Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Rugby did his usual training, but nothing really new. The down was lots lots better today, didn't phase him at all.

Visiting friends this afternoon though, there was a little boy that was just in love with Rugby (don't really know how old he is...4 maybe?). He was calling him to him, and petting him very gently. Rugby was being soo good with him too. When he could say 'Rugby' well enough that he could understand Rugby would trot over to him a give him little kisses on his hands, and if he bent over on his face. It was so nice to watch especially when he was playing with the older kids, bitting and jumping, and playing tug of war and 1/2 a second later would turn around and just give his new friend kisses. When Rugby would wander to far away (trying to get into trouble I am sure) I would call him over and tell him 'thank you your such a good boy' and this little guy would just repeat whatever I said to Rugby and even Rugby thought it was cute. He couldn't help but wag his little tail and lick him to death. I was happy with him and so was this little boy.

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Long time,

So, it has been a while.

Rugby has been diligently working on his stand. 3 days ago we started adding the 'stand' command and yesterday he decided he didn't know what it was, but he didn't completely forget, just needs some more help so we will continue, on this long long road of the stand.

Rugby's dumbell came in the mail yesterday too, so we started with that. At first, he really really didn't like the idea of me putting it in his mouth, but after three times of him trying to run away from the dumbell, he gave up. Since he loves his play retrieve, it didn't take long for him to decide it wasn't so bad. Tonight we were doing some more 'fetches' and in between the 'give' and the next 'fetch Rugby's tail was just wagging and wagging and he would try to reach out and grab it. I let him a couple time because it was so funny, and he wasn't even trying to play with it he just grabbed it and held it like I had been asking him, and giving it when I asked. How can you not smile at that? It was precious.

We also started the down. Rugby thinks this is stupid. He is slowly changing his mind and today when we finished he was going down without telling me that it was stupid. It is coming though, I think he will be much better as we go on. I have been having a hard time trying to figure out how to get him down and give the proper downward pressure on the leash. It is hard since he is so small (5.5 lbs now) and he needs know that me pulling downwards means lay down for later in the game. We have been experimenting, but nothing is really easy like it is with the big dogs.

That is all I can think of right now, but I will try to write more often. Good night...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Morning

We worked this morning and got to work on a lot of things. We did more negative space work, and more stands and stays too. I think our stay problem was that we just haven't been practicing staying for long periods of time like we should so we fixed that this morning. We also did some recalls, and they weren't awefull, but still. Humph. We just need to do recalls over and over and over again untill we are both sick of them. We will try to work 2 more times today, and see what we can get done.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Night

So. Class time.

We behaved better than last time, but we still hace lots to work on. So I know this is like the 100th time I have said that we are GOING to GET the stand, but this time we really are--just because we need to learn to 'down.' Then our dumbell is coming, and we are going to need to learn that too. We did work on the stand a little this morning and before class, and it isn't horrible, but it isn't ready to be a command yet....(or should I say still). We also did the transition to the negative space this morning, and he was actually a little enthused to have something different to go to instead of the boring old place board. He switched over very quick with no issues..yet. :p (not going to jinx myself). At class he even placed to the negative space from 15 ft away. He only got off track twice...maybe three times...(by off track I mean distracted or doing something else besides placing), and I can deal with that for now. The comes....I just don't get it. He insists that I ask twice, and I keep having to insist that I don't, and we are in this rut because of it. He did pretty good with some encouragement from the line today though, but he does need to make the move himself and he need to come in closer to me.

On a random note, he got the cutest christmas scrunchie collar thing. It is red and white and has little bells on it. He wore it to class and jungled all over the place.

