Monday, August 31, 2009

Gone Swimming

Rugby and I went with Karrie and her dog Lacey and my sister to Downs Park again yesterday. This time specifically for picture taking. He had a great time, as you can see in the pictures.

He does bark too much when we first get anywhere and it is driving me crazy. It is getting less and less but I wish he would just stop all together. We are going to go places this week specifically to work on this. The little bugger.

He didn't really do much training yesterday, just had a good time in the water.

TODAY however, we worked on our scent articles. He did very well. Started getting the article on the 'Find' command, and I think he was using his nose a little to find it in the tall grass. Maybe tomorrow we will apply ourselves a little more :p
The day isn't over though, we are going to go out tonight and work a little on the drop on recall.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

World is our Playground

Started off the day by sleeping in wayyy too long and therefore getting hardly anything that I had on the agenda for today done. Rugby and I had some quality couch bonding time just hanging out, then I had to leave him for a few hours to take some pictures.

It was a gorgeous day today up until I was driving home. Go figure. When I got home Rugby was a ball of energy so I snapped on his 15ft lunge line and went for a walk in the rain. Walking is a very loose term as Rugby spent most of the time running in circles, grabbing the line wanting me to play tug with him, and leaping into the air. He was a nutcase.

We found every puddle of a worthy size that we could and stomped in them until we were bored and moved onto the next puddle. Since it was 9 o'clock on a rainy night we had the streets to ourselves so Rugby and I walked right in the middle of them. Unless of course the puddle chosen for play were off to the side.

Up at the elementary school I freed Rugby of his line and we raced each other through the parking lot. The largest puddle we saw all night was at the school so we had a contest to see who could make the biggest splash (I let Rugby think that he won. :p).

Soaking wet I decided that we had our fill of the rain for tonight and we walked back home. This time I mean walking. I asked him to heel only a little bit, and that was through the other large puddles that we found...just because I wanted to see if he would....and he did. :)

Now we are both drenched and as I type Rugby is rolling around on the floor hoping to rid himself of the excess water. What he doesn't know is that he is in need of a bath and since he is already seems like a good opportunity. Poor Rugby will get more wet before he dries off tonight.

Friday, August 28, 2009


So I think this is from yesterday. Rugby was being neglected so he started bugging Sanity and she was very happy to keep him busy. Here is a video of those two being dorks together.

Yuck Day

I am having sort of a hard time getting motivated again to keep up the training. Today was a really yucky day with gloomy skies, the ground still wet from the storm we got last night. It was just not a day to train, both me and Rugby knew that.

To start the day off I had stupidly left Rosie, the jack russel that I am working with, in a run that Rugby can get in and out of. so I look over and Rugby had helped himself to Rosies run and started a play session. The first time it was cute, the second time less so. Then the third time it was just annoying. He has been so full of himself lately. Maybe once he gets back into some serious work he will settle down some, but if he doesn't it is plenty entertaining. :p

Before we left I had him do a couple retrieves over the high jump and a couple of broad jumps. Wasn't really enough to call training but we just played around with it some. The retrieve of the high jump he did without the lungeline on, and he didn't stop and stare at me on the other side so that is a big plus. lol

Monday we need to start our scent work again. Ahh, stuff to do. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Work Finally

Rugby was a TERROR today. It was hilarious. When he first walked into the yard he starts barking and right away picks Sammy-poo as his victim and follows him around like an annoying little toy dog bitting at his hocks and then leaving Sammy to have zoomies around the yard, jump in the pool, rub in a sufficiently smelly part of the yard and start the process all over again.  He was constantly in the way he wanted to be worked soo badly. While I was doing Pete he kept jumping off the chair to intervene.

Then he FINALLY got worked and he was so very happy. Today we started again working on our open work. We had pushed his drop-on-recall to the side for a couple months so that it wouldn't mess up his novice recall. Today we reviewed that and started from the beginning and fast-forwarded to where we had left off.

