Yoshi and Trek
Training Diary - Jan 2010
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
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Sun Jan 31
Maniacal house cleaning for a book club that we're hosting
monday. The dogs are being kind and are staying out of the
way. Fortunately they just leave the room when the vacuum is
on. Other Corgi's attack the vac and their owners actually have
to crate their dogs in the car (!!)
Trek walk - uneventful say for meeting Mady's new dog Sky who is part
Spitz and thinks Trek is a toy. Trek doesn't want anything to do
with her as long as she thinks this.
Sat Jan 30
He did well with the goats. He stops when I asked him to and
stayed under control. I did ok too though the footing was iffy
and it's tricky to stay on your feet when you have a small herd of
little goats swarming around your feet. (But oh how endearing -
they're carefully chosen - the snotty ones get left behind.)
The sheep were another matter. He wouldn't stop when asked which
was supremely irritating. He did stay at the beginning mostly
which was nice but the not stopping was very disappointing after doing
so well with the slower goats.
This makes me worry about the L.A. corgi trial which in an AKC PT run on sheep.
It's tempting to wait a bit to see if the trial fills, but that seems
like wussing out. It's really an ideal trial as it's corgi only and a
lot of well known corgi people will be there to help out and there's a
two day practice beforehand which is invaluable. I spoke to
HTrainer3 about whether I should just make him a goat dog and she said
that since the upcoming trial in on sheep that we should continue
alternating between goats and sheep. I will send in the entry
tomorrow or Monday. I said I'd go and I should at least
try. This is my dog's chosen sport. Nevermind that he
doesn't care under what circumstances, but I selfishly want the credit
for all this hassle. :)
Though "hassle" is a hilarious word in this concept. Oh poor me I
have to go to the beach to do herding on a completely gorgeous day in
Pescadero. We walked further out into the field allegedly to
check out what the Advanced goat course entails (there's a bridge that
you all have to cross), but it was so lovely that we totally forgot to
stop and climbed up on the hill where we could look down on the ranch
and the surrounding area. My, my this would do. Wonder how
many million dollars this place costs?
We then found a place in a sheep pen to just sit down and get used to
simply being around sheep without having to do anything since he tends
to lose his mind around sheep. We had a lovely time though he
tells me that he now wants to be a Guardian Dog (He had started
alerting to people/dogs approaching HIS pen). Poor guy.
Herding is one thing but guarding against predators is a whole 'nuther
thing. I need to have a sign that I can point to that says: you
have to be at least as tall as this sheep (or more) to be a Guardian
Dog. So he can spend time calmly (on leash) with sheep in the
pen. I think the trigger is when they run, and his enthusiasm
makes them run. Catch-22.
Fri Jan 29
Yoshi walk. Saw one medium sized reddish fur dog. He did
very well. The dog went by on the other side of the street
(actually we cross ed the street - it was our street and we were nearly
done with our walk. I walked a very short distance down my
neighbors walk up side way and feel him a big treat (the kind I hang on
to). He did great as the dog passed by. We crossed back to
my house and two houses down the dog stopped so I let Yoshi get a
little bit closer to within two house widths and let the dogs make eye
contact. No reaction beyond just looking. I think we were
at the edge of a reaction so I told him he was a very good boy and
retreated by to the house.
Trek's agility class was rained out, so we just went on a walk.
She's similar to Cali in that she will go through puddles but unlike
Cali she doesn't appear to seek them out.
Yoshi has herding tomorrow for the first time in weeks. So we did
nails tonight. Wonder how it's going to go, I don't have the
greatest confidence right now and I hope it doesn't show or interfere.
I printed out Yoshi's entry form and need to fill it out. He's
going in PT. I almost hope it will fill so we can chicken out but
that would be the wuss approach. I do have till March to get it
in so there's no rush hopefully. We're going down regardless so I
should stop being a chicken and just go ahead and send it in.
Thu Jan 28
Yoshi walk. Mostly uneventful. Couple of times we stopped
to eat treats while ignoring a barking dog. Usually when I do
this the barking dog stops. Worked with Cisco, didn't work with
Annie across the street. I keep thinking I should spend more time
with Annie, but haven't done so. I don't like that she's kept
outside, but she does get attention and walks and she was a rescued
Trek walk pretty average.