OH...and he can offically jump on the couch by himself now. He might have been able to before, but he hasn't really showed an interest unless there were humans on it, and then he always just asked to be picked up out of habit I guess. Today I took his scrunchie collar off and threw it on the couch and he just popped up there to get it for me. :O I was schocked, so I had him do it a couple more times to make sure it wasn't a fluke...sure enough he can do it! lol

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I know, I know, I know. I am slapping my hand right now for not training enough with Rugby. We did go to the barn today, and he was a little more sensible around the horses, so he could spend less time in his crate. He played and played and played with Joyful, and got wayyy to dirty for his own good. Now I have a filthy dog with muddy paws and a muddy face belly up on the floor. He is worn out! We are getting back on track tomorrow. Really really really need to work on recalls, and need to switch over from the place board to the negative space that he has now (he is plenty ready). And need to do more stands...and maybe introduce the down (or not yet). We also are buying a dumbell to start the retrieve! I am excited about that...he is a retrieving fool already...I think he will enjoy it. :)

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the other day we did the place again, and there were people playing football, and Rugby wanted nothing more than to go play with them, but he was working and he was working sooo well! He placed amazingly from past 6 ft away, and knew exactly was he was supposed to be doing. What a good boy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fall is almost over!

So just had to take some pictures before all we have is snow on the ground! (YEAH FOR SNOW) Today was our first snow--nothing special but it was so great to see all that white stuff falling from the sky!
This first picture with his tongue out is my favorite ;)

He has been doing pretty well with his training, although it hasn't gotten all the time that it deserves--he is maintaining pretty well. He wasn't crazy about having this photo shoot today, and I can't believe I got him to look at the camera for these pictures.
Last night he went to class with me and he did not let out one peep the whole class. He did bark before class though, and I am glad he got it out of his system before he got me into trouble. :p Seem like he barked at people carrying things the most
(like people moving a folding table, carrrying an instrument, wearing a hood). He also liked when he echoed inside--he is sort of conceited and likes to hear his own voice (just like everytime he chases after his toy he goes and stands in the front door for a couple seconds just so people can see that he got it haha).
Quite the character he is. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So, snapped a few pictures before bed time tonight. His eyes look much better! :) Still a little redness, but so much less!

This is my favorite picture of the happy guy.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Okay, so it was really hard to get up and train again this evening, but Rugby was plenty of energy so we went for it. Just stands and stands and stands then some comes. Stands were good. I think we improved from last night, but it has definetely decreased in quality since last week. Humph. Comes...had to run away still. We were in a different place than where we were this morning, so I guess that is to be expected.


So last night Rugby went to class again. He was having trouble coming though. He did one of two things. 1) Came but stopped a couple feet from me jumping around like a crazy boy or 2) just stayed untill I called him twice and then he proceeded to do the above. So to fix that, when I called him and he didn't come, I was to run away and hide. It only took him about 15 seconds to become become concerned with where I was and he came :). So we did this a few times last night and did some this morning too. This morning, we did it 5 times and every time I had to run away. THEN, on the 6th time he ran full speed at me and sat down like a pro. We were doing it at different place throughout the house, and when we moved back downstairs I had to run away again, but he was much quicker about finding me.

At first, his stays were aweful last night. I was running around with him before class started and he was not convinced that we were finished playing. After breaking so many times and getting corrected so many times though he was pretty much back to normal by the end.

He was also having trouble sitting when I told him to sit last night too (he would take a couple steps then sit). He wasn't doing it at home earlier that day or this morning, so I think it was just being need to find some more distractions at home.

We did stand a little bit last night but it was not as good as it has been.

Phew, we have so many things to work on, it is hard keeping them all straight and finding the time to work on them all! :O He was definetely not on his best behavior last night.