He still loves the broad jump, but we need to work on the front after he goes over the jump. I guess he just needs to practice more we will see how that goes. High jump I left his lunge line on and he didn't stop on the other side and look at me so that is a plus. One time I sent him and it went farther than we both expected and he went out, looked where he thought it was looked back at me like..."it really isn't here ya know" and I just stood there and waited and he eventually looked far enough to see it and got it and came back over the jump.

Finished the session with some tug of war, and Rugby was content enough with that little work he did.

We also got a hand written card in the mail from the show secretary of the toy dog show thanking me for taking part in their trial and congratulating Rugby on earning his CD and HIT. I thought that was super nice! Hopefully we can go next year too!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Here Comes the Bride....

So I am still not entirely sure if my uncle is messing with me or not, but he asked if Rugby would be the ring bearer at his wedding this October. Even if he is kidding, we are going to mess around with teaching Rugby to go to a designated spot, sit in a designated direction, holding a basket...all by himself.

Our biggest obstacle is going to be that he is already programmed to go out to a designated spot but then turn around and face me before he sits. That won't be terrible if we can't figure out a way to get around that but it would be so cool if we could get him to go straight out and sit.
Hmm...the possibilities.

Other that that we really have been slacking on the training and Rugby hates me for it. When I am working other dogs in the yard he keeps trying to help and sitting there watching. :( It is very sad. Tomorrow there will be some Rugby training time. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last Novice Trial

Rugby survived his last novice show today, earning his insurance leg. :p He was kind of sloppy today, I think  our weakest point was our transistions. On the off lead slow he started off by slowing down wayyy to much, and as I kept going and kind of left him he had to catch up and then sort of was ahead of me a bit. I think this tells me that he isn't really sure what he is supposed to be doing during the slow, so we need to work on making it a little more clear to him so he can be more confident when doing it. Halts were a little sloppy all together, but he gave me a lovely front. He didn't come quite all the way around on the finish, he was straight but behind me.

Rugby got a score of 196 and 1st place
On-lead heeling - 2
Heel Free - 1.5
Recall - .5

No video today I couldn't convince anyone to come lol. We did take some pictures will all of his ribbons though when we got back.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cookie Monster

We decided to skip Rugby's show today since it definetely won't be over before the crab feast that I already agreed to go to. :( We are kind of bummed about it but there are worse things right?

I am not sure if I am even allowed to show today since once a dog has his CD and a HIT he isn't allowed to show in novice anymore. Might not have applied to this show though since he was already signed up. Who knows. Doesn't matter at this point since we won't be there anyway.

Today I was helping my sister make cookies for the crab feast and Rugby was really upset that he wasn't getting enough attention. So I put him to work. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Post-Show Photos

Just a couple with his brand new ribbons. Nothing great but not sure when else I will have time and now seems a good a time as any. :p

Here Rugby is playing with both the toys he won when he got first place. Notice that he isn't in the video and wont ever play with the toy he won when he got second place. :p

Yorkie Show

Mister Rugby Sevens CD

Rugby earned his third leg and companion dog title today. He was pretty darn good. He did give me a forged sit one time and he went wide on one of the about turns. For his front he was too far away and off to my left. :/

Outside of his actuall ring time, he did have a harder time focusing on my when other dogs were around. He was much more bold today and was trying to say hi to everyone. He was also jumping out of his skin with not being worked or able to play yesterday. He was almost too hyper so we spend some extra time warming up. You could still see the energy in the ring when we did the fast pace change and the recall. :p

He got a score of 194.
3 off for on-lead heeling
2 off for off-lead heeling
1 off for the recall

He won the class and was high in trial! Not our best performance but it was pretty darn good I would say. :)

Rugby also met the smallest dog either of us have ever seen. It was a 2 year old chihuahua and weighed a whopping 1 lb 14 oz. Rugby looked like a monster next to her. She was wayy tiny.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

365 days.

A year ago today, I was flying down to Alabama to pick up a maltese puppy. Rugby was that puppy. I love this litte dog, he has come such a long way. I couldn't have asked for a better companion.

