Thursday, February 25, 2010

Man, That was a FUN day!

Last year, Nubs and I went to an event called "Dog Day in the Park" in Grand Rapids Michigan. It was a fun event where Nubs received his CGC, got his first taste at weight pulling, and just got loved on by so many people. There must have been hundreds or dogs in the park that day. if you want to take a look at the club hosting it.

Anyways, They have a youtube video up with a bunch of pictures of the event, and Nubs and I are in it for the Kissing Contest. Now let me tell you it was rigged in some sort. NO ONE there could believe we didn't make the top 3 Nubs pretty much KNOCKED me over kissing me as fast as he could. It was a great moment for him and me, and even better for the breed. Who would have known that a Pit Bull could kiss like no other?? Well here is the shot from the video:
You can click on that photo for a little larger version. I wish I knew who that lady is that was taking the photos in that picture. She got some great shots of him going to town on me and took down some great information on the breed. All well, I'll never know! But I just had to laugh at the photo and share it with all of Nubs's fans.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Great Visit to Petco and TSC!

Just when I get frustrated with Nubs, he reminds me why he is such a great dog.

It was that time of the month again. Time for a food run. Normally I go to Petco then Tractor Supply Co. but I decided to switch things up by starting off at TSC where I get Nubs food. I took Nubs on a nice LONG jog before heading out, so I was hoping that there was enough of the edge taken off where he's act like a dog instead of some hyper maniac. Well it worked.

We walk into TSC and Nubs goes straight for the treat jar behind the counter. The lady as the counter was just in pure awe of Nubs. He walks right up to her, and plops his but of the ground and just gives her that stare. Dog owners everywhere know the "Feeeeeeeeeeddddddddd mmmmmmmeeeeeee" stare with the big puppy eyes, ears tilted a little and the tongue hanging out to the side like "I haven't eaten in DAYS!!!!". Nubs has that look mastered and I have yet to find a human that can resist it. So She gives him the treat and just loves him all over. We walk around and talk to some people... well I talk Nubs gets a full body rubdown with kisses and treats. How does one get so lucky? Most people can not believe that yes he is over 3 years old and yes he is a rescue. His big eyes and puppy-like face just fools everyone.

I was looking at some Garden carts for weight pulling and a new crate that is just a bit smaller this his 42" crate. I ask one of the employees if he could get the 36" down and if I could see if it fits him (he won't be in it for too long so even though he can't sit up, he can stand alright and lay down alright). He brings it down, and opens it up for me, and I just say "Nubs, cage!" and Nubs walks right in and I close the door behind him. I ask Nubs to sit, down, and stand to make sure it fits him alright and then I ask him to wait while I open the crate and grab his leash. I turn around to the guy that is helping me and his face is priceless. Just pure shock. He just says "Man, if my Jack Russel just had 1% of the obedience your dog has... I'd just be set!" I couldn't help but smile. He really is something special!

Now if I had to choose between Petco or TSC, I will ALWAYS choose TSC. I LOVE the employees there, I love the way they act around Nubs, I love how they are more then willing to help carry things for me (a 60lb dog and 40lbs with of dog food and a new crate, yes I would LOVE some help!!!). Toys are cheaper there, food is cheaper there, and the people are so much nicer. That being said, I like Petco because it is much busier, more dogs in the store, and so many more distractions. It's a GREAT place for training.

We walk into Petco and there is of course a rescue group in there with Bunnies and Cats. We had just had an encounter at TSC with Bunnies (the first time Nubs has actually seen rabbits ever) so another GREAT time for some training. We walk around, get stopped by all the Pit Bull people (you know who they are, because they see you and instantly break out in a HUGE grin as they walk up to you) and then something amazing happened. This kid about 8 or 9 walks toward Nubs, and Nubs SITS DOWN! Normally Nubs greets everyone in a full body wag but he actually sat down for the child. The kid goes to pet Nubs (I'm watching out of the corner of my eye seeing what would happen) and his mom YELLS "STOP!" Here in my mind I'm thinking "Oh great here it comes" but the woman just said "You better ASK before you touch ANY dog. You know better then that!" So the kid asked and just loved on Nubs a little before they walked away. Nubs the whole time sitting on his butt just happy as heck. I couldn't have been prouder and he knew it.

