Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2010

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

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Fri Apr 30
Trek agility class
She actually seemed to have a nice time.  Again I let her have space away from the others and she seemed to do well and didn't quit.

Thu Apr 29
Trek play session.  I had to go to Pet Food Express so there wasn't time for a walk for her, but I did get her a new Air Dog which Yoshi promptly stole to dig a hole for.  when I retrieved it (ha) I rinsed it off put Yoshi in the house and had a great fetch session with her. I would give her a treat about every 3rd time.  The toy is slightly oblong in that oh so suggestive cucumber/stick shape (here's a photo: http://www.dogtoys.com/kongairdog1.html).  the longer shape makes it easier for her to pick up.  Yoshi thinks it's a bone.

Yoshi walk.  Exploring his limitations.  He can sit and stay while a dog is across the street.  He can almost sit and stay when the neighbor dogs are out (though this is really, really hard).  However once he's amped up because I've been insisting he stay and correcting him when he doesn't (when I think he should be able handle it), he can stay but he won't do something active like "touch" (poke his nose into my hand).  He can down.  He can sit.  But that seems to be about it.  Nothing active that takes his attention away from what he's watching except to briefly eat.  This is good to know as with many dogs distracting them with something they know well helps.

We spent some time just sitting and watching people walk by and it's interesting that staying helped relax him some.  Corrections do agitate him if it's something he's worried about.  If there had been a dog we would have retreated as he's very protective of HIS house/yard.

Herding Trial!  There's going to be a herding trial at Pescadero June 12-13, and they are offering JHD on goats.  I checked with the person putting it on and it turns out that AHBA separates out even the JHD by stock so Yoshi can get a JHD on goats which is just perfect.  I'm excited.  I've checked with HTrainer3 to see if Yoshi could come back to just work goats and she's going to check on Sat.  Even if he can't practice ahead of time, with goats we could probably walk in cold on a JHD couse.  So I sent in his entry today.

A friend has graciously offered her goats to Yoshi and I to herd even before this came up so that's another possibility.

Started packing for agility this Sat at Prunedale.  PI standard is first thing in the morning so we actually have a chance of Qing and getting out of Started.

Wed Apr 28
I have been looking all over for replacements for the rounded collars they have.  No sign.  Lots of leather braided collars, but hardly any fabric.

Trek walk.  Fine.

Yoshi walk.  So so.  Good moments and not great ones.  It's windy and he was amped.  Saw a smallish bouncy dog coming at us and we walked toward them for a bit and then ducked down a sidestreet.  I deliberately didn't go as far away - less than a house length less than 100' and that was too close and he barked and tried to lunge.  I wrestled him into a sit but it didn't seem to make any impression.  Then the nearly same situation occurred but our position was very different.  We had just started down Gibbons and saw a dog crossing Gibbons.  The sightlines were great and he was able to sit and watch them cross the street and pass on by.  The distance was about the same, the difference was that he wasn't surprised.  So what I need to do is arrange it so he can see the dog as soon as possible.  I used to worry about this because it lengthens the time that he sees a dog approach, but that doesn't seem to be as strong a factor is to help reduce the amount he's is surprised.

We also stopped and let a kid named Celeste spend time with him petting him, and a dog appeared in the distance and he started to bark.  I pulled him away from Celeste (she wasn't upset and nor were her parents because I had a hold of him, but he still wouldn't relax until the other dog went away which is a bummer.

Tue Apr 27
Midday.  It's raining lightly so I think Trek is going to get dragged out for a walk.  Since Trek's PP class hasn't started yet I think I'll take Yoshi to a Rally drop in class at ODTC tonight.

Trek Walk
She stopped for the Trash Truck and we were able to stand and wait until it drove by.  No panicking.  Cool.

However:  Yikes.
Just had the welds break on the 2nd of 3 fifteen year old dog collars. Right as i was thinking about it I suddenly found that the leash was loose.  Since i was expecting it I called her even before I looked down and of coruse she was right there.  i was able to cobble together the collar together with the snap leash and we finished the walk.  Fortunately Yoshi is walked on a martingale so even though he has the last one, it will likely be ok since it doesn't get the same amount of wear and tear.  Right now Trek is wearing the leather rolled collar.

I think a good rule of thumb is new dog = new collar. Too bad I can't find more of these collars though they're really nice. Cautionary photos to follow.

Yoshi Rally Class
He did pretty well.  6 dogs one he hasn't liked in the past as she's a bit reactive, unconfortable around other dogs, and stares.  During the runs (we had 4), he did great and was able to concentrate.  The other times I mostly just put him in the wire crate in the side room.  There was one time where i had him doing what they call an "honor stay" where he's on a sit while another dog is doing the course.  The CU dog was nearby and barked at the St. Bernard.  Yoshi the joiner, immediately started to lunge at the CU dog and I dragged him away before he go to her.  i am annnoyed that he has this much of an impulse control issue still even though he is able to behave under most other circumstances, but except for this rather huge thing, he did great.  I think I can start putting him in Rally fun matches to see if he's ready to compete and begin his perma-novice Rally career.

