Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - August 2010

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

Feedback is welcome:
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Non-Dog Blog Table of Contents

Tue Aug 30
Trek agility class
She did well on the jumpers portion though did blow out of the poles once when I wasn't paying proper attention.  The lateral leadouts do confuse her but if I make it easier by being less lateral, she gets it.

This time I put her soft crate by the car for the contacts part of the class.  This way I don't have to try to bribe her back out of the car crate.  The crate had the car inbetween it and the class so the noise was reduced.  I got her out and wandered around a little and she did ok for a little while.  I think next time I'll park a little closer perhaps behind the shed.  She still started stressing big time and we had to retreat.  After class I took him out to talk to 3 class mates who had stuck around to chat.  They were still on the field so I sat and massaged her and rubbed her belly and she relaxed (no teeter noises then).

Mon Aug 30
People are saying the nicest things about how different Yoshi seems since 2006.

Trek walk - fine.
Yoshi walk
Figured out a routine when a LWFD appears that he wants to react to.  Kneel down.  Hold his scruff.  That usually short cuts into his brain and he starts asking for treats.  Feed him a little, then stand up and see if he'll play LAT or something similar.  Felt like a miracle today.  The LWFDs' owner what interested and just held her dogs still and watched.

Cathy was over tonight and Yoshi would go into these barking phases but for the most part he was really mellow tonight.  Save Trek would start him up some.

so I'm trying to think about how much he'd enjoy training for the Started level.  Originally in January it was my intention to skip PT.  Ha ha ha.  Seeing the complexities of running an AKC herding trial course A make it clear that it's not easy.

Two important skills are the "outrun" where the dog doesn't run directly at the sheep, but in an arc and where the dog comes up behind the sheep and starts to bring them as a group to the handler (a "lift" and then a "fetch"), so the dog has to unlearn wanting to charge straight at the sheep.

But once the sheep are on their way to the handler it's very, very easy for the dog to put too much pressure on the sheep and they run past the handler.  The way to fix this is to stop the dog a ways back to release the pressure on the sheep and they naturally stop.  Stopping while a sheep is running away from them is very difficult for a dog like Yoshi.  But!  If he figures out it's ok for the sheep to run ahead of him then it's that much less pressure on him to control them.

The rest is the directionals go bye and away to me (or whatever you want to call them), but that's almost icing on the cake compared to the other skills.

We've been trying to teach Yoshi that it's ok to relax around the sheep and it make take more stall sessions for that to have an effect, but even if we can get him to relax around sheep in a pen it's entirely different when we're all in motion so I'm wondering if it's better to work on getting the sheep to move and either downing him or calling him off and show him that it's ok to let them go sometimes.  This may drive him freakin' nuts.  Going to be a lot of long line work it appears.  I'll have to talk to Linda about possible approaches.

Sun Aug 29
And today we picked up an extra PT leg.  Less smooth, but we got through the course though he wasn't listening as well.  Perhaps I didn't exercise him enough.

I swore I wasn't going back to Vacaville until we were really good at herding and while we're no pros we are light years better than 2006.  We did it!  I've been stressing about going back there all this time and it worked!  It hasn't sunk in yet that we did it.

On reflection on the way home I thought of this:

So today we added an insurance PT leg.

Getting Yoshi his PT has been a 4 year adventure - I am so proud of him.

Normally in AKC herding a dog will get their Herding Tested title (HT - the first level title) and then train some additional stay and penning skills for a few weeks or months and can then move on to the AKC Pre-Trial level which is the higher of the two "Test" levels.  Getting the PT is usually not the big deal that it was for us.   But we had some side trips.

The biggest one is that he has some huge behavioral issues having to do with other dogs in the vicinity.  So the most major side trip was not really a side trip at all.  We learned a ton about Control Unleashed exercises (Leslie McDevitt is a training genius, so is Kienan Brown) and just about every useful behavioral theory we could decipher, and I have made him rather [in]famous with his training videos.  Ironically the most popular video is the "before" Control Unleashed though the "after" one does well also.

Just to get him to the point where he could be in a trial or training environment without having a meltdown has been a years long process.  His activities are still limited to where he's either on leash or in a fence, but I haven't given up on that though I won't try it unless I know he'll be ok.

We have had a ton of obedience and rally training also he's a regular at a higher end obedience training class even though he may never get into the ob. ring (he might do Rally Novice).  He is a clicker fiend.  I consulted with a hit parade of training professionals in various states and at various conventions and seminars.  He has inspired me to learn a huge amount about observing and understanding dog behavior and language which will serve me for the rest of my life.  (If you have a dog who is unsure around people and you see me and I'm not racing off somewhere just ask me to spend some time with your dog - I love doing it and people tell me they love watching their dog be ok around a person.)