I scrounged around and found some puppy pictures to share.

And one from the other day... Hopefully there will be more after this weekend.

I am not sure if we are going to do the show on Saturday since it is going to be so late and I told my dad I would help him with his crab feast. I will show up at the show and check with the show secretary and see what she suggests we do.

*deep breaths* Show TOMORROW!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Perfection is....

Today we were reminded that there is ALWAYS going to be something to work on. There will never be a day that Rugby doesn't have somewhere he could have done something better. This got me thinking about in Math class those nasty asymptotes. Perfection is our asymptote - if I can use the word this way.

It is our only partialy obtainable goal. A point we will forever grow closer too, but never actually reach. After some point the space between us and perfection will grow so close that it can be left unnoticed and we may call this place perfection, but it will not really be.

Rugby was great today. We focused only on Novice work since this is our last Wednesday morning class before his big show weekend. The only thing he did wrong was forging his sits at the halt. If that is his only mistake this weekend I will be pleased with him. Although wouldn't it be great if we had it squared away before then.

I am really tempted to work on this tomorrow but I know that I should just give him the day off. :/

Cross your fingers for us! :) I AM SO NERVOUS!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Rugy is still dirty because I don't want to have to bath him again Thursday before his show. Procrastinating in the hopes that I will create less work for myself. We spent a good amount of time on the heeling today and I think we had a could 'a-ha' moments. Same bad spots. I stepped up the figure 8 and put halts in places that he would have to really think about speeding up, slowing down with no help from me. He handled that with no problem. Got him a couple of times for lagging, but he stopped that pretty quickly. If we can go out and do it tomorrow without him lagging at all tomorrow I will be sooo happy. Relieved actually. He is working well now, but that is going to make or break us as far as a really good score goes.

Oh yeah, I also got him good for forged sits. I gave him a leash correction once and the next couple times barked out a sit command on the halts and he seemed to appreciate my extra help and then started to remember where he needed to be. He is doing good overall, I am jut a little anal I suppose.

Recall was ok, but I think I need to practice them on the cement for a bit becuase I can never tell if he is giving me a crooked front because of uneven footing or for no reason at all. Sometimes he does it perfect and other times not. I haven't figured out a pattern or trend just yet.

The only open work we did was retrieve on the flat which he enjoyed. He did stop the first time and look at me as soon as he went out to get it, which was quickly fixed by me putting his string on him and having him drag it around.

I brought Rugby's crate today and him and Ellie both got put in their crates and used as figure 8 posts for the dog aggressive dog. It was kind of interesting. I will post a link to the video if it ever makes it online. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

One Word

There is only one word to describe how Rugby ended up today = FILTHY

I am not sure how he has come to perfect the art of accumulating that much dirty on his body but he is quite good at it. Today after taking a dip in the baby pools he proceeded to run and roll in all the dirt he could find. God forbid he roll in the grass or mulch, or may have ended up a little cleaner.

We had a successful training session today. One thing we still need to work on is the slow, he keeps getting a little ahead of me on that. I did catch him for lagging today. I hope he doesn't pull that at the show. 4 days left. :o

Rabbit Chunks for dinner tonight. Rugby has decided that he wants to be a picky eater - that isn't going to fly.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

CGC and some Shows soon

First off, Rugby took and passed his CGC test this morning. Phew, got that out of the way. To the left is Rugby doing the Supervised Seperation station. And below a bit is him doing the heel on a loose lead exercise.

Second - I have been stressing a little bit over the toy dog show that I had entered Rugby in since it is only 5 days away and as of yesterday I had not heard anything from them. I was so worried about it I woke up at 4 o'clock yesterday morning from a dream that it was the Friday of the show and I had waken up at 9:30 and was trying to figure out a way to make the drive to PA in time for Rugby to show...then thinking I didn't even have the right Friday and the show was past already. Needless to say, I have been thinking too much (or maybe not enough) about it.
Right after the CGC test we went home and I was almost loosing hope in our entry making it into the show. :/ The mail still hadn't come yet.

