Sunday, February 26, 2012

Back to the Beach

I headed back to the beach this weekend, this time with Rugby in tow. He was entered this weekend at the Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club Obedience Trials. We have been incredibly busy the past couple of weeks and a weekend spent at a dog show was a welcome break. Rugby thought so too. He took Saturday off completely. He took the wrong glove in Utility and took a nap during his Sit/Stay in Open.

He was whining with excitement when we arrived Sunday morning. Game time. Thanks for remembering what these dog show things are, Rugby. Utility was first. Greatly improved from yesterday, and straight fronts and finishes to boot!

I was dreading Open stays. How unlucky are we to have Downs first for the second day in a row? We DID practiced Sit/Stays after the show on Saturday, but it didn't help me to worry any less about him taking a nap and throwing away his run again. He was awake enough today, I guess and held his Sit for the entire 3 minutes. No nap-time for Rugby. Phew.

Qualifying in both Open and Utility gave Rugby his second UDX leg. He earned a 197 in Utility B for 1st place and 20 OTCH points. He also earned a 197.5 in Open B for 3rd place and High Combined. Rugby was great. He has a couple of weeks before heading off to our next show. We have more than a few things to keep working on until then.

And... notice Rugby's hair cut that he didn't get. I never got around to it. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ready For Me?


I was setting up the training studio for Rugby yesterday and he peeked his head around the corner to check on me. It was like he was asking, "Are you ready for me, yet?" He didn't have to wait long until I was. We practiced fronts and finishes, and modified our go-out exercise so it could be done inside. Rugby was exhausted by the end. I added a short clip of Rugby's front drill.

I see a haircut in Rugby's immediate future. I have been waiting to give him a bath until I had time to shave him and I think today is the day. We have plenty of sweaters to keep a less furry Rugby warm.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rugby, Over!


The past few weeks of training have not been enough for Rugby. He was begging to be worked when we got to Applewoods this morning. We went outside and spent time doing figure eights, figure eights and more figure eights. The figure eight looked much better by the time we were finished. Rugby collected all the cones we used as posts, then warmed up in the office for a few minutes. 


The broad jump was next. I wasn't happy with the broad jump, or the front after the broad jump in class last week. We have been working hard to get Rugby to jump straighter over the broad jump. His understanding of the exercise is growing. I can now send him straight over the jump without leaving his side. This means I can stand by the first board, and give Rugby time to walk into a decent front. At least, that is how I expect it to work. Since he no longer needs my body cues to take the jump correctly, taking pictures of him jumping is much easier! He loves to jump! 

Last thing we did was practice fronts. I know we need to practice fronts and finishes over and over again, but doing more than a couple bores me to death. I have been trying hard to stay motivated and get all my repetitions in. Similar to the broad jump, I have been trying to increase Rugby's understanding of the "come" position. I think it is slowly working. We will see how it goes during class next week. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

That Rugby Dog

We are finally getting back into the swing of things after the busy two months we just had.  Rugby and I picked out our next Obedience Trials so he can spend more time in the ring. The excitement of the National Obedience Invitational still hangs in the air. I have revisited our experience a few times for interviews for the Maryland Gazette, who wrote a story about Rugby on the beginning of this month. The story also appeared in the Hometown Annapolis newspaper two weeks later. Last week, I spoke with a writer from our local paper, The Pasadena Voice, who also ran a story about Rugby. Little did I know, the best was yet to come. 

I was introduced to Ruthann McCaulley through a mutual friend. She writes for Front & Finish, THE dog training magazine, and she also competes in Obedience with her own small dogs (Chihuahua and Australian Terrier). She was interested in including Rugby's NOI experience in her column, and I was happy to share it. I am very grateful for the opportunity to tell our story making the front cover was icing on the cake. Thank you so much Ruthann McCaulley, Joanie Carqueville, and Bob Self for making it happen.