Yoshi Training Diary - April 2005
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
Feedback is welcome:
Sat Apr 30
Went to the Bayteam's USDAA trial in San Jose.
Yoshi was generally ok with some obvious exceptions. Once again he
lunged at a Border Terrier (Sharon F.'s this time). It's occurring to
me that with their harsh coat and brownish/grey coloring he many think
they're rodents (funny looking squirrels?) instead of dogs. I'll have
to arrange for him to meet one under highly controled circumstances.
Fri Apr 29
Dog park. Had a great time racing around with Jessie, and also
two dogs named Ellie and Oliver. He's still barky at the gate so
we don't go in until he's settled down and willing to pay attention to
I've been trying to decide if he knows something major happened to
Cali. While we chose to take her into the vet's office to put her
down instead of waiting 6 more hours for the vet to come to my house,
he still saw her as very subdued so he likely could have had some clue
that things were just not right. However I think that he's too
young to fully grasp what has happened.
The Bayteam is having a trial tomorrow in San Jose and people have
asked me to come by (and I want to also), I think I'm going to bring
Yoshi for the exposure, but I'll need to remember to bring a crate as I
don't want to be worrying about him while we're crying and hugging.
Wed Apr 27
Well class worked out quite well. Save for some domestic tension
(resolved) over my jumping in and taking over his handling after he
lunged at the instructor's Border Terrier.
I started out handling him and we were waiting in the hallway for our
class to start. We had gotten there first so were all the way at
the end by the door which worked out well. Every time he started
to worry about a dog I would pull steadily on the leash (he's wearing
his gentle leader) and ask him to "leave it, watch me" once he looked
back at me I click/treated him. Over time he really started to
pay attention and you could see the little glimmer of: Gee, this
is a lot more worth it than barking at / worrying about that dog way
over there. Terri wonders if he never gets to relax if that would
counter productive, but I think that if he doesn't know what's expected
of him (and if he don't trust that you'll take care of him), that he's
not going to relax.
in general he did quite well about heeling, sitting at stops,
targeting. His down is still iffy in class (but fine at home) so
will need more reinforcement. Walking around other dogs is tough
for him, but he's able to do it if we make sure he has enough space to
keep him comfortable.
Terri wants me to keep handling him and that's fine.
Tue Apr 26
Yoshi has obedience class tonight Actually his third one, but I haven't been able to go the past two times. He's
become a real shadow these past couple of days. I encourage it as
when he alarm barks I call him back to me which seems to help reassure
him that he doesn't have to guard quite so much. I go back to
work tomorrow and I hope he'll be ok.
He's been barking loudly at other dogs that come in the door so I'm going to be the handler tonight to see if that helps.
delay as Cali was diagnosed with and died of a particularly nasty
cancer called Histiocytic Sarcoma - details in her health diary]
Sun Apr 10
Yoshi went to the dog park today to play with Jessie and was very good.
One thing I've started doing is that we don't go into the park until he
settles down and doesn't bark at the dogs going in. He has his
gentle leader and leash on while standing outside and I work on having
him focus on me. Seems to make a huge difference he was running
around once we went in and wasn't barking his fool head off and was
mostly being less rude.
Sat Apr 9
He hasn't had much training these past two weeks as Cali had surgery to remove her spleen on Mar 28. (More on that in her health diary) and he's a touch overweight (about 1/2 pound). So we have some ground to make up.
Over time, I've noticed that on walks he's been growling and barking
more at other dogs who are one walks. Whether or not the other
dog is paying any attention to him. So today we went out to
follow dogs on walks with the idea of deciding where he's zone of
comfort is. (It appears to be about a quarter of a city
block.) My thinking was when he sees a dog that he barks and
growls at, we let them pass and then follow them at a comfortable
distance (on the other side of the street) clicking and treating when
he stops focusing on the other dog and more on me.
This worked surprisingly well. I had him on his gentle leader and
when he locked onto another dog barking and growling and struggling I
put strong pressure on the lead and told him (in a calm, firm voice) to
"leave it" while turning him (even to the point of lifting him up by
the lead - though I don't like to do this). Once he stops
obsessing on the other dog. I have him do something easy like
look at me and sit (click/treat). We do this for a bit and then
start to follow the other dogs from a distance. Even during the
time of one walk he was getting better.
One thing I really like about doing this is that it's more proactive
and I feel as if I'm doing something positive rather than dreading any
encounters with other dogs. I'm more relaxed and I'm sure that
helps. The attitude now is: oh let's go look for dogs to follow
(at a distance). I think he's better about this too as if you're
following a dog that's not confrontational and he's more in control.
I've resolved to not have Cali with us on walks as he's very protective of her and it's worse now that she's not feeling well.
On Tues the 12th he is going to be starting his Beginning
II obedience class at Oakland Dog Training Club. I just found out
that Patricia is going to be bringing her KC Cavalier Spaniel "Mr.
Giles" to the class as well. Should be entertaining.
Yoshi Training Diary - Mar 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Feb 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Jan 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Nov 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Oct 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Sept 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Aug 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - July 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - June 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - M ay 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - April 2004
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