Yoshi and Trek
Training Diary - April 2008
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
the human's blog see: The Non-Dog Blog
Non-Dog Blog Table of Contents
Wed Apr 30
Did more work on retreives and take/give with both dogs. Even
Trek who's pretty motivated to work, still prefers to be cued. I
think I should keep cueing/prompting until the behavior becomes
something she offers. Strict shaping really slows things down
sometimes. I have this interesting problem. Trek doesn't
know she can sit and hold the "dumbell" If she's holding the toy
and I ask her to sit, she spits it out. I'll have to try having
her retrieve and me standing up. Oh yeah I tried that, she
stands. Maybe if I work on come and front and then switch to
retreive she might make the connection. Yoshi has the behavior just not
in the context i want. He'll site at the back door holding a ty
to take out to the backyard, but he doesn't offer it for me.
Mon Apr 28
While watching a DVD, I worked with both dogs separately with a bone
like soft toy that makes an excellent substitute for a dumbell.
The dog that wasn't working was watching from one of the living room
crates. They both did great and were keen to work. Did
retreives ("get it") and they brought it back and handed it to
me. Every so often I would hand it back to them "take" and they
would hold it in their mouths (both did this funny little dance while
they held it.) If they dropped it I encouraged them to "pick it
up" then I would say "give" and they released it into my hands.
Then we went back to retrieves, and continued to alternate. They
each had a blast.
I have been having trouble getting Trek to hold something I've given
her, and getting Yoshi to "take" at all, so this was a good session
that we'll have to continue.
Sun Apr 27
AKC Pre-trial along the fence herding is driving me mad and I'm
concerned that it's going to mess my dog's good instincts up and it's
getting us into pointless arguments about not going inbetween the sheep
and the fence, but instead do these 180 degree arcs instead of doing
complete gathering 360s.. I finally had the revalation that I'm
doing this for him and not AKC titles, and there are
alternatives. The American
Herding Breeds Assoc.
has herding trials and for the most part don't require herding along
the fence and Joyce mostly does that style of herding anyway. So
I'm all for it learning what seems like real herding instead of the
along the fence training wheels variety.
I want to ask the corgi herding group but have to think of a nicer way
to phrase it as a lot of them do AKC herding.
Yoshi and i did have moderate success herding if you set aside the
fence arguments. It was hot and he tired out really easily.
At the end worked some on penning but he was already whipped and was
content to watch me struggle with the sheep so we'll have to keep at
that part. The trick is to call him into the right place and make
him stay which will keep the sheep from charging into the pen before I
have a chance to get it open. He was happy to sort of stay but
not where I wanted him to be.
Trek went along to get her belly rubbed and not herd.
I did show both of them the geese (dog on leash). Mild interest
though Yoshi was way leary.
Here's my Corgiherders post:
Greetings Corgi Herders,
Do I get to admit how frustrated I am with the on the fence PT
herding? My dog is very talented at gathering sheep, so we get
pointless arguments about not going in between the sheep and the
fence. I'm concerned that I'm going to mess his great instincts
I'm likely going to switch to AHBA herding instead which doesn't have
as much on the fence stuff. (I do herding for him and our
sanity, so I don't care whether he gets any more AKC herding titles.)
I'm just wondering what other people's experience is particularly from
those who herd with both organizations.
Sat Apr 26
Easy day after yesterday, and with herding tomorrow.
Fri Apr 25
A full doggy day. Today was Lori Drouin's once a month obedience
class and agility later on.
The day did not start out well as one dog was crying in her crate and
it set both Yoshi and I on edge. After he lunged at the second
dog I'd had enough and left with the thought of checking in later.
Then we went over to Pt Isabel and I had some breakfast at the great
Sit Stay Cafe and then Yosh and I went on a leashed walk on the bike
path wich goes along the park but is separated by a fence. It has
a pertect view of the park and we played a lot of LAT there. What
was really funny ad disconcerting is that while we were playing a woman
came up and said "You must be Ellen." Not exactly used to being
recognized in public, but realizing that this must be a CU person I
hadn't met yet, I laughed. Turned out it was Leslie H. who I've
exchanged email with in the past and who is a CU_Dogs_SF member.
It was great to put a (familiar from agility) face with a name, and we
had a great talk. She agreed that the bike path was a great place
to take a CU dog on a walk as long as they didn't chase bikes.