Wed Jan 27
Yoshi walk. Two fairly stationary squirrels were on the ground
(digging up burried food I think) and I talked to him (Yoshi) and asked
him to heel and he walked right by them with out much of a glace -
though he did see them. Wow. I guess squirrels on the
ground don't look anything like those things that face around in the
Saw one dog that we were slightly beind. We mostly caught up to
them, but I kept us behind a little and while he watched carefully he
didn't react and was happy to eat treats.
Trek walk - uneventful
[off at avalanche class]
Dog's did well with Terri while I was gone.
While I was gone Terri had arranged with a coworker to feed them one
evening while she was out auditioning for the Ethnic Dance
Festival. This coworker while a dog person, had never met the
dogs and I was worried how Yoshi might be with a stranger. I was
describing the dog bite avoidance technique they teach kids when they
encounter strange dogs (Yoshi has never, ever bitten a person, but I
still worry about a stranger coming over to HIS house). If you
want to crack up an entire carful of people while you're talking on a
cell phone, say the words "Be a tree."
Turns out Terri wound up having Jan go over who they know. I
asked her if the dogs were nice to her and they said they invited her
in and over for dinner and were very happy to see her.
Thu Jan 21
Leaving for Tahoe for a 4 day avalanche class. Dogs are stressing
because I am. I have to drive up in a storm. I'm well
prepared but the rushing around is making Trek very
uncomfortable. Fortunately Terri will be here.
Other trainers are making money by teaching running contacts in special
seminars. Since I've been avocating them long before they were
ever doing them I don't quite know what to think. I mean, after
all, they teach it to other dogs. I just teach it to my
dogs. But still. There's nothing that stops me from doing
it too but I'm choosing not to. What if it doesn't work?
And I really can't be making money off of dog training tempting as it
Yoshi just barked at the LR window and came back all on his own. Maybe we're making progress...
Wed Jan 20
Yoshi Walk uneventful.
Trek walk. Got to see a parked idling firetruck which was great
but as we were leaving the paramedics came (shudda known that was going
to happen). Let her chomp on a large treat to get through it and
she did surprisingly well and didn't drag me away (ok a little).
Tue Jan 19
Yoshi Walk. Break between rain storms. Starting to get
something that's resembling a methodology and that's really
encouraging. Having such a structure helps me think and reduces
my tension (and thus his)
2 dog sightings.
We saw a stocky, kinda low slung medium size dark dog across Court St.
that a neighbor dog was nice enough to point out to us before we saw
them. That dog was moving slow so we had a long time to ponder
what to do. We sort of did this systematic slow retreating.
I let the dog get until Yoshi was uncomfortable and then we'd back up
about a house distance and then eat while the other dog got
closer. Did a couple of these and then I decided to stop
tortuuring him and retreat one house width down a side street and eat
while the other dog came back into view (chomp chomp, look, blow out
cheeks, chomp - I kept the treat in front of him. Just as the dog
retreated, I put a hand on his side and let him look at the dog without
the treat. He watched intently but did not react. Since
he's watching he's not noticing the treat unless it's under his
nose. If he did notice, that would mean he was willing to take
his eyes off the dog and I would likely jackpot him.
The second dog was right after we turned the corner on Central.
Boxer in the distance across the street 3 houses down. I again
debate what to do and this time since Central is a wide street, we just
hijack someone's driveway and I hold a treat for him to munch on.
This boxer is right on the edge of reacting so I just keep letting him
munch on the treat. It's sort of the opposite of agility where
you want fast easy to eat treats. Here you want slow and hanging
on to it really slows things down, and gives you a lot of control and
it's simpler that having to carry a squeeze tube of peanut butter or
So the methodology is basically find a way to maintain a distance
you're dog is comfortable with and use food and maybe touch and talking
to shrink that distance. Someone watching must have been a little
puzzled or fascinated as I was telling Yoshi the steps. I guess a
way to generalize it for Yoshi for the moment is one street width and
one or two house widths. and the house widths can be either
perpendicular to you or parallel.
(This needs a diagram.)