He was a little crazy this morning, and his poor toy can be testimony to that now that it is missing an eye, and has a gaping wound in its armpit. LOL Poor bunny. His xtra large petsmart dog also lost an ear and has a little gash in his stomache (suprising since the toy is way bigger than he is). So violent!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So, we didn't end up working another time today but we were able to make Rugby his own negative space. :) It is a little bit big, but I figure if it needs another inch taken off the side than that is better than having it cut too short. He DID however, once the negative space was made do a place. We needed to give an explanation to the grandparents (since we used their saw to cut the pvc pipe) so I pulled out his place board, put the negative space on it, and reached for his leash. BUT, he was paying attention, so I turned in a way that I picked him up on my left side said heel sit, which he did both (with no leash or anything) and then i bent over and pointed to the place and gave the 'place' command. That amazing little boy went, walked right up there and sat there just staring at me. *melts* What a smarty pants. :) Then he did a very decent come off the board.

Then, they had a little white stool that was similar to one Rugby had placed on before, so I decided to give it a shot. It was a little taller than the one he did before so he was reluctant, but I just snapped the leash on him and helped him up once, then he did it by himself twice. Again...super smart guy.


Okay, just practiced a bit more when we went outside to use the bathroom today. This time, the stand instead of going through the typical phases, was just mediocre the whole time. I did not have to actually lift him up, but I did have to continue the whole stroke down to his belly. It improved slightly the last couple we did, so I decided to stop there. We also did a couple of recalls, and he did come a little closer in than yesterday. He also sat very quickly and I hardly had to do any turns when we were heeling. There was at one point he apparently hadn't finished his business earlier and was very interested in the grass, so I did a pace change, ended with a sit and then let him finish what he had to do. :) We will work more later today.

Over and Over

Okay, so we did have two trainig sessions as promised. First one was a little shaky, because he would sit in heel position when I stoped, but he kept insisting that he face heel position? So when I reached down to move his back end towards me so that he was facing the right direction, he offered the stand because I was touching his back and for the past few days I have been telling him that is what I want. So I had to figure out how to correct the crooked sitting, without asking for a different behavior...that I couldn't correct after he offered that either because he was actually offering...which is what I want. Soo, I ended up just leading him around by his collar back into the correct position, then doing lots and lots of sits and helping him into the sit very very quickly before he had a chance to get crooked again. So we finally got over that, but then that whole confusion maybe made Rugby not feel like standing as much. We worked through it though, as always, and he worked back up to where he was again.

Seems like we are developing a pattern where he starts off good, then has a brain lapse in the middle then ends good too. Not sure what this is all about but I have noticed that the brain lapse is not as intense any more or as long. Soo, hopefully he will just give up on having all these brain lapses and then I will feel safe to introduce the command.

Later that day when I was waiting for the auto people to put a new tire on my car (drove over a was unfixable), me and Rugby went outside to work. This was a set of distraction that he didn't have to deal with before, the car noises, and cars driving by pretty close, and people walking by (couple of the people stoped and stared and said we were doing a great job and Rugby was really smart ;)...but I already knew that lol). So we just did heeling, sitting standing. This time the brain lapse came quicker than normal, but also left quicker than it has been. And he did better in general here than other place. I was pleased with him especially because he didn't try any of that crooked sitting again. *rolls eyes.*

Oh, one other thing we worked on this morning...coming from a sit-stay 6 ft away. So...he understands that he has to come in my direction, and that he has to sit when he gets there. Problem is....if I am standing up and not kneeling down...he isn't sure how far in my direction to come. So he will stop 2-3 ft away and sit down and stare at me (incredible cute...but not what I want). So for now I am just backing up a couple of steps, giving the command again, and reeling him in where I want him. When he is sitting there in the right place I have then been giving the heel comand, taking a 1/2 step backwards, so the leash sort of pulls him in that direction and then taking 2 steps forward so he can find heel position again. He is doing really well, except that he stops a little behind me. I think he just needs some practice, but there might be a trick to it that I am unaware of.

He also got a bath this morning, and I just bought some ear cleaner stuff the other day and we used that for the first time this morning. He didn't really enjoy it but it wasn't too bad for him :p. Then he got his nails done, and brushed out and blow dried. And now he is a pretty boy again after the all sorts of filthy that he got yesterday playing with everyone. :) What he really needs is a haircut but I just cannot motivate myself to do it right now, so it will wait. HA!

