Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2008

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

Feedback is welcome:
For the human's blog see: The Non-Dog Blog
Non-Dog Blog Table of Contents

Thu Jan 31

Yoshi is doing better.  Phew.  He went out to obsess on squirrels and race around a little.  He's still not 100% but he's a lot better.  Dr Applegate wants to manually check his teeth next week (Tues 12:30) since we're not giving him antibiotics any more.

Now it's time to ponder Mr. Y's next training steps.  I think the next thing is to do Look At That at dogs outside the dog park

Unfortunately Lori's class is tomorrow, but I don't yet feel comfortable feeding the huge amount of treats that he would get for the class so I think we'll pass.  Of course he also eats a mountain of treats for LAT, so maybe I'll feed him his breakfast that way.

I've been pondering what does Yoshi do when he wants to calm himself down?  First thing that comes to my head is, well,"nothing" but that's not entirely true as he and Trek play all the time and one of them will call for a break in the action, and they both respond.  So what signals do they give each other?
Often there's an elaborate combination such as pause-look away-sniff-exhale-shake, then look back, sort of play bow and reengage.  It's a blast to watch and I should make an annotated video of their play.  Though they go through the sequence so fast that i'd have to show the full sequence, then go through step by step and then show the sequence again.  Maybe with the text superimposed directly on each dog.

Anyway to borrow Leslie McDevitt's approach, it would be a good approach to put things like sniffing and shaking on cue (be fun to get the exhale but good luck) and use those as tools for when a strange dog approaches.  Something like
Yes, I'm talking giving him lessons in how a Normal Dog would respond.  Maybe I'll just start calling it Normal-Dog Lessons or Becoming a Normal-Dog.Lessons or "Let's Pretend you're a Normal-Dog."

Yoshi still has an occasional rasping cough.  I'm wondering it's from the intubation.  Will keep an eye on it.

I am able to call one dog to me by just using their name, which is very useful when I have both dogs in the kitchen and want just one to come with me into the living room.  Our obedience instructor does drills where the dog is just supposed to look at you when you say their name but not come.  We just don't do those since i want me dogs to start to come on their name (though I may interrupt that with another command lie "down."

Started to work on "sniff".  Put on the floor one of the clear CDs that come with bulk CDs and that I use for dog training.  Clicked him for ever time his nose went near it.  We've done stuff like this before and he caught on right away.  The trick is that he kept thinking it was a foot target, so I was getting foot touches too, but I didn't differentiate on whether the foot was there.  Pretty soon I started saying the word sniff just before he dipped his head, and stopped not long after that.  Good boy.

Wed Jan 30
Yoshi barfed again so I called the vet and she said that it sounds like he's allergic to the antibiotics and that we should discontinue it.  She went on to say that he should be feeling better later this evening or at the latest in the morning.

He's still pretty punky, and clearly not himself.

They also gave him a Rabies and a Distemper shot and I hope it's not from those, though I'm not aware of him having any vaccine reactions before.

When I start to wonder if something else is going on I remind myself that they did a blood panel before hand.  Everything looked good except for a very slightly elevated ALT liver enzyme (147 instead of 100 which is not high at all) wihc could easily have resulted in his barfing up the mountain of treats that he got from watching agility last Friday.  I then think of his weight loss and again try not to worry.

Did a little bit of mat work with them, but my heart wasn't in it, and I only felt comfortable giving Yoshi little bits of EVO kibble, so I gave up and watched a DVD.

Trek's eye is still about the same even with the added Tetracycline, well at least it doesn't make her since as one sick dog is about my limit.

Tue Jan 29
Yoshi still seems under the weather

Mon Jan 28
Yoshi Dental Cleaning
Through the power of justifiable paranoia (I just know you're all going to tell me that's an oxymoron) I have turned a $380 procedure into a $540 one and am mostly happy to do so (ok the pocketbook objects, but my stress level is thrilled.)  Some of the cost increase is the Oravet sealant that they'll put on his teeth to protect them from further plaque buildup which I'm all for since I've not been able to keep up with his teeth given Trek's eye medication routine and his training, but the majority of the increase is for putting in an IV and catheter, so if anything were to go wrong, they can start intervention immediately.  I like that.  I like that a lot.  For those who may have been spared reading about the situation, about 2 years ago, Nicky, a brother of Yoshi's who lived in Florida, tragically died from anesthesia complications during a routine dental.  Primary suspects were Telazole and Ace, and my vets' decided after reading a summary of the incident that Yoshi now gets neither of them.  My vets' get full credit for noting the Ace as the focus was on the Telazole, but Ace has a far more checkered history of complications (particularly with Collie's).