Mon Jan 18
Squeezed in a walk at noon when it wasn't raining much.
Saw two different dogs, a yellow lab and a medium size black dog.
Both times I let them "chase" us.
The yellow lab was about 4-5 houses away, we then stopped and let them
get closer while he ate a treat that I hung on to. He kept
chomping on the treat (and my fingers) as the dog got closer.
Went they got 3 houses or so we then turned around and walked away and
they turned off the street. Then we turned around and saw the
black dog coming at us, we turned around and we walked for a while with
me debating when to let him see the dog. i decided to go down a
side street but only went 1/2 a house length (like a house width) and
let the dog pass while he ate a treat. He did it! Some
gutteral chewing sounds, but was ok - except for my fingers - need to
get larger treats. Somehow wound up chasing the lab a little bit,
but never got that close but Yoshi is getting to the point where he can
routinely see dogs at a distance and be ok.
He does seem to be trusting me more about keeping him a distance from
other dogs. Distance may be the more powerful reward but treats
shrink that distance esp relatively continuous ones. I would like
him to have more space between treats to make a decision to choose the
treat but it's nice to be able to show him he can be closer.
Hope Trek doesn't get rained out tonight for her walk.
She got her walk and did fine - even stopped to munch treats right at
the spot where scary skateboard was yesterday. She thought it was
weird that one of the cars stopped to talk to me for a second (It was
Cathy), but she coped fine though it chomping on me more than I care
for when eating treats while a little stressed.
Sun Jan 17
Dogs were tragically ignored so we could build a step for them to make
it easier for them to get up and (probably more importantly) off of the
new bed. They sulked, but eventually approved, and had little to
no trouble adjusting to the new step.
Photos here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2044349&l=7f16396b00&id=1013097814
Sat Jan 16
Two changes in tactics - for the better I think.
One is to have a larger dry treat and have him nibble on it when he's
in an edge of threshold situation. The other is to maximize our
use of Central Ave. by going up and then turning around and back
down. Central is a wide street and now that just turning around
and walking away works I don't feel penned in even if there are
serveral cars on it and can't race across the street. If we get
penned by dogs coming from each side on the same block (rare) I can
always pick him up and walk into the street on the other side of parked
cars, but still not in traffic (there's a bike lane to give me some
space.) Eventually I'm hoping I can just use a driveway but
that's still pretty close, and we are masters at turning around and
going down a side street far enough away to let the dog pass (usually
2+ house widths).
So today we rounded the corner of Court and Central and saw two dogs
getting out of their car. They were just over 2 houses
away. We stopped first at the corner and then worked a little
closer to 2 house widths away. Yoshi is keep an eye on things but
holding it together as I offer a larger treat for him to munch on and
other other dogs (one small one medium) are just standing there
watching back. They then go into their house/yard and then
they start barking (dogs are so funny sometimes). Yoshi is happy
to keep eating his treat and after things calm down we continue down
the Central - of course the dogs bark when we pass by but no worries.
Then when we turned around on Central and headed back and pretty much
on the block with the two dogs another dog and his people came out of
his house on a walk. They're not going that fast so we
turned around again. We're about 4 houses ahead and while Yoshi
is doing a mild "it's a monster" over the shoulder swivel head he's
doing ok, so we slow down to get them closer. They follow at a
2-3 house distance before turning. Yoshi did great and I'm very
happy about that.
I'm still experimenting with whether touch helps calm Yoshi - current
answer is "some." I have two competing different bits of data on
this. One is Patricia McConnell's photos in For the Love of a Dog
that shows a slightly horrified, whale eyed, lab being hugged by a
deliriously happy young girl, and there's Temple Grandon's data that
shows that cattle being squeezed in a wooden contraption designed to
hold them while getting medical attention do settle down. A hand
firmly on Yoshi's side does seem to make a difference but when he's
freaking out he's struggling to get free so it's probably more
effective at keeping him from hitting the panic button same with
picking him up which, unlike a lot of dogs, he does like.