Monday, November 10, 2008


So I haven't worked on it as much as I would have liked, but it did get done ever day this weekend. Saturday there was only a small time frame to work with him, so I had to disturb his napping to work. He wasn't too unhappy about it, but it did drastically reduce the amount of training we could do before he pooped out on me. He was standing beautifully, and all I was having to do was just touch the top of his back (didn't have to go all the way down and help him up). He was fantastic, and I did just one too many and he quite on me. He just stopped getting up all together and it was back on me again. :(

Sunday was interesting. We worked over at a friends house, where there was an evil cat and a chihuahua mix (?) to distract us. Just regular command he was ignoring so we went for a little walk to get his attention back on me, and he was much much better again, like he was Saturday morning (only helped him once on the first one). We also placed a couple times and did a very lonely sit stay. :p

Today he was tired again by the time I worked him. He spent a little time outside in one of the runs while I worked a couple of different dogs, then got to come out and play while I tried to leaf-blow an entire yard of leaves into a pile (not as easy as you would think :p). Rugby, the little charmer that he is, had almost convinced one of the more reserved dogs to play with him but he only got as far as a couple play bows and a bark. He also spent a good time playing with Duke, the doberman puppy, who was surprisingly gentle with him. When the leaves were done he moved inside with me and played even more with Wrap, his dobe girlfriend. He was really tired from all that playing so we just heeled over to the table, and then did stands around the table. This was at least 2 hours ago and he is still sleeping (in a bed this time

It was interesting, because he again died pretty quick, but this time I did not stop and he only had me help him all the way twice, then started doing it by himself again. It was like a fast forward of Saturday-Sundays trainings.

I still have not introduced the word 'stand' just because of the back and forth we are doing right now. I think If I can manage to work him twice tomorrow and twice wednesday, maybe we can start with the word Wednesday sometime. Depends how he does tomorrow. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

New place

So we worked some place he had never been before, so a new set of distractions. We got 'un-focused' only once this time. Placed from 6 ft and away, and did lots more stands. He was very well behaved :) Didn't tire him out quite as much as this morning though, and he was a little terror playing and running around like a maniac! :p

Hello World

So we are actually going to use this new motivation of ours. We went out this morning and did some training. We took our place board and heeled our way over to an open area. He did pretty good on the heeling, and the sit were really nice in the beginning too. We place from a little past 6 ft today, and he was good at it as always. I am still a little impressed though just because we have been practicing inside and I though we would have to move in a little closer since there would be more distractions, but instead we moved further away! We did three places each on two sides of the place board and we switched it up and did some stands...and lots of them.

He did really well, which also surprised because last night in class he wasn't helping me at all with the stand, but today he was. Once we started to do the stand the quality of our helling went down a bit. I have been very naughty and being a little forgiving when he sits crooked in heel position, or a little in front or back...but not anymore. When he sat too far forward, my next step was a right about turn. When he sat to far back, by next step was running. By the end, he was a lot better. He is pretty smart so he didn't need to many of those types of corrections to figure it out.

About half way through the stands he saw something (not sure what) and gave a couple of barks, and insisted that he must sit in the direction facing whatever it was just in case he needed to protect himself *rollseyes.* Well another thing we need to work on is the barking. I know some of it will go away just by us working, but I think I need to be a little more proactive with it. Since Rugby is very concious of getting stepped on, I just kept moving into his space untill he decided maybe it is a good idea to pay attention to where this human is. If he got to foar away, I turned around and asked for a heel. I think it really helped a lot. He did this a second time, and I handled it in the same way and he was much faster about redirecting the attention back to me. I was pleased....we just have to change his priorities.