Anyway I'm still a bit anxious but hanging in there.

Aside: Yoshi's weight is only 21 pounds which is a little underweight for him, but ok.  21.5 is what I'm used to him being.  I didn't notice as his winter coat is so abundant. if he were a wild animal he would be hunted for his pelt.

He's ok!  Phew.  Vet says he woke up really fast and is hungry - I told them to give him treats.

[later still]
He's home now and came with some Amoxicillin to take for a week (starting tomorrow) since he had some gingivisis in his mouth and the cleaning releases all that bacteria into his mouth and could cause infection.

While he seems ok he barfed pretty copiously after dinner.  I'm thinking it's my fault as I let him gobble a section of a baguette.

Sun jan 27
It's still raining so no herding (and agility was canceled Friday).  So I have slightly stir crazy dogs though they're good about chasing each other around the yard and wrestling, so they're not completely nuts.

Something that's driving me nuts but that I haven't whined about here yet is that Petmate has discontinued the Vari-Kennel Deluxe which is the Lexus of crates, and replaced it with the "Vari-Kennel Deluxe Jr." which is the Yugo of crates compared.  I haven't been able to find the Deluxe anywhere and it's driving me a bit around the bend.  I found one Bayteamer who has one that I'm buying but I'd like another.  There has to be 1000's of these laying about in houses/garages around the country, yet I'm not finding them.

Actually that's not entirely true.  I did find one in Seattle, and another in Philadelphia (both Craigslist).  I haven't gotten that desparate yet, but I'm tempted.  I did place a wanted ad on our local craigslist.

Fri Jan 25
Trek eye appt at Animal Eye Care to recheck the tear production of her dry left eye with the Schirmer test which is oddly similar to litmus paper.  It's exactly the same which is pretty much what I expected.  Level 6 where the other eye was in the 20's (normal).

I sent this email to Dr Freidman:

Hi Dr. Friedman,

If you all are having trouble finding the Lacrisert then I think it's a sign that it's not really effective and after we've tried adding the Tacrolimus for a couple of months I'd like to move on to Punctual Occlusion methods.

You were mentioning the problem of the plugs falling out of dog tear ducts and I was reading here (http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/dryeye.htm) that they now offer a couple of new kinds that have a better fit.


A new type of punctal plug made of acrylic is a small rod that becomes a soft gel when exposed to your body heat after insertion. It is designed to accommodate to the size of any punctum canal. Advantages of this type of plug are that one size fits all so measurement is unnecessary, and nothing protrudes from the tear duct that could potentially cause irritation.

Another new kind is made of a hydrogel that expands into a soft, pliable gel in the punctum canal. It has no cap, and should it need to be removed, the eyecare practitioner can simply flush it out with saline solution.

With some people, however, punctal plugs aren't effective enough, so their tear ducts need to be closed surgically.


The third option of just closing the tear duct surgically sounds much less invasive than redirecting a salivary gland.

So what I'd like to do is:

- next two months, add Tacrolimus to the Cyclosporine and Neo/poly/dex (and Genteal) regime
- April 2nd is a recheck (with you).  Assuming that the Tacrol. shows no improvement I'd like to try the Punctual Plugs and would like it done that day if at all possible (let's just punt on the Lacrisert since it's not easily obtainable).

Does this sound ok?

Ellen Clary
and Corgi's Trek and Yoshi

To summarize here for our purposes:
Trek eye drops:
AM: Cyclosprine, Neo/Poly/Dex, Tacrolimus
Noon: Genteal, general lubricant
Evening: Cyclosprine, Neo/Poly/Dex, Tacrolimus
Bedtime: Cyclosprine, Neo/Poly/Dex, Tacrolimus

Genteal or artificial tears at any other time possible.

After nearly a year of doing this and related routines I'm really up for something else.

I heard back and they'll order the punctual plugs.

Thu Jan 24
These silly Vari-Kennel Deluxe JR. crates I ordered and didn't like are going to cost almost what they're worth to return, so I may as well sell them on Craigs list. (Drat.)  And it seems slightly tacky to offer them for sale to the Bay Team after I was complaining about them. :)

I was looking on the Bayteams member's pages for Flint's photo (see the previous entry), and up pops my own photo with Trek.  i see our Bayteam webmistress has been hard at work.  Guess I can't complain too much as she was good enough to include her own photo and she took that photo of Trek and I.