Went down High Street (the busier one) and she was doing ok, but there
was a teenager and a scary skateboard near the small store at High and
Santa Clara. She coped and didn't freak, but really wanted to get
away so I let us go down Santa Clara instead of going further down High
street like we usually do. She recovered in a block or so. She
gets much calmer as soon as 1/4 block away as the noise drops off
Fri Jan 15
Trek Agility class
Well I was going to be talking with Rachelle about getting Trek into a
more advanced class but she wasn't running well at all and now I don't
know. She's leary of the table since last week she tried to jump
up on a 20" table and wacked herself in the gut when she was too
low. Now she doesn't want to go on it even when it's set low.
Then she hurt her front left foot after one very nice run and wouldn't
run anymore. The surface at Sharon's is dirt and when it rains it
can get really so-so. It's either that or jumping down off our
new bed - there is a step and the dogs don't always think to use it
going down. So I crated her in the car to let her rest and just
watched the rest of class - ran Missle once, which is always fun.
So we'll keep Trek at this level for the moment (one class cycle
probably) and then I'll decide. Rachelle tells me that we are
running Sharon's courses already and that this is her most advanced
class for now. I think we'll keep going to the PP class as much
as we can. Can't do it next week (that's the BiFriendly meeting
day), but can the week after. Looks like they're going to get
rained out next week anyway. One possibility is to switch Trek to
being a Friday drop-in or ask if when Trek comes could I pay for two
classes in a row and get more mileage that way.
Mon Jan 13
Yoshi Walk.- using a clicker. I need to find the louder box
clicker (I usually use the easier to use iClick). If something
his attention (no dogs this time but there was a woman walking fast
right behind him which was making him a bit of a swivel head) one click
doesn't always work, two usually does, but sometimes it will even take
3. Clicking more than once is usually considered a mistake, but
my experiment and I want to see if multiple clicks make a difference or
if he just tunes them out (he's not tuning them out right now.)
I'm wondering if the louder clicker will make a difference.
the clicker gets a faster response than a "yes" when he's under
I also want to have a clicker and a treat dispenser combined into one
unit. Have to think about that.
Tue Jan 12
Finally separated out the past few months of this diary into their
separate pages. Despite working out a pretty safe methadology,
it's still pretty risky as it's easy to overwrite something and wipe
out a month or more of writing. I need to start doing ftp
downloads which is a bit ironic since I backup to the web site also.
Noon Yoshi Walk. No dogs, but all sorts of people including a man
with a rake right beside him - he all took it in stride, even in the
first 1/2 mile where he's often a little strange. The only thing
he reacted to was a man moving the garbage carts right beisde him -
can't say I blame him.
Trek's Power Paws agility class was cancelled due to weather.
Bummer, I was looking forward to it.
Instead she and I went on a longer walk and I deliberately went down an
extra block of High Street. I was going to do another block but
there some kids piling out of cars down the block (with no bouncing
balls) and I wanted to see how she'd do. While this wasn't her
preferred activity, she wasn't trying to drag me down the street to get
away and would instead sit and eat treats which is a marked
change. She's come so far in the 3 years we've had her after
spending 2 years in her own Private Idaho (Yes, it's even more fun to
say that when it's actually true).
The real test came when we were near the school. In the far
corner of the playground were people, a dog barking and A Bouncing Ball
- fortunatley not constant. fortunately we were nearly a block
away from them since we were on the other side of the playground so we
stopped and ate treats and started back towards the house but seeing
that she seemed pretty relaxed I turned around and went a little
closer. She wasn't happy about it but would eat treats without
chomping on me and after a minute of so we turned around and then she
wanted to run home. I stopped her every so often to eat and she
obliged. Such a Corgi.
the Turlock trial premium for Feb is out and I probably shouldn't delay
in getting it in. Turlock is in the Central Valley and can get
quite cold in the winter (for Calif - and esp for sleeping in a van
like vehicle) so instead of camping I'm thinking hotel - how luxurious.
Just got email that Grisha Stewart is coming to the Bay Area (or course
when I'm gone - ah well - someone else will go) This is just me
passing the word to CU_Dogs_SF.
Greetings Bay Area Control
This just in - short notice.