When all that was over we went back to the place on the sides we did not do. When we first went back, he again became distracted and ignored the place command...he was corrected for that and did not do it again. ;) Next time he went very well. It wasn't 6 ft since we were on a path, and we used up the sides of the board that we had 6 ft on either side in the begining. :p I decided to call it a day since we had done so much.

On the way back home, he decided to try his luck again with sitting to far in front, so a few right-about turns fixed that and he sat straight a couple time before we got inside. He is one tired puppy.

Just to side note...this litte crack head has THREE beds in this room and he is sleeping on the FLOOR!!??? What a silly boy, maybe I can convince him to move onto one of his beds. lol

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Class Again

Rugby went to class again tonight. We were a little ball of energy so we weren't quite as good as last time. We did a couple stays, comes, heeling, a little bit of standing and a tiny bit of backing. To work on...we really really need a stand and a down. I am getting frusterated with myself for no doing the stand enough with him. So 2 times a day for at least the next week! Once we get the stand He can go to the down, because that is even more important but one thing at a time. We also need to work on our comes a little more too. Today he came, but came and stopped about two feet away from me. :( ...thats not going to work. :p SO we have a lot to work on, and hopefully we will be plenty prepared by next week.

Oh, and Rugby needs a negative space! HAVE to get on that!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Rugby only worked the tiniest amount yesterday. When we in the basement cleaning a little bit and found a couple of different things for him to place on. I had left his leash upstairs so if he decided he wasn't going to it would have been a little difficult to enforce it. Luckily I didn't have to worry about that! One was this little roung piece of wood or something, and we did it really close because I am not so much a rish taker and he went right on turned around a sat and stared at me, like whats next? :p So then we placed on this little stool that was there, and he jumped right up there like a pro!

His random sits are sooo sooo much better too. It makes me happy for all the work to finally pay off.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back to Work

So Rugby has had it easy the past couple of days with halloween and all but it is time to get back to the training. Yesterday at a friends house, I was able to tell him to sit while he was on the couch and I was at the table. This is really good, as we have only worked on our random sits a couple of times and Rugby was under the impression that if he wasn't in heel position...he didn't know how to sit. He has also proved his random sitting skills a couple of time today.

He was backsliding with the standing since I hadn't really been working on it enough. So I decided it would be best to start over than to really confuse the heck out of him. So we are back to no command, and me just placing him in the stand over and over again untill he does it voluntarily (which he is already starting to do but I think I am going to wait longer this time to build up a stronger foundation). We practiced a few today as well and he was very cooperative.

We place for the first time in a few days this morning, and he did very well. I tried moving back to 5/5.5 ft but he wasn't quite ready for it. Although he did have enough of an understanding that when he was half-way there and not sure what to do, all I did was give the place command again and he went to the board.

I have to say that our heeling and sitting has improved since the halloween class. I have been less forgiving when he takes his time or doesn't sit at all. I have been using the sit command in place of our automatic sits when we halt to build up the word a bit and I think it has contributed to his success with the random sits.

He still stays at the front door when we come in and gives us time to put our stuff away. Today I took him to class with me, and we were walking around campus a little afterwards and there was this squirel that stoped right in our path about 20 ft ahead of us, stood on its hind legs and just stared Rugby down for a good 30 second. Luckily I saw the squirel first and put Rugby in a sit stay before he took off chasing it (even though he could only get the 6ft to the end of the leash). Man...that was the hardest sit stay of his life. He WANTED that squirel! It was wayyyy wayyy cute seeing him sit there and try his hardest to controll himself. His tail was wagging, and he was When some of the other people wanted to give rugby a break and finally chased the squirel away I returned to him and when I reached down to praise him (as always...before we do our exercise finish) he broke right away and didn't wait for me to do the exercise finish. I couldn't help but laugh at the little stinker.

He was sooo sleepy from helping me train this afternoon and walking around campus he slept for a good 3 hours, and just now started waking up again and searching in his 'toy box' for an appropriate toy for this evening. (he is torn between the tennis ball and the pumpkin ;))