Rugby was! He has become quite fond of Max (the shih tzu) who he originally would have nothing to do with. Rugby, Max and Charlie (the standard poodle puppy) all had a nice play session after training today.
I have started to obsess over Rugby's go-outs. In my mind, he is doing them poorly because I have not done a good enough job of explaining them to him. We have spent the last week breaking them down and working them in a way that will challenge the lines that currently define Rugby's "go-out." I think today we found the right combination. After 15 minutes of doing 10 ft go outs randomly around the yard I was able to send him in a perfectly straight line 30ft out and have him turn and sit square facing me. I am hoping that this will be the cure for his go-outs.
The thought process that triggered the switch in how go-outs were being handled was my connection of the directed retrieve and the go-outs. Both are directed exercises that require him to run straight out in front of my whichever direction I am facing. Both at some point in time require him to retrieve once he got out.
So how can Rugby have such a nice directed retrieve and such a poor go-out? It must be that the way we trained the "directed" part of the directed retrieve had been neglected for the go-outs. Today we simply merged the two exercises together a little more.
Its crazy the things you will find in Margot's freezer. A little bit back we took this duck wing out for the dogs to retrieve. Rugby got a chance to work on his bird dog skills. Being gentle, not chewing and having a dry mouth are all important parts of the retrieve that the wing tested.
He passed the test.
Since he was able to resist the temptation of the wing, Rugby has been waiting for the rest of the bird.
Uraban Canines was nice enough to pass the Versatility Award on to Rugby.
The rules are as follows -
1) Thanks soooo much Urban Canines! Rugby is flattered!
2) List 7 things about Rugby
- One of Rugby's favorite toys is a turtle that I refuse to call anything but a spider.
- Rugby likes to eat baby rabbits for dinner.
- Rugby eats the heads off the baby rabbits first.
- Rugby has 14 different leashes (to make up for the fact that his collars get hidden in fur).
- If something blows air at Rugby, like a squeeky toy, he will immediately go into a play bow and bark his head off.
- Rugby's name spelled backwards is Ybgur.
- Rugby likes to be combed better than he likes to be brushed.
3) Lastly is to pick 15 blogs to pass the award on to. In no particular order...
There is lots of things to see and hear and talk about at a dog show. These are all things that Rugby adores. As it turns out though, he only adores them when he is the one getting all the attention. Lesson learned - if you are going to bring a dog along as emotional support... make sure it is NOT Rugby.
He was perfectly fine hanging out until on the first day I was done with Pete and warming up Lily. That's when it hit him. He had been skipped. He proceeded to throw a tantrum the ENTIRE rest of the show. The only way to satisfy him was to make sure the other dogs were more neglected than he was. For instance, both Pete and Lily had to be put away in their crates and Rugby had to be the one walking around, or sitting with me. No exceptions.
So how did they do?? Lets start with Pete.
Not sure what Pete's deal was this weekend but I think he was half asleep the entire time. Never the less, Pete qualified both days in Open B with a 191.5 the first day and 195 the second day. He was actually called back in the ring for a run-off for 4th place the second day. I was so unprepared I didn't have time to warm him up and he lost to a Border Collie. :/
Flashback to 3 months ago -
I took Lily on a walk for the first time... that's it... just a walk. The first time we walked by a mailbox was the first time I found Lily at the end of my lead trying with everything she has to get away from that THING that was going to EAT HER ALIVE. We went through this with just about anything and everything we passed (trashcans, gutters, store signs, etc).
This is what makes me soo happy that 3 months later Lily can walk into the show grounds with all these things that want to eat her and have her training hold enough that she can qualify in Novice B two days in a row with solid scores of 187.5 and 184. Granted, she was stresssssssed out (panting and vibrating the whole time) but it didn't stop her from working! Lily got second place BOTH days! She improved on the second day even though there was loose dog that wanted badly to jump into her ring!
Two legs down, one to go!
Rugby made sure that he had no part in helping either Pete or Lily, both of whom he was really upset with for stealing me from him. I tried to settle Rugby down by taking a break in between dogs to watch the Dobermans. He did enjoy himself but it wasn't quite enough for him to forgive me.
I think this picture pretty much sums up how Rugby felt. He is saying, "If you take one more dog in the ring that isn't ME, then I am going to think of something really really bad and I am going to do whatever it is to you!"
He will be pleasantly surprised when it is his turn two weeks from now!
Ellie the Yorkie went too with her own human and placed second in Novice A the first day and won the class the second day!!
