Welcome back to our third week of “I Wonder Wednesday!” This is a really fun blog to write, because the questions cover just about everything, and that gives Rugby and I opportunities to really know about our readers and what is interesting to them! Sometimes, the questions we are asked can help us formulate upcoming posts, so keep those questions coming! Inquiring minds want to know about Rugby and I and we have the answers for you!
Question from Tammie: Rugby how do you do at the vet? I know my doggers get very nervous.
- Rugby James: Well, I doesn’t especially like going to the vetty vet, on account of they is always poking and prodding me, and they doesn’t know me at all!! I doesn’t really like strangers handling me much, and it makes me really nervous when I know I am gonna be looked at and messed wif. But…I gotsa really, really good vetty vet what understands who I am, so she does fings especially nice for me. She doesn’t wear her white coat sos she looks more like a regular Upright, and she always sits down to do my exam. I getsa just stay on the Mama’s lap, and sumtimes, the Mama can show the vetty vet stuff, like looking at my teef and stuff like that. The vetty vet gives me special treats what is tasty, and that helps too. The whole staff what works in her clinic gets who I am, sos they always makes sure that udder doggers and kitties is away from me sos everpawdy can be safe when I comes in the clinic and when the Mama takes me out to the car.
Question from Michelle: Rugby, what type of doggies make up ur pedigree ? You seem to have gotten the best parts!
- Rugby James: Well, Michelle, that is a really good question!! We honestly doesn’t know anyfing about my mama or daddy doggers, so mostly we have to guess based on what I look like and how I behave. Really, I’m kinda just a mixed up hot mess of dogger breeds. The Mama finks I’m mostly Shetland Sheepdog and Australian Shepherd/Australian Cattle Dog. But there could be Border Collie in there….or even sum toy breeds like Papillion. We just doesn’t know. I act mostly like a Sheltie, but I act a lot like an Aussie around strangers and doggers. So…there you have it! I’m kinda just a lil dogger what is all mixed up wif breeds! But I fink I has gotted the bestest parts too!!
Question from Jane: “McKenzie doesn’t come when called. Sometimes I stand at the door, waiting for her to come in, only to have her sniffing under the deck for frogs or looking for birds or who knows what. Has Rugby ever ignored mama Sally’s commands?”
- Mama Sally: Few things frustrate an owner more than when their dogs won’t come when they are called! What McKenzie does is very, very common! I won’t say that Rugby has never ignored me, but honestly, it doesn’t happen very often. Largely that’s because my training style with dogs is to set them up for success every time. When I’m training a given command, I don’t make things harder for him, until Rugby is consistently working at his current level with a 90% accuracy and no corrections. No dog generalizes things easily, so it takes a lot of repetition to move along from one stage to the next with success. If Rugby digresses at any point in the process….I back up and train at the old level again to be sure he really has figured out what I want. Sometimes I have to make the next step forward smaller than expected if Rugby can’t figure out what I want from him. At times, I just go too far, too fast for him to figure out what I want, so if he can’t come along with me, I know I need to back off and slow down a bit. Once Rugby is convinced that only one behavior will get him the reward that he wants, he is happy to comply and I see the accuracy from him that I want! Trying to cut corners is never very effective in working with dogs, and you’ll often end up re-training tasks. I stick to baby steps….going forward in steady, measurable steps, and it works every time!
Question from Tammie: Do you have any other favorite toys other than piggies?
Rugby James: What a good question! I does have sum udder toys what I enjoys a big much, and mostly that is my “Piggie Pillow” and my “Turtle Pillow.” The Mama always puts them in my crate wif me when she’s gone, sos I has sumping soft to snuggle, and sumtimes I likesa herd the Uprights wif these two pillows. If the Mama closes my crate door and leaves them inside my crate, I usually barks at her to open the door sos I can get them out. They makes dandy napping buddies! When I’m napping out in the house, I lubs my “Big Bear” the bestest. He’s as big as I am, sos it’s like sleeping wif anudder dogger!
Question from Tammie: Rugby we know Momma’s favorite place to take you would be a secluded cabin in the Smokey Mountains. Where would be your favorite place other than the back yard where you obviously feel safest. What about a secluded beach would you feel safe there playing with Momma in the water and on the sand if there were no other people or strange doggers?
Rugby James: Well, I doesn’t really likesa go all that many places, so really, staying home is always good for me. I’m always happy to go anyplace wif the Mama, but I likes it best when I can stay in the car and wait for her. I really doesn’t like water at all, unless it’s in my water dish, so I doesn’t fink the beach sounds very good….unless I can lay under a beach umbrella and eat snacks. I fink I could do that okay, and if the snacks was tasty, I fink I would like that idea a big much!!