Mon Apr 26
Trek walk uneventful

Yoshi walk.  I deliberately walked around the school perimeter which is usually a guaranteed of dogs but it was past 6pm and they all seemed to have gone.  Went on the long version of the rest of our walk and still no dogs ... until of course we nearly walk right into a small golden as we were just about to turn on our street.

Mr Y. hates surprises and even though I immediately turned around he was barking furiously.  To the point where I just stopped and retreated only a very short distance and decided to make him sit while the Golden walked by.  This became a tough wrestling match and he really only sat when the Golden had past.  Great now we have to go look for more dogs to work on this.

So we walked past the house and headed back towards the school.  Fortunately there now was another larger slower Golden walking with his Dad and 2 kids.  They are going slow as one is having a tempertantrum.  He encouraged us to pass, but this was a perfect moment as we had approached from behind and were fairly close and Yoshi even after his previous outburst seemed fine.  I deferred but asked him to tell us if they were going to turn around.  In a bit he said that they were and we actually walked past them within 10' of the dog.

As it is with kids they decided that they actually wanted to continue so they crossed the street to walk along the school.  We went back to following for a very short while and then two more dogs (together) showed up and Yoshi was able to side while they walked past on the other side of the street and then crossed over to our side right after they had passed us.  Yoshi did great and I'm very pleased so we then finally got to head home.

It is our DVD night with Cathy and when she knocked they were barking but then were ok about going to their crates - though Yoshi always wants to hop on the sofa first.

Sun Apr 25
Took Trek along to visit Mark and Jan just so she could have the experience of going over there without being abandoned.  She kept close track of us the whole time.

Fri Apr 23
Trek Eye Appt
Her left eye is still at 6 mm/min on the Schirmer eye test as compared to 21 mm/min on the right which is normal.  Dr Friedman has decided to try her on Doxycycine tablets (100mg) which is an antibiotic and antiinflamatory.  It can help with the scratchy feel of a dry eye and may help with tear production, the only down side is that it might make her nauseated so I have to figure out a good time to try it - maybe tomorrow.

Just to mess with my head, Yoshi threw up his entire breakfast, so Trek isn't starting her medication today.  He still seems fine so I'm going to give him his breakfast again as treats.  I think it might have been the Innova Senior food that I was giving him as treats yesterday.

Yoshi Class with Lori.
So I decided to try him in the Open class.  He did very well and I was happily surprised.  It really helped that the dogs there were pretty good in general.  Unfortunately there was one PWD who was grousing at a Golden there and Lori was telling the owner that he really needed to stay on top of this.  I kept Yoshi way far away from him and when that dog started to grumble I took Yoshi aside to give him a break.  The heeling exercises he did very nicely on, including the figure 8's with some nice steady dogs.  The stand around and practice something specific made him a little uncomfortable, but he was still able to focus, but when the dogs started moving around more to work on retrieves he was a little edgy so I pulled him aside and worked on the side and he did very well.  His attention is only about 45 minutes in stressful situations so I took him outside to wander around some.  Then we watched from outside and also from the hallway.  Then when the class ended we went in and did the heeling part of the Utility class.  The only time he reacted was when one dog walked in (a Duck Toller who he's seen before) and surprised him and he reacted pretty strongly and it's clear to me that he would have charged the other dog if I didn't have a solid hold on him.  What's interesting is that other dogs did walk in but they didn't surprise him.

Maybe at the CU workshop I'll practice with him on a stay watching dogs come in the building.  Unfortunately I don't know how to counter condition that surprise reaction or even if I could.  I have to remember to say his name pretty loudly to get his attention.  I had him firmly by the scruff to the point he was hurting himself and he was still struggling (even while crying which is really sad) though relented pretty quickly.

Trek has agility class tonight.  Can't decide whether it will just be her or whether Yosh will join us.  I'd love to have him watch the class before but there's a dog in it that's just as nasty as he has ever been and that sounds like a bad combination.  The last thing I want to do is confirm for him that he should be paranoid.  That's the nice thing about training him around good obedience dogs.  They are often very well behaved.

Both dogs did fairly well.  Trek did not go on strike and seemed to enjoy herself and Yoshi wasn't perfect (he tried to charge one of the small dogs - Eva a LWFD - which he was decidedly firmly corrected for as this clearly falls into the being a jerk category rather than something he's afraid of.) but someone else (actually Eva's mom) observed he's way, way better.

With Trek, for the part of the class that was on the lower field, I didn't insist she stay down there but when it wasn't our turn I let her be up on the upper field which gave her some distance and that seemed to make a difference.  We also asked Charlie's Dad not to play while Trek was running as she finds the way they play intimidating.  That plus all the training in the yard we've been doing seemed to make the difference.  No hesitation at all on the jumps or the contacts or any of the other obstacles.  I also wasn't pushing her for speed and just kept my voice pretty steady (a controlled, not stressed, excitement is sort of the tone).  Phew.  Now we'll see if this carries over to Bayteam on May 1st in 8 days.