Checked back in on Lori's class but we were out of treats by then and
Yoshi needed a break, so we headed home, but found I was still
frustrated about not being able to do any of Lori's classes (I take the
day off for it). I needed to do somethng with Trek anyway so I
decided to take her to the Utility class and see if there was something
basic she could do in it. There was. Basic scent
discrimination. Some other beginner dogs were there so she fit
right in (she knows some signals, understands targets and knows to sit
Agility. Yoshi watching.
I've been discovering that if I'm shoving food at Yoshi, that he can
tolerate dogs much closer to him. The obvious point is what do
you do when you don't have food, but the idea is that the dog builds
positive associations with the presence of dogs (even approaching dogs)
and that over time the food may not be as necessary. Tried bones
too, but he wasn't interested.
(will fill in)
Thu Apr 24
Took Yoshi to Washington Park and it was very productive and
informative. I've resolved to stop pushing his boundaries so much
and just keep him under threshold or right at his threshold. As a
result, we were much further away from the fence that we usually are
(about 70' this time). We found ourselves standing in the sort of
cypress grove that is in betweeen the dog park and the road (called
Westline). From this distance he could watch dogs running around
and be ok with it It's funny, he's such a machine in a way.
If we decrease the distance, he stiffens, increase it and he
relaxes. Progress seems slow, but I have to remind myself that
not long ago at a trial at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, the distance was
initially more like 150'.
We started working on Open Bar just as soon as I opened the back and he
was still in his crate as dogs were walking by. As long as I was
stuffing treats in his mouth he didn't seem to mind the dogs walking by
about 30' away. We then walked the circumference of the park and
he started out very stiffly as we were by necessity still close to the
fence but when we got up to the grove we could get further away and he
relaxed. I'm wondering if I should just park on the street beside
the grove so we can skip the parking lot entirely unless we wanted
to. We could just hang out in the grove, the only gotcha is
sometimes dogs are walked on the bike path that goes through there, but
there's a lot of room to move around. It will also be nice when
the temporary fencing is down (I think they're reseeding a lot), and we
won't be quite as cramped.
Finally finished the April 20th workshop Diary Entry (see below)
Wed Apr 23
Got brave and tried a dogwalk with Yoshi right after work which is
prime time for seeing dogs, and is something we've been avoiding for a
while now. But we have more CU skills so I thought it was worth
trying. And I find out again it's all about predictableness and
dogs approaching. The walk went mostly without incident LAT lots
of people scurrying about, until we got up to the corner of Central and
Gibbons and I see a dog standing off leash in his front lawn while his
owner does yard work. The dog looks pretty under control so I
edge Yoshi a little closer and we sit there and play LAT on the dog for
a little while. I then decided that instead of trying to pass the
dog that we would just go the other way around the block. We turn
around and coming right at us are 3 on leash dogs. Yoshi loses it
and starts barking and trying to lunge. I said something like
"Great. we're stuck" The initial off leash dog starts also
barking, I get Yoshi under control and start feeding him which to his
credit takes him mostly complete attention, the owner and the 3 dogs
wisely cross the street and we watch them while Yoshi eats. We
then finally get to continue the alternate way around the block.
What should I have done different? Well i should have kept
looking around and when I saw the approaching dogs started feeding him
Tue Apr 22
There was a gardener using a blower next door and Yoshi started
barking at him. Fortunately I had some bread in my pocket and
was able to call him back and reward him with bits of it. I then
had two Corgi friends until the bread got put away.
He was able to LAT the gardener which was cool. Though as soon as
the bread disappeared he wanted to go back to gardener barking, but
dropped it immediately when I called him.
Mon Apr 21
What a full and successful and informative CU Workshop
weekend. Sat and Sunday's entries are going to take a while
to fill in.
Sun Apr 20
Yoshi's workshop worked. I'm really pleased. The main
organizational key was to double check anything that seemed remotely
uncertain. Having people confirm that they had received the
confirmation caught several things and I didn't have to hear about not
getting it after the fact. Email was and is a huge time saver,
but you had to assume that it was (and is) unreliable and that some
folks weren't as fluent as others in using it. Some may or may
not understand attachments and that if someone said that they didn't
receive it, it was faster to just send them another one rather than try
to figure out if it really was sent.