I also had to learn how to be a herding handler (I used a handler for his HT, but he has made it clear that I have to be the handler now).  Herding handling is something that I'm still learning and it's probably one of those things you never master.  And similar to: it's easier to learn to ride a horse if you start with a mellow, mature, solid, trail horse, than if you start with a young, high strung, Thoroughbred, learning herding with a highly driven, speed demon who is fearful, really is starting in over your head.  Herding is by far the hardest dog sport I've ever done and I've competed at the National level in dog agility.  You find that it's really nice that the agility obstacles don't usually move on their own.

Because I was learning, we also worked at the AHBA JHD level and earned that title as well.  (If you've never competed in AHBA, try it - it's loads of fun.)

Somewhere in there was a weeks long process of getting him to STOP!!! and STAY.  That stay in the video where I walk out of the frame and he's sitting there (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Rcqww1qoI) makes me cry.

So now what?  Well the natural would be to start training him for the Herding Started trial level (and the equivalent level in AHBA,) but it's a huge leap up to the trial level rather than the test level.  "Test" sheep are hand picked to be less flighty.  These are professional sheep with hard jobs of teaching dogs herding.  They have to be tolerant of barky, excited newbie dog who might bite them (despite efforts to keep this from happening).  They are usually smarter as they have to know not to crash into a fence when a dog is chasing after them.  Trial sheep are a whole 'nuther flock of sheep entirely.  Your average sheep is nervous and worries about not being in a large flock (instead of a small group of 3-5), and how "light" or "heavy" the sheep are is the subject of tons and tons of herding conversations, and Yoshi however talented he is is nervous around sheep and the more nervous the sheep are the worse he is.  so the answer to that question is I don't know yet, though we will be trying to make spending time around sheep no big deal.

I'm writing this as I want to thank all of you for the wonderful amount of support that you've given me over this period of time.

Ellen Clary
and Yoshi PT JHD
and Trek HCT (and a bunch of agility titles.)
The Yoshi Training Diary: http://frap.org/Yoshi/yoshi_training_diary.html
Our You Tube site (most of the herding videos are unlisted, but the training ones are visible)

Reviewing the video again I notice that "steady" actually works for a few seconds.  Bet I can build on that.
I need to find out for sure how long I can keep entering PT.  I thought t was 60 days, but I've also hear that you can stay in it till you get a started Q.

Oh dear I see that we had the same sheep as Breezy.  It's certainly possible that Yoshi put the sheep in a really bad mood and they then took advantage of Breezy leaving holes.  This is where Yoshi's made circling came in handy.  That same sheep would think about trying to run and there would suddenly be this mad Corgi in his/her face.  I think this is something of what they mean by "Yoshi covers his sheep well."

I'm pretty sure the judge was able to hear me tell Yoshi "I kEll you now."  Hope it provided some amusement.

Sat Aug 28
OMG we did it!  Yoshi got his PT

Mr. "man, look at those legs go" Yoshi finished his PT today.

I think that's the scribe you can here say that on the video which you
can find here:


He would like to thank his trainers and all the people who've given him
attention, skritches, and of course treats.
I would like to thank all the kind ears I've bent and shoulders I've
cried on.

Ellen Clary
and Yoshi PT JHD
and Trek HCT

Fri Aug 27
While i was gone Terri noticed that Yoshi had soft stool and some blood.  Fecal was negative for parasites and giardia.  His unrelated heartworm test was negative.
I took him for a walk at noon and he still has some blood in his stool.  We took it into PCAH and the vet added another medicine to go with his Peptid AC.  Both are supposed to line his gut to help with any mild internal bleeding.

I checked his gums (first thing to check) and they are pink and fine.  If a dog's gums are grey or white it is a medical emergency.  (I ran into this with Cali.)

Did his nails.  I hope he'll be feeling well enough to herd this weekend at the trial.

His herding trial is this weekend.  I'm trying not to be nervous but I have to keep telling myself that he's more than ready and we really can do this.

[In Houston this week for work - Got to do a little training with a friend's Cardi which was much fun - I usually just work when I'm in Houston so it was a nice break.]

Sun Aug 22
Yoshi Herding
This time I didn't take him off the line at all.  But having the line made a difference.  With the lighter sheep he was always wanting to charge them but there were some mellower sheep in the round pen and we had a really nice session with then and he only lost his head a few times (still on the line.)

Fri Aug 20
My dog day got absurd today - did it just to see if it would work
Obedience in Oakland (Lori's class - Trek went)
Sheep in Woodside (Yoshi)
Agility (Rachelle's class) in Martinez at Sharon's.
I am tired.  It was a little much.  I think in the future we'll keep it to two dog activities.