When Trek was done with her runs and others were finishing up I put Trek away and got Yoshi out.  I had also had him out on-leash in the lower field while the earlier class was still running.  He was of course perfect on the serpentine pattern that was set out in either direction.  when Trek's class finished I had him do all the contacts and he was fine on those also.  I didn't have him weave or do tunnels since he was on leash.  I'm glad he was on leash as he tried to charge Eva while we were on the field and they were just leaving.  I grabbed him hard on the sides and lifted him up which he cried in surprised pain.  Then as we were walking out he started to growl at her and I gave him a collar correction and told him to leave it.  He did get it, but I don't know if it sank in or not as Eva got put away right then.  I so strongly never, ever want him to be a bully to a little dog anymore.  Eventually I think I'll take him to the little dog park again, but the dogs there are not always so well behaved so Trek's class (and the obedience classes) are actually a better way to go for right now.

So there's hope for each dog.  It's so nice to be able to have Yoshi around other dogs without him yelling/screaming at them.  He actually walked past Fletcher (a dog that he's bitten before when Fletcher surprised us and Yoshi slipped his collar) with no problem.  I don't know if I took pictures of it or not but I made a little failsafe attachment that is a second attachment to his regular collar instead of the martingale so he can't get away like that again

Tonight he was barking in the bedroom on the bed, and we were able to verify that the most effective way of getting his attention is his name.  We tried "come" and "here" and just about anything else and nothing was getting through to him, except by calling his name loudly every 3 seconds.  It's surprisingly effective as he starts to cry and come back when you call him by name.  It's pathetic sounding but it means that he's desisting and just protesting it but complying.  When he does this cry it means that he's telling us that it's really hard to do what we're asking but he's going to do it.

Thu Apr 22
Trek Walk at noon.  I didn't have to drag her out this time.  In fact she was happy to go. No martingale this time.  I think I'm going to give her Yoshi's quick release collar for agility.  She seems to dislike things being dragged over her head so this would work around that.

Yoshi early evening walk.  Went over to walk around the school perimeter as we usually see dogs that way.  Sure enough there was one that he's seen before (and barked at).  They were ahead of us walking very slowly, we crossed the street so we could catch up to them.  We walked past them without a peep from Yoshi, then he sat and we let them catch up and he did great.  Kept a careful eye on them but not even a grumble.  We then walked past them again and crossed back to their side of the street when we were in front of them.  His owner must have though we were hazing them though she hear me parsing him so I'm sure she figured it out. 

He's doing so much better now, I have to figure out what a good gradual next step would be.  Tomorrow he's going to Lori's Utility class so that will be a good way to get a measure of things.  He did well last month so I'm hoping he'll do well again.  I was hoping I could get him to the open class but I don't think I'll be back from Trek's eye appt in Fremont in time.  Her appt is at 8:15 and that would put us back around 9:45.  That might work as the class order is Novice 10am, Open 11:30 (sits and downs around 11:15), and utility at 1pm, and the club takes about 25 min to get to.  It more depends on how hard I want to work and if I have time to cut up a whole bunch of treats.

Wed Apr 21
Yoshi walk.  I was thinking that we weren't going to see any dogs when suddenly one showed up right in front of us 3 houses down.  We did a U-turn and went back to the corner and crossed the street hoping we could walk past them on the other side, but there was another dog on that side of the street.  So we retreated 2 houses down the side street and waited.  First dog turned the corner and walked away from us.  Next dog crossed the street and conveniently walked down the street we were on so we actually did get to do some work.  this dog was moving slower so we paralleled with them for a little bit and just sat and watched them while they stopped to chat with someone.  After a bit we then moved on.  No real reaction from him at all.

Right near the end saw another dog across the street.  This time at first I just let Yoshi keep walking but he started to get more stiff as he watched the dog.  So I told him to sit and interestingly enough he seemed to relax.  Odd how having him in motion makes him more tense.  Not what I would have guessed though he's ok with U-turns now.

We were at a gathering of friends and one of them told me that she dreamed that I gave her Yoshi.  Intrigued, I said "Wait, you would want him?" (She's housesat for us, so she knows him some.)  Several people there observed that getting an already trained dog sounded like a good deal to them.  I assured them that while he's a lot better than he used to be that he's no where near perfect.  She observed that I've recent wrote that he's now surprisingly resilient as long as there's no dogs, and she was wondering how he would be in SF.  I told her that there's just enough chaos in the city that it would be pretty hard for him since he likes to try to keep track of everything.  It was a pretty touching conversation. (Though he's in no danger of being given away since I wouldn't wish him on anyone. Though all this time I haven't let others walk him, but now they probably could though I'm a bit paranoid of him unlearning all his good habits.  And I appear to be over using "though.")

