Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2010

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

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Fri Dec 31
Yoshi herding lesson
Trek as a tourist

He did well and I'm sort of getting it.  Linda walked along with me and I'm only just now starting to get the hang of droppiing back to let him go around.  The hard part is that every time I say stop he comes to me and he's no supposed to because the sheep would then get away.  He's supposed to stop not recall.  So I'm suppose to keep the wand pointing to his toes to have hin stop and not recall.  I'm not sure I'm happy about that (his recall is vital to his safety), so I'm hoping if we can get other skills ironed out that will fall into place.

Linda is so good at staying at the sheep's heads and I seem to fall behind.  The difference seems to be is when I apply pressure for him to go around, I keep engaged with Yoshi, but Linda falls back and moves the sheep more and actually makes more progress.  Practice practice.  I should have her behind me physically guiding me I think.

Offered to help move equipment and wound up wading through a several inches of water which managed to get my Keen's soaked but they're drying now.

Thu Dec 30
Yoshi morning walk
Saw the Golden and small dog and let them walk past.  They were just across the street and Yoshi did bark at them and the Golden barked back but it didn't seem terribly charged at all and we shadowed them for the rest of the walk.

Trek walk smooth

Wed Dec 29
Yoshi morning walk.  The Fox Terrier lives on Court St. just around the corner.  They stayed well ahead of us and took of down Johnson where we continued on to Santa Clara.  It was a quick walk so no real dog encounters, besides seen FT at a distance a couple of times.

Trek noon walk.  We were walking down Lincoln and Amy and her dog Hudson or Murphy I think who appears to be a while cross between a Golden and a Lab were just standing outside.  Amy was trying to keep her dogs attention because they live right across from the house with 15 cats and she's worried that her dog is going to run across the street.  We chatted for a bit and then I decided that looking at cats was a fine way to spend some training time so we went across Lincoln and were looking at fir two then four then eight curious cats.  One a long hair Siamese came right up to Trek and sniffed noses.  I was feeding Trek cheese and I got the impression that they wanted some too.  They weren't starving so I didn't give them any.  The number of cats is a real issue around there as the cats are not neutered, get into fights, and also get hit by cars.  Anyway Trek did terrific around the cats.  It really helps that they didn't run.

Tue Dec 28
Yoshi walk.  Two dog sightings.  Both crossing our path.  No barking just an I'm watching you sort of guttural almost growly sound.
The fist one was just as I had decided that he's good enough at heeling to make it a good behavior he can do when passing other dogs.  He did this at the park earlier this month and was fine.  So I let the dogs cross our path and as they were crossing the street, we started heeling - which we had been doing earlier already.  Did fine.  Wanted to follow and do parallel walking but I had to get to work.

The next one they turned and were walking in front of us in the other direction, so we hustled to get within a one house distance and just followed then and then we turned off at Pearl.

Then we saw my neighbor Dorothy and her daughter Katie.  Dorothy had given me "Has Anyone Seen Winnie and Jean?" for Xmas.  A book where two Corgi's escape from their yard and have adventures.  I told her that the dogs weren't allowed to see it but that it was really cute.  Yoshi was allowed to jump up on her and saw hello to her.

Noon Trek walk.  Rain was going to start at 1pm so I was hustling to get it done, but still get some positive chaos exposure in.  It worked without even trying.
She saw:

After getting back home with Trek I got the Control Unleashed book and found the GSD and told her about the book.  Turns out the persons name is Mia and she's a dog walker.  The GSD (a she names A[something]) is a sweetie to people which was plainly obvious as I walked up, and she says a local trainer has been working with the dog but she (the walker) isn't seeing any real change in the reactiveness.  I said it can take a while and it's a tough problem and that I've been working with my dog for 2 years on it (deliberately understating the amount of time.)  I showed her the book and wrote down the book particulars for her as she seemed very interested.  She says she mostly does street crossing and hiding behind cars (she did this for Trek and I), I said that's a great thing to do as creating distance and using barriers really helps.  She said the owners Joe and Amy were really conscientious which really helps (sure does).  I was pleased to meet a dog walker who really seemed to care about getting good dog behavior in a nice way.  Be nice to have a backup if I don't have time to walk the dogs.  I should have gotten her card but I'll probably see her again.