Trek Novice Ob class.
Well I thought she was ready and she mostly is but her figure 8's are wonky and Mozart's mom put a crate with a toy right behind where I was standing for a recall and when I called Trek she ran right  past me into the crate.  She was very proud of her self.  One issue is that she targets my hands and I had my hands by my sides.  I'm going to have to work on some recalls with me on my knees.  Lori thinks I should spit food to help her target my face but Trek is something of a skull crasher so I worry about that and I don't like food spiting anyway.  I'm wondering if I can do it with a clicker.

Her figure 8's aren't good either because we don't get a chance to practice them.  I suppose we could do it around trees and basketball poles but she's afraid of the metal clanging inherit in a playground so I'm thinking I should abandon the idea of competing under Hazel and instead taking her to Hazel's class at ODTC and training under her precludes us from competing under her.  It's a catch 22.  The only way to get all of Trek's raw talent ready for the ring is to have her in a class situation.  Training her myself can only get her so far, since I mostly do our training when out on walks.

Just send this email to the relevant folks:


So I've concluded that the only way to really prepare for competing under Hazel is to train under Hazel which precludes competing under Hazel.

After Lori's class today I realize that if I were to put Trek into Novice with only training from me and the few of Lori's classes that she's been to that what I would end up with is very likely a very clever and novel NQ.  She's very bright and talented, but doesn't have enough mileage to know that however  creative and tempting it might seem, doing a recall into Mozart's empty crate is not considered part of the plan - even if it has a cool toy in it :)

So expect to start seeing Trek in Wed Drop in from time to time.

Ellen and Trek (But it was just sitting there!)

Yoshi Sheep Communing - the grand experiment
So this is a version of bring you, your dog on leash and a chair and a book into the sheep pen as a way of letting Fido spend time around sheep without working them.  The idea is to add mileage for those dogs who get revved around sheep and run amuck. (Yoshi says "Who me?")

So Linda had Yoshi and I go into a small urine soaked stall (good thing I am a horse person and have some familiariy with such things) with 8 then 6 sheep (we kicked two stress cases out).  I sat in a chair (though was too interested in what was happening to need a book).  I though his eyes were going to pop out.  There were 8 rather uneasy pairs of eye staring at him (and feet stamping), and he is doing his level best to ignore them by starting out the front which is a wire fence.  I let him up in my lap and he's totally stress panting but he relaxes some in my lap.  The once in a while we got up and moved the sheep to the other side.  Yoshi was very much "Oh you go right ahead." but I was able to use treats to get him to walk up in a flanking position.  Linda also showed me how to shoo the sheep away if they were crowding him (basically just by waving your hands at them in the universal "shoo" gesture.)  Then we went back to the chair and we both sat.  Eventually he would even lay down (while still looking outside). 

After about 20 minutes of them I brought him out, and Linda and I chatted about it.  She was saying that you can working it into controlled on-leash flanking commands.  So I brought him back in.  As soon as I started to say things like out, flank and away he totally changed.  He suddenly went into herding charge mode, and I'm there trying to explain that he's in a 12x12 box and no one is going anywhere and that it's poor form to let the sheep climb the walls.  Then he starts barking and barking and we finally get him to quiet down.  We moved the sheep around the stall some more and then i decided to end it for the session.

What's fascinating is that I got to see a compressed version of every way I've seen him around stock.  The Quaking Flower and the Possessed Sheep Maniac and they both originate from the same emotion.  Fear.  He is afraid of the sheep and this really handicaps him.  However since he very much has the desire it is well worth trying to help him work through it.

He is going to to Santa Rosa to practice on Sunday and I hope I don't undo this progress.  It's tricky because he's in a trial the next weekend, but I'm sure we can get through it.  Albeit not that calmly I'm sure.

Trek Agility Class at Freilance
While we didn't do a lot of contacts she is quite willing to do them which is always nice to see.  2 teeters, 2 A-Frames, 2 dogwalks.

Thu Aug 19
Trek walk - fine.  1 dog no issue and this dog has reacted to Yoshi.  The owner who I don't know was doing a perfect tight tense leash - oops.

Yoshi walk.
2 dogs one twice.  I just fed him when the appeared and it went great.  It's remarkably effective.

I put Jack the stuffed JRT in the yard and then let the dogs out.  They went racing right up to him (not barking) and knocked him over but were very much interested in him as a dog. A very non-reactive one but still a dog, not prey, not a toy.  Though Trek did start to chew on his ears, but she does that to Yoshi, so it's not clear what she thinks.  If you present Jack to Yoshi he always reacts to him as a boring dog.  I did video tape it some and will have to review it.