So me and Rugby trying to push off the anxiety as good as we know how went out and practiced some heeling and figure 8's. I was pleased. He didn't ever mess up on the figure 8 (he didn't lag on the outside) and except for a couple of forged halts, he did great on and off lead heeling. I think the forged sits are getting to a point that we can bluff it a bit since he is so little. Lets cross our fingers any way. In the mean time we will continue to work on it.

While we were out working we happened to notice the mail man.

Our work ended and Rugby and I went inside to sit on the floor and twidle our thumbs until I thought we had given the mail man sufficient time to fill all the boxes.

Sure enough, when we went out to check. The very last envelope in the pile was addressed to me, from Rau dog shows. RELIEF. We had already gotten the program for the Oriole Dog Training Clubs show we are doing the two days following this one. Now we are set.

Friday Rugby is the second dog (out of three :/) in Novice B. The obedience trial starts at 9 am and there are 13 dogs total in all of Utility, Open and Novice. That will be a short day. :p I think this will be incredible fun to have all toy dogs . I am most excited for this.

Saturday he is 14th (out of 20) and the Novice B class is 'to follow' so a not so short day for us.

Sunday we mis-entered and ended up in Novice A. We were told it was too late to switch when we realized what we did but we could show anyway. So we will lol. It starts at 11:45 and he is the 4th dog out of 6.

He has two tries this next weekend to get his last leg of his CD. Then we can move on to things I will not think about untill next weekend is over. :p


Friday, August 14, 2009

Male Dogs

Today was frustrating. Rugby's favorite dog in the whole wide world was there. Just the last couple times he has seen her he has decided that he wants her to be his girlfriend and has started to hump her. This is unacceptable.

The first time he pulled that stunt he was so wrapped up in what he was doing I could not get him to even acknowledge me so that I could re-direct him. Last time and today I was able to call him and get him to stop and look at me and maybe redirect him for an instant but I was not making progress stopping the behavior. Today when I could get his attention, I called him to me. Occasionally he needed some help getting to me since the magnetic force attracting him to his girlfriend was so strong. When he got to me I just told him to get on whatever chair was closest and left him on a down stay for an undefined amount of time (mostly until I wasn't as angry with him). After I felt he had been there for long enough I would release him and sure enough, sooner or later I would catch him in the same act as the one he had just been punished for.

This particular time, I called him to me and he stopped the humping but refused to come to me. So I started approaching him so that I could assist him to me, and this time he promptly trotted away from me and into the house. While he thought this to be incredible clever...escaping the push-ups and time out that awaited just made me more frustrated with him. When I got to him in the house, I grabbed his collar and helped him to me. We did several more short distance recalls until we ended up in the yard again. When his girlfriend distracted him and he refused to come again - I remembered that I had a slip lead conveniently draped around my neck. This became attached to Rugby. We did 2 more, and heel briskly out to where I was working to begin with. I left him on a down stay and continued what I was doing before being interrupted.

Stupid me, I let him go one more time and to both of our dismay he found himself being entertained with humping yet again. This time I was done. I grit my teeth and called him one again to me. Now, he knew better than to head in the other direction and trotted out and came and sat in front of me despite having to go around other dogs, etc. I had him finish and put him in another down-stay. This time I must have been emitting angry signals to all the other dogs, because the three other dogs that were acting as my shadows as I worked also found a comfortable position and did not move for a good 5 minutes. Slowly the other dogs dispersed and Rugby was left all alone.

When he was released from that down-stay, Rugby changed his attitude quite a bit. For one, he did not for the rest of the day go over to see his girlfriend who was sunbathing by the front gate. He also payed an incredible amount of attention to me in the yard. Usually Rugby does his own thing, of exploring somewhere or another. This afternoon, he stuck pretty close. When the work was done and I sat down with all the dogs, this new Rugby came and got in my lap and fell asleep. Pretty amazing for the dog that wanted to pretend I didn't exist. This new found attention as overflowed to how he behaves at home too. Since we have been here he hasn't been more that 3 ft from me.

