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.