Tue Apr 20
Noon walk.  I was going to take Trek, but she looked at the martingale and walked away.  Guess she doesn't like it.  Maybe I'll just bring it along and use it only if she's puling.  As a result, Yoshi came right up so he got to go instead.  Trek looked a little put out, but not enough. :)

We'll see what happens this evening.  Nothing of note happened on the walk, save for saying hello to the school crossing guard.

Trek is definitely fine on all the equipment I have out in the yard so we'll see if that translates over to Sharon's.

Trek evening walk.  She is so funny sometimes.  I had to carry her out of the house even without the martingale.  But!  Then she was suddenly fine - more than fine.  My across the street neighbors were playing basketball and she was able to walk past that without running or dragging me.  She could even stop and eat treats both leaving and returning later.  I guess this makes her the Other Head Case but she's able to work through fears much quicker sometimes.  Now it's to get her to actually love agility so much that she'll do it even when the conditions aren't perfect.

Mon Apr 19
Yoshi Walk.  Those milestones we've been hitting are not just a fluke.  Today we had two different dogs walk by directly across the street while he sat and watched them and then looked at me and ate treats.  The first one I kept tightening the leash and saying Stay.  But the second one I didn't do it as much.  The second dog (older Golden) was diagonal across from us and then after a bit crossed the street and Yoshi was fine!  Telling him that he has to do something incompatible with lunging is really making a difference.  Stay is much clearer than Leave It though I use that a lot as well.  But when I need him to keep his head giving him something unambiguous is really making a difference.

Also passed by kids bouncing two balls and was really glad that Trek wasn't with me.

Trek Walk.
Walked right by some kids who she was a little worried about but the weren't bouncing a ball.  She did note people putting out trash cans and opening and closing the lids, but that's something that happens once in a while and not continuously.  Said hi to a neighbor who patted her on the head which she always finds a little weird but likes the attention so puts up with it.

Both dogs in the backyard for toy play.  Yoshi was really wanting the rabbit fur toy so we played a little with it but I could tell that he wanted to go dig a hole for it so I gave him a tennis ball and Trek and I played fetch with the rabbit fur toy.  I need to order more of them as this one is going to fall apart eventually.  Both dogs seem really happy right now which is nice to see.  Both would hop right up on the table without hesitation.  Trek is great on the teeter and will send over the jump now.

Sun Apr 18
Yoshi walk.  Saw some wee dogs behind us   I stopped and let him see them from a 2 house distance and that was ok.  Them we walked around the corner and stopped about 1 1/2 house width and waited for them to reappear behind us.  They crossed the street behind us and Yoshi boofed a little, but in general was ok.

Trek backyard agility.  Got a series of toys out and it's the rabbit fur toy that worked.  She'll run with me and jump over jumps now if I have the toy and throw it sometimes.  Geez, I thought Yoshi was a head case.

Just for the heck of it did some work on the equipment with Yoshi and he was great.  Sigh.  We had a little conversation on the table about how he could have been an agility champion.  I'm not sure if he completely understood me. ;)

Feeling pretty wistful.  I have two dogs either of whom could be quite good at this but they are both handicapped by their issues.  I fantasize that Yoshi will one day be ok with everything but that's not looking very likely.  I have made him mostly manageable but he does poorly when he is surprised or uncomfortable.  Trek's issues I don't have a good handle on but she seems to work through them pretty quickly but then another one will appear.  Fortunately I've seem other people work through these sort of things with their dogs so I know it's workable, but it's such a pain sometimes and it all makes me miss Cali so much.  I guess this speaks well of my puppy raising ability, but I think that both dogs would still have their issues if I'd raised them but maybe just less so esp. Trek.

Though on further thinking about Yoshi, there were some things that likely couldn't help but get worse when he came here.  The breeder did a great job of exposing him to all sorts of places and situations (though he was weird about unknown dogs even then to a certain degree), but he was happily in the middle of a pack.  When he came here he suddenly found himself one of two dogs so he very quickly over-committed himself to over-protecting us as he feels that's his job.  I keep trying to convince him that that's not really necessary and I'm only occasionally successful.

Trek on the other hand was the breeder's pick and she spent the first two years hardly ever going off the property.  She has a fantastic temperament and gets along with all dogs but she really doesn't like new situations at all.

Sat Apr 17
Worked in the backyard.  Trek is hesitant about running along with me going over jumps.  This is weird.
She's fine about the table now.

Fri Apr 16
Barking fools today at the contractor, but the doors are done so things are calming down.

Trek Agility tonight.
She started out fine I worked with her by herself on all of the contacts and weaves and she was great.  She was ok in class until another person started playing with their dog during her run and she stopped completely.  We had the other person stop which helped some but she still seemed hesitant.  Going up to the upper field she really wasn't interested in working much and I had to go very slowly through the course, though once I got her going she seemed better.