This entire endeavor was inspired by my wanting to get Yoshi more CU
instruction. I was going to take him to Leslie McDevitt, but she
told me about Kienan who now lives in S. Calif. So then I had
planned on taking him down to see her but before I did so he started to
get pretty good at the Look At That game and I realized that I wasn't
sure what I wanted to work on there, so I postponed it while I thought
During that time Bay Area CU came up again on the CU_Dogs list and 4
people (including us) were discussing it and we were talking about a
group road trip, I then started to wonder if it would be easier to just
bring Kienan up here. To get a gauge of interest I asked the Bay
Team list if anyone was interested, and got a huge response.
Realizing that it was time to make this happen in the Bay Area, I
decided to organize a workshop (and now there will be more). All
this just so I could get people to help train my dog. It was some
work, but mostly just keeping good track of things (I love email and
google docs, and Yahoo groups) and running mental scenarios of how I
wanted the day to look like, and a touch of graphic design skills for
the flyer, confirmations (puttint a photo of facility helped a lot),
checkin sheet and certificates. A bit of laziness (some would
call it working smart - it's kinda the same really :) helps as
including lunch into the workshop price meant not having to manage
lunch payments, and the biggest win was to have a food service manager
who worked for the price of an audit entry, and dealt with all of the
shopping for breakfast and snack items, making coffee and laying out
goodies for the breaks (nice spread Eva!)
I found the caterer by using Google maps and using the find businesses
option. I had a map of Jump'n Java (credit Karey for reminding me
that Anne's facility is really nice and Anne was happy to have us),
clicked find businesses and entered caterer. Three places came up
and Marsh's Lunch Box stood out as the obvious choice. Then the
cell phone becomes very useful as at some point it's better to have a
phone conversation and the cell phone meant that I didn't worry about
long distance charges like one had to in the bad old days. The
cell phone was of course essential the day of when I could give last
minute directions and coordiate with the caterer.
We also just had Kienan and Bryan stay with us rather than having to
find a hotel for them. I prefer having visitors as I love to talk
with folks. Having Kienan up here meant that we could then use
Washington Park in Alameda for the privates.
The schedule for the day was
- Evaluation (box work)
- Relaxation Protocol
- Whiplash Turn
- Look At That
- Give Me a Break
- Parallel Games
I introduced Kienan, then she added more and then we went around the
room saying our names, our dog's names and what our issues were.
I introduced Yoshi as the reason we were all there on that particular
day. Many said thank you to him (from afar).
We had laid out a box with 2 10' ring gates on each side (20'x20': 8
ring gates total) and had each team go in the ring. The first
time in the handler gave no feed back or direction to the dog.
The second time in the handler could interact with the dog. It
was interesting to see which dogs were really stressed the first time
but relaxed when someone was telling them what to do (Yoshi is solidly
in this category), others you didn't see that much of a change, and
some only showed subtle signs of stress.
We then got our mats out and massaged our dogs. Yoshi started out
ok with this but gradually started to stress out and worked himself
into a nice little meltdown so I moved us all the way to the back of
the reactive dogs section and I crated him there and covered the
crate. Guess what we get to work on?
This game is all about name response. Say the dogs name
and they should be handsomely rewarded for turning to you. the
funny thing was that I've reschooled myself to click when Yoshi looks
at something and it's hard to wait till he looks back after I say his
Look At That
This is totally Yoshi's game and he did great
that time at agility class playing LAT has really paid off. He
looked like a pro. Holly even said "These dogs are too well
behaved." I laughed and said "Oh you know he's not." I've
written so much about LAT but the gist is that you click when your dog
looks at something and s/he is supposed to turn back to you for a
reward. If your dog doesn't look back then s/he is over threshold
and you need to back away from the trigger.
He's so happy when he has a job that he knows how to do. Wonder
if that will ever translate to agility.
Give Me a Break
intriguing and effective game, GMAB is about building drive to work by
playing a fun game the dog knows and likes and then taking a break (you
sit down in the box and ignore the dog. When the dog looks at
you, the game starts up again. For Yoshi I got his foot target
mousepad out. I say "target" and he steps on it, I click and give
him a treat (which gets him off the mat to reset.) we did this for a
few times and then Kienan says to take a break. I pick up the
mouse pad and sat in the chair. He looked up at me almost
immediately and I should have started the game up again right then, but
I ignored him and he started checking out the perimeter. I
finally called him back and started the game up again. This time
when we took a break I started it back up as soon as he checked
in. He seemed to catch on then as the next time we took a break
he just stared at me. I asked what to do and pretty much every
single person in the room said "start!" so we did. A couple more times
and we were done and he got it. Cool. Wonder if I can
figure out a smooth way to integrate that with agility.