I need to find a LWFD toy to see if there's a prey reaction.

Sun Aug 15
Yoshi sheep herding.

Still too enthusiastic with the sheep but I was able to manage it pretty well with a long line.

He was losing his mind barking at the sheep so we did the CU thing and increased the distance.  After three times and most of the way across the arena he settled down and we were able to then gradually decrease the distance, and then do some work.

His away outruns are nice if I'm with the sheep though he does like to go all the way around and I'm not going to fight him on that for now. for started he will have to do an outrun and then start fetching them to the cone.

Herding along the fence is still awkward at best, but we'll get through the PT.
My experiment in walking in front of the sheep along the fence really doesn't work unfortunately as I get run over.

Walking more to the rear of the sheep sort of worked as I could keep him from getting in between the sheep and the fence (with me holding a flag.)  But me hanging out in the back does make the sheep stop and wonder what was happening though it sort of worked.  They really want a leader.

An older female dog tried to tell he him off and he snarked right back but we ended it immediately.
He did rip a pad so I'm leery of practicing again next Sunday.  Though we can vet wrap it.

The instructor says he's a great worker but needs to work every day and needs his own sheep ranch. Oh great.

post to corgi herders

Difference between PT and Started

Others can answer this far better, but there is a world of difference 
between PT and Started.

I almost wish there was a "Graduate" level of PT.

Pre Trial
scoring is pass/fail
the judge is allowed to help you and offer advice
the sheep are carefully screened to be the kind that stay with the
handler ("test sheep")
you can walk in on leash
Once you release your dog for the outrun and have gathered the sheep
the herding is all along the fence (usually easier - it's just hell for
us, but that's just us)
the stock has to go in between a panel and the fence in both far corners.

scoring is point based
the judge does not help you
the stock can be much more flighty and may run away if the dog isn't
holding them to the handler ("trial sheep")
you walk in with the dog off leash
once you release your dog for the outrun and have gathered the sheep
(much more difficult with light sheep)
the stock has to go up the center of the arena to a cone
then they go towards the fence and go through 3 obstacles
- a Y chute
- a Z chute
- an set of panels (the turns into a pen at the higher levels)
Then (you're not done yet) they turn and go through two other panels
(similar to AHBA JHD course), then continue on to a marked place on the
fence and then turn for the pen.

Trek walk.  Walked by some hammering which made her worried but she liked the treats so she coped.

Though later on I offered to let her lick the treats out of a small metal container.  That was ok for a short while but her tag kept hitting it so she stopped eating (yes, a corgi).  This is after feeding her from a metal bowl for two years.

Sat Aug 14
Trek got to work with me in helping my niece Katie train her dog Denali.  Trek is a pro at being a non reactive dog and puttlng less comfortable dogs at ease.  Denali is uneasy around other dogs and can be really reactive but fundamentally she's a really nice dog.  So we worked on adding structure to dog greetings.  Trek and i were across the street when Denali was brought out.  Fortunately there is a perfectly sized smalling parking lot and I had Katie take Denali to the other end and Trek and i were at the opposite end.  I had given them some really yummy treats and I had her feed Denali while we approached indirectly.  We would walk at an angle to them and stop and check in.  If Denali seemed ok then we would approach again at an angle going the other direction.  While Denali would whine with anticipation she never reacted, and in the process i explained LAT though Denali was offering it anyway.  If Denali started to tense up we retreated some.  Then when she relaxed we would get a little closer.  All the while getting more treats.

Eventually we were with in ten feet and we decided to walk over together to a small park.  I let Trek off leash and after it appeared to be ok Denali was also let off.  There was one 3 second interval were Denali snorted and her hackles went up, but Trek gave the perfect disengaging calming signal (turned away and sniffed the ground) and Denali calmed down.  Thank you Trek.

:We then walked back to the house and I crated my dogs away from Denali while we went to lunch.  Later on we let Trek and Denali spend time in the back area once it looked like that was going to be ok.  (We started out on leash again at a distance and worked upt to them both being off leash.)  Things went so well we didn't try in the house and just left it on a good note.  I gave Katie a copy of Control Unleashed and I hope it helps.  Denali is a good dog, just uncomfortable at times.

Fri Aug 13
Tonight is the second CU DVD Viewing party.  Should be fun.

Just pondering more:

I really want to help Yoshi be more at ease in the world.
He's better than he was, but he's always scanning and stressed by other dogs.
I want him to learn that other dogs are not a concern.
If he was a rescue we'd assume that he was attacked by a dog but he wasn't.
And in his puppy innocence he wasn't reactive.  More when he hit 6 months and started lunging and barking at dogs.

