Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Maltese Wilderness Survival Guide Part II

Rugby does not have a lot of hair to keep him warm, thanks to his frequent haircuts. He is also too little to generate enough body heat to keep him warm through the winter. Usually, that means he gets to wear a sweater or jacket during the coldest months. 

Not any more. 

Now all Rugby needs is a blanket to stay comfortable. He can even cover himself up. 

Some essential skills for this wilderness survival technique - 
  •  Roll Over - Rugby knows how to roll over in both directions. To the right is called "egg" and to the left is called "roll." That way when he does them one after the other, it is an "egg roll." We only used "egg" for this survival technique
  • Fetch - Rugby has a strong working retrieve. This is different than a play retrieve. Fetching different objects is all part of a normal day for Rugby. Rolling over while holding something was not. We started by using something small and easy first (socks) so that the retrieve didn't increase the difficulty of the "egg" by so much. He was used to it by the time we got to the towel, so when the towel made it hard for him to roll over, we could work on just that. 
  • Place - This is a 'go-to-your-spot' command. That is what I used to get him on the blanket once he had a good understanding of the fetch-and-roll-over-at-the-same-time part. 
  • Drop on Recall - This may not actually be needed, but we did use it. When I started asking him to find the corner by himself, I wanted him to come from a certain angle so it would be more obvious. I sat him on the opposite side of the towel to me, called him and dropped him next to the corner I wanted him to use. 
  • Stay - I had to add the 'stay' at the very end of the sequence when we first started, since he was popping up right after he finished rolling over. 
Number of training session it took for Rugby to learn this new sequence - two ten-minute sessions.