We only had time to do the most basic incarnation of this game but it
was still fascinating while being a very simple idea. You have a
line or two of ring gates. and the idea is to get the dogs used to
having other dogs moving in a parallel direction to them.
Initially the dogs are walking on leash but they can be worked up to
running and even towards each other. Initially they're separated
by ring gates but then you slowly start removing the gates while you're
at one speed. If you increase the speed (a criteria) you put the
ring gates back (lowering the other criteria.
To start off with we at first had Yoahi two ring gates away from the
He was find with this. Relaxed happy face.
Then Kienan had us go into the center lane
No more Mr Happy Face. Cathy said that his face tightened into a
pucker immediately. Kienan had us go back to where we started and
Mr Happy Face returned. Interesting, will have to play with that
more in the future.
And yes, we're planning another workshop. :)
Sat Apr 19
CU Private lessons at Washington Park. Trek got to go as neutral
Happy Earth Day by the way. This is a relevant comment.
What I didn't realize was that there was a huge Earth Day celebration
at Washington Park and parking was pretty much all to hell.
Gladys the parking goddess (Gladys, Gladys, full of grace. Help
us find a parking place) was with us however and we were able to
find spots in the parking lot for Kienan and I and Marcia (first
private) as well. Eva and Kate weren't as lucky and they had to
go to the pay lot and I escorted them back on foot to the small grass
area by the tennis courts where we were having the privates.
Sarah came later but early and was able to wait for a spot to open up.
Fri Apr 18
Agility Class. I almost didn't bring Yoshi as Rachelle is
starting a new beginner class but I decided to give it a try. I
kept him pretty far away from the action so he did well. I'm
really getting tuned into where his threshold are and how easy it is
for me to tell now if he's over threshold and we back another 10'-15'
off and then he is able to play CU games like LAT, even on the wire
Also had a couple of times where a dog would start walking right at us
and we immediately turned and walked quickly away (laterally) before
Mr. Y. could react. He used to pull to try to get at the dog, but
tonight he was happy to just come along with me. I'm thrilled
Another thing is that at lunch yesterday we were able to see a squirrel
10' away on a tree. The squirrel was only 5' off the ground and
looking right at us. He was even able to play LAT on the squirrel.
Trek is back in class and doing well. At some point in time I
need to practice lateral lead outs as she instead wants to come
straight to me, and her send to a tunnel sometimes works great and
other times doesn't work well. I think I want to work more on her
toy drive though she was willing to play a fair bit with the rabbit fur
tug and treat, and was much more enthusiastic about it when I rolled it
up and made it easier for her to carry.
Thu Apr 17
Leslie McDevitt posted some excellent advice to a local woman with a
reactive Papillon, and in one line she wrote about how some dogs don't
realize that they have other choices rather than fearfully react.
That line struck home to me. That's absolutely it for
Yoshi. He doesn't know that he can do other things besides
bluster at unknown dogs. That hadn't quite sank in (ok it was
starting to.) All this time I've been trying to give him what he
wants in order to ease his anxiety (hence the impossible campaign to
meet every dog on the planet,) but if he doesn't even know the best way
to cope then just giving him what he thinks he wants isn't going to
I took him on a short walk at lunch and was pondering all this.
More than anything, he needs to gradually learn that he is safe. Most
every time he has attacked a dog it's because he didn't feel safe. The
more he thinks he is safe the more relaxed he'll be and the less of a
danger to others (and himself) he'll be. I hardly dare hope
this is possible, but he's already more relaxed out on walks and at
class. One thing that's helped is to be less reactive myself as
the calmer I am the better Yoshi is. (Sharon F. and I have had to
basically agree to disagree on this.) If he starts to bark at a
dog, my response can calm him (Calmly call him and walk the other way
or carry him.) i used to correct him, but over time that doesn't
seem to have had much effect and the calm approach is definitely having
I'm so impressed that Leslie McDevitt came up with the Control
Unleashed approach. Working with a dog gradually and under
threshold closely parallels what is done with humans and
phobias/anxieties. Leslie deals with anxiety issues herself and I
wonder if someone who wasn't in that position would have come up with
this at all. Trish King is the closest. She spends a lot of
time teaching aggressive dogs how to relax on tie downs (similar to
Leslie's mat work).