Later we discovered that she didn't want to hop on the table at all unless I was kneeling down on the other side of it and begging her to hop up.  We worked on it for a while but she was still hesitant.  About a month ago she missed a 20" table and got T-boned and hasn't liked them since which is a real shame as the table is her favorite obstacle.  When that happened I should have gotten the table out right then.

When we got home I got the table out and she still didn't want to go on it.  So I got Yoshi and he of course immediately happily hopped up and did a great down (just to rub it in).  Trek is up on the Teeter watching.  Y and I did this about 3 times, and she came off  and hopped up with him.  Then I started sending both of them to the table.  Trek was hesitant at first, but then was hopping up right away with Yoshi. 

Thu Apr 15
I have a contractor working on our garage carriage doors and he came in the kitchen and Yoshi sounded like he was going to rip the guy's ankles off (I had a firm hold of Yoshi's collar.  Later I put Yoshi on a leash and let him meet him outside and of course everything was fine because we weren't in HIS house or HIS yard.

Took both dogs to work to keep them out of the way and so I didn't worry about them.  They mostly stayed in the car (since the sunshade on the roof keeps the car remarkably cool), but I got tired of having to always go check on them so I brought them in my office.  Yoshi in a crate and Trek just loose. 

Dog walks.  At work I took both dogs on a brief walk.  I never walk them together since Yoshi takes so much of my attention and he's overly protective of her.  We were on our way back and there was a dog behind us who then crossed to the other side of the street.  I decided to let them catch up to see how Yoshi was about this with Trek around.  No change really.  He was completely in "Get that Dog" mode and I had to sit on him to make him sit.  Trek is completely like: what-ever.

So in the evening I took him on a walk by himself.  Very different.  We saw 3 dogs and he was able to sit for all of them.  The first one was a GSD - no problem.  The 2nd was a medium sized white dog who decided to walk right towards us and we escaped across Central and Yosh was then able to sit and let them pass.  He complained a little when they were crossing to outside of the street but generally was fine.  The 3rd was a chunkier medium size labX and he was ok with them too.

Trek walk.  Came across some kids bouncing a ball and she wanted to run past.  I often called her back to feed her which she would do but she was getting into chomp mode because of her stress, but she wasn't nearly dragging me as much as she's done before.

Wed Apr 14
What a strange feeling.  My dogs are good at things that I'm not good at and vice versa.  Frustrating.

I just got back from 4 days of herding in Southern Calif.  I am not good at herding, but am learning though my interest may be flagging since herding is pretty hard.  However it's so remarkable watching Yoshi work that I feel I owe it to him.  I think the project now is to show him that he can move stock while going slower.  Which means that we're going to be spending a lot of time in the round pen.

My passion is agility and I really want Trek to enjoy it.  She does but only under specific circumstances which narrows down her odds of doing well.  The biggest obstacle (sorry) is that she is leery of contact equipment and will often run past it.  (She flew off a teeter once and really hasn't been the same since).  When she's not stressed she has no trouble with any of the contacts, but any stress makes her run by them

Tomorrow my agility peers are leaving for 4 days of agility at Haute Tracs in Dixon and I'm feeling sad (even though I usually only do 2 days of it anyway).  I really want Trek to enjoy playing this game.

Tue Apr 13
Trek Power Paws class
Didn't want to do the contacts at all even when wearing a thundershirt.  Finally got her to go over the dogwalk a couple of times.  I'm really going to have to work on getting there early and working with her on them.  She's so funny as she'll usually do them all at least once but then decide she doesn't want to do them any more.  I really need to keep working on changing her attitude about them.  She gets fed a lot around them, I think I'm going to work more toy play in around them too.

I also need to get versions of some of her favorite toys on a rope to tug though that makes fetch difficult for her. I've been mostly using the AirDog toy, but the rabbit fur toys have short handles on them and she can still carry them so maybe using that is best.

Mon Apr 12
So it's now time to focus back on Trek and agility.
I need to see if she can go to Power Paws class tomorrow since the rain is leaving soon and it should be clear tomorrow (Just found out - she can - hooray).  If we get to go then I'm going to have her wear the Thundershirt to see if it helps her around the noise of the contact equipment.

Trek evening walk
A person occasionally bouncing a basketball was walking by on the other side of Central so I had Trek eat treats while they walked by.  She did it!  And she didn't totally chomp on me because of her stress.  She didn't seem as jumpy as she usually is when those kind of hard-edged percussive sounds happen.

Yoshi's Weezie lip piercing continues to improve.  The hole is closing.  And the swelling is down to a small gumball.

Sun Apr 11
Back from the Southern Calif Corgi Herding trial.
Yoshi now has the first leg of his PT.  Him quitting on Sat (see below) meant that he was doomed to to have me as handler today.  While not a train wreck, it wasn't pretty, but we did get through it.

