Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wiped Out

Rugby and I just got back from the park. We went with Diesel to continue checking off our list of things to work on. It is so much better when you have two dogs to work with! While one is working the other is resting up to work again. We practiced our directed jumping, gloves, finishes, go-outs and the broad jump. Rugby also helped me clean up after Diesel, who was working on figure 8's and using the cones as posts.

Clean Up Crew

Thanks for your help, Rugby! Two hours later, Rugby, Diesel and I are wiped out! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Rugby walked up to the mailbox with me today to put his entries in the mail for upcoming shows. That means we have to get to work to improve on last weeks performance.

1) Heeling
Its a little sloppy on the transitions and he doesn't always halt straight.

2) Broad Jump
He was sooo close this weekend to cutting the corner. We already started working on this and it has improved significantly. It was much better at this morning's match too.

3) Directed Retrieve
We need to work on better turns, and taking my direction, instead of taking whatever glove is directly in front of him (just in case he doesn't turn all the way with me). We started working on this already too, but our glove drills aren't at full distance yet.

4) Moving Stand
This is something we were already working on, but Rugby decided not to fall for it until we were in the ring (figures). We have spent some time this week having our 'judge' call for the moving stand over and over again while we continue heeling. This morning at the match, I made sure to take an extra 4 steps before standing him.

5) Finishes
They are slow - need to speed them up!

5) Scent Articles
Today he picked the right one, brought is halfway back, dropped it and re-checked the pile before coming back for the right one. Huh? I'm not sure why he was so unsure of himself. Can never do too many scent articles, right?

6) Everything Else

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Review

The first day was terrible! The three big mistakes...

1) He was sent for glove number two, but didn't turn with me all the way and took glove number one instead. Luck was on our side however since the judge said the gloves were put out too close and let us do them over again. The second time he got the right glove.

2) On the moving stand, he stood on the Judges command. I think I played if off pretty good and the judge scored us as if we did the exercise correctly.

3) On the directed jumping, he gave me SUPER go-outs, and the first jump he did perfectly over the bar. Then again... another great go-out and another perfect bar jump. :-p Who needs the high jump anyways, right?!

Saturday's Utility score breakdown :
Signals: 1
Scent: 1
Directed Retrieve: 1/2
Moving Stand: 1/2
Directed Jumping: NQ

What a BUMMER! At least we still had Open, to redeem ourselves. He got a 196.5 in Open, and was High In Trial!!!

Saturday's Open score breakdown - 
Heel Free and Figure 8: 1
DOR: 1
ROF: 1/2
Broad Jump: 1

After the show, we set our jumps out behind the hotel in the mud and sopping wet grass and practiced directed jumping. We got some advice to slow down our signals so we changed that during the practice.

Rugby was exhausted after the show and slept straight through till 7 pm, when he decided it was time for me to feed him.

TODAY was much better. The only big mistake in Utility was my stumbling on the moving stand exercise. I forgot for a second what I was doing and almost did a stand like in the signal exercise (where you stand beside them before leaving). Other than my mistake, it was great!

Sunday's Utility score breakdown: 
Scent: 1/2
Moving Stand: 1

Sunday's Open score breakdown:
Broad Jump: 1/2
Heel Free & Figure 8: 1/2

I am so proud of my little dog! Rugby got a 198.5 in Utility and a 199 in Open. He was both High in Trial and High Combined!!! This is the Utility Run from this morning, Rugby's FIRST Utility leg!

I will take pictures of Rugby with his ribbons and trophies sometime this week. On to the next show!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rugby the Spectacular

Anna the GSD is having a Spectacular Tonguetacular Contest, and I couldn't think of a better way to spend a rainy afternoon than fishing through Rugby photos! Hurry up and get your tongue photos posted,  the deadline is tomorrow!!!

This is probably my favorite picture of Rugby ever, taken when he was just 6 months old. Spectacular, tonguetacular? Yes, I believe so.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Here are this weekends videos. The good and the bad.

One thing I noticed in both the videos is that Rugby now thinks that circle we do between go-outs is pretty dumb. Guess I will quit doing that to make him happy. :-p


Now that I have gotten over the initial shock of our failure on Sunday, this video really confirmed for me why I love how we train. In a matter of minutes, Rugby went from "I don't know of this thing called Obedience" to SUPER happy that he had figure it out all by himself.

I love that he is so proud and confidant that me just guiding him by the collar offends him, and I love how self rewarding Obedience has become for him.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pre-Trial Jitters?

We went to two matches this weekend. I have tried three times to get the videos uploaded, but Photobucket hates me, apparently. 

The Saturday match is one that we have been to before and Rugby did just fine. Heeling was a little sloppy, and he stopped half way back on the directed retrieve to readjust the glove, but still qualifying. I was happy with it. There wasn't time to do a run in Open before running back to Applewoods to teach the current Elementary Class. 

