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My Utility Dog

My brother came to visit last weekend. Like all little brothers do, he had to cause some sort of good natured trouble. At one point my pen was thrown clear across the room, bouncing out of view, behind a chair. Homework becomes much harder when you don’t have a writing utensil. After a few minutes of begging, I accepted the fact that my brother was not going to return the pen to me.

All hope was not lost however, since a certain Maltese was beside me on the couch. He was still laying down when I marked the other end of the room and gave the ‘Rugby, Sevens’ command. Since we teach the go-out with a hidden retrieve, “Sevens” has an implied retrieve attached to it. It does NOT however imply that he make a sharp left turn to find out where my pen had bounced. To accommodated this, before he reached the end of the room I have another command – ‘Fetch.’ There wasn’t anything else Rugby-sized on the floor, and I know Rugby has an affinity for pens and pencils, so I was confident that it would work.

Sure enough, Rugby paused and looked around for a second before he spotted the pen, pounced on it and brought it back to me. The best part of it was he had to pass my brother on the way out and on the way back. Both times, my brother tried hard to distract him and pull him off course, but Rugby resisted the temptation.

Teaching the Go-out part of Directed Jumping for Utility? Totally worth it.

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