This is more like it. I hope he remembers today the next time he sees his girlfriend. I can deal with how he has changed today for sure!

In the morning, Rugby and Ellie were distractions for a dog aggressive dog who has been working on her self-control. The three dogs all did sit-stays and down-stays together. The little ones and even the big one behaved very well. :p

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scent Articles

Today we introduced scent articles. This included placing the article in tall grass where it is hidden, and sending him for it. He is sent in the hopes that he will eventually not just stumble upon it by luck but start to use his nose to find it. Honestly, I can't really tell when he is using his nose or not but I just keep sending him. lol Sometime I have to help him out still.

He did a run through in class, and it was fairly descent. The slow pace change on the heel free exercise was forged, so we need to work on that. He gave me a crooked front and lagged on the outside circle of the figure 8. On the second time around on the figure 8 he fixed himself but I would prefer if he had nothing to fix. :p

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Closer and Closer...

Heeling was fine, halts sucked today. He must pick at random when and where he will do them correctly? Maybe I take it back - they didn't suck but they were all slightly ahead of me. I don't get it. More practice I guess.

Figure 8
First time around, he was lagging on the outside circle and got a correction for it. He didn't make the same mistake twice.

First one he didn't give me a straight front, possible because of the footing in front of me, or just because he wasn't paying enough attention. We did two more and both were a lot straighter...he was just off or croocked but a little bit.

Straight on the ground retrieve was good. He went out and came back at a decent speed. He does on the way back though look around to make sure SOMEONE is watching him. :p He is such a ham.

High Jump
We discovered a new problem today. This morning when I sent him he went out promptly, picked the dumbell up, turned and faced me and stood still. He must have forgotten that 'fetch' not only means go get the dumbell, but also bring it back. :p To fix this problem I went and got his 15 ft lunge line and we attached it to his collar, heeled him up closer to the jump (still on the opposite side) and left him on a stand stay. Then I positioned myself on the other side of the jump, gave the jump command and reeled him into me with the line. We did two more with him dragging the line just incase I needed to pick it up again, but luckily I didn't. We have instructions to continue with him dragging the line for a couple days just so he gets that idea out of his head.

Broad Jump
Wonderful - he shot out over the jump and spun to face me. His fronts and finishes after the broad jump are sloppy so we need to work on that still. This morning after I sent him initially over the regular way, I switched sides and sent him again (that threw him off at first but he caught on) and did a break aways. Once we switch back to the right side, it helped him a lot in getting that straight font. Hopefully if we keep it up it won't be a problem.

Post training sessions snack, Rugby had a pinkie rabbit with Sanity, Ellie and Caruso. yummmm

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Today Rugby improved tremendously - he didn't lag at all for me to even have to correct him. The about turns were the same old story, he threw in a couple of wide ones today I think mostly just to mess with me. :/ The halts were fine as long as I could remember to step into it the correct way.

Figure 8
One word-
He has finally figured out when he needs to speed up and slow down. He isn't just reacting to my speed anymore but thinking and planning when he knows a turn is coming. This was a huge step forward.

High Jump
No problems today. He didn't have any trouble remembering to jump before or after getting the dumbell. However, the way the sun was coming through the trees it was hard for me to see the dumbell on the other side, and I am sure it was hard for him too. Rugby is a trooper though and he searched it out each time no matter how hard it was. Did I say already that the retrieve is his favorite thing? :p

Broad Jump
No breakaways today, and I didn't need to help him at all. Everysingle time I sent him he took off, went over it and spun around to face me. It was great. Need to focus now on the finish and pretty it up but I think he finally has the general idea down.

After training, we went down to the farm and Rugby played with Joyful. He had a great time playing in puddles, running through the tall weeds and racing around with his JRT friend. I wish I had my camera to get him and Joy crouching and pouncing in all of the tall weeds behind the barn, it was really cute.