I was reading Leslie McDevitt's aritlcle in the Oct 2006 issue of Clean Run ("Confessions of a Mat Freak") which of course was excellent, and I was flipping through and noticed that during the time I wasn't paying much attention to Clean Run, trainers finally started developing ways of teaching running contacts.  Well it's about time.  I'm forever ranting how making a dog, especially a small dog, stop on a contact is the world's biggest training hack.  i even have video proof of Cali catching up to Whitney (a Corgi with faster ground speed), because we did a running contact  Now trainers have shown over and over again that you can get a fast reliable 2 on 2 contact with effort (some claim less effort - I'm not sure I agree), but if you're going to take all that training time then why not spend it on running contacts. 

Now I've seen dogs with horrible contact problems who have excellent trainers and honestly neither method is going to fix that on its own.  I actually don't know the solution to that and am staying tuned to see what works.  I myself have been very lucky with contacts so far.

Wed Jan 23
I keep starting to write this but keep stopping out of superstition about jinxing anything, but it appears that it's safe to write about now.

Corgi agility Superstar Flint last week had a very close call with the doggy version of the Grim Reaper, but it appears that he's going to be ok.  It came on very suddenly, but he may have eaten something in a horse park walk or some water source and current theory is that some bacteria got into his GI tract and then went on a rampage with his immune system chasing it everywhere (my phrasing but pretty close).  With in a day he couldn't walk and then he was fighting for his life with infection in many areas of his body and a very high white count, and that white count showed a high percentage of new white blood cells which are a strong indicator of continuing infection (his body was making more WBCs)

Gail took him to the Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park which is a very impressive animal hospital complete with its own ICU and MRI facilities.  She did this initially to consult with a Neurologist there, but the Dr. figured out quickly that even though the symptoms presented looked neurological, it biggest problem wasn't neurological and in fact any neurologic problem was the lesser of the worries.  Flint was put in the ICU, and a worried Gail took up residence at the nearby hotel.  Flint steadily got worse and refused to eat or drink which is probably one of the most distressing things a Corgi owner ever sees.

Gail was trying to get herself to accept the fact that she should probably let him go, but the Internist suggested giving him another 24 hours to see if the plethora of antibiotics they were giving him would start to win against the infection.  Gail was nice enough to let some of us know and we all started watching our email very closely. In the next 24 hours, Flint miraculously started to improve little by little, and her next email said "getting better."  Phew.  He wasn't out of the proverbial woods yet (still isn't quite).  But there was a distinct improvement.  Gail cagily got him to eat by bringing her other dog Pic and start feeding Pic and alternately offered Flint a treat too.  With the rivalry, Flint ate.  She also discovered that Flint would eat when doing tricks as the treat is part of the routine.

After 4 days of ICU, Flint was discharged and Gail took him home the next day where he continues to convalesce.  Even though they tested him for everything under the Sun the diagnosis is still inconclusive but it was clearly an infection and his stool was highly Technicolor which indicates he ingested something.  Flint now has a new nickname of Flint <insert favorite expensive car name here>. The Animal Care Center no doubt saved his life and if I find myself in a similar situation and BAVS doesn't offer what I need, I will certainly keep them in mind.

I went to see Flint just before Yoshi's herding session and I went hearing on the 20th.  The person escorting me to their room (yes, a private room.), knocked on the door and i heard Flint bark.  That was the best thing to hear.  He was exhausted after greeting me, but he was definitely no longer on Death's Door.  Phew.  Best of luck Flint - we're rooting for you.

Sun Jan 20
Yoshi herding
Joyce isn't really comfortable with my using a clicker in herding so I'm going to acquiesce and do it her way since Yoshi loves it so much there.  She does use corrections but she is fair and knows he's a softie.
Joyce suggested and I think it's a good idea that we go back to the round pen while we work on "steady" which is a slow but consistent pace - either walking or more often trotting.  The scenario was have Yoshi do a sit/stay, the release him to gather the sheep.  Since he's in the round pen he really can't flush them once he's brought them back or if he tries it's easier to block his access to the sheep.  Then work on walking the sheep back and forth across the pen (that I wish was a little larger but oh well.)

