We've had quite a Dion fix this weekend! I think he realises we're part of the family now. Last night we descended on Rita's for dinner, with our two dogs in tow. Dion accepted the dogs in his home and gave a low growl if Jackson got too in his face, to which Jackson responded by walking off. Great stuff boys. He was wary of Steve, avoiding coming near him and instead hiding in the downstairs bedroom. Relaxed enough to chew a raw hide cigar and fall asleep.
This morning, he and Rita joined us for a BIGGSD walk (socialisation walk for rescue German Shepherds) at Ockham Common. I wasn't sure whether he'd even leave the carpark, with all the commotion and people around, but he was fine. He travelled well in the car - he loves his car journeys, sitting quietly on the back seat. We then set off, at the front of the pack so that he wasn't intimidated with the crowds of people. He seemed really happy to be in woods & open land rather than London. He's probably been a country bumpkin rather than a city dweller, so this was his comfort zone. He was fine with the dogs saying hello, bumping into each other and had his tail held high to say how relaxed and happy he was. We then somehowe ended up at the back of the pack and he got overwhelmed and put the brakes on, sitting firmly and refusing to go, looking back to where we'd come from. I walked him in a small circle and kept the momentum going to catch up with the others. This seemed to do the trick a couple of times when he stopped or when other walkers were approaching towards us.
He was totally chilled with the dogs, but did show nervousness with people coming towards him People in our pack, moving in the same direction, weren't a problem. Once back in the carpark, he was introduced to horses and didn't show any interest in them at all. He just wanted to get back into his car really!
And if all that wasn't enough tests for him, he came back to our house for a few hours. The three dogs had formed a bond on the walk, so there was no fuss. He also warmed up so much to Steve that he cuddled up on the sofa with him! He wanted to patrol the garden, but he settled indoors with us, albeit preferring the cooler conservatory with his thick double coat.
He is such a gorgeous boy. When he warms to you, there's a sparkle in his eyes and such a softness to his character. He is such a happy dog when he feels comfortable & confident in your company. This makes you feel rather special to know that he trusts you and likes you! He enjoyed an hour's countryside walk today and this is where his pleasure lies.
Took lots of photos - he's so photogenic and handsome!! You can distinctly identify all three of his breed heritages in his looks and also in his character.