Just here to share some photos today. No one gets to know how the dogs did until tomorrow. I will only tell you that I am not loosing any sleep tonight over their performances!
If you are involved in obedience you know that group stays are a hot topic these days. I think they are a necessity and an important test for the dogs... BUT I also think it is potentially dangerous for small dogs. What would solve the problem completely is if people actually trained their dogs (but lets not count on that). I was thinking the other day if they put the dogs in jump height order (even if novice dogs aren't jumping anything) then at least they would be next to dogs their own size.
It wouldn't have worked out for poor Ellie today though, who was in the ring with the following breeds: Giant Schnauzer, Black Russian Terrier, Sheltie, Doberman, American Sttaffordshire terrier and a Newfie!
It all started out OK with the dogs sitting in their designated spots...
Until the Amstaff's owner was sent to retrieve her dog, since she had begun to check out all the other dogs in the line up. Good thing Ellie has some big dog experience, and she held her stay as the Amstaff strolled on by.
Her owner was slow enough that she got all the way to the end and started to stare down this lovely Giant Schnauzer (who had just come from finishing his Championship) at the very end.
Unfortunately her challenge was accepted by the Schnauzer and his owner had to retrieve him as well.
The good part of this story is that there was just a lot of posturing and no teeth involved.
The Amstaff was excused, but the GS was able to redo his sit-stay. It was still too much commotion for this Dobe to handle though.
Much more room in the down stays though!! What a good girl Ellie is for holding her stays through all of it!
Rugby is spending the weekend acting as the cheering section for both Lily and Pete. They are entering the novice and open rings, respectively, in two short days. He has been sending them good vibes, although I think he will be very upset once he realizes he can only WATCH at the show. :-p
Today was the first time in 2 weeks that Rugby didn't lay down on the go-outs AT ALL (not even once). I think this means there is hope for him after all! Today was also the first time he worked all of his articles (the full 6 pairs) at the full distance. What a smart boy!!
Rugby and Sugar went to Riverfront Park before class yesterday too cool off from the humidity.
He was pissed off at first because I made him look like an idiot in his boating gear (we had to try it out before we used it on the boat though, didn't we?).
Despite wearing his life jacket he still didn't want to go in the deep parts of the river. THEN he got pissed off that Sugar was playing without him, so he did his best to curse him all the way up and down the river.
I decided I humiliated him enough so I took his life vest off and tried to entertain him with his own stick in the shallow end of the river.
He was happy with this until Sugar came over, LAUGHED in Rugby's face and teased him because his stick was so small.
So he got even more pissed off and... destroyed the stick.
So now Rugby has no life vest, no stick and no one to play in the shallow water with him and he is really PISSED. He resumed his position on the side of the deep end and began yelling at Sugar once more.
But sugar didn't seem to notice, or care.
He wasn't even looking when Rugby single-handily up-rooted this gigantic weed.
Then he figured out how to make him notice. The next time that Sugar came back with his stick...
Well, he stole it!
Sugar got it back pretty quickly though and ran up and down the river teasing Rugby.
All Sugar's uncontrollable laughter had us feeling pretty sorry for Rugby who now has smoke coming from both of his ears.
We stepped in to calm this crazy little dog down and next time the stick got thrown, Sugar was held back so Rugby could have a head start. And guess what?! He brought it back!!
NOW he was feeling pretty good about himself and all that anger was slowly released on his way back. He showed Sugar, for SURE! Then he was free to enjoy the water on his own terms and he stopped worrying about what Sugar though of him. :-p He told me he wants to go back.
Rugby let me know after work yesterday that he was feeling pretty neglected since I skipped his training for a couple days. So, I decided to help him use up all that energy he was using to bounce continuously around me and in my face. Since 10:30 pm is as good a time as any to train, we took a walk up to the elementary school with our go-out target sticks, gloves and video camera. The glove video didn't turn out since I didn't bring a big enough tri-pod to be able to see what we were actually doing.
I am happy with the go-outs though! I mentioned a couple days ago that he had begun to lay down on the turn and sit. Yesterday he only did this twice (half the time).
I have only been using the target sticks if he stops before I sit him or if he gets too far off his path.The first go-out we did and the last go-out we did were descent. Eventually we will have to get him going a little bit straighter and sitting a little bit straighter. For now I am just going to worry about getting him out there and actually sitting.
For the first go-out I walked out to praise him and release him. The two in the middle he dropped. The first time he dropped I gave him a sit signal and the second time I walked out and put him in a sit. The last one he got praise right away for sitting and I walked out to him to release him. That is where we stopped so that he could end on a good note.