Start out on the opposite side of the sheep but it he gets too close, walk through the sheep and firmly tap the ground with the wand and tell him to back off (with Joyce that's an understatement :).  Joyce did the initial handling and Yoshi plainly thought she was a scary person but he wanted the sheep so bad he did work for a while but then came to me.  I mentioned to Joyce that this was always the danger - that he might just quit, but she said that he'd take a lot more from me that an unfamiliar person.  She's probably right.

We did two sessions and he was showing some relutant improvement.

He did have an unrelated reactive outburst.  A woman with an unknown dog walked straight up to several of us standing aroud the picnic table campfire.  I just carried him away a short distance and then was able to reapproach.  When he's flailing around trying to Get That Dog, I find I can hold him by his chest and midsection and just let his legs pump the air which has this sort of cartoonish aspect.  He greeted other dogs fine and didn't have any further social issues.

Sat Jan 19
Spoke to Trek's opthalogist Dr. Friedman and I told her that I didn't think that Trek was further improving on the current Dry Eye regime and that I'd like to explore other options.  The one's we're talking about are actually ones that my human opthalmologist suggested.  The first one is Lacrisert which is a capsule that you place in the eye and it dissolves over the day.  I don't think that's likely to work so after that fails we'll trying the Punctual Occlusion which has nothing to do with being on time or grammar, but instead is a way to block the tear duct.  Tears come in near the top of the eye socket and are drained out via the tear duct.  The idea is to basically plug the drain, so that the reduced tear production in that eye is enough.

Fri Jan 18
Trek agility class, Yoshi CU exercises while watching agility
Yoshi did well in his watching.  I let him interact some with a dog named Katie as he seemed to want to do it (I usually don't have him interact as he doesn't seem to want to), and Lynn assurded me that Katie was afraid of people but was great with dogs.  They seemed to do well but I took Yoshi away when I thought he was getting too pushy.  He seems to be relaxing some though he is still very watchful.

Lynn told me that Trish King is showing Yoshi's video where he's play bowing to her large stuffed toy Doberman.  Apparently she's been filming a whole bunch of dogs reacting to the toy and the reactions are all over the place.  Many dogs are uncomfortable with the toy that doesn't smell like a dog, but looks and moves like a dog. (Trish is a good dog puppeteer. :)  So there was a whole series of dogs that would growl or bark or jump in surprise.  And then there was Yoshi play-bowing.  The whole room went awwwww.  So much for the fearsome Corgi.  What a hoot.

Trek had a nice time but it was really cold and she wasn't thrilled with that.  I kept her cuddled in one of my heavy jackets in between runs.  Clean Run has this very nice dog coat made of polartec.  As you might guess, it's expensive (circa $100) so I'm going to have to think about it. 

Performance wise I was able to do a 2 jump lead out pivot. she charged right into tunnels, still tries to skip a pole but once she realizes that I care, then she'll do them properly.  Zerod in on some poop or bait on the course and we had a Leave It conversation.  Still looks back if she gets too ahead of me - I need to work on "Go on" so I can still steer from behind.  In that respect maybe I should keep her in NADAC where those kind of courses are common.

Spoke with Patty who I'm hoping will be able to sew the chute fabric.  She said that two of the places she works with have said no to the project.  I'm surprised as it shouldn't be that hard and I said that it didn't have to be that elaborate - we could even skip the attachment of the tightener as I could just clamp it on.

Tue Jan 15

Have no fear, Underdog is here
From the weekend's photos:  Presenting Air Trek.

Photos by David Wong.  Printed with permission.

A fan of Trek's just couldn't resist making an animated gif out of this sequence and it's pretty hilarious.  You can see it here.

To answer some questions both asked and unasked:

Mon Jan 14
Some health issues from the weekend...Not serious fortunately.
Yoshi barfed a lot of the enormous amounts of treats that he had.  i think the Red Barn Chicken doesn't quite agree with his tummy in significant amounts despite his iron gut reputation.  i recycled the rest of it in our organics green bin and will give my remaining sealed one away (if you're interested just email me).  So we'll stick with Red Barn Beef and I'll try and get it cut even smaller.

I noticed that Trek has a 2"x1" lump on her shoulder, but it's not sensitive at all to touch and I can move her right front leg around in the usual directions and she shows no pain and of course she's doing her usual run around the yard pell mell with Yoshi, so it's probably not agility related.  I'm also not finding any evidence of a tick or a bite.  It finally occurred to me that it's probably where her rabies shot was which was last Sunday.  I spoke to their vet's office and they said that due to its size they'd like to check it out so Terri is going to take her in on Wed at 1pm.