His breeder fixed it by using well timed corrections (clicker training wasn't working), and he became manageable.  When I got him at 8 months he was fine for a while and then really started getting serious about being dog reactive (those teenage "years").  After a lot of struggle we then heard about CU and started herding training quit agility and his life gradually changed.

But he's still hyper-aware of his surroundings.  Part of that is just him but I really want to change his initial response when he seems a dog that makes him uncomfortable.  I want him to come to me, not charge the dog.

I find it really interesting how he's more at ease when attached to me or touching me.  That's when I figured out you can send calming signals back down the leash so tension on the leash isn't a bad thing if it's a good link.

i might talk to Denise about this as she has more experience than I do in dealing with this.  (I'd also like her thoughts about Trek's noise issues.)

Yoshi dog park and walk
I had a few hours before the CU gathering, so I decided to take Yoshi back to the dog park.  This time we did the walk first though stopped briefly to watch the little dogs and headed out alongside the park before going out and doing a loop around part of the park where we politely shooed some geese out of the way.  Getting back to the park we sat outside and ate treats and watched the dogs, then we worked our way closer to the entrance.  When things looked like the were going ok we stepped inside the first of the double gates but then a LWFD (little white fluffy dog) left through a different nearby gate and he lost if so I carried him out.  We then sat outside and ate treats and then did another loop around the outside of the park.  Then we got back and sat and ate more treats and this time I did bring him in (carrying him), because I had been carrying him some while we were outside and he felt ok as I held him.  He was pretty dazed at all the dogs but did ok since he was above them.  We went down to the nearly vacant end and I put him down and the other two dogs down there approached slowly and he did ok.  If another dog came up I covered his eyes and he didn't react, though there were no LWFDs around either.  He ate so much he didn't get much of any dinner.

The CU DVD gathering went well and people saw various things that I missed so I was so happy they were there.

Now we have to figure out what our next step is.  It's appearing that parallel games is an important one and Kitty and Ann are suggesting this nice not crowded park that's located in between us called Jose Higuera Adobe in Milpitas, off 680.

Here's a picture of it.


Participants would be require to have completed CU Continued, but those interested but haven't could do something less demanding.
We would do Parallel Games (mostly), with Car Crash and Out n Mats and variations on There's a Dog in Your Face.
We'll have to see how much training stuff (baby gates, xpens, temp fencing) we can come up with plus some agility equipment.

Thu Aug 12
Trek walk.  Clicking and treating her appears to work great.  I was able to click and treat her near a noisy chipper.

Yoshi training.
Today I made good on a promise to take him back to Washington Park and the dog park.
When we got there we sat outside the small dog park and he ate the majority of the treats that I had brought in the first 5 minutes.  There was what looked like a BC puppy and another largish small dog running and playing near the fence which was excellent.  Then we went on a long walk out to the Ballena Bay jetty and looked at two small dogs from a distance and then we walked past a tied up GSD who was barking at us some and Yoshi was a pro and just looked at me the whole time.  We also watched a RottieX jumping into the water after a stick.  The dog looked like he wanted to come say hi and the owner called his dog back.  He had said he was friendly even when I wasn't even looking at him, but I said that my dog was iffy.  We then said our good byes and moved on (it went fine). 

Then we crossed back through the park (it's huge and a great walk - though he was dragging me some which was annoying but I was very low on treats and didn't argue about it too much as he's been doing so well) and then went and stood by the small dog park.  I actually wound up picking him up and he seemed more relaxed that way.  I find this really interesting as i've noticed it multiple times.  If he's stressed or scared he wants to be picked up like a wee dog does.  If something really bothers him he will struggle to be put down again (I usually hang on then), but he's often much more confident.  As a default behavior that would be just fine (well maybe not in herding).  If I could get him to charge to me instead of at a dog that would be heaven.

I can also say "Have a goodie/cookie" and he'll look at me in anticipation.  Which is another awesome default behavior.  Must bring more treats on these adventures and I really need to do this on a regular basis.

i'm just so thrilled that i can comfortably walk him in the park.  Compared to walking on the streets the park is really easy.  Lots of lateral space.

Wed Aug 11
Dog walks.  Yoshi.  He looks at me ever time a dog barks at him and he has this amazing knowledge of when a dog is behind a fence or window and can't get to him and he pretty much no longer reacts, but looks to me for a treat.  Loose dogs are an entirely different matter.  If I can get him to leave sheep when I ask him to them that might make a difference.  Saw a small dog and just fed him while it walked by across the street.  This really does work the best for now.

