and hairy but gentle 22 months old Otterhound (he pulled her hair a couple of times like he pulls my pant leg to greet me), played duck, duck, goose with a Bull terrier puppy, was held by kids, hugged by adults, had his picture taken a few times, chased wisps of dog hair floating on the floor, and scarfed a couple liver treats thrown by handlers in the group rings.
We were there for six hours so it was a fairly long day. Viljo didn't have to drive so rested up on the way home. After we got home, he capped his eventful day by separating wicker from the new wicker basket. It's the first thing he's ever torn up. I should've seen it coming. I thought it would be a good place to put the dog toys that are scattered all over. Viljo thought it was a toy and scattered wicker all over!
It was a great day for Viljo!
Addendum: We enjoyed the otterhound so much that I have done a little research on the breed. The otterhound has an interesting heritage and is quite uncommon. I read that only about half a dozen litters are born in the US and Canada each year.
I also learned that in lineage and vocation, Otterhounds are true hounds. Here you can read an old descriptive article, An Otter Hunt in North Wales .
And here you can hear the voice of an otterhound at only five months old!