Rocky the agility pit bull
Agility Dog Team – Richard Frejomil II &
Rocky Roosta Win Grand Championship Dog Agility Team of the Year in Long Island, N.Y.
Richard Frejomil II began training dogs as a hobby in 2008. With practice and basic experience, he developed a knack for training dogs. When the economic downturn hit, Richard decided to use his new found skills in dog training as a means to supplemental his income.
“I was able to get some work but not as much as I wanted,” he said. “People like to see some form of degree or certification before investing their hard-earned money.”
That is what led Richard to Animal Behavior College (ABC), which he began attending in January 2010. Richard really enjoyed going through the whole experience of the dog training curriculum.
“The best part of it was the externship,” he said. “I had to bring my pit bull Rocky to Mike Rueb at the Bideawee Pet Welfare Organization in Westhampton, N.Y., to demonstrate that I could train a dog. In Mike’s own words, ‘everything you have done with him is nothing short of amazing.’”
To this day, Mike continues to refer clients to Richard. By 2011, Richard’s reputation as dog trainer in the local area was growing. Port Jefferson’s mayor put Rocky in some of the town’s advertisements. Rocky was even featured in Newsday for his exceptional behavior in public.
In July 2011 Richard applied for a dog trainer position at the Rocky Point Petco, which had just opened up. During the interview, the regional dog training manager said to him, “Wait, I know you. You’re richedisdaman (Richard’s YouTube name). I saw your dog get a beer from the fridge. He then told the store manager about all the shows Richard and Rocky had done at local stores. Needless to say, Richard was hired on the spot.
Richard and Rocky Start an Agility Dog Team
After becoming an established dog trainer, Richard became interested in agility dog training. One day at a park, he had Rocky jump over parking rails, run along benches and weave between his legs. Not only did Rocky do it well but, he did it fast and enjoyed every minute of it.
“I always thought it would be cool to do; I just never thought my dog would have the drive for it,” he said.
After that, Richard purchased a beginner dog agility set. In one week, Rocky was performing the obstacles independently without any luring. Seeing the great promise and enjoyment agility training offered, Richard bought books on building agility equipment and beginner agility handling. Clearly, he was bitten by the agility bug.
In a month’s time, Richard decided to seek training from a seasoned agility handler. He went from knowing very little in the beginning to entering in an intermediate off-leash dog agility class at Canine Form and Function.
Richard and Rocky entered their first dog agility competition with Canine Performance Events (CPE) in June 2012. Rocky was, and still is, Long Island’s only pit bull agility dog—he was a big hit. The pair continued to compete on a monthly basis with CPE.
In May 2013, they went to Jean Jacobsen, the trainer at All Fur Fun Agility, to further increase their skill level. Jean specializes in distance training. Everything was going great until late June 2013. Rocky became ill; he kept falling over and began to develop facial paralysis. Richard pulled Rocky from training and competing. After seeing an holistic veterinarian, Rocky showed signs of improvement, and by September, Rocky was ready return to the agility ring.
Rocky returned to the agility ring even better than before. He scored a near perfect weekend score, which put the pair in the top eight for agility team of the year. The next level of competition was the October trial. In the last run it came down to two teams.. When it was all said and done, they won grand champion team of the year. Rocky is now in line to earn his first Canine Performance Events championship next summer. One more win for the pit bulls.