Yoshi has been nausiated by the worming/giardia medication and he threw
up on the bed again. I've had it with torturing him, so I'm
stopping giving it to him. Terri said that he only has one more
day and I thought that makes it even easier to stop. Trek
finished tonight. It's so unusual to see Yoshi throwing up as he
has a real iron gut. Given that if he had giardia at all it was
just a touch of it, and his poop has been looking fine. Trek's
has been looking better than it was just still loose.
Worked with Trek some on basics (sit down stay) to see if I could get
them from a distance. Down works from a distance but sit
doesn't. I've never been entirely happy with the sit signal (palm
up and raising) but I have yet to come up with something better.
Maybe I should have my hand to the side more. Will go try that
It worked great with both dogs. Trek first and then Yoshi.
I'm using my left hand slightly to the side so it's easier for them to
see. they don't have to work as hard to figure it out.
Earlier Trek and I also worked on left and right. She's got it
(they both do). If I can get Yoshi to relax around other dogs
then he may be able to tolerate Novice level sits and downs, but I
think it will be
a long time before my nerves could handle it. He has all of the
novice skills (stand if a little iffy but that's fixable) and a number
of the open ones (though he's iffy on the dumbell.)
Wed Apr 16
The countdown to the workshop is happening. Some drama about a
participant's daughter having her baby early and her having to fly to
S. Calif, but I found another person to take her place. All
but two participants have confirmed that they received the confirmation
and directions. The caterer is all set. I have all the stuff I
think I need. So what am I forgetting? Maybe i should make
some business cards for myself though I don't train professionally.
Maybe I should say "Barter-based dog training and behavioral
consulting" since I don't want an income from it (at least yet - too
much paperwork and responsibility.). Honestly even that sounds like too
much work right now. :)
Tue Apr 15
Ironing out the CU Workshop details...
Both dogs let me do their nails without too much complaint. Yoshi
didn't even squirm that much. I'm thinking that I should get hair
clippers again (or find a new battery for these really old ones) as
Yosh would tolerate that better than safety scissors for trimming the
fur in between his pads.
Mon Apr 14
Heard back from the caterer and she has received my final head count of
45. Though she can't seem to find my original application.
Fortunately I save most everything related to this workshop so I sent
her my copy of it.
Trek seems to be improving and we're no longer crating her during the
day which i'm hoping we don't regret. We have bifriendly tonight
so we should probably crate her for that.
Sun Apr 13
Got a hold of Kienan and we wrote out the outline. It am getting
a couple of CPDTs involved since their the one's that need the
CEUs. I sent them all the documents and hopefully they can take
it from there. Also wrote out a brief bio of Kienan.
I did get a couple of workshop cancellations so I am working down my
alternates list. This is making some people very happy.
Took both dogs on separate walks. Yoshi didn't see any dogs
mostly due to my manipulating things so he didn't see them, but he did
see lots of whizzing around humans. Given i usually don't walk
him in our neighborhood (or along streets at all since they're narrow)
I figured I'd break him in easy. Worked on name response with
him. Say his name and click him the instant he starts to turn his
Trek is starting to volunteer heeling (I've been reinforcing the
position a lot), so i started to work the word "heel" into the
action. She actually could learn to be quite a good obedience dog
if I wanted her to be one.
Sat Apr 12
Blew off gym class to work on a Certificate of Completion for the CU
Workshop. It looks good.
Still need to do the outline.
Fri Apr 11
Trek who even under close supervision managed to contract giardia
(she's had diarrhea for a couple of days.) Probably from eating
cat poop buried in the yard. Anyway we just got the diagnosis and
she's starting treatment tonight so she's not going to class as she's
still contagious. I did take Yoshi to watch as he's not showing
any symptoms (though he gets treated for it too just to be sure.)
Yoshi watching agility class and
So we started out typically with Yoshi watching class, but the white
terrier was there watching so I experimented with letting him watch the
terrier from about 20 feet (we worked up to that from 50). I had
also brought a crate like last week. but there was a handy wire crate
there so I put him in that and could easily feed him that way and he
had a clearer view than from the soft crate so it was sort of like
taking Look At That to a slightly higher level It worked well
enough that I'm wondering if I should get a wire crate for his training
though I dislike how heavy they are.