Today the match was someplace new. We signed up for Utility and Open. We went in Open first and besides a couple crooked fronts, I have no complaints with it. He held both stays. 

Utility - he blew it. I can't figure out what it was that threw him off so much. Was it the new location? Was it the fact that this is the first weekend we did two Utility matches in a row? Just that he wants to worry me because we are in the ring next week? 

The Sunday Utility break down : 
Signals were good. He has decided that fast = RUN now. I can keep up with him but it is an unexpected change! 

He wasn't sure about Scent Articles today. He picked up the correct metal article, checked all the other ones, then went back to the right one and brought it back. He did the same thing on the leather except when he rechecked the pile, he decided a different article was the right one and tried bringing it back instead. On the second try for the leather, he went straight to the right one and brought it back without checking the rest of the pile. 

Directed Retrieve = AMAZING. No readjusting, straight front, straight finish. MUCH improved from the mess he was during Thursday Night class. The late night glove exercises in the parking lot have paid off! 

Moving stand, was good... uneventful. 

Directed Jumping = disaster. I 'marked' him the first time and he locked onto the corner of the glove he just went for, glove number three. I 'marked' him a second time and he almost anticipated the "sevens" command and he sort of jumped forward. The third time I marked him, he ran straight out then veered into the right corner. Ughhhh! 

I stopped him before he got too far off course, but too close to the jumps to take either of them. I tossed a target out in the middle and sent him for it. We tried the directed jumping over again, this time he gave me a straight-ER, but not straight go-out and then went to the wrong jump. I repositioned him at the center of the ring and he refused both jumps and just made his way back to me. Huh?! I gave him a collar correction, walked him over to the bar jump and gave the command again. 

Next time I put a target out, and did a straight retrieve to the center of the ring. 

Then we restarted the directed jumping exercise one more time and he nailed it. He was SO embarrassed, he could hardly contain himself when he finally did it right. The fronts and finishes were terrible because he could barely stop wiggling enough to sit down. 

Good news is, we are definitely entered for our debut in Utility. After today, I am REALLY worried about next weekend. Maybe we aren't ready after all.

I have all sorts of ideas about how to train this week to get the most out of the 5 short days we have left, but we need to check in with the Boss first. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Have you heard?

A couple weeks ago, I went to downtown Annapolis, but not to go shopping. This time, it was to testify in the House Judiciary Committee against a proposed 'Dangerous Dog Law.' (In short, the bill will make it a felony if your dog attacks another animal or human, and adds a pricey insurance plan requirement for dogs deemed 'dangerous.') 

I left straight from school (note to self: high heel boots = not made for walking around campus) and got to Annapolis about an hour before the hearing, that was scheduled at 1 pm. I wasn't exactly sure where the House Office Building was, but figured I could find it easy enough. After a little bit of walking I had arrived, and even though I was five minutes late, was able to submit my written testimony and sign up to speak. 

Yuliya was already there so we headed over the the Senate House across the street for lunch. They had an unimpressive lunch-line/cafe thing in the basement. By the time we finished eating, it was close to 1pm so we headed back over to meet up with the rest of our group that was coming to to testify as well. 

The room alone was intimidating! Thirty-five chairs behind the desks that lined the outside of forming a giant U along the three far walls. One chair for each delegate on the committee, marked with their name and equip with microphones so they could be heard easily, or recorded easily, I'm not sure which. The podium at the front of the room, facing into the circle of delegates was for those testifying. There was three chairs at that desk, they had microphones too and a full paper sized sign warning you that the microphones and cameras were always recording. Phew, no pressure. 

One bill was discussed before ours and it was over way too quickly! I wasn't ready to speak! The delegates Sponsoring the bill testified first, along with a representative from H$U$ and one other lady from a rescue. Then it was our turn to testify against the bill. The five of us approached the stand and we started speaking. I think I was third, or maybe second, I can't remember. 

Public speaking is not my forte and I'm sure I sounded like a babbling idiot as I fumbled around the testimony I had written trying to make sure my sentences were complete thoughts. Hard enough remembering what words I had just spit out, let along what points I was trying to make!

Good news, is that the bill received "Unfavorable Report by Judiciary" so we succeeded this time. I just need to work on the whole speaking part, so that next time goes smoother!


I didn't expect another opportunity to practice to present itself this soon, but it has! This time in the form of a kennel license for people with only TEN intact dogs. That is a big penalty for show breeders and dog show hobbyist who can accumulate 10 intact dogs easily through co-ownership, etc. Retrieverman addresses the idea of these anti-breeder laws on his blog. 

Maryland doesn't need HB940. The hearing to testify AGAINST the bill is March 8th at 1pm, this time in the House Economic Matters Committee. If you can't make it to that hearing, e-mail the Committee to let them know what you think!

Rugby and I can keep up on the Maryland Dog Laws easily thanks to the Maryland Dog Federation. Hopefully your state has a similar organization!