Yep - it's from the rabies shot.  Could take quite a while to go away (as much as 8 weeks) but it won't hurt her.

Sun Jan 13
Big day for both dogs.  We went to WAG in Elk Grove for a Haute Dawgs NADAC trial for Trek and a lot of behavioral training for Yoshi.

Biggest news is I didn't break any rules (that I was aware of).  Ok that's not true, it's not the biggest news.  Biggest news is that Trek Q'ed!  Twice no less (1 jumpers, 1 standard), and managed to win both classes since Debbie was nice enough to enter the Proficient instead of Skilled category with her Corgi Porsche (who's living up to her name)  Also, just as important, Yoshi did very well practicing LAT on and off throughout the day. 

Trek's getting more confident about doing runs.  She did not react to any of the personnel in the arena.  She is sequencing better though still blows by obstacles from time to time (about 2 per course or so).  Her weaves have improved though she still tries to skip a pole every so often.  She had 2 sets, one in each Standard class and the first one she kept trying to skip poles but finally did them correctly.  The second time she did them perfectly.  Both times were on-side which is actually her weaker side.

During the second standard course, little one had her first blown contact off the A-Frame (10 course faults) as I wasn't paying proper attention and she jumped off early. Also she got ahead of me at the end and crossed the finish line before doing the last obstacle which is considered a failure to Perform (20 faults).  Needless to say she didn't qualify, but neither did anyone else and she technically got 1st (for what that's worth :).

I do need to warm her up more after she's had a break.  The last class for us was Chances (Gamblers) and her heart just wasn't in it and she seemed stiff and distracted..  There were two tunnels on the course and she raced past them each time.  She just wanted to go sniff.  I was starting to see this a bit during her previous run where she was all for running off the course when the course went near the finish line.  4 classes is a lot for a dog new to competition (this is the first time we've tried 4), and I think we should probably go back to 3 for a while.  Fortunately her future is AKC and the most they have a day is 3.

Back to Yoshi.  Since the trial was lightly attended, Yoshi and i were able to start out at the far corner of the dirt parking lot and have at least 50+ feet around us be completely unoccupied.  He initially did a whole bunch of sniffing to check the place out (and to work out some stress) and then he started to pick his head up.where which we immediately started on LAT.  Initially he was pretty tense but since the scary dogs where a distance away (like 200') he was willing to play.  We worked our way a little close to the covered arena but didn't approach very close the first time.  Then I put him away and Trek and I ran a course.  When I got Yoshi out again he seemed more relaxed and I let him watch dog's play in a nearby enclosure.  Then when the way from the parking area to the arena was clear we walked to the side of the arena, but still remained outside, all the while playing LAT.  We then walked around the outside area and watched the dogs warming up.  There was a lot more activity here and he was scanning a lot.  We were ok till a dog and handler suddenly emerged from a nearby RV and he started to bark and lunge.  We retreated and in time he recovered and was able to go back to LAT, even on the dog he was barking at.

I put him away again and later in the day I took him out and we walked over to the arena.  It was during a break so there wasn't a lot of activity, so I carried him into the covered area to where Terri and her mom were standing talking with Debbie.  He was able to eat treats from them and didn't freak out about the environment even though he was plainly over threshold so we didn't tarry long and left while he was still sucessful.

Last time out there were fewer dogs around and I was able to walk him down the covered area beside the ring and he was fine.  Even let a large Weimeramer walk by (I was sheilding him but he could see the dog) and he just continued LAT.  What a guy.  Our little twit is in danger of being less so.  I think we're going to have to make a habit of bringing him to agility trials.  This location is particularly well suited especially when attendance is relatively low.

Sat Jan 12
We all went to Paul's (Terri's brother) house in Elk Grove for dinner and then to watch him in a play.  The dog's were very well behaved and Paul's wife Mary even let them out while we were gone (she mentioned she might), and they cuddled with her while she worked.  They apparently were model citizens.  I almost wish they weren't sometimes so people could see how non-angelic they are capable of being.  ;)

Fri Jan 11
Trek agility class.  (Will add this entry).