Then it was time for Trek's class so I decided to have him watch a
little of that one. But first in between classes I had him do a
little agility at the far end of the upper field. I had him do
the dogwalk then tunnel and a series of jumps and integrated the tunnel
into the sequence with the jumps. He sends beautifully. I can
send him 15 feet to the tunnel. But after a few times the noise
of the class coming in started to distract him and we stopped.
While the class started in the lower field we watched from the other
side of the chain link gate. He did quite well except for Ziggy
the husky who's a little reactive herself and wants to charge up to any
dog (though not aggressively) We move. He's reacted to her before
and he did when she suddenly appeared in his vision. He was
barking and trying to lunge as I dragged him away (and I think Ziggy
was doing something as well.) We move further up the hill and
worked our way back down. He was able to watch Ziggy with us
about 20 feet from the gate.
Rachelle was kind enough to offer letting Yoshi run the lower field
course that the class was working on but I declined since he was still
uncomfortable about Ziggy and a couple of small fluffy dogs there.
I'm working on this game with him that I've done some and want to
elaborate on. I carry him and turn so that we both can see the
dog. Let him look at the dog for a few seconds, and then pivot so
he's looking away (I do have to keep pivoting as he tries initially to
turn back, but he no longer struggles to do so as he used to.
It's kind of an intro LAT as I'm the one who's controlling the looking,
but it's a way that I can get him closer without him going over
threshold and he gets reassurance by being up higher and being held by
a calm person. He was able to succeed at this.
When the class moved up to the upper field Yoshi and I
moved down to the lower field and worked the course there (chain link
fence closed). He did fine until we would try to run by the gate
and he would stop to bark. The interesting thing is that I was
able to call him off of that and return to work just like he can in
herding. This happened a couple of times and then he was able to
work past the gate. He didn't totally relax, but he seems to be
less stressed about it than he had been. Once again, if agility
was fully fenced like herding is, he could do it, but not in its
current incarnation, and he has quite a ways to go before I would trust
him in a class again (though WAG is 3/4 fenced and in Southern Calif
they put up fencing). But regardless if he ever competes in
agility (not likely) the training is great for him and getting him to
the point where he could handle competition is a good goal regardless
of if he ever is entered in a trial.
Wed Apr 9
Bike Bait for Malinois's.
I had offered to our local CU list that I was happy to play skate or
bike bait for motion reactive CU dogs, and Tasha took me up on the
offer for Calli her Malinois. Since we both go to Oakland DTC we
decided to meet there. I had just gotten my bike back from the
shop so I had my bike with me which was way better than a skateboard in
that old parking lot where the club is located. Calli did great
as I repeatedly wizzed by her. She would play LAT with
Tasha. Look at me, and looked back at Tasha for a reward.
The only thing that went awry is that she'd been a good dog for many
minutes and couldn't resist grabbing my pants leg (inhibited bite) as I
was moving very slowly near her. It's was a classic Malinois "I
should be a police dog and I must control you" grab and I could see it
was totally instinctual and she released immediately. Tasha
worries about it (as not everyone is going to realize that it was an
inhibited bite, as it very much was a bite), but I think she's getting
a handle on it. And I'm thinking that I might want to wear
heavier pants for this - though I had the forethought to not be wearing
tights (eek :).
ODTC for Yoshi. I had
Yoshi do the first part of the obedience class at ODTC.This time I
tried something more CU like. I brought in an ex-pen and a mat
and had him do sits and downs on a mat in the expen. Wow, what a
difference. He didn't growl or react during that entire time and
I was able to get some distance between him and I. I also had him
do heeling and then figure 8's. The figure 8's were with
LizAnn and her large GSD Quinn (who has been reactive as well).
They all did great. I then gave him a break when they were
working on more advanced exercises.
He did react once to an unfamiliar Golden who walked right at him, but
I just held him firmly with his head turned away and he settled
down. Then I put him in a wire crate that they have in the side
room and he chilled out for a while.