I'm wondering if continuous feeding would help him watch dogs calmly when he's looking through the living room window.  Really easy thing to try  I know clicking and treating works mostly there.

Trek walk.  Went down 3 blocks of High St and did well.  Got to demo her utility skills to some folks across the street's kid - that was fun.
I may have come up with a real solution to her pulling.  I think it's a better way to teach Loose Lead Walking.  Usually when a dog pulls you go backwards some.  I think stopping and doing nothing works better.  When Trek turns around I say yes and give her a treat.  Over the space of one walk I not only have LLW but her hitting the end of the leash became a cue to look back at me - how cool is that?

Yoshi some fetch with a rabbit fur toy and mat work outside with a towel on the dirt.  We basically started Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol over again.  I would first throw treats on the mat and he immediately laid down on it, but popped up instantly.  I worked it up to where I could take one step to each side (this is funny because he does have a good down stay).  Then a dog next door barked.  He took off to bark and I stayed there by the mat and waited.  After some seconds he came back on his own and stood on the mat sniffing the air.  Then he was looking at me expectantly for a while (I didn't move but just looked neutrally back).  Then he laid down!  Jackpot! and we quit.  I need to figure out a mat that goes anywhere - I've asked the CU list about it.

Moments after I ask the CU list for mat ideas I walk into the living room and see the original teeny tiny Thermarest that I evicted from the attic and have been wondering what to do with.  It's a bit long for a Corgi (about 4' long), but it's perfect for being outside and I can just put a towel over it.  Since the dogs are light weight it actually works slightly better with the air valve open (or I could leave it slightly deflated.)  I intro'd it to them in the living room, and tonight I took it out and put a towel on it.  Yoshi thought it was a little odd in the living room but outside with the same towel we werejust working with he plopped right down on it.  This is perfect.

I think it really is back to basics with Yoshi
 - feeding continuously around trigger dogs
 - more click to calm
 - more mat work esp outside

Trek will play tug when she's trying to get a toy into her crate and I have a hold of it.  Now that's an odd crate game

Tue Aug 10
Big dog day.
[noon] worked with Yoshi at the local Lincoln Park on a long line.
We worked on moving stop, walk and down a bunch.
Had one pair of dogs go by that I fed him through
There was a group of people over on the next lawn a ways over.  What I hadn't realized was that they had a dog the size of a Yorkie who had wandered over coming right at us but beyond the long line.  One of the people was coming to get the dog.  Yoshi charged and I yelled stop but it was a bit pointless.  He hit the end of the line (attached to both collars for redundancy in case something like this happened and went flying.  I rather redundantly said "He's not friendly" and the woman said "Sorry" and collected the dog.

i really do want this to change.  I want him not to charge other dogs period.  Especially little ones.  He likely would have grabbed that dog and hung on till I got there.  Because it's tramatic for me I haven't taught him a release like they do for the Schutzhund dogs.  I just want him to not do it period.  It really screws everything up and puts a damper on what was a great training session.  When he sees a small dog he needs to come to me for a treat exactly like he does when there's a dog barking at him from behind a fence.  I taught him this - he can learn.  I need to give up on requiring a behavior.  Small dog = open bar.

Trek Power Paws class (both dogs went)
the jumpers portion.

Trek did a course where I was standing laterally.  More than I thought she could do (Jim made me stand that far laterally).  I was so impressed with her.
Though we can't serpentine jumps that are angled more that 180 degrees.  She runs past the second one.  It's rare to see that though in a sepentine.  What I would do instead is to stop at the second jump and call her over it and then do a front cross.

Again if I anticipate the next obstacle she pops the 10th pole.  I must telegraph it.  If I only focus on the poles and don't thing about the next obstacle she does fine.

When the class moved to the contacts part of the field we stayed on the jumpers part because I wanted to see if there was any difference in her behavior from 3 weeks or so ago.  We played a lot of fetch with her Airdog toy and a couple of jumps (we were sharing with Nancy who was doing a private consult).  The first run where a teeter and A-Frame were used she was ok but the second she was stressed and panting and the third she started to leave and wasn't cominng to Trek come (she had this panicked, whale-eyed "I must get to the car" look).  Something in my brain remembered "Down you dog" from a Patricia McConnel book (someone had told her to do this when her dog was being charged by a guardian dog), and I said/signaled "Trek down" and she downed!  I hear Nancy (who had been watching) quietly say "Good dog" (I had told her that Trek was afraid of teeters and probably wouldn't last long with the teeter in use) and I said it too once I had leashed Trek.  Phew.  Trek then dragged me to the car and i let her.

