Sunday, April 29, 2012

Where's Rugby? 2.0

I am happy to announce that Rugby was no where near as dirty as he was when making his Maltese Wilderness Survival Guide. He followed the same process, just was not as successful. Can you find him in this photo?




Diesel stayed with us last weekend for the Obedience Trial. It sparked some interesting changes in Rugby. 

Signs that Rugby is not happy about sharing his house:
  1. Rugby slept in bed with me for the entire night, all weekend instead of his own.
  2. When offered sardines (that he doesn't care for), he ate the entire bowl. 
  3. No toys were anywhere to be found - Rugby put them all away so they would be safe. 
  4. Rugby became a giant suck up. 
I secretly enjoyed watching Rugby deal with Diesel invading his life. Even now that Diesel is back at his own house, Rugby is much more grateful for our one-on-one time. I wonder how long this will last. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lots of Legs

Diesel, Holly and Rugby all had a chance in the ring this weekend at the Cherry Blossom Cluster in Timonium. I entered Rugby on Sunday only so that I could spend the rest of the weekend focused on the two Novice B dogs. The weekend was a big success!

Holly injured her paw two weeks ago and was out of training and on bed rest for the 10 days leading up to the show. Despite reservations about her working with so much time off, her paw was finally better and the entries were already paid. She showed all three days, and qualified for two of them with a 188.5 the first day and a 192 the second day. Very generous of her! Two legs down, only one more to go! We have our next trials planned and will be practicing those pesky Sit/Stays in the mean time.

Rugby earned his 8th UDX leg on Sunday with a 193.5 in Utility B and a 198+++ in Open B for 4 more OTCH points. There was some stiff competition there this weekend, and I'm sorry I missed watching most of the runs while I was busy in the Novice ring.

Diesel had a complete meltdown during Thursday night class last week. He said that Down/Stays were just too stressful and he could no longer do them, no matter how hard he tried. It took almost 20 minutes to get a 3 minute stay out of him that night (something he usually likes to do). We were making emergency training field trips to busy shopping centers to make sure he wasn't completely broken and started him on a running routine to take the edge off. By the time we got to the show on Saturday, he was back to normal and ready to work.

He qualified all three days with scores of 189, 195 (3rd place) and 194.5. That earned him his Companion Dog Title! Good boy, Diesel. Here is the video of his third and final run.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Obedience Master

Rugby is an Obedience Master. Not only because he is a perfect distraction to proof Sherpa's sit/stay with, but because he consistently earns scores that are above 190 in both Open B and Utility B.

While we were focusing on our UDX legs and OTCH points, Rugby managed to rack up 200 Obedience Master Points too. That means he gets to add "OM1" at the end of his name. He is officially...

Mister Rugby Sevens UD OM1 RN

The points keep accumulating (and he has his share of points for the OM2 already) until you get to OM2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and finally the Grand Master title (OGM).

I missed the closing date for some of the trials I had picked out, but we found replacements and the next month's trial schedule is set! Time to practice more go-outs before the weekend is over!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Slacker Dog

This weekend was spent at Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club's Obedience Trial. Rugby earned his second and third Utility legs there last spring, so we were excited to go back again this year. 

Rugby started the weekend off slow/distracted/bored/tired. Whatever you call it, it wasn't good. He failed signals when decided to sit instead of down on the first command. He had less than stellar go-outs and some crooked fronts. I called this same performance tired in York, but I was not convinced this weekend. He was just being jerk. New strategy - be more demanding of Rugby. 

Before going into Open we had a 10 minute heeling session, then a long warm up. That woke him up, and the second class was 100 times better. It was still only good enough for 3rd place though. After the show we found a big empty parking lot to work in and we did directed jumping several times. He needed more than a couple reminders about the proper go-out position. 

Day 2 was improved from the day before with the very fact that he qualified. He gave me much straighter go-outs and fewer mistakes on his fronts. His new improved attitude carried over into Open and he walked away with blue ribbons in both classes. 

Rugby left this weekend with his 7th UDX leg, 6 more OTCH points (for a new total of 71), his required Open B win, High Combined, and High in Trial. 

I would like to avoid a repeat of Saturday, so we will be working hard the next few weeks to prepare for our next trial. That includes raising the bar for Rugby and lots more exercise to increase his stamina. It is game time now, only 29 more points and 3 UDX legs to go.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Think Big

I walked into Five Guys earlier today and was shocked at the sign announcing the origin of today's potatoes. That is when it hit me. The world can't get enough of Rugby.

I certainly don't blame them. There seems to be enough of Rugby to go around these days with his over-exuberance and willingness to go, go, go the past couple of weeks. 

It wasn't long ago that we found Rugby Rd. We need to think bigger now. Much bigger than the back road three miles from our house. There are cities named after Rugby!

Rugby, North Dakota. Rugby is the geographical center of North America. Based on the city calendar on their website, it is a place where nothing happens, with no tourist attractions.

Rugby, Tennessee. Historic Rugby is a preserved Utopian community. Not much going on here either, but at least there is a lot to learn about life in the 1800s.

Rugby, Warwickshire. The oldest and the biggest of the three, this Rugby is where Rugby was invented.

There is no Rugby in Idaho. The sign actually said Rigby until I edited it. Rigby/Rugby... close enough.