Another unplanned really cool thing is that Yoshi and Calli are getting
along and they used to grouse at each other (Well, Yoshi would grouse
at her, and she would stress bark). They actually seemed to enjoy
each other's company though they didn't meet until the end of class so
they had a while to watch each other. LizAnn asked if they were
friends. i was very happily surprised by that comment. In
response all I could do was laugh as I was a little short of words at
that second. While Yoshi is not as relaxed there as he is at
herding he is noticibly more relaxed there than he used to be.
Mon Apr 7
Cathy and her dogs over to watch a DVD. Rather than ask anything
of Yoshi I just had both dogs rest in their crates and they did
fabulous. I was able to do the walk to the door and touch the
doorknow, then unlock the door, then open the door (all in stages)
without any of the dogs getting upset (including Cathy's dogs.) I
was also even able to drop something on the floor and they were ok.
Yoshi even had his head down most of the time. Cathy says that
it's the most relaxed she's ever seen him. I started out the
evening feeding him treats, but stopped after a while so I could watch
the film. Without treats he was actually able to get more
rest. We did have Jesse out of her crate and on the sofa and he
was fine with that. I did leave Trek in her crate as she is a
trigger for Yoshi.
I need to work on training the doorbell routine as it takes Yoshi some
convincing to come away from the door and go to his crate.
Tomorrow at noon I'm going to be doing another clicker lesson with
Diane and Petal - that should be fun.
I'm also going to take Yoshi to class at ODTC and we're going to go
early at 7:15 so I can play skate bait with a skateboard for Callie,
Tasha's reactive Malinois. That also should be
rather exciting. I kinda hope that Hazel isn't doing a class at
that time so we don't distract any dogs there.
Sun Apr 6
Herding with Yoshi. He's getting it! We're actually doing
herding now, and I didn't have to start him in the round pen to get him
tired. Good thing as he's whipped and completely exhausted.
I'm going to have to find a way to do daily walks to keep him in better
aerobic shape but that don't set back his training. I'm not
buying him a treadmill. He'd probably be afraid of it anyway.
He needs a lot of work on stay with sheep around. That part is
really hard and it's required for us to get penning right (part of the
PT test). He has to stop and stay and hold the sheep back while I
walk to the gate. If he doesn't hold them back them they force
their way into the pen as it's where they want to be. this is
what we'll be working on a lot for the next few times. If we can
get the penning down and have the herding be a little smoother (it's
kinda herky jerky right now) he'll be ready for a trial.
Fri Apr 4
I've been thinking about how Leslie uses a barrier like ring gates or
ex-pens so that the dog can work safely offleash. I'm wondering
if an expen might be a good way that Yoshi can learn to do sits and
downs off leash again.
Agility tonight. I'm going to bring a soft crate and see if Yoshi
feels more comfortable in there. Even last week in an expen he
was still pretty vigilant.
Both dogs did very well in their respective roles. When I walked
in with the crate (and no dog in tow yet) the first thing I saw was a
Bouvier that Yoshi had never seen before. Oh this should be fun -
a dog that looks like a sheep. I went up to the upper field and
set up the crate on the top of the embankment so he could have some
space from the other dogs and be up higher. This worked out
really well. The terrier was there too but stayed in the lower
field. It's funny but while Yoshi did ok with the Bouvier, he was
a little growly when the terrier came into view. The he was
perfectly happy to play LAT from the crate. Over time when
he seemed more settled I brought him out and we played LAT on leash and
he wasn't stress panting like Leslie observed he was doing in his
earlier video. Once in a while he would start the jump up
appeasing behavior or panting, and then I backed him off some and we
did something else like heeling, or targeting, or running to his
crate. We never went very close to the Bouv but we were within 20
feet and he seemed ok. After their class was over, I had Yoshi do
a few obstacles and he did well though was still worrying about noises
so we didn't do very much. I didn't have him interact with any of
the dogs and he didn't seem to miss it this time. He's an odd
duck that way. He stresses about dogs, yet he is very doggy and
often wants to meet dogs.
Trek was really rocking the agility house tonight. She was very
fast and responsive and loved playing with her rabbit fur toy.