I really like how Judy is with Yoshi.  She has a very calm style which really seems to help a lot.  He worries about her some (she carries a crook instead of a wand), but he's not afraid of her.  She's also really good at teaching people where they needs to be and how to use your body to direct the dog which is something I'm not good at.  One thing I notice on the tapes is I lean over too much and she stands upright.  It just occurred to me that when I make him stop I'm standing up.   I'm going to be spending a lot of time comparing the tape of me and Judy.  I don't think the tape is worth putting on you tube as it's not really helpful to watch it since you can only see part of the run because of the solid fence.  if we do this next year I might lobby for a ladder or something.  Judy also said that moving less helps - meaning less arm waving (you still need to walk), and she has people do a fair bit of backing up.  I can back up (heck in agility I can run backwards), but when there's a lot going on and a lot to pay attention to I prefer to turn around and walk forward so I don't have to think about not tripping.

If Judy were only closer to me.  6 hours is a long ways (5.5 plus one stop for gas and potties) .

To Corgiherders:
We're back in the Bay Area (only had to swim for part of the trip).

Thanks to all of the S. Calif Corgi people for putting on such a nice trial.

Yes it was chilly, but given that the practice days were in the 80s I'll
take it.

Yoshi was running so well for Judy on Friday that I had her handle him
on Sat for his first PT run, but halfway through he quit and went
looking for me.

Which doomed him to be stuck with me for Sunday, which we did get
through in a very rocky fashion (I just saw the video).
He's brilliant with handlers who know what they're doing, and with me,
while not a train wreck any more, it's not pretty.

What amazed me was even with all the flailing around in the middle of
the run (we lost the sheep once and it took a while to get them back)
the entire run was only 5 minutes.

I really, really liked getting a chance to meet everyone and put faces
to emails.

Now to figure out when to try for that second leg.

Thanks again it was fun,

Ellen and Yoshi (1/2 PT) JHD

For those who were wondering what Jerry and Doug were teasing me about 
after Yoshi's PT run on Sun.

After we cleared the last gate the sheep and Yoshi took off for the
gate. When I caught up to them at the gate I asked the judge what point
I needed to go back to and she said I could just pen them. I was so
surprised I said "You're kidding."

Ellen G. tells me that it was because Yoshi was with the sheep that we
didn't have to go back.

The judge's last comment was: Well, he's a little fast.
Tee hee.

Basically Jerry and Doug were saying (jokingly): never ask the judge if they're kidding.
By the time we got to the gate, I knew we were going to pass regardless if we had to go back to another point, so I wasn't very worried.  They're pretty casual about the Test levels, once you've done the requirements.

All in all it was a really fun experience and I'm really going to nag the N. Cal. people to go even if they don't feel "ready."  I had decided that I wasn't going to continue in sheep with Yoshi since typical (read lighter) trial sheep make him crazy, but he could do Judy's sheep. so Started might be a fun thing to do for next year.

But for now, I'm just going to work on calming him down around sheep and how to just move slower.  If I get anywhere then I'll consider taking him to Vacaville to get that second PT leg, but I don't want to take him back there until I absolutely know he's ready.

Behaviorally Yoshi did very well at the trial.  Occasionally he would grouse at a dog approaching (esp. the occasional non-Corgi or non-BC) but I was careful about dog's passing by and sometimes just covered his eyes which still makes a big difference.  I think he thinks that Cardi's are small BCs unless they are acting "funny" or out of control in his mind. His strongest reaction was to an Aussie and what looked like a Clumber Spaniel puppy. I did have him wear the Thundershirt, but didn't notice a huge difference (maybe some) like I do with Trek.  Turned out that it was good for keeping the nasty burrs off some.

Sat Apr 10
So I did have Judy handle him on Sat since she did so well with him on Fri, but half way through he quit and went looking for me.  But I was still really glad I had her handle him as I got to see how she handles him (though he was a lot more hesitant this time perhaps because he could tell I was nervous.)  I did get this one on tape and when reviewing it, and after watching the sheep for most of the day I could tell that we could do it, and suddenly I wasn't all the nervous anymore.

I wasn't allowed to say anything which killed me as all I probably needed to do was tell him it was ok and to go on.  The solid walls of the arena made that harder too as he couldn't easily see me.

Fri Apr 9
The reason I sometimes have someone else handle Yoshi is it's such a joy to watch him work with someone who knows what they're doing.  I get to be the proud parent in the audience which is pretty cool.  Everything is much calmer.  Even now that I can get him to stop (phew), he still works too close and buzzes around if there isn't someone there insisting that he stay out further.

I had Judy work with him (she said it was ok to use her name) and it was so wonderful to watch and I really wish I had it on tape.  He was looking for me and even though he could see me, he did eventually quit and went over to the gate to get me.  Judy was able to get him back once but he quit again.  She said it was up to me if I wanted to do the handling tomorrow or not.  Given how much further she's gotten than I've been able to yesterday and today (I've only been able to do the course with Judy or Ellen being there keeping him out of the in between the sheep and the fence) I think I'd like to take the chance and have her do it.

