Sunday, August 1, 2010

camp, part 2

First off, back to our first session. I want to say that the instructor was very nice and I did learn a lot from her. I will probably set up some of the stuff in the yard, where Oreo will feel comfortable enough to do the exercise. I think it will be useful to see if he knows how to jump properly.

However, I think the first time Oreo headed for the exit, I should have said, "thanks, we're done." The instructor didn't know that my dog was not just another "shy sheltie", as she called him. He's Oreo.

My bad, not hers.

Up next.... were our sessions on stretching, massage, nutrition, homeopathy, and holistic stuff. A lot of good information. Much of it, I knew already from reading the Whole Dog Journal religiously. However, it was interesting to hear this doctor's point of view. She actually makes mostly house calls. How nice is that? Especially for a dog with fears about going to the vet (not my dogs, but I know many dogs that have issues).

Our last session was about "teamwork". It started with each of us telling a bit about our dogs. We all laughed, and started giving the instructor names for our group. I said we were the "stress" group. Someone else said the "challenged" group. By the time we had each given a description of our dog, she understood why we had come up with these nicknames.

She had us run a 12 obstacle course, all jumps, except one tunnel. First, she had us run it using front crosses, then with rear crosses. I did what the second instructor had told me earlier....I went in the ring and took off running with Oreo immediately. This instructor basically had to jump out of our way! Oreo did really well with the front crosses. We struggled a bit with the rear crosses, but that was more me than him. I'm not as confident in their execution. Oreo wasn't concerned about me going behind him, but I needed the instructor to verbally tell me when and where to cross.

All the dogs were doing really well, and the instructor said, "You guys aren't living up to your reputation!"

She did decide to change things a bit for our "special" group, and do a motivation exercise.

She set up a line of 3 jumps, with a loaded a target at the end. We were going to race our dog to the target, and whoever got there first, got the treat.

Well, Oreo and I play "ready, set, GO", all the time, so he was all about this game. He had fun, despite the instructor standing right behind the target, and two other dogs and handlers being in the ring with us. Plus, I'm sure he was pretty darn tired at this point, I know I was. My legs felt like jelly. Oreo beat me to the target every time. No surprise.

As we were leaving the ring, a group mate said to me, "Wow, your dog has had a transformation at camp."

I said with disbelief, "You think?"

Then, I thought back to that first session, where we had a similar line of jumps and a target. Oreo had been scared to death.

Unfortunately, my group mate was wrong. My dog hadn't been transformed. The situation had. This line of jumps had been set up as a game, where we were a team playing together. Oreo got to stay within his comfort level, since I was able to run with him. What a difference it made for my dog. I was not surprised.

I was glad we left on a good note.

Would I do camp again? I don't know, I'll have to think about it. I'm glad we gave it a try, and we got a really great goodie bag! Look at all this stuff!

I was really proud of Oreo. Oreo did great the entire time, and recovered from the stressful incident! He hung out with dogs and people under the tents. He ran with me, people clapped and cheered for us. Oh, I guess they were cheering for Oreo, he is the rockstar.


Diana said...

Im so glad things went well today. Wow, you got a goody bag? Ive been to lots of camps and never got a goodie bag. Oreo must be a rock star. Diana

LauraK said...

What a fun day for you two! That's an awesome goody bag too- what a great bonus! I bet Oreo is exhausted after two big days :)

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Glad today went so well after yesterday's rocky start. It's nice of you to take the blame for yesterday but part of it has to fall on the instructor too!

Sounds like Oreo did so well with the stress of a two-day camp! That is so awesome! Congratulations to the rock star and his manager! :)

Kathy said...

It sounds like you were a good egg and did not let yourself get flustered, learned what you could from the first session which guess those are the type of things that teach us the most sometimes and were ready to go back and have fun for the rest of them, so good for you, you should be proud of yourself. Look at that bounty of treats you got, that would make the whole weekend exciting right there. Good Job Sarah and Oreo, a great team

AC said...

Yay for a good finish to camp!

A final thought on the first instructor. I agree with Ricky. My experience with trainers is that many are great at coming up with ways to teach dogs while they are under threshold, but too many don't know how to deal with a dog over threshold. Many don't even recognize when a dog's too stressed to learn. This bothers me because many dog owners don't know their dogs well, so are left at the interpretations of the trainer. Suddenly, a scared dog is just shy/manipulative/spacey...

I know I'm preaching to the choir. Just a subject that gets to me.

ANYWAY! I love that you found a game that let Oreo let loose. It sounds like you learned some good "take home" stuff and you got to take home a fun goody bag!

Marie said...

That is an awesome looking goodie bag! A well deserved one for both the rockstar and his manager. :-)

I'm really happy to hear that your good end to the first day, continued on through your second day. Sounds like you learned a lot!

Sara said...

You are right. She didn't understand Oreo at all. She thought he was leaving the ring, because that's where the treats were. I knew the real reason he was leaving~fear. That's why I rewarded him for returning to me. I'm sure that was a hard thing for Oreo to do. I explained that to her, but I still don't think she got it.

Jules said...

I am so glad the day ended on a high note for both of you.

Dawn said...

Great job on completing the camp with a happy dog!

Rob said...

Hi Sara,
It seems you had a good and worthwhile time at the camp, I enjoyed reading about it.

Priscilla said...


I'm so happy for you and Oreo! Well done to a great team!