Her speed had her blasting out of a tunnel so fast that she didn't
notice me calling her for a sharper turn (and I was deliberately
calling her early), I actually had to wave my hands to get her to
notice when we repeated it. This is one of those things that will
come with experience as she gets used to actually looking while going
fast. I do need to remember to not say tunnel tunnel tunnel as
she looks up if I do that thinking that I'm calling her off of the
Thu Apr 3
Roll your own Relaxation Protocol
Well I was going to do a bunch of the Relaxation Protocol but got
distracted with watching The Bourne Ultimatum (Terri is taking credit
for this but I think it's a little unfair to blame her for my own
choices fun as it would be.) During the film I put him in his LR
crate (door closed) and he relaxed while we watched. During the
long chase at the end there was so much excitment it seemed like a
perfect opportunity so I crated both dogs and I started to wander
around the living room. Once they got used to that I walked over
and touched the from doorknob and then walked away. Their eyes
were intensely on me, but the didn't bark. I repeated the walk
and touch the doorknob for at least six times (likely more), during a
very noisy car chase. Then when I walked over I unlatched the
deadbolt which has a very distinctive sound that they almost always
bark at. No barking. Repeated that a bunch of times
When they seemed ok with that, I actually
opened the door. Amazingly no barking though both very
alert. I closed the door and walked away. By this time the
film had ended and then the very catchy theme song came on so I
incorporated dancing around the living room as well. (Oddly the
RP doesn't talk about dancing which seems like an oversight). I
worked up to dancing around the room till I got to the door and opened
it and walked outside even saying hello. No barking though Trek
did growl a little when I was outside. One thing that helped was
that Terri was on the sofa looking unconcerned.
I may start doing more outlandish things with the crate doors shut and
then see if I can do a milder version with the crate doors open.
Earlier in the day, I sent this
question to the CU lists:
Greetings CU folks,
I'm hoping to get Yoshi through the Relaxation Protocol (located in the
Files section of either CU group) before Kienan's CU Workshop here in
the SF Bay Area on April 20th, and we're up to Day 4 and will probably
proceed rapidly until Day 9 or so (he's had more than a year of
competitive obedience training so even though RP isn't a stay exercise,
it's pretty familiar stuff to him.) Come Day 10 things will get
interesting as at that point the RP starts to incorporated knocking on
walls, and Day 11 the doorbell gets rung, which brings up a question
When the door bell rings, I want my dogs to bark, not relax. I
currently have canine pandemonium and I'd rather not have that, but
I want is a few barks and then they should charge into their living
crates. So how should I modify the RP to incorporate that? Should I
delete the doorbell entirely from the RP or work on training the
behavior I want at the same time as working on RP?
and Corgis Yoshi and Trek
General gist was to just delete the doorbell and work on the special
doorbell behavior separately. Wendy even suggested using a remote
wireless doorbell in your hand (not yet attached to the door).
Wed Apr 2
Leslie on the CU_Dogs list was telling someone else that they really
needed to do foundation work before trying LAT around other dogs.
Guilty as not charged. I went ahead and went straight to LAT as I
wanted us to get good at one specific skill since there are so many
presented in the book and I was a bit daunted so it was more as a way
to prove to myself that we could do it. It was also clear that
that game was going to make a huge difference (and it sure has).
But it's time for us to go back and fill in some of the gaps and I can
probably get him through most of Karen Overall's (15 day) Relaxation
before the workshop. We had done Day 1 previously and he did very
well at it. so we started at Day 2, but are using an open door
soft crate. There were a couple of things I was wondering if he
was going to have trouble with like jogging in place and then jogging
backwards, but he was great at it and really wanted to keep working so
we did Day 3 as well. The walking halfway around he was at first
wondering if he should move but quickly caught on that the idea was to
stay put (especially since he only gets the treat if he's all the way
inside the crate. He does pop up a lot from a down to a sit, but
since it's not a stay exercise I don't worry about it. He is way
attentive instead of relaxed, but he's happy so I'm not too concerned
Day 4 shouldn't been too bad. Day 5 has you walking over to touch
doorknobs. Day 6 has you actually go through a doorway and
disappear for a few seconds which is more challenging. Day 7 has
you opening doors which will be hard I think (we'll use the door from
the LR to the kitchen. The really tough part will be door
knocking and doorbells (later on).
Most of the other basic skills such as Go to place/mat/crate, Leave it,
and name response (she called it whiplash turn) he's pretty good at
under non-stressful circumstances, so we'll just work through the RP as
it will be good for him.
For fun I also did Day 1 with Trek and a mat. She had a lot of
fun, totally not relaxed but having a great time thumping down on the
Archive - Go to:
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