Thu Apr 8
Herding Practice.  With a lot of help Yoshi does fine.  Without help I'm pretty lost so I don't know.  The sheep are great, but if we're not on top of things they will simply turn around and go back to the gate to their pen (the "draw").  The first set was worse about this than the second, but I had more help with the second set.  Well tomorrow is another day.  I had two different great people helping me and that was fantastic.

Near the end of the day I was looking at Yoshi and noticed that he appeared to have a small golf ball in his lip.  Looking more carefully I found an infected puncture wound on the inside of his lip, but nothing on the outside.  Fortunately one of the people there was a vet and took a look and concluded what I already pretty much had decided.  That he got to go visit a vet today.  Fortunately AJ was able to get us into her vet so we didn't have to pay the emergency room rates which I was quite happy about.  The vet (Dr. Leigh which is actually her first name since her husband is also in the practice - cute), said that we had fortunately caught it early so antibiotics (Clavanox) and the oral rinse that they gave him would probably be enough.  (True.)

Wed Apr 7
Travel day to Southern Calif.  Yoshi's such a good traveler he did fine.
The only problem was that we spent a lot of time carefully introducing Yoshi and AJ's dog Weezie, (slow indirect on-leash approaches), even backing off when she raised a lip at him, but then when I thought it was going to be ok, he did his rude push up into her face and she responded by clamping down on his nose, which so totally surprised him that he didn't respond until we pulled them apart.  Then he exploded with some very fine cursing as I carried him off.  We looked at both dogs and didn't see any blood or scrapes and concluded that she had only gripped him, though it certainly felt pretty strong when we pulled them apart.

It's tough when both dogs are gripping or are likely to be gripping as you can't just pull one dog's jaws off the other or risk being bitten.  You're supposed to raise them up by their legs, but I have yet to do that as I worry about being bitten by a flailing dog and it's hard to hang on to jerking thrashing dog legs.  I much prefer the back to the neck grab as it's very easy to control a dog that way, but you risk pull apart injuries.

Tue Apr 6
Trek noon walk.  Walked past a leaf blower and some noisy kids.

Yoshi evening walk.  I've been trying to find ways to sometimes get his dog distance a little closer than a street width.  Though I'm pretty happy with a street width.  Saw two dogs walking slowly ahead of us and we caught up to them and then stopped while they were stopped to pick up poop.  One of the dogs barked at us, but we weren't that close, so we sat for a little bit.  Then we crossed the street and walked by them.  I do have to remind him to leave it when passing them (same dog was barking a little, but he did great.  We got to the corner about a house and a half width ahead of them and after some internal debate, we crossed the street which involved crossing their path(!)  He was fine.  A little concerned but ok.  We were both so focused on them that he wound up walking right past a small dog on the lawn who fortunately wasn't paying any attention.

Then across Central there was a RottieX and we sat and let them walk by.  The owner said that Yoshi was a cutie (he probably was just sitting there looking cute and eating goodies.)  I said thank you and silently hoped he wasn't going to suddenly ruin the illusion.  He didn't.  Phew.  I think he's really getting somewhere.  Now I have to focus on pushing this a little but not pushing him past his limit.

So tomorrow Yoshi and I head down to LA for the Corgi Herding Trial.  I am really stressed about it though we're going to be practicing for two days which should be plenty of time to see if an attempt at his PT is at all in the cards.

Mon Apr 5
Yoshi noon walk.  Uneventful except for we saw the Corgi and Golden who often walk at this time.  He's seen them before so we only went about 1/2 a house width distance away while they crossed the street right at us.  I made him sit - it was hard for him but he did it.

Trek walk fine.

Sun Apr 4
It's raining lightly today.  I took both dogs on walks and surprisingly they we're complaining or moping about it.  Though Trek is being a little strangely passive aggressive.  A dog is barking outside so I put Yoshi in a down near me.  Trek came by and I asked her to down also and I got this "you've GOT to be kidding me" look (she's still a little wet and it would be on a wood floor but that really shouldn't be a big issue.  After asking her a couple of times she actually stalked off and hid under Terri's feet.  I went and got a treat for Yoshi and sure enough Trek followed me over to the treats.  After giving Yoshi his treat, I asked Trek for another down and got the same look.  After getting the same response again I then fed her half to Yoshi.  Now she's pouting and hiding under Terri's feet (both are).

One of the owners of Yoshi's reactive littermates is trying a different GABA containing supplement and says that he seems actually happy (a change).  It's called Anxiety Control for Pets and is from the Pain and Stress Center.

Magnesium Oxide, B6, GABA, Glycine, L-Glutamine, Passion Flower, Primula Officinalis, and Gelatin Capsule
(no mention of amounts)
and they say to give it to them pretty often:  As a dietary supplement, use 1 capsule for your pet every 4 to 6 hours
I hope the bottle has amounts though if it's patented they might not say.

Intrigued I ordered some (~$18)

I only give GABA to Yoshi once a day, but I've been considering cutting it in half and giving it twice a day.