Mon Dec 27
Completely uneventful walks for both dogs.

Yoshi continues to improve after his back injury and it's getting harder to keep him from crate charging despite closing the bedroom door which cuts his approach distance in half.

Sun Dec 26
Terri and I walked both dogs down Thompson (Xmas Tree Lane) which is just down the street.  It was still only dusk, so foot traffic was light and we didn't run into any live dogs though there was a display that had a very small stuffed one that kept reappearing on a conveyor belt that Yoshi was barking at.  I couldn't exactly blame him so I let him bark for a short while and then started to feed him  Trek did very well with the slight chaos which was a good experience for her.

Sat Dec 25 Xmas Day
Both dogs and Terri and I went to a family gathering at her brother's in Elk Grove.  I sort of figured it would be a quiet day for both dogs and it sort of was but Yoshi would bark from his crate if another person walked into the room where the dogs' crates were.  After lunch/dinner I finally got tired of it and just brought him out into the living room with everyone else.  I was curious to see how he'd do being in the middle of the activity even if most of the activity was over.  After some initial adjustment he did really well.  I eventually could hand him over to others in the household (he was on leash) and he did fine.  Even had Chris training him a little since Chris was eating String Cheese and Yoshi planted himself right in front of him and stared at him for a long period of time.  I switched off dogs for much of the day after that but eventually had both out since all we were doing was watching folks play a Wii game.  They did bark at the cat but the cat is completely non-reactive which was a huge win.

Fri Dec 24
Today had a significant detour thrown in right at the start.  Yoshi charged into his crates to eat breakfast which involves this amazing spin inside his crate that no one can figure out how it works.  Well today it apparently didn't.  After he ate he wouldn't come out of his crate.  He finally dragged himself out and was in obvious pain.  We let him out and after a while he got down the stairs and then he stood there.  I got the camera out and filmed him standing and moving a little and then doing this strange backing up.  He would also cry some which incited Trek to attempt to tackle him which got her tackled by me.  I think Terri had to come get her - she was very much "You are being weird - stop it"

Phoned the vet and explained the situation and they gave us the last available emergency appt. at 10:30.  I felt kinda bad about taking the appt because I sort of figured he would stage a miracle healing, but while he did start to improve he was still tentative.

Emailed his herding trainer saying herding wasn't going to happen today.
I took more video but I could tell he was still hurting.  When I got him to the vet he was shaking mid back and below.  Crying when I held him, but still wanting to be held.

Lydia Grant did a neurological exam on him and it definitely is mid-back and below but can't really tell anything further right now (probably because there's swelling.)  She told me that I could just give him something for the pain or a short course NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug).  Since reducing the inflammation will help the pain I opted for the Rimadyl NSAID, but took the pain pills (Tramadyl) too.

Once he got back and had his first Rimadyl he seemed to relax in about an hour and was much better in 2-3.  He'll get this 2x/day for around 5 days or so.

Thu Dec 23
Yoshi walk.  We saw no one for the longest time which was really eerie until we say the Fox Terrier.  She said they would wait for us to pass but I said we'd just back of to watch them pass.  Backed off about two house widths and Yoshi ate cheese as they walked by.  Fox Terrier keeping a careful eye on us.  We saw them later and crossed the street so they could walk past again.  He did great.  Not sure what the FT thought, but it was perfect for Yoshi.

Trek walk.  Some noise exposure, but not a lot.

We had another raccoon attack this time over near Lincoln Park.  5 hungry raccoons broke into a house via a dog door and attacked a large Lab and a Chihuahua and a human.

