Monday, July 25, 2011

Wrong Way, Rugby

At least he gave up his camouflage. Now they can see him well enough to avoid stepping on him.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Obedience Demonstration

Rugby and I helped out at the event Applewoods Dog Training hosted yesterday. We even did an demo during one of the breaks in the Canine Good Citizen Evaluation. I brought Milk-bones out and placed them on the stumps that line the training ring, then sent Rugby to pick them up. I used our Directed Jumping signals to move him from stump to stump.

There is a video up of the demos on the Applewoods blog if you are interested..

Also, Diesel the GSD got his CGC Certificate at the event! It was a fun day!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Becoming Stealth

The act of becoming camouflage requires the assistance of a Doberman puppy. First, I let the puppy practice pouncing, then jumping away from Rugby. It looks something like this -

ADT Swimming
ADT Swimming
ADT Swimming

Once the puppy has a few pounce/jump sequences under his belt, the Doberman gets closer and closer to Rugby. Eventually he leaves almost no room, and the big SPLASH he causes will coat Rugby with river water.

ADT Swimming

Wet Rugby hair is perfect for accumulating dirt, as long as you go where the dirt it. Rugby moves back to shore and Caesar followed to help with that part too.

ADT Swimming

After just a little bit of playing, Rugby starts to fade into the background. Soon, Rugby will be a completely brown dog.

ADT Swimming

That's all it takes! Just go find yourself a Doberman puppy and you will have a camo dog in no time!

ADT Swimming

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Maltese Wilderness Survival Guide

Where is Rugby?!

Camouflage is apparently a small, fluffy, white dog's best friend when fending for himself in the wild. If you look close, you can see Rugby in this picture from our trip to Riverfront Park. 

Monday, July 18, 2011


Not too long ago, Rugby went with the whole family to an amusement park that allowed dogs. It wasn't quite big enough to be a real 'theme park' so we kept referring to it as a carnival on steroids.

Rugby was a trooper and lasted all day long with us at the park. He wasn't much interested in riding any of the roller coasters, but did a good job of hanging onto the tickets with mom while the rest of us did. 

Rugby picks the next ride

Pizza was his favorite part. While we waited in line, I had him jumping back and forth between the railings. I tried to take a picture but forgot to check the camera setting first and they didn't turn out. Bummer.

Bring me pizza. Now.

This giant pirate was about the only guy in the whole entire park that didn't want to pet Rugby. What a relief! I had a hard time getting Rugby to leave him. haha

Rugby's GIANT friend

He was exhausted after all the activity and slept the rest of the day. Good boy, Rugby!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Remember when...

I had a flashback today. We set up our training equipment in Diesel's community at their town hall-ish thing since there is an open space lined with trees so we could work in the shade. Both dogs worked on retrieving over the high jump, and the broad jump at some time in this training session.

Rugby was the bad one. He started it.

He knows that when I finish with Diesel, I leave him on a Down/Stay beside our stuff and switch dogs. Except today.  A couple of times I left them BOTH on stays while I adjusted the jumps before taking the next dog out to work. The first time I dropped Diesel off at our 'spot' and didn't bring Rugby out right away, Rugby left his down stay to come over and surprise me. You know, just to make sure I hadn't forgotten to get him when I made the switch.

After the second time I found a little white dog bouncing in my face, I stopped sending him back and walked him over to our 'spot' and left him. Except now that I was dropping off Rugby... Diesel was sure it was his turn.  He popped up and offered to come with me.

I convinced them both to stay, fixed the jumps and then called Rugby over for his turn to work. He came, and so did Diesel. Apparently I wasn't very convincing. This happened twice before I finally started giving signals to Rugby - something Diesel doesn't understand.

Reminds you of a different story doesn't it?...

Now I know for sure that Rugby is a gigantic trouble maker, since he started a similar game with Pete before that ended with me taking this super cute photo of both them in the same bed.  Today's game wasn't quite as much fun since he isn't good friends with Diesel like he was with Pete. It didn't stop him from creating a chaotic training session though!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Heel PositionThere is a certain format of training session that lends itself wonderfully to creating competition between dogs. It is something Rugby had all through his Novice, and Open training and scattered through his Utility training with Pete, the lab. We have been missing it for a while, and it has been so obvious that it is gone!

Two days of working Diesel and Rugby simultaneously has really livened up both dogs. I switch back and forth between the two of them and the difference is amazing! Both of them are working extra hard and paying extra attention.

Diesel was much quicker on his drops, and we were able to start the baby beginnings of a drop on recall.

Rugby did the circle of gloves, and made each turn perfectly, marked beautifully to each glove and didn't make even one mistake.

Diesels off-lead heeling was a little sloppy, but it wasn't for lack of trying. He was giving me the most attention I have had from him in a while, especially when we had the distraction of his family so close by. We even took the retrieve on the flat off-lead.

Rugby practiced the return to heel, from the moving stand and he was QUICK! None of that slow finish stuff that he has been doing. Then two go-outs the length of Diesel's front yard. Still quick, and straight too!

Just a coincidence that both of them had a really good day? I don't think so. We have to train this way more often.

Also... 2010 First and Foremost Ratings were published (by Front and Finish). Rugby is #1 Maltese!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Send Your Dog

We have been breaking each exercise down and re-building it so that we both have it down a little better. In the process, I focused on a problem with our scent articles. I was giving the signal the wrong way. When I corrected myself, Rugby's direct send to the pile started getting wider and wider. Not cool.

We started playing around with the send to the pile for the past week or so changing how we did it each time to see what helped and what didn't. Today we ONLY did scent articles and I used two driveway markers to be a barrier to keep him from going wide.

There were a couple times that he got so worried about the send that he searched frantically through the pile for the right one and made a few mistakes. I gave him some extra help to prevent it and he started getting the right articles easily again.

If this doesn't prove itself by next week we will switch over to the other option - send after a sit. Lets just hope Rugby is patient with me!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Three Day Weekend

I hope your three day weekend is spent relaxing by the pool,

Soaking up some rays,

And spending time with friends.
Independence Day   Independence Day

...Lots of them.
Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July!!