Sat Apr 3
What a fun day.  Yoshi's breeder Elizabeth is in the state so we all went down to Fresno to say hello and talk with her and let Yoshi spend time with his grandma.  Her mom (whose house we were at) now has another dog, a small to medium sized white dog (a little larger than your basic LWFD), but is just the type of dog that Yoshi is usually completely snotty to.  While it would have been great training to work with this dog, it really wasn't the point of the visit and that dog was really wanting to push forward right at his face to say hello which was not going to help Yoshi to feel comfortable so we put Yoshi in a crate and let Trek socialize with him.

We let Trek and Neruh in the yard and went inside for lunch.  I occasionally would look out the window at them and initially they were wandering around the yard together but then I noticed that Trek seemed to be hanging around the door more.  I finally went out to check on her and found her completely stress panting in that "Where have you been?!" sort of way so I went and got the other soft crate that we had brought and then let them in so that Neruh could go inside and Trek could go in a crate.  Best laid plans as this meant that Neruh was approaching Yoshi who is in the other crate and he exploded in barking and I turned the crate and blocked his view.  Not quite getting it, Neruh is still wanting to approach so I get him to go in the house and then let Trek hop in the crate I had for her.

I was commenting to Terri that it's great for your ego to have a dog like Trek who is so bonded to, but it's a royal pain sometimes when you want to leave her with someone else.  Fortunately as long as she is in her house or a quiet crate she doesn't get separation anxiety.

It was fun to catch up with E and what she's up to and to get her thoughts on Yoshi (though she hasn't seen him in 5 years).  Most primary in my mind is whether to continue with herding since it may be increasing his stress level, but that's only when the sheep are stressed.  I explained that the demands of herding were helping his behavior since it requires a stop and sometimes a stay that I never thought he could do.  She mentioned that the hard thing about herding is that it's so much better if he could do it every day instead of twice a month.  This lead to an amusing conversation about ducks and the fact that in Alameda you can have up to 6 ducks as pets.  She thought that would be a great way for him to practice, but I'm not about to sign up to take care of 6 ducks, just so my dogs can herd them.

Yoshi got to spend time with Larry, her dog loving sweetie, which is always good for Yoshi as he needs more men in his life.  And Trek and Yoshi demonstrated their silly play behavior.

We talked about his OCD tendencies.  She reminded me that he used to watch planes, in particular the light glinting off them.  I mentioned that now he lives next to an airport he pays no attention at all to planes.  However if a butterfly is in the yard he will chase its shadow until we notice and distract him from doing it.  I forgot to mention the depth of his laser pointer obsession and that before I decided it wasn't good for him I actually used it to get him over the teeter for the first time.  The thing that made we realize just how obsessed he was was after letting him chase a laser pointer he continued to look for it for 20-30 minutes after it was gone.

She thinks he might still be able to do obedience.  I mentioned that I didn't like to have him off lead when not inside a fence because of his reactiveness even though he is getting better.

She observed that her getting tough on him for his outbursts really made a difference for her and that she could take him to horse shows then (as a puppy).  I mentioned that in my experience whether a correction would have the desired effect depended on how worried/afraid of the other dog he was.  If he's just being a jerk, then telling him to knock it off worked, if it's a dog he's truly worried about it just makes things worse.  I also mentioned that I can get him to sit and watch a dog walk who is across the street which is way better than he used to be.  For fun I had the dogs do a sit stay while I was jumping up and down about 25 feet away.

I guess the test of that is to start doing more obedience matches and maybe even have him do Rally Novice (over and over again).

Fri Apr 2
Rainy today - started out on a walk with Yoshi and turned around

Trek class tonight though.

Ok that was a fortuitous set of factors.  I left work at 5pm and at that time class was on, but Rachelle had gotten there and it was pouring so she ran home and canceled class (there's a message board we all use)  I had already committed to going to class so I didn't check just before I left (I have to hustle to make it as it is), so when I got there I was the only one there.  The rain had gone and it was lovely. 

I climbed up on the hill to find a cell signal and left a message for Rachelle and she called me back (which involved climbing back up to that spot) and she told me about what had happened and that I was welcome to practice.  Cool.  By herself she did great on all the equipment including all the contact equipment.  We also worked on some harder weave pole entrances but she's not quite ready for that but if I line her up she does great at them.  Her driving forward for jumps is not that great, but then I got an Air Dog toy out and she went bounding after that even over jumps.  I'm thinking I should change "go tunnel" to just "tunnel" as too much verbiage confuses her.  She loves that new Air Dog toy so much I think I should make a habit of using it.

Thu Apr 1
Flat footed moment on a Yoshi Walk.  We were at a corner and there was a small white dog coming towards us on a side street, but across the street.  We stayed there while I wondered if they were going to keep coming at us or turn down Central.  They did and we had to move quickly with Yoshi objecting some.  If we had crossed the street before that it would have been fine, but he was able to sit when we got across the street.

Trek walk.  Fine.

Archive - Go to:

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Feb 2010
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2009
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