An earlier one was in Nov:

This is why the dogs are being walked during the day now.

Wed Dec 22
Refreshing dull dog walks today.  Yoshi saw various people.  Trek did great watching a loud branch shredder complete with metal clanging sounds.

Tue Dec 21
Yoshi noon walk
Snarked at the Mail Carrier's bag.  I told him that was such a cliche, then let him sniff him (and his mace can that was in the bag) and he seemed satisfied.  What was interesting is that he was ok with the guy walking up and it was only on the third LAT treat right as the bag was moving by, that he couldn't take it and lept at him and I pulled up on the leash to stop him.  While it wasn't acceptable behavior you could tell that all he wanted was to stop the motion.  The bag and the mail carrier were less than six feet away.

Trek's class was canceled.
Trek early evening walk. Walked down to Broadway and down one block (Santa Clara to Central)  Right on the corner of Broadway and Santa Clara stopped just to eat some treats.  Then we headed back and just as soon as we got on Gibbons she started to pull on the leash to get home (she hadn't had dinner yet).  So it turned into a loose leash walking lesson that I'm sure she doesn't remember anything about but that would be a good training video to put on You Tube.  It's very simple.  Dog pulls.  You stop and either wait for them to come back or call them.  Then you take a step and if they take off you stop and repeat the process.  You don't even have to use food since what the dog wants is to go forward.

Mon Dec 20
Yoshi morning walk.  Finally some real information.  4 dog sightings.  The first one was a hyper black lab that was on High St.  we were on Lincoln approaching High St when they appeared.  I backed up a house length but I still got a definite reaction (I think - he was definitely excited, but it didn't feel like Get That Dog), but it was more of an excited reaction.  We wound up following them the entire walk.  We were such stalkers.  Stopping whenever they stopped.  If I have more time next time we see them I'll let the dogs meet as it's obviously a very friendly dog.  Saw another Lab(?) across the street no reaction.  Saw a pair of Yorkies across the street.  NO reaction.  Huh?  I think he was still fixated on the Lab but I know he saw them. 

Right at the end say two Whippets or Italian Greyhounds.  It would have been perfect to parallel walk with them, but I needed to get to work.  He watched them very carefully but decided they could pass since they were going in the other direction.

So what got the biggest reaction was a dog approaching within a house length distance

Trek walk.  We did the same exact walk so Trek could get some noise exposure.  She did very well, Even walked past a noisy construction truck parked in the middle of the street.  No thrilled about it but not panicky either.

Sun Dec 19
Rainy, but with some research using Accuweather and Wundermap I find breaks to walk both dogs separately all the way down to Park St.
First Trek.  She did ok but was stressed by the co-motion.  She went to the vets to buy toothpaste, but she doesn't find that place stressful.  But as we walked towards Park St she seemed more agitated.  I wanted to get her to Dog Bone Alley, so we went down the quiet Park Ave (one block off of the main street which is Park St.) and then cut through a walk way by the post office and the restaurant Cera Una Volta.  That basically put us right at the store after we walked past Tomatina.  At DBA she got a treat(s) and greetings and a talking toy duck which is already lost somewhere in the house.  She then went into Books Inc. and said hello to people, but the Corgi person who is an employee wasn't there but she still got to say hi to folks.  Now she's relaxed which is very nice to see.  So I then walk her down Park St for a block and we pause at Starbucks which is dog central (at Central no less but now she's stressed again so we pause for a very short bit and then head home.

Starting to worry

Lots of traffic noise

Stressed puppy, not a happy camper
Terri noticed that at no time does she look at me.  Now that I think about it that's a common thing when Trek is stressed.

So I don't know if the Magnesium is helping her but we'll keep at it for a bit.

