Friday, October 28, 2011

Cold Or Wet, but Not Both

It rained on Wednesday morning. We waited until we were at Applewoods to do any training, and we worked around the puddles and through the soaking wet leaf litter that covered the ground. It wasn't warm, but it wasn't cold either at 60*.

The training session was very productive because Rugby was convinced that he absolutely, under no uncertain terms, could not do Signals when the ground was wet. He was refusing to sit all together. When I asked him to lay down, he would go down until his belly touched, then hover just before that point. He might have been more persuasive with me about how unfair working outside was if he was consistent about it. However, since he could clearly sit and tolerate the wet ground when he was beside me in heel position, there was no reason he couldn't tolerate it 40ft in front of me.

It took us several attempts at Signals before Rugby got over the fact that his belly was wet. We finished all the other Utility exercises outside with no problem. We saved Scent Articles for inside. To mix it up a little, we added a char to the middle of the Scent pile. The articles were placed around the chair (not under), although it didn't stop Rugby climbing into the middle to find the correct one. He did have a little bit of trouble getting out from under the chair without disturbing the other articles, but he made it.

I didn't realize just how valuable that training session would be until last night, when I finally decided to check out the judging program for the shows we entered this weekend. I had Googled the location of the show and noticed it was being held on a plantation. Odd, right? That is when I saw what it said at the top of the judging program...

All Judging will be Outdoors. 

How in the world did I not notice that when I was picking trials to enter? We train primarily outdoors so that isn't the problem. The problem is that it is outdoors, and it is almost November. Remember what I said about Rugby not staying very warm because of his size? I wasn't joking. 

Last night at about 12:30 am, I took Rugby outside to do Stays. It was 45*. I wanted to see how well he could manage the cold without wearing clothes. He did surprisingly well. When I returned to him after the three and five minute stays, I could feel that his hair was cold, but that his body was still well insulated. No shivering, or signs of discomfort at all. Phew. That is good new. 

The bad news is that the temperature high at the trial site tomorrow is 39* and it will be raining. A wet Rugby-dog will not be well insulated against anything. We can't go. :-( 

We will be there on Sunday however, when it will be 50* and sunny. Sigh. Next time I need to be more careful when picking trials for my 7lb dog.


  1. I don't know if I would want any dog doing stays in that kind of weather. Brandy is not 7lbs but she has no undercoat, so if wet she would be very cold. Hell, I would not want to be at the outside Trials in that kind of weather and we do train outside. Sorry Sam. I hope Sunday you'll get some points!

  2. We're sorry to hear it won't work out for Saturday; but wish you the best of luck for Sunday!

    P.S. Don't forget to stop by our blog THIS week and enter the "name game" contest I'm hosting, for my newest guide dog puppy - it only takes a few seconds to do... and you may end up being the winner!

  3. Our dogs wouldn't be happy doing stuff on the ground in that weather, either. I don't blame you for not going!