Grisha Stewart is a dog trainer in Seattle who has come up with a
methodology that she calls BAT (Behavioral Adjustment Training) which
a less stressful variation of Jesus Rosales-Ruiz's CAT (Constructive
The page where she demonstrates it is here:
and it looks very intriguing. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing it on
Marin Humane Society web site so maybe someone from there can fill us
It would be interesting for us all to work out a way to effectively
combine CU and BAT principles. I'm hoping to hear more about this
will be out of town learning how to evaluate [snow] avalanches (no dogs
and CU Corgi Yoshi
Training Diary: http://frap.org/Yoshi/yoshi_training_diary.html
(which someone tells me they're working on how to get it on their
Kindle - eek)
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [functionalrewards] Bay Area seminar
Correct date: Jan 23
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 04:37:16 -0000
From: ahimsadog <email@example.com>
Bay area folks -
I just scheduled a 90-minute seminar for next week on BAT for fear and
aggression with the Marin Humane Society. It will fit (time-wise) with
another seminar that weekend in Novato, CA with Trish King and Veronica
Boutelle. It's the same topic as the seminar I just finished in
Seattle. The description of that is at
http://ahimsadogtraining.com/class/bat.php (But that's NOT the
registration. More info on that later).
Exact address for the seminar:
Marin Humane Society
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd.
Novato, California 94949
I'll have registration details soon, but I wanted to let you know about
this so you could save the date. It's a week from Saturday, on January
Only good things,
Grisha Stewart, M.A., CPDT, CTP
Ahimsa Dog Training
902 NW 49th Street, Seattle, WA 98107
Phone: 206-364-4072 Fax: 206-524-6039
Follow us on Twitter: @doggiezen
Mon Jan 11
I was totally set on Yoshi going as far as he could in herding, but the
levels beyond Started seem so much harder and you don't get to
participate in the process nearly so much as the handler is more and
more required to stay stationary, and I'm growing fond of the Let's go
on a Journey / Over the River and Through the Woods aspect of beginner
herding. Maybe this will change as we get
more involved, but right now I'm not really in a hurry to get out of
test level - even if I find PT maddening with all of the fence
We'll keep working on Started, but I think now that the premium is
already out for the S. Calif Corgi herding trial that we'll definitely
There's also going to be an AHBA trial at Pescadero and there will be
an Herding Ranch Dog (HRD) Goats which looks fun (and HRD is totally
Let's Go on a Tour of the Ranch) but it's above our skill level
He's only been on goats once and would need a lot more practice.
It really kinda doesn't matter beyond keeping us motivated to work and
He's happy that he gets to work stock. I'm happy that he's
more self control (Like Stop and Stay - which is actually pretty
miraculous to watch.)
During which he demonstrated a really bad lack of
control. Two pedestrians, who he's seen a couple of days before,
walking down the opposite side of Santa Clara and he was sitting on the
corner. I had just fed him a treat and was thinking about feeding
another one when something about them talking excitedly or something
that looked wrong to him, (no pith helmets however) made him break and
start to charge across the street. I yanked him
back and gave him a pretty hard scruff shake and a lecture.
Then we crossed the street and he was fine. Didn't seem stressed
all which is totally different that when he's seen a dog and I get on
his case. So does what I do simply not matter? Is he going
the way he does regardless of reprimand? Reprimand (or retreat)
the behavior, but i don't know if it has any effect on his
What would have happened if a properly timed click had sounded?
might have interrupted the behavior as well. And clicks seem to
through his brain faster that words which i can totally see fall into
"I can't hear you." sometimes.
I may have to try the louder clicker as the iClick may no be loud
enough. But I don't know as in my clicker video showing how we
Look At That, I have a point where he's not responding to the click and
backing up is the solution as he was over threshold (past the point to
where he could respond appropriately.) Personally I think two
walking down the opposite side of a wide street should be ok, but
something may have hit him weird, but it's still not ok and he needs to
Dogs didn't get much of a weekend beside harrassing Terri when i was
out hiking and then sulking while we built a new IKEA bed.
Fri Jan 8
Bummer, HTrainer2 is booked for herding on Sunday.
A couple of years back I had posted on the main CU_Dogs list about
doing a slow walk and how it seemed to help some with Yoshi's stress
level. Because I use walks for exercise I really don't do this
but this time I took a cell phone call from Terri. We had stopped
a block from Central and while I was talking 2 dogs went by plus a
group of walking people. Yoshi watched carefully, but didn't
beyond boofing (the sound dog's make when exhaling sharply enough to
inflate their cheeks - a loud sigh.)