Yoshi walk.  Also down to Park St through I know he's better about traffic noise so we went down Santa Clara to Park St. and then down Park St to Central.  He was fantastic.  We stood at Park and Central and looked at dogs across the street and ate cheese.He was alert but didn't seem hyper-alert or excessively worried.  No guttural whining when he sees a dog.  I debated crossing the street to be closer to dogs but instead decided to declare victory and headed back.  I was trying not to be stressed because this is only day 3 of his new calming supplement and no GABA and I wasn't sure how it was going to manifest.  Earlier today I had a car blocking the driveway so Yoshi got to accompany me knocking on doors.  He came nearly face to face with Harvey across the street (even though I had backed away from the door just in case.) NO reaction from Yoshi.  It helps that Harvey is blind and completely not reactive but I was wowed.  He also came face to face with another neighbor's cat and that was fine too.

Doing quite well here
Same amount of noise as Trek time

Lips pulled back but he's ok

Eyes relaxed

The only thing that seemed to worry him is that we stopped off at the vets just to say hello and eat cheese and leave.  Though he was ok there, he seemed happy to leave and was just about dragging me down the block for a short bit.

I hardly dare hope that this supplement really makes a difference for him.  He was clearly needed some sort of chemical assistance but did horrible on Prozac and Clomicalm so I wasn't going to do another medication and he's so manageable now but only if he's attached to me.  I still have to function as his conscious.  It's too soon to know how much of an effect this is having but this is very, very encouraging.

Fri Dec 17
First day on Quiet Moments.  It's a wet training day so it's not a good test of it, but he does seem mellower.
Terri (who usually does the morning feeding) finds that it is really sticky and later figured out that just putting it on a bit of bread seems to work well.

Yoshi herding - Trek along for the ride.
Raining and muddy, but did our prissy metrosexual have any hesitation working sheep in the mud?  None at all.  Does his new supplement slow him down?  Nope.  Is he snarky with dogs?  No, but there was only two of them there and he's pretty relaxed in herding environments.  He worked pretty well.  I was out of position often, but still coped.  I kept letting him get into my space instead of pushing him out further.  But when I ask him to get out it usually works.  Stopping not quite so much unless I put the sheep up against a fence, but he still is way more sane these days and he's learning he can control them with out becoming a crazy man.  I still have yet to figure out how Linda is always in the right position at the right time.  I even have her on video working him and it's still magic though I can see it how it works in more detail.

The bottle I had on one of my wands came off so I'll have to put another one on it.
We're working in the larger pen now which is nice to see but it will be a lot more fun when things dry out.

Thu Dec 16
Yoshi got a teeny bit of L-Trypto.  I'm not real happy about how had it is to measure.
Yoshi walk - went towards the park this time  saw 2 dogs right around the park - a GSB and a yellow Lab.  The Lab stopped and watched us as I fed Yoshi for nicely watching the Lab watching us.  Then down Santa Clara and saw the Springer/BCx who lives at Santa Clara and Gibbons (again across the street.)  He did fine today.

Noon Trek walk.  Very short because I had gone to Pet Food Express to pick up a different supplement for Yoshi which has the correct amount of L-Trypto.  Trek did some heeling and attention, but the best part was we walked right up to a Cherry Picker moving a little and she did fine.  Then I got to talk to the Power company who is a month behind schedule (because of the rains I learned).  The cool thing is that they are taking out the high power electric lines beside my house.  Given that my neighbor's trees are just about touching them that's a very good thing.  Trek stools are normal so far with the Magnesium.

So it's evening and Yoshi is being strangely mellow with the occasional barking but not like he usually is.  Hmmm.

Anyway.  I got from Pet Food Express a tube of NaturVet Quiet Moments
I usually don't like herbal mixes, but this one has the right amount of L-Trypto and the other ingredients are ok save for the B1 which has me a little concerned, but it's worth a try.

