I usually avoid blatantly breaking the leash law in our community before. The other day I posted about working Rugby at the park, but there wasn’t THAT many people there. Today however the playgroud was OVERRUN with short people. It seemed like there were hundreds of them (probably only 30 but still…its not a big playground). Since our house is officially for sale now and we are moving I figured it wouldn’t matter if someone got mad at us for working off leash (and if they did it wouldn’t matter).
Part of my justification for working off leash is that Rugby never leaves my side, unless he is on a stay or retrieving, he does not approach other people without having been given permission, he does not bark at people, he is not allowed to even relieve himself unless I allow him and he is at ALL times under control. If for any reason Rugby even considers the possibility of not meeting any these requirements, he looses off-leash priveleges.
The huge audience we got when we started working clapped and cheered for Rugby every time he went over a jump. We were able to put them to work too, doing stand for exams on Rugby and also forming a tunnel to do a drop on recall through. Then they all took turns throwing the dumbbell for me to send Rugby for. It did take some explaining to get them not to follow Rugby out and back from the dumbbell though!
Once I had bored a lot of them and only 6 kids were left I let them help me with articles. One of the kids scented the three that aren’t supposed to smell like me, and the other kids took turns puting mine out with the tongs in the place I told them. Rugby was really aweful about articles yesterday and after he has been doing so well with them it was dissapointing. He started off that way today too, but the last two he did were better again. Hopefull that is the end of this little stumbling block – we will see how he does tomorrow.
Another story that makes all the time we spend training worth while.
I dropped my car off at the shop last Tuesday (while we should have been at that run-through class except I completely forgot about it) and took my dads truck while it was getting worked on. In the process of moving my stuff to my dads truck, I had packed the only readily available leash away.
No big deal, I just gave Rugby a heel command and walked to the door of the shop. I put him on a down-stay just out of the way of the door and left him to drop my keys off. Then, Rugby and I waited outside for my dad to finish and spent the time wisely practicing drop on recalls, pivots and signals.
When I went back in the second time, Rugby came with me into the waiting room in heel position untill I directed him at an open chair and sent him to place there. He left me and jumped into the chair and layed down while I took care of things at the counter, then I joined him in an adjacent chair.
I left him one more time to get something else out of my car and this time he was still in a stay in the waiting room chair. I came back in, put my keys up on the counter again and gave Rugby a heel command. He left the chair and met me on my left side and we walked out just the way Rugby likes it – with people looking at him!
Sigh…he is amazing. <3