So it's Yoshi's turn.  We did a lot of LAT and click to calm outside the fence and at the gate.  I had Natural Balance Duck and Beef with me and also Zuke's Jerky Naturals Salmon which I had bought by mistake but what a good mistake.  He didn't seem to notice the wee dogs at all, or any dog except as a way to get a treat.  I think he likes Power Paws too as he's always been better behaved there than at Sharon's.

I asked Jim if it was ok to sprinkle some of Cali's ashes there and he said that that was fine any place I liked.  I'm thinking the field, but Cali would likely prefer the potty area.  Maybe I'll just do both.

Mon Aug 9
Basic walk for one of the dogs at noon (i think Yoshi)
Cathy came by and we made dinner and watched Dr Who and the dogs very nicely kept us company.

Oh I remember.  When he's in the living room window and barking at a dog it appears to make a difference if you keep talking to him and touch him.  He still growls, but he doesn't go over the top.  It's like you're helping him hold it together.  I find this fascinating and want to do more with it but I need a dog who isn't going to go away.

Sun Aug 8
Big day for the doggies.  Some married friends are bringing all three of their children over to visit.

It went better than I expected.  One of the kids (there were two 8 year olds and a 3 year old) Katie is really good with the dogs and the other two were good also (even the 3 year old).  Trek got most of the attention and Yoshi just kept us safe from squirrels but he got some attention too.

The only annoying thing was that he was doing his barking bit when one of them would walk into a room he was in.  Even after spending hours with them.  It's like when someone leaves the room and reenters they are new again.  Also he would bark at them when they tried to move around.  Except for Katie who he didn't bark at. ;)

Trek and all the humans went over to a playground at Lincoln Park.  Trek coped surprisingly well being around kids playing at a playground.

Trek and I went over to Mark and Jan's to watch And Man Created Dog which had Vicki and her Corgi Hella working cows on the 900 acre ranch that Vicki used to own.  It was very impressive.

Sat Aug 7
I want to see how Yoshi is beside a bike.  I think we'll try it briefly on the street and then maybe go over to the bike path on Harbor Bay in the Business section as there is grass beside the path and it's not very busy.

Wow that was cool!
Facebook update:
Took Yoshi running with me on a bike at Harbor Bay (in Alameda near the airport). (The place is empty on the weekend.) Yoshi has a look of pure joy on his face to be able to run full out on the grass beside the bike path.

I have several things to work out. 
 - the leash has to attach better to me in case I fall off and drop the leash (a big concern).
   I want the leash attached to me and not the bike as bad things can happen to bikes and I'd rather he not be attached to it.  If I go flying I'd rather he fly with me.
   Maybe a rope or chest harness or other around me and attached to the leash  - it's nice having it in my hand as I can give him more feedback.  Maybe a second attachment from my body to the loop of the leash.
 - the lateral room there is limited so it's hard to move far out of the way.  That said the sightlines are fantastic so you have a long time to go elsewhere.
 - it is a little odd on a bike but I don't think a scooter is better as my goal is to keep up with him and not have him tow me like they do in dog scootering.
 - right now it's attached to his collar but a harness might be better.  Or not, if he lunges I have little control if he's in a harness.

When we got back I put him in the truck and put the bike away.  Then I opened the truck back up and he wanted to do more (now that the bike is in the rack), so we ran a little more he wasn't really up to running full out anyway, but still wanted to walk/trot more.  He's tired now.  Finally.

Fri Aug 6
[noon] Trek walk.  I've been stopping when she pulls on the way home.  She's reluctantly getting it.

[eve] Tonight is the first CU DVD viewing party.  Smaller than I thought (had three no shows) but we all got a lot out of it.  I love having observant dog people to talk it over with.  That many pairs of eyes really helps.

Even though it's scheduled for next week we did see some of the Parallel Games section with Blaze,  Blaze would come out behind barriers then retreat.  The parked cars must be having a similar effect.  May be I can use them more than just watching the dog approach, then hiding behind them and then watching the dog pass by.  Have to think about that.

Thu Aug 5
Trek walk generally fine less pulling and she's really good at the moving stop.
Yoshi walk.  Right out the door there was a lab across the street.  I had my clicker and was immediately clicking him and he did ok.  Then Sky next door appeared (at the end of her walk), but on our side of the street (we're still standing in the driveway near the house).  Yoshi held it together for a little bit, but Sky was tense and staring and Yoshi lost it.  Barking lunging.  I picked him up and he was really struggling.  I should of backed up, but it looked like he was going to be able to cope, but his territory and a tense dog just are not a good combination.

He spent the rest of the walk jacked up.  We nearly walked into a dog at Gibbons and Central but we were able to retreat and hid behind a parked car.