The get is a slightly different mix and doesn't have Chamomile which is fine.
3 grams (3") contains
Hops 40mg
Passion Flower 40 mg
Thiamine (that's B1) 40 mg
Ginger 40mg
L-Tryptophan 33mg

Given that I want him to have 22mg of L-Trypto, he's going to get 2" which brings all the other ingredients down to 26mg.
This is much like the Pet-Ease which helps him in class but wears off in a couple of hours.  Now that I look at the Pet Ease bottle I see the ingredients are very similar

Pet Ease has
Chamomile (the other Quiet Moments also have it) 45mg
Hops 45mg
Ginger 35mg
L-Taurine 20mg
L-Tryptophan 10mg

Wed Dec 15
Yoshi got both GABA and L-Trypto today by mistake but he seems fine.
Yoshi walk.  We looked all over for dogs and didn't see any until the very last when the very senior Golden walked by across the street from us.  Yoshi was very good, but still very much noticed the dog, so i have no idea if the L-Trypto is making any difference.  I'm sure it's way too soon to tell though I know when you take it at night the mellowing factor happens pretty quickly.  I don't know about the Serotonin boost.  I should probably try it myself since I'm very familiar with the effects of serotonin boosting supplements/meds.  He, of course, did quite well with all the people around.

The fact that he's such a terrific dog really even though he has some serious behavior issues really brings home how much difference you can make in a dog's life if you work at their training.

Tue Dec 14
Noon Yoshi walk 1st one after L-Tryptophan.  No dogs at all - bummer.  Out of desperation, I walked him by a neighbor's lounging cats and he barked at them, but not seriously - they were not impressed.

It's raining and Trek's agility class is canceled so she and I went on a rainy walk which was actually kinda fun.  Before we went on our walk I had both dogs out in the yard in the rain.  I so wish I had a video camera.  I had the tomboy girl Corgi with a thin coat who likes the rain cheerfully chomping on the prissy metrosexual boy Corgi with the full coat who is fussy about the rain.

Heard today that there's one rat study that found that L-Tryptophan works as a serotonin booster when given in the morning and a melatonin booster when given in the evening.  So I guess we'll try it tomorrow morning.  He hasn't had any today and he's still very mellow.  Terri was almost concerned to it's been nice i must admit.  I heard a dog barking in the distance and he didn't start barking and the radio is not on.

Mon Dec 13
Yoshi morning dog walk
Some car traffic, lots of kids walking to school and not another dog in sight.  He was so happy, which is nice but I really have to find a place I can reliably find dogs in the morning.  Maybe more towards the park.  This time to be different we went down Lincoln and then up Broadway (busy street) and then down Central which was high school kid city since the high school is only a few more blocks down.  It was encouraging seeing kids walk that distance as it's probably 1/2 a mile.

Trek walk.  Went down to the other busy street.  She's improving about some chaos and isn't running away from the business quite as quickly.
There was one very illuminating moment.
Sidewalk is blocked by a work truck.  There is also a gardener with a leaf blower in the lot next door.  The gardener backs off from the side walk and we need to go behind the parked work truck.  i want to move quickly through the area so the leaf blower doesn't get aimed at us and thinking that Trek would like to go through there pretty quickly too.  Nope!  She stops dead even through the leaf blower is right there running at a low speed.  I pick her up and walk past the truck.  Only when I'm right behind the truck do I hear what made her stop (despite the blower).  Some workers are working on something in the back of the truck and there are definite metal clanging sounds.  She heard metal clanging sounds over a leaf blower from a distance of 15'.  Geez!

Went to the Health Food Store in search of supplements and came back with L-Tryptophan, liquid Magnesium, and Melatonin.  The cool thing about the L-Tryptophan is that it's finally back on the market after being banned for years even though the issue was with contamination.  The bad thing about this particular one is that it's 500 mg and he needs 22mg (let's just say 25 mg) which is 1/20th.  So I'm just having to completely eyeball it.  The precise measurement is going to be whatever sticks to your finger when you touch it.  I gave him some tonight and he is very mellow.