Now I set out on this walk with treats and with the idea that the
strongest reinforcer I have is the ability to create distance.
not always easy to do that on Alameda streets, but it's often possible
and in a pinch I can create artificial distance by covering his eyes or
picking him up. For whatever reason, knowing that distance is so
effective, really helps me to relax and not worry about dogs
appearing. It's possible that the only operative thing was the
distance from the other dogs, but as we walked if he started to get
jacked up (about nothing in particular) then just stopping and not
doing anything seemed to relax him and them he started to look to me
for a treat. So having the occasional meditative walk, might be
One funny exchange was that three women were walking behind us and
since we were going slower this time they were catching up. We
in a driveway to let them pass and I didn't ask Yoshi to do anything
but rewarded him for attention and sit. Right as they were
jumped up on my leg for a treat which I gave him as this is a behavior
that I really do want him to do. The women were amused at his
in the treats and I said "My best friend." (because he was my best
friend as long as I had treats.). They laughed and one of them
"Sometimes that's the best thing there is."
As we got back to the house, there was a Tibetian Terrier sized dog
across the street. Yoshi hadn't seen the dog and I debated what
while we hid behind my rosemary shrub (that dog was pausing too
I wanted to end the walk on a good note but didn't want to pass up a
training opportunity. So after some internal debate I carried
back down the driveway further away from the dog. He saw the dog
vibrated a little but he relaxed the further away we moved. I
turned around and let him see the dog at that distance. Again
very low level growling and muttering but no outburst. As the dog
started to move on, I walked him a bit closer to the sidewalk and then
turned back around and went inside. Just a little dancing on the
threshold edge. Good thing he likes to be picked up. The
about holding him is that I instantly know his stress level.
Trek has agility class tonight at our usual place (Freilance Dog
Sports). Should be fun and interesting to see how she does on
after a couple of times on grass.
[Later] It went fine with the big exception that we ran a course with a
20" table and she jumped too low and kinda centerpunched herself
(corner hit her tummy) and knocked the wind out some. She's a bit
worried about that table.
Thu Jan 7
Yoshi walk. One dog and it was perfect once we finally caught up
to them. Slower moving dog w/senior person (they were way ahead
of us). When we caught up we stayed across the street and ambled
along (they never really saw us I think). Yoshi kept a careful
eye on the dog but never reacted, while not calm, he wasn't a basket
case either. It helps that we stayed across the street and a
house width down. We haven't been doing much of follow that dog
recently as that's when he's at his best but he's not really relaxed
when we're following - he's just not being an idiot. I want him
to relax more in the presence of other dogs and sheep.
Asking HTrainer2 if we can come say hello on Sunday to work on outruns and
walk up. I'm also hoping we can just walk in a field with sheep
without working them - just to commune with the sheep.
Trek walk. A fire truck went down Johnson (one block away as we
were leaving.) Not a major emergency so we went on our
walk. I later asked if she wanted to walk down Johnson. Got
about 1/2 a house before getting stressed by the noise, so we called it
a victory and turned around. The truck was about 5 houses down.
The worked on right turns with throwing a toy. Then worked in
throwing a toy over a jump.
Pulled out a different rabbit fur toy and played a brief fun game of
tug with Yoshi. Key for him is to not tug hard and keep the toy
in the game.
want to have a big agillity goal for my dog Trek, but I fear pushing
her too much
(though she doesn't exactly know this she just knows if I'm
A reasonable goal is to be in Master's by the end of the year.
also like to be in AKC Excellent, but I have to actually enter a trial
for that. She can do it without blowing through a ton of money so
should plan on starting that - after ski season. first order of
business is to actually get a PI title - she lacks 2 standard
legs. Be nice to do that before we wind up in Master's Gamblers
(The Wastonian Curse).
