My trainer/friend, Sarah (who is also a well respected animal behaviorist in the bay area, and probably one of the smartest people I've ever met) has been suggesting to me for months to join her on hikes with her dogs to work on Odin's socialization (he has issues with other dogs). I was kind of hesitant for a while, thinking to myself that I didn't have time or that it probably wasn't going to fix the problems we were having. But after Odin sort of lost it on another dog one day, and showed me what this problem was going to turn into if I didn't act fast, I realized that I should probably just suck it up, make time, and dive in. And so I did. We're in the middle of an intensive socialization process through hiking all over these beautiful areas in Marin. Odin has improved tremendously and we can see him learning new social skills every day that we go out. My own handling confidence has improved as well. His herding traits are very strong and deeply ingrained, as evidenced by his manner of play and also how he tries to herd me constantly, and he's an incredibly smart boy, making him quite a challenge in adolescence. But the hiking is helping a lot. And it's a really cool opportunity to see parts of Marin that I haven't explored yet. We hiked through a madrone forest last week, redwoods yesterday (I got stung four times in a row by yellow jackets, but I'm still smiling), perfect chaparral the other day, and grasslands another day. Here are a few pics of some of our adventures.