Trek's is much easier  I want her to get 50 mg and that is 0.5 ml on the eye dropper.  She'll get hers in the morning.  The one thing I have to watch out for is loose stools.

Sun Dec 12
Yoshi Dog Park work.
Hadn't done this for a while so I brought two sticks of cheese and some beef Natural Balance.
First I had to tire him out so we walked all around the park.  Had to avoid a GSD whose owner would let the leash go and the dog would go greet people which was fine but he didn't have good control of the dog so we steered clear (more than once.)

After walking most of the perimeter of the park (it's a huge park), he was sufficiently tired that he could focus on doing some work.  We first did a loop around the outside of the large dog park, greeting some dogs through the fence and working on some attention.  I also go the attention of a herding dog named Finnegan (Aussie X I think) who was being a very good dog for me by sitting and watching us work.  What caught my eye is that Yoshi was looking past him.  Yoshi wasn't concerned about him at all.  And in fact we could actually get some good heeling work done right beside the fence.  I'm inclined to do a lot more of this but I risk dogs appearing on the side walk and I know from experience that 12' is too close.  The escape route is partially blocked by a small tree that takes some care to negotiate.  Even so it's probably worth doing.  I notice that if he's working he's more able to ignore dogs that are around but not very close (meaning over 40' away).  I think this means that he's getting close to be able to do outdoor Novice Rally competition.  Maybe Trek and he will show together in Spring

We then moved onto the small dog park.  Some either min pin or dachshund x came right up to the fence and he didn't react.  Another similar one he did react to some but was able to calm down and watch and eat.  I wish I had my camera with me or a video camera (small one).  It would help me to better understand what he reacts to.  He reacts to motion but also appearance.  The less a small dog looks like a dog the stronger he might react.  There was a teeny white fluffy in a jacket and man he wasn't pleased at all.  Such a bigot.  Color matters white being the biggest and includes Poodles, Shizt Zhus, I'm assuming also Bichon Frises and Papillons.  (All the Paps in agility would likely make him nuts.)  But also some of the darker dogs like the Border Terriers, and Yorkies.  Some Boston Terriers got a look but he only bristled as they were running.  Otherwise they were ok.  Hmmmm.  I really do with I had a photo of that LWFD with a shaved face and possessed eyes.  Someone I was talking to about this wasn't sure if said LWFD counted as a dog either.  He more reacts to them like they're squirrels.

The more confident a dog is, but who doesn't try to tell him what to do works well.  I get the impression that the Team Small Dogs would be ok in his mind.

He did react to a Pit Bull puppy but puppy's are well a little erratic

My neighbor down the street has a Pem named Shelby and Yoshi greeted her through the fence.  He would be fine with her.  Then I put Yoshi away, and went back into the park and talked with Janice and Mark and spoke to them about ODTC and agility.  Shelby is 8 months old, very sweet, and was quite happy to heel, come, and sit for the Natural Balance beef treats that I had in my pocket.  I encouraged them to try classes at ODTC, as she's a natural.

Trek got a neighborhood walk near the end of the day.  which went well.

Sat Dec 11
Volunteered at the Bay Team trial.  Brought Trek along for the ride.
FB status update:
A bitter sweet sort of a day. I had a blast volunteering at the Bay Team trial, but the sound of the teeter in the covered arena is no less scary to Corgi Trek (who was along for the ride). The teeters are just loud when they are under a roof and though the rubberizing gives then a much better surface now the extra weight makes them land all the harder.  Sigh. I want to be a part of the solution to this, but I'm not sure how best to help.
I could have run her at the end of the day in Jumpers but decided I wanted the entry certificate that I get if I'm a full time volunteer.