Dangers of Hide and Seek

Friday night I was playing hide and seek with Rugby.

I put him on a sit stay in the other room, and went to hunt for a hiding place. I stumbled across a good one, and as I climbed behind the end table to crouch in the corner stumbled across something else. A giant nail sticking out of the wall. :/ When it tore through my pants and leg, Rugby came to find me and I think he had a 'aww...your so stupid...I win' look on his face. :p

Anyway...the stupid bruise/scrape is definetely taking its time going away. I feel like it is still getting worse instead of better.

Moral....Hide and Seek is dangerous!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Rugby got some real work done as far as our sloppy parts are concerned. We have a plan to fix his occasional lagging, halts and just about everything else.

The lagging is just going to take a leash correction when he first starts to drop behind where I pop the leash forward. Today his about turns were a lot better today so I think that those will get better with time. For the halts, I changed the way I was walking. I am taking less steps in preperation for the halt and if his attention isn't on me, then I give a very gentle backward pressure on the leash so that he doesn't sit so forged. After those two things were changed by the third halt he was doing them well without my help. We will see if he can keep it up the next couple of days.

High Jump
We also practiced the retrieve over the high jump, which was good but we do need to practice having it thrown off center. I had been throwing it off center, but not over the jump and today it was brought to my attention that if I kept doing that I would mess up the retrieve on the flat. So we are changing that too. :p

Broad Jump
Broad jump still needs lot more repetitions. Today we stopped the breakaways when I send him over it, but he is still doing them on a leash.

Figure 8
We used Ellie, one of Rugby's girlfriends as a distraction to help tweak the figure 8 a little bit. It helped to speed him up in some parts and keep him close in others.

All in all it was a good day for Mr. Rugby. He was one tired boy after he practiced all that.
At the end of our training session today Rugby snatched his dumbell from me and danced around a bit and took it over so that Sanity and Margot could see it, then came back to make sure I was happy he had it, then went back to Sanity and Margot and finally I had him give it to me. <3 So cute.
Countdown till his next show: 11 days

Sunday, August 9, 2009

House Guest and Focus

Rugby woke up to Zena here again. You can take a wild guess at if her training was kept up. It is going to be another long week.

We hit a really rough patch after his last show where he decided that he didn't know how to heel, and pretended I didn't exist at all. I think we are finally getting over that. We went outside when we woke up ready to do some work, and we did. He is heeling much better now and he has some sloppy things we need to work on still but now I am not worried about him blowing me off completely at the next show.

Our sloppy spots are him sometimes going wide on the about turns, and sitting a little late which makes him pop his butt out to the left. He was not changing paces with me, but we focused on fixing that first, and I think we have that under control.

His figure 8 today was great! He knows now when he has to speed up to keep up with me on the outside turn, and when he needs to slow down to stay with me on the inside turn. He is a smartie pants.

Hope has been restored now! I am getting more and more excited for our next show, it is only a week and a half away! :O I really wish that we can strengthen those weak points that we have so he has the best possible chance or success.
And, just because I know you want to see the handsome little guy, here he is last night sleeping in one awkward place!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bum Day

I was stuck at home today with my car in the shop, so I cleaned Rugby up and had a little photo-shoot with him. This morning, my dad was making noises behind Rugby, and I am fairly certain that Rugby knew it was him as he kept looking at him, but then turning around and barking down the hallway. (?) Eventually I told him to go get Max who was down the hallway in the livingroom. Still in attack mode (scaredy-cat attack mode), he goes down the hallway and stops by every door and barks once. When he got to the end where the living room was, he didn't go in just barked twice (because it is a bigger room maybe? lol) and came back again barking into every room. I was amazed! I am not sure what he thought he was doing, but he definetely had a plan and was very systematic about it.

Some of these pictures are with the ribbons he won at his last show (July 11-12th). Links to the videos are below.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Revival - Second Time

So, here I am again after not posting for almost 2 months.

I am going to try hard to keep writing on here, but we will see how that goes lol. :)

...starting tomorrow. :p