Thu Jan 10
Trying to decide on what Yoshi and I should be working on.
1. His uncued default behavior of sitting and looking up at me needs to be stronger as it goes away when he's distracted, worried, stressed or, it appears, sleepy.  He was in danger of losing his Corgi card AGAIN, while he wandered away while both dogs and I were working on it in the kitchen.  His excuse was "It's bedtime" as he hopped into bed.  Meanwhile Trek was sitting expectantly the whole time staring at me and willing me to give her more.  I was feeding them dried liver which they like.  I think it's pretty clear that it's Trek who will be going to Kathy Sdao's Advanced Clicker Training Seminar whenever it finally gets here.  Just looked on her site and it's reminding me that I should buy the Cujo meets Pavlov video.

2. I've been so focused on calming him down that I don't have a way to excite him besides letting him see a dog or a squirrel.  He'll play games like fetch and a little tug, but he is working during these and doesn't jump in with complete abandon.  McDevitt's Off Switch game involves getting your dog excited and then having them sit, down (cued) or offer their uncued default behavior on their own.  I suppose I could just knock on something as knocking usually sets him off.

Wed Jan 9
Took Yoshi for a noon walk which is something I hope to do more of now that he's getting the idea of LAT in various contexts.  We actually can easily go on a noontime walk and not see any dogs so I was using other opportunities like walking people, and bounding children.  Right when we start out, he's almost always very uncertain and scanning pretty intensely, but relaxes a little after about 1/2 a block.  He did bark at a fast moving person so i turned him around and walked further away, and then turned around to try LAT, still too close as he was growly barky so we backed off more.

He's been starting to use the click or marker word as a reason to stress and look around, so during the walk every so often I would just say "Yes" and treat him for no reason at all.  This clearly bugged him as he couldn't find a trigger and was worried that there was a dog that he didn't see (poor guy).  I also stopped for a little while on Central Ave. just to work on sitting and staying.  He was still stressed but having something to do did seem to relax him.

One thing that completely surprised me was that I started playing LAT with him on a person who was about 1/2 a block away walking down the crossing street.  He was all for the game and we played it all the way up to the corner though we could still see the person.  What I didn't see initially is that person had a dog with her and Yoshi didn't react to the dog though he must have seen the dog.  Now granted the dog was walking away from him which is a calming thing for him but he likely saw the dog much earlier.

Maybe there's hope.

For now during these short winter days, I think I'm going to take him out of obedience class and just work on his behavoral issues during the daylight.  I really want to focus on the behavioral training as, in Feb, I'm going to be taking him to see Kienan who is Leslie McDevitt's former assistant (pictured on page 40) and who now lives in Southern Calif.

Mon Jan 7
Wow, big success with Control Unleashed methods.  Cathy once again came over with her dogs.  I have Y&T in the LR crates and hers were in my expen.  When Cathy brought in her dogs Jesse and Abby I was beside Yoshi's crate nearly raining cookies on his head like McDevitt describes on page 134 and also throughout the "Nights" 3 and 4 chapters (I was able to do more rapid fire treat delivery though at one point when they were walking near him, I did start dropping them on his head which is a nearly surefire Corgi distractor.)  What surprised me is how calm he was.  He was a little stressed and very watchful, but very quickly started offering LAT once he realized that it would work in this context.  At no time did he bark and lunge.  Throughout the evening I hung close to his crate each time Abby and Jessie needed to move out of the expen and we played LAT.  It was a strangely calm evening though it took a lot of effort to make it happen.

Again I didn't have him interact with her dogs.  I used to think that he wanted to interact, but he doesn't seem that compelled to beyond wanting to control their motion and once food alternates entered the game he didn't seem interested in them at all.  Not having him interact would never have occurred to me except that McDevitt writes that some reactive dogs are stressed by not knowing if they're going to have to interact with a dog or not, so she suggests just not having them do so. 

Now Yoshi is very doggy and once he's relaxed he really does want to meet other dogs so I have to come up with a way to balance that.  I think for him it's best with dogs and situations he knows like obedience class or watching agility class, rather than some random dog on the street.

Sun Jan 6
Trek got to ride in the new dog car today to go to the vet and get a rabies shot.  I have some tie downs on order, but I have one from the truck so I was able to fashion it to work.  The Scion has some really nice tie down rings in the back and there's plenty of room for the two crates and room for 4 crates actually so Mark and I or Patricia and I can easily take all of our dogs somewhere.