Need to enter the VAST USDAA trial in Turlock for Feb 13-14 - not under
a cover - hooray. The premium isn't on their website
(http://govast.org) yet. It's only 5 weeks away, so that's
Wed Jan 6
Corrected several typos from last entry - hazards of posting late at
Yoshi walk. Right out the door he's stressing about people
walking by and the mail carrier coming on HIS property. Pulling
on the leash and way up on his toes. Pulling back on the leash
was getting no where are he was just absent so out of frustration I
gave him a leash pop. Now doing that gives me compliance but does
not relax him. Sometimes it does function as a reset button but
not usually. Trek was barking at something (she was in the house)
so I took the opportunity to turn around and go see (there was a
squirrel in the tree that she could see from the house.)
Walking back out to the side walk he's still stressed and amped and I
wanted to see if there was a different way to calm him down. I
just kneeled down and fed him and petted him which took the edge off,
but actually the most effective thing was to actually do the walk and
get some exercise, Usually after about 1/4 to a 1/2 mile he
settles down. I'm reading about Corgi's that get 2 45 min walks a
day. Yeesh that's over 4 miles. My dogs walk 1 mile a day
briskly. I suppose I could try to walk him again but time is short as
it is since I walk them separately.
Yoshi actually didn't see any dogs. On the contrary Trek who was
walked right after, saw 3 dogs including one sitting on his driveway
carefully (but nicely) watching us walk by. Yoshi and I would
have had to cross the street.
I need to go back to a place with good lateral retreat distance where
we can watch dogs walking on leash. Watching dogs at the dog park
running and having fun seems like it's asking a lot though I guess I
can take him by the small dog park where they're not usually running
much. Though the big dog park is right there. The problem
is that inside the park the lateral retreat distance isn't that great,
but he can then feel more a part of the action - don't know if that's
good or back. Wonder if there's a way to run with him in the park
so he gets exercise and also has to work on his focus. It may be
asking too much but he has surprised me before.
Still pondering what our Agility goals should be. Yoshi's herding
goals shifted right when I heard the premium was out. Eek, PT
sounds lovely this time of year. We'll keep working on Started
but we haven't done any work with lighter sheep and we're going to need
to do a lot of that.
I have another idea for a CU
gathering. A Relaxation Party, but one with planned SECs.
Have a small number of dogs relaxing on mats with their people.
Then have another dog/handler appear moving very slowly pausing
occasionally with the goal of them joining the party with their
mat. Then after a bit a different d/h leaves and a bit later a
completely different d/h comes in, and just keep cycling through.
The one that leaves can go get a refill on their drink or
munchies. I'm envisioning this happening in a backyard that is
somewhat sheltered, but allows for comings and goings. Ideal
group size maybe 5-6? 3-4 relaxing and 1 or 2 up.
Tue Jan 5
I may be the last one to know this but Cleanrun Course Designer is now
available on the Mac! I'm playing with a demo version and it's
dead easy to use and I'm definitely going to buy it.
Trek. Power Paws class.
I was 10 minutes late due to work distractions, but still got a fair
bit out of it.
Here's a portion of the course obstacle arrangement (completely vague,
half-hearted recall - no accuracy is intended) that I'd like to talk
about as it shows some things she does well and other she doesn't.
I didn't number things as we did several courses with this
The first issue is that she like several dogs has trouble weaving into
a wall which in this case was a hedge. She stops or pops pretty
in the position that I've indicated - sometimes on the other
think this is a mileage issue as I'm pretty good about keeping my
shoulders turned in and not anticipating the next obstacle (which is
really hard to do.
One thing she did very well right at the beginning is that we needed to
do the jumps on the left side of the diagram in a serpentine right past
that tunnel opening and she aced it. Jim empasized that being
your dog will ensure that they won't take the tunnel. Debbie and
both said "Don't look at the tunnel" (instead look at the next
obstacle) and I think that's important too. Pay no attention to
Giant Elephant - it's not there - just yet.
Much comedy ensued attempting this and I had a dog zooming through the
tunnel in every which way, which earned me the "Use the dog's name" to
position the dog before telling them the obstacle lecture (aim before
I'm still kinda dazzled by being back at Power Paws that I tend to lose
concentration at critical points, or Jim makes some horrible pun which
reminds me how much I miss him. I hope I don't have to choose
between Trek's classes anytime soon as I like both settings a lot, but
this class is able to cover a lot more material in the same amount of
time, because the skill level is higher.
