Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rescue Mission

I have for no particular reason at all, decided I would help Rugby swim this summer. He actually swims well once he gets going, but he prefers to stay where he can still stand. Last week, our trip to the river included his life jacket and a leash, so I could easily persuade him to go in the "deep end." I had to help him quite a bit. He got tired quickly and is not strong enough to swim against the current in some places.

We were accompanied by Sugar, Sandy and Sherpa on this swimming trip and after 30 minutes of looking at the construction of Rugby's life jacket, it hit us. SHERPA could teach Rugby to swim! Or she could at least rescue him if he was having trouble in the deep parts.


Rugby was really pissed off unhappy with this idea. He did not trust Sherpa to keep him safe in the water and thought we were making fun of him because he couldn't swim like the big dogs. He didn't stop "swimming" the whole time Sherpa was taking him for a ride. All that squirming worried Sherpa and she did drop him once. That didn't improve Rugby's opinion of our rescue mission.


We weren't laughing at you Rugby, we were laughing with you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Champion

Rugby far exceeded my expectations this weekend. 

We had the pleasure of showing at Dauphin Dog Training Club's Obedience Trial in Harrisburg, PA this weekend. Utility was first, and Rugby earned a 197.5 for 2nd place. Later that afternoon in Open he earned a 199 for 1st place. The 9 OTCH points from Utility and the 14 OTCH points from Open brought his total to 106 points. Since he had all his required wins already... the points were enough for his new title!

OTCH Mister Rugby Sevens UDX OM1 RN

Rugby was also High Combined and High In Trial. 
...It seems he has a thing for grand finales. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just Say No

You might think this is just a picture of a few dogs doing down stays while a fourth dog works scent articles, but it is so much more than that! It is a picture of four dogs that have learned to say no to distraction. Saying NO is an essential part of our training method and one that requires the dog to take responsibility for their actions and make good decisions.

In this situation, Sugar had to say no to his friends that he had spent the last hour playing with in the river. At the same time, Sandy, Rugby and Sherpa ALL averted their gaze as a way to say no to Sugar and any invitation he may have been offering as he came straight towards them. By looking away, they took the pressure off Sugar and made the decision to keep working easier for everyone.

Dogs that make good decisions in the face of distraction have way more fun than the dogs that haven't been taught to. The possibilities continue to amaze me. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Not Your Average Jump

Every once in a while, I will set Rugby's high jump at 12 or 8 instead of his usual 10 inches. It helps Rugby approach the jump confidently even if it isn't set correctly at a show, or if it is replaced by a certain English Mastiff. I didn't measure Sherpa, but laying down she is 12-13 inches high. Rugby was so pleased with himself for successfully jumping Sherpa that he celebrated for several minutes! Smart boy!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Public Service Announcement

Rugby helped some of his Applewoods Dog Training friends make a very important announcement about wearing inappropriate shoes to class. Rugby wants to keep everyone safe, so has started a committee of shoe chewers to confiscate shoes that don't make the cut. You can hand them over at the gate!


Friday, June 15, 2012

A Work In Progress

DSC_1695We have great plans for this new trick Rugby and Sherpa have been working on. It is still pretty rough, but I couldn't resist sharing the great progress they have already made. Once we polish it up you can expect an updated video.
Until then... enjoy.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Counting Points

After another weekend of Obedience Trials, Rugby has a new total of 83 OTCH points! He was fabulous on Saturday earning a 197 in Utility for 3rd place and 198 in Open for 2nd place. That got him 2 points, one from each class. He had a less than stellar Utility class on day two, where he somehow still managed to get a 191.5 for 4th place. We have to work on that, but I'm not sure how just yet. He redeemed himself in Open with a 197.5 for 1st place and 4 more points. You know what that means....

Rugby only has 17 more points to go! He also left this weekend with one of every color ribbon, and 2 legs towards his UDX2. What a good boy!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On the Street

DSC_0347One day during our trip to San Diego, we rode the trolley from the hotel to Gaslamp Quarter. Rugby was in his bag for the trip and none of our fellow trolley riders were aware of his presence. It was loud, smelly and crowded on the trolley, so I'm glad Rugby didn't have any opinions to share.

Once we were downtown, he came out of the bag to explore, searching for photo opportunities and training distractions. While we did take a couple of photos, I am happy to report that we did not find any training distractions. Rugby was a champ. He walked perfectly through crowds of people, past dinner tables and across busy streets, even past several city dogs that were offering to play with him.

The only thing that caught Rugby off guard were a couple of dog statues that were outside of the William Heath Davis House. He was happy that I didn't issue a "leave it" command as we approached and knew these were dogs he was allowed to play with. He was so focused on imagining all the fun they would have that it took him something like 15 seconds to realize that the dogs were not real!

While our trip to downtown San Diego was not quite the adventure we were looking for, it was great exercise and a nice change of scenery for us. Maybe we will head downtown a little closer to home next time.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

AMA Nationals

I planned an extra day into our travels this year to allow Rugby to rest after the long flight from Baltimore to San Diego. That meant he had plenty of energy for the show on Wednesday. It was a relief to find him offering to race me down the halls of our hotel that morning. He used his extra energy to show in typical Rugby fashion for his last UDX leg. Here are the videos of his runs.