Took some soup over to Mark and Jan who have been under the weather and got to visit with Cooper and cutie puppy Cameo who's now 16 weeks and growing!

Finally made myself stop whining about the writing style of it and actually work with Yoshi on Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol.  I got out his mat and let him lie down or sit on it.  For the most part he lied down.  I unfortunately don't have an online copy of the RP to reference (it's about to be published again so I don't want to tread on any toes) but it you're a member of the Control Unleashed Yahoo Group you can download it from the Files section.  He's had so much obedience training that Day 1 was no problem.  I see that on Day 2 the jogging in place will cause some stress for him so I'll have to introduce it slowly.

Sat Jan 5
I had the opportunity to experiment more with Yoshi and male visitors as Terri's contradance band was rehearsing here and their fiddler is a guy.  Just before he came in I put both dogs in the living room crates and just before he came in I started feeding Yoshi EVO kibble (works well as treats).  One at a time through a small opening through the zippered top of the Noz to Noz crate.  He barked once at Rick and then decided that the food was better.  As Rick moved around Yoshi would stop to look at him, then would go back to eating and even volunteering the Look At That game.

Then Rick moved towards Yoshi and I and Yoshi, startled, growled/barked for a second then desisted and resumed eating and LAT.  I'm thinking this is what was going on with Scott.  Yoshi is reactive to motion towards him that he finds somewhat threatening.  It's not his vision, I've had his vision checked and while he does have retinal dysplaysia it doesn't affect his vision.  Besides he sees squirrels way up in the trees.

I think the poor guy has conflicting primary directives.  1. Be Protective of the Pack by sounding the alarm quickly and be willing to defend it  2. Be a chicken.
No wonder he's messed up.

Back to Trek.  You know you really need to do you dog's toenails when they start chewing on them.  That's what she'd doing in the photograph.

My short little aside of Trek's appalling coprophagia (poop eating) habit did get notice, so I should probably talk about it more.  Unlike Cali, Trek doesn't eat her own (Cali was on a high fiber diet which made what came out too similar to what went in - sigh). Also unlike Cali, if I tell her to Drop It or Leave It she does.  She mostly just sneaks it when I've missed picking up a bit of poop and I'm not looking (and did so tonight to the point of ignore a recall which almost never happens).  While it's a disgusting habit to us humans, dogs are scavengers and are often quite willing to try eating most anything (often to their detriment.)  Also, when a female has puppies she cleans the whelping area by eating the puppy poop.  This is my completely unresearched theory of why it often is the girl dogs that eat the poop.  I mostly manage the problem by picking up poop immediately (I practice agility in the yard and I really hate stepping in dog poop), and have Drop It and Leave It commands that mostly work, and also I'm perfectly willing to race up to them, clamp their mouth shut till I get in a position that will work, and then drag something disgusting out of said doggy throat (dogs don't have much gag reflex so you can jam your fingers partially down their throat if you have to. 

For more info on coprophagia, Diane at Dog Play has put together a set of links here.  The only problem is that Trek has figured out that she can get away with poop eating with Terri and I'm trying to teach Terri the "She who will be obeyed" voice.  In the meantime, Trek sometimes looks at Yoshi as a Pez dispenser.

Fri Jan 4
It's raining bats and frogs here, and Yoshi wants none of it.  Mr. Plush Coat I wouldn't be able to tell if it was raining if I didn't see it or hear it, doesn't want to go out.  Trek the water slut (and a thin coat for a Corgi) will bound right out there.  I finally just put him on leash and took him out to the front yard where there's less standing water.  He peed but wouldn't poop and didn't all day until the rain stopped.  Now I can insist he go out and he will without too much sulking but it was raining quite hard for this area so I let him go back in.

Later on we were able to watch the dog across the street since I was feeding him kibble.  things were going great until some other leashed dog had the nerve to walk on HIS sidewalk right in front of the house.  My thumb was in his collar and I though I was going to get it pulled out of joint, his reaction was so strong.

So across the street is possible when armed with goodies.  Closer to the house is not ok.

Yoshi's stools are very hard and seem to be making him constipated so I may switch him back to Wellness from Innova EVO.  My hope that having him on the same food as Trek would make his poop less appetizing to Trek but that hasn't stopped her.  Must be the appeal of that manly oder. )

Tue Jan 1
Happy New Year
Got the dogs a new car today.  A 2008 Scion xB.

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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2007
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