I see all the flaws in Nubs, like the fact he likes to jump on people or put his paws on the counter to see if he can get a treat out of the workers (because EVERYONE has treats in the eyes of Nubs). I go to check out (needed some new shampoo for Nubs's bath tonight) and the cashier was just commending me on Nubs. She volunteers at a local shelter (not the same one I got Nubs from) who takes in some Pit Bulls that have the best temperaments they can find and she was bragging to the shelter director about how well trained Nubs is and how much work I've done with him. I could help but say Thank-you to her. I don't feel that great about the work I've done with him. Yes he is better trained then 90% of the dogs out there, but I just know he could be better. I guess I shouldn't look down at what we have to work on and look at how far he has come.

So it was a great day out for us. A bunch more people have seen a Pit Bull acting great, I informed one girl who is thinking about adopting the breed the truth about DA (As much as you socialize your dog, it can happen at any point in their life. When you bring a Pit into your life, you should be OK with a DA dog, even if they never become DA, just always be prepared for it.) and enjoyed a few hours out with my dog. Gosh I love this boy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

What a Night...

Tonight was the second to last class for agility. I can't believe how FAST this 6 week course is going! I also don't think I will be taking another agility course with this place again. They are GREAT for obedience classes but Agility is still new to them as far as teaching it, and I think they move way to fast for the dogs to really learn anything.

Tonight my Boyfriend decided to come to class with us just to check out what everything is about and to laugh at me when Nubs does his normal clownieness. It was great having him along since he really isn't much of a dog lover, but is really trying to make an effort to at least understand what I'm doing and know enough about the subjects to give me peptalks when I'm feeling down. He tries, and that is all I can ask.

Tonight Nubs was being his normal ADHD self. He just can not focus on anything at all. His mind is going about 10 different directions and it's just really hard to get his to focus on anything non-human. Like tonight we were playing around with the teater-totter again and Nubs just refuses to look at anything besides my hand or the trainer. It's just the darnedest thing. I really wish Spring would hurry up and come so that I could get outside and do some really serous training just one-on-one with these objects and let Nubs really get use to them. My house is just not large enough for anything inside.

Nubs is doing much better though at listening to me and jumping on command. Although if he smells something interesting, you bet your behind he's stopping and smelling it rather it is in a tunnel or in the fabric part of the chute. Yes... Picture this:
We start off a short run with the Chute. I tell him "Tunnel" and he starts to run through it while I dash to the other end to catch the lightening fast sprinter. You can see him running though the chute when he just stops dead in his tracks and starts flailing around. I think "oh man! He forgot what this was! I bet hes scared!" so I grab the end of the chute and open it to call him out. There is Nubs SITTING in the chute's fabric part just sniffing away at something on the fabric. He was just so into it that even a call wouldn't get his attention away from it. I had to climb in and drag his 60lb butt out of it. Darn dog!

We continue on through the tire pretty much without an issue and then over a jump. Perfect! On to the tunnel and Nubs runs right into it and I make a mad dash to the end. If I ever video tape it, you'll see that when I mean dash I mean, full out run as fast as I can to the end to catch his leash because he'll normally be running out the end of the tunnel as I just come around the end. I make it to the end and no Nubs. You can see him stopped about half way though going back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth again. I get down on my hands and knees and here is Nubs sniffing the side of the tunnel again! I'm starting to wonder what smells so good since the tunnel is his favorite thing besides the A-frame. I call Nubs out and he runs out the opposite side of the tunnel, turn around and dashes though it right into my arms. Yes he jumped and landed in my arms. Laughter can be heard across the room and Nubs is just happy as heck. Darn dog is so proud of himself and I can't even be upset at that smile. He just loves running and the tunnels and the jumps.

So it looks like I have a 3 day weekend this up coming weekend. I'm not sure what I'll do but you can bet it will involve some training with Nubs and agility and focusing on the task at hand not the treats in mom's treat bag!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Agilty Class Update

So it's been a while since I've done an update on Agility class but it hasn't been to entertaining. Nubs is doing well and always overzealous on everything. What a goof.

