Friday, December 11, 2009

Monkey Dog (15 Days...)

We did indeed go to Annapolis to visit Paws Pet Boutique yesterday. Rugby had a great time, even though I wouldn't say he was on his best behavior. The wonderful people at Paws gave Rugby a treat and being the jerk that he is, he took it and chewed it all up but didn't eat any of it...just left all of his crumbs and pieces on the floor. Rugby was only ready to go after he announced himself to everyone in the store.

We ended up leaving with this super cute monkey sweater that he is wearing in these pictures and a blue winter jacket. Apparently Rugby was really feeling the color blue yesterday. :p

It was a small class last night so we did full distance recalls and Rugby thought it was a lot of fun. He did need a few reminders that he couldn't just get up and come to me because everyone else got up. Before class started he did an open run through and he didn't need his prong collar on, or his 15ft line. Wasn't going to make those mistakes again! I actually noticed he was doind a sort of 'drive by' style grabbing of the dumbbell in an attempt to please me and my impatient-ness (lol). Got my thinking that we need to try it on grass, where it isn't so easy to get and see if the problem re-appears. I hope not, but I am curious how successful we actually were this past week at fixing it.


  1. I enjoyed my visit to your doggie are adorable, in a very manly way!!! chuckle!

  2. We love Rugby's monkey sweater, he looks gorgeous!
    Rugby must be very clever to do all those things, we can hardly be bothered to do anything.
    What is a prong collar - it sounds scary :O
    Wags and kisses, Dinah Bridget and Elliot xx

  3. Beautiful sweater! Really cute too.

    But a ?, a prong collar on a Maltese puppy? Who has put you on to such horror? Yours is not a pit bull. I am not being rude I just believe in gentle training and has succeded in it. I have trained a Maltese as a medical assistant dog and have never used harsh words or implements. PLEASE reconsider your use of a PRONG COLLAR!

    Waggs, Tessa

  4. Haha, a prong collar isn't all that scary. You can google micro-prong collar and find places that sell them.

    Thanks! I appreciate your concern for Rugby. However, I must assume that it comes from a a lack of experince and knowledge with the tool in question.

    First, it isn't an everyday maintainence tool. Second, thinking that they are only used on pitt bulls is a very stereotipical thing to say. Your idea of it being used on an untrained, out of control pitt bull that can only be stopped at the end of a leash by a prong collar is extrodinarily inaccurate.

    It is only used for very specific things ("Fine tuning" we like to call it). It is used once the dog in question ALREADY knows the command that is being worked on, and just needs a little help cleaning it up and polishing it. It takes the work the dog is doing to the next level. A level of precision and accuracy. It is a wonderful trainnig tool when used properly.

    I also believe in 'gentle training' and Rugby isn't ever handled or trained in a rough way. We use the Koehler method of dog training. We train slowly and methodically so he knows exactly what he is doing at every point. He is given every opportunity to get things right. Letting him know not only what he is doing right but also what he is doing wrong lets him better define the task at hand.

    Prong collars aren't cruel, they just let me communicate to him in a different way. I would rather make one clear statement with a prong collar that Rugby can understand and have the issue be over with that to have to continually address the same issue. It is only fair of me, and out of respect to Rugby, how can I deny that to him?

    My dog trainer is very experienced with medical assist dogs, and service dogs, etc. She actually founded Fidos's for Freedom. In that time she has also trained papillons to act as service dogs for people, and they were trained in the same manner as Rugby. I trust what she has to say. Beyond that Rugby has met and exceeded all of my training expectations so far, so I must assume we are doing something right. :p

    Rugby is a service dog wanna be. :p He has a very nice working retrieve and can picks up my keys, lens cap, socks, pens, cell phone, change, his leash, anything small enough really, etc when I drop them. There is a video of him practicing with a milk jug on the side of his blog, I believe. If only he were bigger...the possibilities would be endless!

    I linked to this blog a couple days ago, but I think it is worth posting again here as it is directly related, since now 'prong collars' are a naughty word too. lol
    A very good read, and the video is a good example of how Rugby is trained as well.

    Sorry for writing a novel, I couldn't help myself. :) Hopefully you will reconsider your negative interpretation of a prong collar.

  5. Using a micro-prong collar on a dog of Rugby's size and level of training is a kindness of the highest level of carring.

    Sam is doing an excellent job of training. She is careful, thoughtful and precise in her teaching of each step necessary in order for Rugby to understand how to do the things he is required to do.

    This care and consideration and above all, reliability in behavior on her part has made and is continuing to make it easy for Rugby to trust in her judgement and be relaxed in his view of life in general.

    It never fails that people who know little to nothing about fair and reasonable training will attempt to lash out at those who are clearly doing a much better job of learning.

    Sorry Sam, I know this is your blog and I need to butt out, but I sometimes get a little crazy when faced with reading close-minded gibberish from those with no real training experience. GRRRRRRRRRRRR