Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Relief and Vaccination

Monday when I got home from school, Rugby came over to me and when I started to itch him he whipped around to tell me to stop and became a little frantic about getting me to stop. With some poking and proding I found his shoulder was the spot causing him pain and he had a little swelling/bump there - where he had gotten his shots last Thursday. Monday night and most all of Tuesday he didn't really move much. The vet said just to give him asprin, but I don't think it helped at all really. I was going back and forth on whether or not to bring him in, but luckily he showed at least a litlte bit of improvement (he wasn't flinching when I touched him and he came to me when I called him). At around 8 last night I took his temp (since Margot told me to lol) and it was normal, but he definetely thought that I violated him!! :O

This morning when we went outside for a potty break it was a pleasant surprise when he started playing tug of war with the leash (he didn't feel good enough Monday or Tuesday) and got osme much needed zoomies out fom the couple days he was couped up in the house. Since I woke up early enough we went for a walk and Rugby kept jumping off the sidewalk to play in the rain water that was collecting at the curb. :p

I am very glad that he is feeling better.

Margot sent me this link and it got me searching for some more. Here is what I got so far...
Cute videos and cute dogs!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Picky Eater

Rugby has proven true to his breed and is a picky eater. He has eaten this type of food plenty before and had no problems that I know of. I think that he knows I am more stubborn than him and should he refuse to eat, he will not eat at all. He will go a couple of weeks eating just fine, then he decides he doesn't want to play by these rules anymore. He gets lots of variety, from goat to beef to chicken to rabbit so he can't possible be bored with his diet. I can't quite figure out what it was that started this whole thing. I think I found a trick tonight though.

I set his food down, and he decided that he would rather sit with me on the coach than eat his food so I repeatedly put him on the floor and told him to go eat his dinner. Finally I went over and grabbed one of the rabbit chunks that was the bulk of his dinner tonight and told him to speak, then to down and to sit and finally to speak again. By offering it this way to him he became quite enthused about it and at his first opportunity stole it (I gave it to him lol) away to eat.

Maybe he feels like he needs to work for his food? Maybe he just likes the idea of it being a treat better than it being his dinner? Who knows. Right now he is happily crunching away on rabbit bones though, much to my delight! Now that I have opened the flood gates, he is going back to the bowl for the rest, so I don't have to make him work for ever single piece. Tomorrow I will try to make him work for the entire bowl instead of just a piece and see how far I get. Hmmm...


We have been consistently working on our open routine lately and he is getting better at it. This week though we have been focusing more on drills and silly repeating exercises to perfect his sloppy or weak spots.

The other day we were working on straighter fronts on the broad jump. Today we expanded on that and really nit-picked about straighter fronts on the retrieves and recalls and the broad jump still. I think he is starting to get it...when he sit crooked I say 'nope' and repeat the come command and now he is skipping the whole process and evaluating my legs before he sits down to begin with to make sure he is now on either side of my legs. I saw this improve lots on the drop on recall, specifically. Every single time he does the drop on recall, he ends up moving to his left a bit so when he is coming in for the second recall he is coming in off to my right side, and making him sit off that way each time. TODAY, however after addressing those fronts, he would come in and sit down and immediately move his butt to his right to make him straight again. By the end I could see him planning about 4 feet out from me, and he would start adjusting there and he was coming in much much straighter and not having to readjust once he got there at all.

We spent lots and lots and lots of time on the retrieve on the flat. His problem is that he goes out faster than he come back. Our first attempt was to use two dumbbells and while he was still on his way back with the first one, throw the second behind me and immediately send him for that one once he got there. The idea was that in anticipating getting the second dumbbell (and he loooves his dumbbells) he would come back faster. However, after two days of this he was thoroughly confused and instead of coming back faster when I through the second dumbbell, he was just standing there staring at me and then looking and the other dumbbell and then back at me like, "what the heck is going on???."

