Since things go much smoother when we have a plan, Rugby’s Utility work has changed slightly.
Since re-defining go outs for Rugby, things have been much better for him. Our biggest problem is that his target/retrieve sticks are so little, sometimes *I* can’t even remember where I put him in time enough to give him a sit command, and or to help him find it. We are working on that steadily.
I have taken the line off, just because 40ft of parachute cord to drag in the grass is a heavy load for Rugby. While it is definetely possible, and not uncomfortable he goes a little better without it for now and he is reliable enough that I can stop him quickly with a sit command before he makes any mistakes.
He is working the directed jumping *almost* at full distance and he is doing it well. Once he gets it at full distance like in the ring we will go back and re-teach them with JUST voice commands. Then go back and reteach them with JUST signals. This way the next time Rugby will be working with both (like he is now) they will be SUPER easy.
Our signals are at a much poorer state than I had originally though. I just got a head of him a bit on this a need to slow down and really take our time to make sure it is right – they are within reach! However, the return to heel command for the moving stand is MUCH MUCH better, and has surpassed the quality of his signals.
Gloves are coming along since we have a plan now. He is working the clock exercise with them in a circle around him. His circle has a radius of 15ft for now, with three different colored gloves. Working the green ones in the grass is our downfall. If he goes for a different glove then the one I sent him for, I am just reeling him back to me (BEFORE he gets to the wrong glove), walking closer to the desired glove and trying again. The first time we did this exercise it was wretched with me having to move him closer for almost every since glove. Now after just three days he is only getting re-directed (like described above) once in each session. Hopefully this trend continues.
Articles are wonderful. While he is still only working three right now, his confidence is building very quickly and he is getting better with every session. Today we added the turn in. For now we are sending without the sit, but if he REALLY dislikes it we can add it back in. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with it so far.
More later. 🙂