Wed Aug 4
Trek walk - the usual.  Didn't drag me as much.  On each walk I practice the Utility moving Stop (and stay).  We're walking along and I say Stop and she stands there while I walk along and then stop.  Then I signal Down, and then Sit (I say the cues too right now.)  She's great at it and I'm really proud of her.

Yoshi walk.  2 dog sightings.  One two large Samoyeds (I think - larger white dogs).  For them Yoshi had almost no reaction though we did back off 1/2 a house length but only that which is a little remarkable.  The other he was much tenser about.  It was a long haired Daschund and he was very tense and wanted to charge even though we backed off a house width (perhaps too close).  What IS his thing about small dogs?  He's getting pretty good about dogs that are the size of a Border Collie but with many small dogs he's just a rotten dog.  I think it's prey drive.  He needs to spend more leashed time at the small dog park.  His own personal hell.  I do love torturing him with it.  Consider it payback.

We also practice the moving Stop. He's not as good at it but he's getting it.  It's harder as I can't drop the leash like I can with Trek.

Tue Aug 3
PP agility both dogs going.  Yoshi as a tourist.

Well very interesting.  Trek did better today.  The teeter was quieter today (it was further from the hedge so less echo) so I dragged her out of the car where I had put her after the jumpers section and then got Yoshi out (who did ok, except for one minor outburst).  She then was in the parking area eating treats and then at a brak, I took her in and went to the far end of the field on the jumpers side.  She wasn't happy about it but was able to eat and wasn't even chomping on me.  This is a huge improvement, to the point that I'm not going to pull her out of class after next week and I'll let her go another cycle to see if we can get any further progress on her noise sensitivity.

She did great on the jumpers portion.  She did pop the 10th pole when I was trying to get ahead of her, and I have to remember to work each serpentine obstacle or she'll run past them (because in some way I'm telling her to skip it - this could be very useful for Snooker.)

Mon Aug 2
I have the dogs for nearly two weeks, so it means I get to do all the doggy things instead of our usual tag team doggy car which works so well.  Terri usually does the feeding and the eyedrops and I do the walking, training and classes/lessons.  In my eyes I get the fun stuff and I always invite her along and she'll come once in a while, but I think I have to work on my pitch.  "Do you want to come stand around in a dirt sheep pasture?" just isn't cutting it for some reason.

Dog walks - fine

Sun Aug 1
Yoshi got his nails done this morning.

Yoshi sheep herding.  I took him to a different place that was having some sessions for more beginner dogs.  The trainer there is more a Border Collie person but she was happy to work with him.  She first took him into a small pen to see how he'd be.  What was interesting was that even though these sheep are more light then were not flighty and the pen had 10-12 sheep looking right at him so he was on best behavior.  We had him move the sheep around the pen and with help he did fine.

Then for the next session we put him in a larger pen (too large she said but there wasn't a smaller one) and while he held his stays and he would stop momentarily pretty soon he was running around me to try to control the sheep and I had to run catch him.  Given that we switched him to the pasture on a long line with my holding it and we just drove the sheep around the pasture.  He seemed happy doing this.  Often I'd have to check him from going too fast and the idea is that we're supposed to both be even to really drive properly, but he had a good time and seemed a lot less stressed.

At first I was convinced that he should just practice more this way and that may be true but he really is more than ready for his PT so I have entered him in the Aug 29-20 trial.  It's in the mailbox and will go out Monday to Campbell so it should get there Tues or Wed and then I should find out after that if it's full.

Trek went along as a tourist (she insisted I wasn't going to be taking her) and she actually had a nice time wandering around and having her belly scratched.  Yoshi's behavior to the other dogs was very good.  It helped that he was surrounded by Border Collies and Kelpies including Drover who he's seen before.  We let him politely beat up on Drover and Drover was very nice about it and even when we gave him a break he came right back to Yoshi.  He lives with Terriers so he's probably something of a glutton for punishment.

So since Yoshi apparently has the Aug 28-29 weekend (unless it's full) then I need to find an agility trial for Trek.  I suppose I could put her in the Superregional, but I don't think she's like it much and it's not a good trial to start back on after a break.  I'm signed up to work on one of the days already so maybe not that trial.

So Yoshi has been crashed out ever since he got back at 3:45pm, it's now 9:15pm and he's starting to bark at the other neighbor dogs but the break was nice.  He probably needs to stick with sheep, instead of ducks.  Ducks seem to puzzle him and the don't really hold his interest.  So I have one of each now, a duck dog and a sheep dog - could be worse.

Archive - Go to:

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jul 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jun 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - May 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Feb 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2010

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2009
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2008
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