Meet Orion, an Australian Shepherd whom The Barking Lot (TBL) rescued in September 2012.  When Orion was young, his owners left him in the yard where he learned how to guard and defend his territory.  After his owners abandon him, he was brought to the San Bernardino Animal Shelter and a TBL volunteer fell in love with Orion via the San Bernardino’s web page.  The volunteer owns and loves her cattle dog and she promoted Orion’s profile to Stacy, the director of  TBL.  Stacy agreed to rescue him.

Orion failed to make the adjustment from his territory to The Barking Lot, where he had regular human interaction.  Orion guarded his new territory, his kennel, and became very difficult to handle.  Fernando Steffey, the founder of Canine Education, agreed to foster and train Orion to rehabilitate him to become an adoptable dog.

Fernando has been training Orion for four months and as part of the training, Action K9 Sports ( donated their time and sheep to teach Orion how to herd!


Orion has never been to a ranch before and he has never seen sheep!  He was curious, excited, and eager to find out more.  Terry Parrish, founder of Action K9 Sports and lead trainer, gave instructions and demonstrated how to handle a cattle dog.


After the brief tutorial, Orion had 30 minutes to herd the sheep!


Orion would chase and herd the sheep in bursts.  He would give chase until the sheep slowed down, then he would start sniffing and marking the pin.  Terry would instruct Fernando to get Orion excited again and bring his attention back to the sheep.  Orion would show interest and the sheep would take off!


Orion instinctively knew to chase the lone sheep and bring it back to the flock.  Orion did a good job herding, when he chose to herd.  Orion wasn’t fully focused on the sheep.  At times, he found the dogs running along the fence more interesting than the sheep!  Overall, the sheep herding experience was a success.  Terry is a knowledgeable instructor and Action K9 Sports is an amazing venue for dogs to go to work.


Orion is responding well to his training with Canine Education.  As of January 7, 2013, Orion is adoptable for an experienced dog handler whom has worked with cattle dogs before.  He still needs training in order to be adoptable by a novice dog handler.  View his adoption information via The Barking Lot’s website:

Follow Orion’s adventures with Canine Education via Facebook!