I'm realizing that it's much harder when you get a dog with a specific dream in mind.  You really set yourself up for disappointment.  My dogs are both very, very talented, but they both have handicaps that make agility nearly impossible in Yoshi's case or difficult in Trek's case.  When I started in agility I didn't have an agenda besides doing well and having a good time.  I have the fortune/curse of having Cali who was quite good at it.  The other difference is that I'd raised her as a puppy so I had more control of her early life experiences.  I'm not sure how much difference I could have made in Yoshi's life but I know I could have made a big difference about Trek's noise sensitivity.

Out of mostly frustration googled noise sensitivity treatment
Found one interesting link: http://www.ctds.info/noise-sensitivity.html
Which suggests magnesium as a possible solution.
Googling magnesium dog dosage leads to: http://agilitydogsfitness.blogspot.com/2008/09/magnesium.html
Which didn't talk about a specific dosage but gave a whole lot more info.

So what the heck I'll try giving her a magnesium supplement and I'll just take the human dosage and adjust it based on weight.  Chelated Magnesium is bound with an amino acid and sounds like a good place to start.  Human RDA is 400 men 300 women.  Trek is 24 pounds, round to 25 for simplicity.  So let's assume 1/5.  So 60-80 mg.  And after doing that calculation, I find that's what the mayo clinic suggests for very small children (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602371)  Maybe I can find a kids one.

OMG Googling: magnesium for kids
gives a ton of references about calming kids down.  Wonder if it would work for dogs too.

Fri Dec 10
Something happened - derned if I can remember it.
One thing I observed driving to work a little late is that at 8:20 parents have just finished dropping their kids off at elementary school and are walking back with dogs amd small kids.  Kind of a risky training opportunity, but carefully managed might work out ok.  Don't know.  I'm usually at work then anyway.

Thu Dec 9
Yoshi morning walk
2 dogs pooping on either side of the street, gave up and just waiting for them to move on.  Yoshi could see the one across the street and we nearly ran  into the other one while parallel walking with the first (ante-pooping).

One of the dogs went inside and I didn't think anything more about them until i see them running towards us.  it was raining and the owner went back inside to get a jacket.  I backed off down a sidestreet (Johnson) but only was able to get one house width.  I know now for a running dog that's not enough distance as he chomped on the proffered threat (and my hand and charged at the dog.  Drat.  We dhould have just kept moving, then it would have been fine.

Trek walk.  Short one
The cool thing is that we were walking down Johnson and there was a kid bouncing a ball and Trek looked at me for a treat!  So classical conditioning does work!  She was still stressed but wasn't trying to run away and was willing to pause to eat.

Wed Dec 8
Basic walks for the dogs.

Tue Dec 7
Yoshi noon walk.  Pretty unremarkable save for him volunteering some stellar heeling.

Treak agility class.  With minor cajoling I got her out of the crate which was much easier than at Power Paws where I had to beg her to come out or just drag her out.  Her dog walk and teeter looked great which is quite a relief.  the level of the dogs is similar to hers so I ask Sharon if Trek could join the class and she can!  So with some regret at what things could have been at Power Paws I signed her up for this class cycle.  It's so nice to have her be happy and not freaked out.  When I showed up I was standing in the dark and yet amazingly I was greeted by name and I didn't have Trek standing beside me either.  This helped my feelings a lot.  Sharon asked if I preferred this one to Monday and I said that we do better in a class where the dogs are more advanced as it makes us work harder so I did have a preference for this one as it was marked as Advanced and the other was Intermediate.  8pm Monday is also pretty advanced and that is an option too, but goes fairly late.  The only bummer is that just like for PP I'm in traffic to get there at 6:30.  What normally takes 35-40 min takes just over an hour.  So leaving at 5:15pm would be a good thing.

I remind myself that I have two world class agility training centers (actually more) within easy driving distance.  I'm so spoiled.  I do regret scheduling a conflict with PP Tues but I can always go if Sharon isn't having class for some reason.