This diagram shows what should have happened. Everything else
happened instead, first entered the tunnel on the right side then back
through the other way which nicely reset us to do it correctly.
Idealy the handler hangs back and sends the dog over the jump and moves
to the end of the right hand side of the tunnel while calling the dog
into the tunnel. It looked very smooth - for other dogs.
They also worked on a semi-hard gamble which we don't have the skills
for though I like that I can send her out 20 feet and stay reasonably
lateral, but we haven't working on right and left on a large scale yet
and this gamble required this. Actually no one got that gamble
but they came much closer.
I have to plan out the agility year for Trek. It's hard because
USDAA nationals are going to be on the East Coast this year, so that
may not happen. Perhaps AKC or CPE. but my heart is with USDAA
really. Right now we need mileage and that's more easily attained
with USDAA or CPE (especially CPE).
Mon Jan 4
Uneventful dog walks, but I had time during them to ponder whether food
or distance is the more primary reinforcer. The operate in such
different ways. But food is much shorter term as it only take a
second to eat a treat unless we're talking peanut butter or cream
cheese. Distance lasts much longer and the trigger lessens.
Sun Jan 3
Still a bit under the weather so a pretty low key day, but very
Yoshi walk in the evening (they both were). I always assume he
can see better than me but I nearly walked us into a pair of dogs on a
walk and I saw them first They were in the shadows and had
just crossed Gibbons moving along Central. We were within a house
width, when I saw then and turned around and headed back. Yoshi
realizing what is going on is doing some of his "Monster!" over the
shoulder look, but he's not really stressing much - just keeping an eye
on things which is way different than he used to be. We round the
corner and we go down a house length and wait for the dogs to
appear. I am armed with a penny jar though I do have a treat too
but worry about dropping the glass jar. He sees the dogs,
exhales, and looks back at me! I give him a treat and we head
off. A nice surprise and he's much less stressed if I work to
maintain distance and he realizes that's what I'm doing. this is
similar to BAT (mostly by accident.)
Trek walk. Ordinary, until we get up to the house across from the
school that has the incredible bouncing dog whose head appears over a
6' fence. The dog wasn't around but their kids were having a
party. Lots of kids voices and metal on metal sounds. We're
across the street and I stop to feed Trek, she's wary but eating
and essentially ok. Then suddenly she tries to leave the
scene. I try to feed her and she chomps on me I say "ouch" and
she then stares off into the distance not even trying for the treat
anymore. I try to get her to take it nicely but I have a piranha
who then stares off far away. I stop to note what's
changed. A basketball is bouncing. Time to punt (sorry for
the mixed metaphor). I pick her up and she's shaking though gets
better as I hold her and walk away from the sound. Across the
street and 1/4 of the way down the block she's ok and can walk without
So it appears that ball bouncing is much more stressful than children's
voices or metal on metal. It's the percussiveness, but for
whatever reasons fireworks or thunder (our milder and rare thunder)
don't bother her. The cool thing is that a ball bounce is easy to
recreate, but it's going to take some time to come up with a distance
and I'm going to need Terri's help.
Sat Jan 2
Thread on Perf Corgis about what contacts to use that I contributed to:
People probably get tired of me saying this, but 2 on 2 off is a
A necessary one for many big dogs, but still a hack.
I'm with Roger Coor (Moso the Pap's Dad), who says few (he says "no," I
say "few") small dogs should stop on a contact (save for the teeter) as
it's too much time to give up. I have video of Cali beating a
Corgi when I switched her to running contacts.
Both Trek and Yoshi have been taught running contacts from the
Some people use hoops and stride regulators. I use a clicker or a
marker word (yes!) for when they hit the contact (and I can take the
marker word into the ring). Bonnie (who I hope chimes in) figured
that if you keep the A-Frame low for an extended period of time then
muscle memory of not leaping off early sets in. This must have
inadvertently for Trek as she's missed only one contact in her life.
Found a small jar and made a penny shaker out of it. It's small
enough that maybe it won't clatter on walks.
Fri Jan 1
Happy New Year.
Uneventual dog walks.
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