Orion Returns From Bootcamp
April 2006

I drove down to Virginia Beach Easter Sunday and walked all over the place to tire myself out so I could sleep!

Monday morning it was starting to sprinkle when I got to Carla's place. So, I had my baseball cap on and my rain jacket with the hood up. Carla brings out Orion and the dumb dog barks at me! He didn't recognize me! I pulled my hood off and asked him "Orion, don't you recognize me?" Oh boy! He went hysterical! Jumping and slamming his body against me and yipping. It made me so happy! We worked in the rain that first day and he was doing pretty good heels, sits, downs, and short sit/stays and down/stays. But, he'd break the long ones. When I left, he started howling! It just broke my heart to leave him behind. But, Carla had told me she didn't want me to take him to my hotel with me in case we ran into other dogs and I didn't know how to handle him. It turns out it was a very wise move as the beach was full of people walking dogs. As you can see from my pictures, I was right on the beach! Too bad it was too cold to swim! LOL

Tuesday and Wednesday the training went much better. He was holding his long down and sit stays. The pictures are from the last day. He still sits crooked and I'm going to have to work on this. He learned as a pup to sit in front of me, so now, when I ask him to sit next to me, he tries to move his body so he's trying to face me still. It needs work. His recalls are pretty good too, but I need to have him get closer to me.

I watched Carla work with other dogs and someone else work their dog. Carla is working with a GSD from European lines that is so stubborn she's totally frustrated with that dog. She said she had a better chance of getting a BH on Orion than on that dog. So, I asked her about getting a BH on Orion and she said he could do it. She would want him back in the Fall for another month and then I would have to come down and train with him as I would put him through the trials. The BH, and I'm sorry I don't remember what it stands for, is the first test in obedience for a dog that is going to continue with Schutzhund competions. But, it's all obedience, no bite work or tracking. Sounds like something I may want to earn for Orion!

Once I got Orion home, he started trying to slip back to his old habits. The first walk he was trying to go all over the place and it got me pretty mad. Once he used the bathroom I told him "UH UH buddy, this stops right now!" Carla bought me a very impressive prong collar for him and when he tried to get ahead of me, I stepped back and popped him. I've never, in the 3 years I've had him, heard him react to a correction. But, he reacted to this one, and he jumped right back into heeling next to me.

We've yet to come across other dogs in the neighborhood. I don't know what the people around here do with their dogs. So, we still have that trial ahead of us. But, Carla warned me Orion is totally unpredictable with his dog aggression. You never know when he's going to go off and to be prepared. I already knew that.

So, the end of the story is still to be written. Orion is on probation. I continue to work with him daily. I really would like to get that BH title on him!

Thank you all for your caring and thinking of him and me! This story will continue!



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