Mon Dec 6
Yoshi morning walk.  1 GSD who deliberately let him see and who he then barked at once (and who barked back at him), but I then got his attention and turned it into a good experience.  This probably wasn't entirely fair to the GSD's owner, but we weren't close to them and they're out in public anyway.  It would have been fine for the GSD to bark first.

Trek walk.  leisurely just to let her relax some.

Book club.  Jannie brought her PugX and Yoshi was in the back crated at first.  Trek who was loose was being too funny being solidly in "Let my people go!" Bark Bark Bark Bark mode until I leashed her and brought her all the way into the living room and closed the door.  Then she forgot all about her leader of the people destiny and started looking for a warm lap and a belly rub.

Later on when Chester was quite settled in Jennie's lap (he was drugged from having some teeth pulled), I went and got Yoshi snagged some pita bread and stood across the living room with him.  He was possessed.  What is that?? But I was able to keep his attention mostly with only a couple of times where I had to pull him back from being locked on.  Every time he did that we backed off more.  When he finally sellled we moved a little closer.  He was still very much What IS that thing?! But was willing to eat too.  It didn't seem like a good idea to have them meet or sniff as Chester could easily have growled which would have completely undone Yoshi and all of the work up to this point.  So once Yoshi relaxed and was happily eating, we backed off as a reward and I put him back in the back.

One theory says that dogs sometimes charge other dogs to make them go away.  It's an anxiety reaction.  They really want to create distance.  I don't know if this entirely applies to Yoshi as I've seen him chase down a dog who was 200' away (as a puppy even) and it seemed/seems more of a motion control issue, but in herding he also seems a little relieved to learn that he doesn't have to always be in control if I ask him to stop.  I think the more he learns to stop in herding the more it will help his anxiety (I hope.)

Sun Dec 5
Rainy rest day for all

Sat Dec 4
Trek NADAC.  She loves it once she figured out that the dog walk wasn't an issue once she figured out that it wasn't a teeter (in gamblers).
I really don't like the minor league feel of NADAC there and I really prefer USDAA as it takes a lot more skill to do very well.  However it's interesting that even Trek's novice regular class was best handled with a sepentine (which she rocked at.)  2 Qs and 2 1sts.  She loved that she got to sit on Vicke's lap and eat cheese while I did the walk thrus.

There is another hazard however.

Hazards of NADAC safety rules. I'm used to inadvertently breaking the myriad numbers of rules that NADAC has in place to "protect the dogs." Today I don't think I broke too many of them - No, this time they tried to break me. Your dog has to be leashed before they leave the ring after a run, but the leash runner isn't allowed to just put it on the fence or in a bucket. By default, they hand it to you.

We are racing to the finish and we are seriously booking having a stellar standard run. We cross the finish line and the leash runner steps out to hand us our leash. Trek stops immediately. Right in front of me. Smash. In avoiding kicking her, I go flying (fortunately sommersaulting.) So for the next run I ask that the leash be put on the ground for us which we fortunately are allowed to request. Worked much better and I'm not too much worse off for my little ground encounter.

Fri Dec 3
Yoshi herding
he's working well in the small area pen.  In the larger pen he tends to get wound up and fears that he can't control the sheep and starts charging around and not stopping well.  He does more the pause and continue which is not always ok and at this point is not ok period.  But Linda wants him to stop ever so often and continue so he knows that "Stop" doesn't mean the fun is over.

I'm going to have to work him on the long line some probably to help him make the transistion or do more work in the small pen.  I hope the long line doesn't mess up his distance which is better than it used to be.

Thu Dec 2
Yoshi walk
Saw the nervous Fox Terrier across the street on Court.  Yoshi barked once and then went for the proffered cheese instead.  No other dogs though lots of people.

Still doing well with Kir (*Kear")

Wed Dec 1
Yoshi walk.  He responds well to Kir so i think that will be his recall, almost his name

Trek walk.  No real issues. 
Sharon says she can come to agility class Tues 6:30 next week.  Cool!

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