Last year I took him to dog event the next over which had a place where you donated $1 to the local SPCA and could run an Agility course for fun. Nubs had a BLAST with the tunnel but FREAKED at the A-frame so we didn't try it beyond him stepping on it. Last week was the start of using the A-frame. Everyone is having fun attempting to get their dogs upon the a-frame. The other Pit Bull in class finally had to be pushed up the A-frame before she'd give into climbing it.

Nubs and I went last seeing as normally he is either so hard headed that it takes a while or he is all go and does it in seconds. I guess he was watching the other dogs do it because he didn't even take a second to ponder what to do, he just bolted right up one side and down the other before I had a chance to even react. This dog just doesn't do what I expect EVER! He shocked both me and the trainer so I didn't feel too bad for not expecting his reaction.

He officially LOVES the tunnels and A-frame. He is always wanting to run up it or through the tunnels every time he see's it.

This week we played with the Teeter totter. Again I need to work on Nubs learning that he has back feet. I just can't seem to get this guy to focus on anything besides the treat in my hand, people around him, or that darn A-frame! About 3/4th of the way through class I started noticing Nubs was getting tired because he actually started paying attention to me! It was amazing, it was like having the perfect dog. He was running, jumping, listening, everything perfectly! I was in heaven! Then out of no where he refused to run through the tunnel.

So we attempt 4 times to get him to go through the tunnel. He had been doing the tunnel all night long, but suddenly nope! Not having it. Finally the Trainer decided to have a go at it herself. She takes Nubs OFF LEASH and has a run with him. She just asked me to get ready to catch him if he runs off. What do you think happened? If you thought Nubs ran perfectly for her you'd be correct! That darn dog did everything correct for her, and he even knew he was off leash. He just wanted that darn treat in her hand!

Soon dog... Soon one day you'll listen to me and LIKE listening to me. You'll run the course no issues, and you'll LIKE it. You hear me you little devil?

"Who you call'n a devil? Does this face look like a devil to you?"

Your right Nubs, your no devil. You are just hard headed and that is what I love about you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"They are so dangerous!"

I guess I just have to give a mini-brag tonight.

My Parents live in the house behind me, and they just LOVE Nubs. My mom enjoys doing tricks with him (and undoing my training on accident) and my dad misses having a trust-worthy dog around and has adopted Nubs as his buddy and garage assistant. These 2 people were very VERY anti-Pit Bull before they met Nubs. Amazing what just one dog can do to change a persons mind.


Today after our normal winter walk (about half of our summer walks), we walked over to my parents house to chat and such. My parents no longer have dogs or cats but now have Ferrets instead. They have 3 wonderful, sweet, sassy ferrets with great temperaments; Dee Dee, Boo, and Micky.

While my mom was playing with Nubs, I took Boo out of their cage and sat down for a bit with her. When Boo first met Nubs, she bit him hard on his eye lid, and that was the end of Nubs even pestering the ferrets. I felt bad for Nubs, but it taught him more of a lesson then I could have ever done so: Do NOT mess with the ferrets! Well Nubs saw that I was holding one of the ferrets and decided he wanted the attention, and ended up climbing onto my lap and sharing it with this 1lb ferret. Boo just climbed all over him and started to clean his ears, eyes, chin, anything she could, and Nubs just laid there not quite enjoying it but respecting the ferret and what she wanted to do.

It just amazes me that he respect the ferrets the way he does, and he treats each one differently. Boo, who bit him, he is cautious around, Micky he plays with and then little Dee Dee he leaves alone because she is scared of him.

Yup Pit Bulls just happen to be such dangerous dogs you know. No I'm not a complete idiot. Nubs is just a dog and yes if that predator instinct kicks in I'm sure he would and could kill another animal. I mean he is a DOG. Dogs do hunt and and will kill prey animals. I think people often forget that these creatures are only dogs, not humans and do not rationalize the same way we do, but I tell you what. Nubs is GREAT inside with these ferrets because both my father and I have taken just over a year to work with him on being around them and we still will not allow him around them when they are out playing because Nubs is just a dog and accidents do happen. I don't think he's even harm the ferrets INSIDE on purpose, but we are talking about a 60lb dog VS. a 1lb ferret.

Nubs and Micky:
"I respect you dude. Don't bite me please!"


Little stinker Boo:

No photos of Dee Dee. I guess I need to get some photos of the Sable girl.