So we moved on. Next, I was sending him for the dumbbell and as soon as he had it in his mouth, running as fast as I could with Rugby in pursuit (he had his 6ft. leash on for this) until he broke into a gallop and then I stopped and took the dumbbell from him. While this way I was able to get him to run, it was only if I ran and there wasn't any real improvement or thinking on his part - he was just along for the ride. I declared the task impossible.

We explained our troubles to Margot and she sent us back out this time with a 15 ft line and new instructions. I was supposed to run away and stop when he broke into a gallop. If he stopped galloping when I stopped, then I just ran away some more and stopped again. We did this for the entire length of Margot's yard until he was running most of the way too me. This obviously was the most successful attempt, but we still need lots more of this to make the change something of a habit.

Finished off the night with a short walk around the loop in font of our house. It is wet outside and it was just starting to rain when we got back to the house. Got me thinking how Rugby is going to need a nice winter jacket in a month or so.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gone Bananas

Rugby is going to be a monkey for Halloween. Step down from last years Panda, but he can make it work. I wanted a banana toy for him to take pictures with and the only one I could find was a cat toy....with cat-nip in it. Wellll, he think cat nip smells really bad and it was way hard to get good pictures of him holding it because he just looked miserable the whole time, poor guy! Here are the pictures I was able to get.

Spa Night

Rugby got the whole treatment tonight. Bath, face-trim, nails and ears. I am hoping to get a couple pictures of him in his halloween costume tomorrow. It would be really nice if I could find a theme appropriate toy for him to carry. Hmmm... :p

He is doing well as far as open work is concerned. He took a nice big step in the right direction with the broad jump today. I noticed that he has started to pay attention to the arch he makes afterwards so that he gives me a straight front much more consistently. Since by this he told me he wanted to work on fronts, we did some recall drills and I think there was a light bulb there too. I think the problem he has is that he is not totally aware of his hind end, so even when he is sitting in front of me, he doesn't pay attention to the straightness of his back end. I think that changed today, but I am knocking on wood now and I will find out tomorrow. :p

We have another problem too. Rugby loves his dumbell. In an effort to prolong the time he has the dumbell on the retrieve on the flat, he runs out to it...but then only trots back to me. I was able to a few times speed him up on the return by running away. Problem with that is that after about three times he thought that was stupid of me and then just kept trotting. At the end of the training session we went back to it, but did it this time on the gravel and I think the sticks and leaves and things on the gravel slowed him down a bit (not to mention he was probably a littlr tired) and he trotted out and back. I can settle with that but it would nice to not have to put a stop to his enthusiastic retrieve.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I was playing around with Rugby and some treats before I went to work yesterday and I am starting to think he isn't the brightest crayon in the box! So I have completely failed at trying to get him to flip a cookie off his nose and catch it. Instead he just sits there and stares at me untill it falls off, and even then he is so unaware of the treat that he usually doesn't notice it has fallen off....or that it was there in the first place. I gave up on this one, I know it is never going to happen.

Yesterday however I tried something a little easier...can he just catch a cookie if I toss it to him? The answer - no. It took some doing to get him to even open his mouth when I threw the cookie. (For a little bit I was just throwing treats and they were bouncing off his face and he just kept on staring at me LOL). Then he was opening his mouth and was still being unaware of where the cookie was. It basically was a test of how good of an aim I had and if I could get it in his mouth in the time that he had it open. It didn't matter how I threw it, how close it came or where it went every time I threw it he opened his mouth the same way. He just tilted his head back (and quickly he was trying to catch it) opened his mouth and then dropped his head back down and stared at me. Unfortunetely for Rugby my aim isn't that good.

I almost want to take a video of it, but I am kind of embarassed for Rugby! HA!

I wonder if he will get better with practice or if it is just a lost cause. Hmmm...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

For the Ladies

I am procrastinating big time on here, I really don't want to do my homework. Here are few pictures of Mister Rugby.
This first one is Rugby hanging out by the banner that my mom made for Anna and Max's school. The football team is going to attempt to run through it tomorrow at their game.
And then a couple of him just being cute. :)