Saturday, March 30, 2013


One of the books I purchased and read a couple times before getting my puppy is called, The Focused Puppy, and I learned a lot of training ideas that I've been using with Rigby.  My desire with Rigby is to train using positive methods to end up with a happy dog who loves to work.  Thanks, Deb Jones, for a wonderful book that has helped me in many ways.

Today Rigby showed how focused she can be and how much she truly enjoys working and especially tracking.  Wish I had a video to share of today's fun, but I didn't bring the camera this time.

Rigby's turn to track today came at about noon and, because it was a beautiful day, the park was pretty busy.  Just as we took Rigby to the small field to begin her tracking training a family with small kids pulled up to the parking area and as they exited their truck the level of commotion in the area increased and my heart sank as I thought, oh, shoot, we waited too long.

Ellen, who was going to lay Rigby's tracks, told me she'd make the first one short and we'd just see how Rigby did, but if Rigby could handle this situation she'd handle anything.  As Ellen started to lay the first track the noise level and activity continued to increase.  I tried to focus only on Rigby, but there were barking dogs, screaming kids and the kids also had brought out a big, colorful ball and were playing just behind where Rigby was waiting for her track to be ready.  All this was happening within 30 to 50 yards of my young pup.

Rigby was quite excited, sometimes watching Ellen lay her track and other times watching the kids and dogs around her.  When it came time to run her first short track Rigby was all business and once we stepped to the flag and I told her to find the glove, her head went down, she started finding hot dogs and she continued along till she got to the glove, her focus never waivering from the job at hand.  I was quite happy at the end of her track, too, as she did a couple glove retrieves, showing again that she could keep her mind on the business at hand.

We did two more tracks with Rigby and her excitement to track increased and her interest in other happenings around her decreased.  Her last track was 35 yards in length and just as with the first short track, she kept her nose down and followed the track to the glove and then happily played with her glove at the end.

I thought her level of concentration and her work ethic were wonderful for a puppy only 6 and a half months old.

Last night Rigby was enjoying her nightly playtime on my bed before being put in her crate for the night.  I was laying on the bed with her keeping an eye on her and doing some reading and, before I knew it, I heard snoring.  This was the first time Rigby had ever fallen asleep on the bed like this, she is always too busy playing and doesn't sleep till put in her crate.  She was so adorable laying there that I let her sleep most of the night with me till I woke and put her in her crate.

I have a few videos I'm going to load here for your viewing pleasure.  Two of the videos are from earlier this week, one with Rocky and Rigby sharing some playtime and one of Rigby on the couch chewing a toy.  The other video is of her tracking last week and you might notice that she is now tracking in a leather harness, as she has outgrown the nylon harnesses I had. 

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