Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2011

By Ellen Clary (Copyright 2004-2011)
(reverse date order)

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Mon Jan 30
Yoshi morning walk.  Saw the Golden and the Chihuahua twice they crossed in front of us the first time and the second time he suggested we cross first this time which went fine.  He's a lot calmer in the morning since we're no longer giving him the B1 in the morning.

Trek noon walk.  Got to greet a very excited child who settled down once she was allow to greet Trek.
Saw the Fox terrier and offered Trek, but she said that her dog hated Corgis.  I asked if she was sure because we use Trek to work with other dogs, but she was pretty resolute.  I think I should just let them have as much space as they want as that dog bristles at us every single time.
Dogs are currently having a fine time wrestling now.

Getting some good response about having a CU play group. 
Kitty in the South Bay
Cathy in Alameda
Jennifer in Santa Rosa
Perfect geographic distribution

Sun Jan 30
Yoshi Bay Farm Walk/Run.  He did well.  Snarked at one dog who he was fine with earlier.  Such a weirdo he is.  the difference is that we were the ones in motion and that dog was still. but when that dog was moving he objected.  Found a great place to watch dogs walk by but we have to keep back 36' unless it's a mellow dog.

Here is it:

Played fetch with Trek in the yard.

Just wrote to another CU owner:
One thing that helped me relax some with Yoshi is by having good avoidance experiences.  We're really good at U-turning to find a place where we can get more distance.  Having done this enough, Yoshi trusts me more and is more relaxed and not so much doing the swivelhead "There's a monster chasing me" thing.

Another thing that helps is thinking about what is the worst that might happen.  It's usually not as bad as we imagine.
Last week I had Yoshi at Redwood at he was sitting and eating cheese and the passing dog appeared right beside us just out of nowhere.  Mentally I'm doing EEK, but Yoshi didn't react and the owner quickly caught the dog.  The more positive experiences you can rack up the better it gets.  Getting good at evasive action really helped me a lot.  The trick with off leash dogs that I'm just learning is you want to find a way to get closer to the owner if they're not right there as Fido is just going to follow you.
He really is better about U-turns as we just did a couple on this walk.  None of the swivel headed "Monster!" anxiety and panting.
Sat Jan 29

Yoshi Dog Walk.  Snarked at  2 LWFDs, but made him sit and stay while they walked by.  Then got to sit and stay fro one more small dog walked by (while talking to Jim and Nicole about dogs for kids - I recommended adult medium to big dogs and a dog breed that is interested in human opinions)/  Then sit and stayed for a medium size white dog.  When he's sitting he can cope and do LAT.  Throat growls but he more just seemed saying "this is hard.:"

Trek.  We walked down to Park Street and to Dog Bone Alley.  Did 2 blocks of Park St. including having a loud Harley park across the street.  She was stressed and panting but not having a melt down and enjoyed the treats at DBA.  To the point she decided she didn't want to leave.  It was like going downtown to get ice cream.  I got her a 75 cent designer treat which she liked and she really liked the Ella samples she was given.  Went back home via the alley to the quieter Park Ave. which is not Park St. and had a nice walk back.  She's coping well with Broadway now.  The Saturday traffic on the downtown Park St. wasn't as loud as it is during the week.

Lila found this great video of a Swedish Cardi doing completely classic let's so some real work herding so I posted it:
This certainly appears to be quintessential, traditional Corgi herding.  
Driving the cows somewhere. The drizzly weather, the mud, the smallish
cows, the enthusiastic Corgi "Nypa" and the owner walking behind giving
the occasional command. The only difference is that it's in Sweden and
not Wales. The end is pretty cute too.


BTW "2 juli" is the date it was posted.
Nypa translates to "Pinch" (cute)

If someone ever asks why their Corgi does X, showing them this might
answer some questions.

Fri Jan 28
Dog walks.
Did their nails.

Thu Jan 27
Yoshi walk.  Only time for a short one this morning.  No dogs but stopped to sit on driveways for 2 different kids on bikes on the sidewalk (legal in Calif if you're under 16).  Various people too.  I'm trying to work this into a default behavior since I've seen his stress level actually go down when he's sitting and staying when he sees a dog approaching.

Tue Jan 25
Yoshi morning walk.  Same deal with Lincoln and Gibbons.  Up on his toes and scanning.  Hence more cheese.  Funny how place matters.  Same for horses too.  Associative learners.

Trek agility class, Yoshi along for the training.
Yoshi got to play on the equipment before class.  He's still annoying good at it.

Trek class.she's doing well but needs to drive more but is much better than she used to be.  Sharon's on my case for not going to far into a jump if I'm about to turn in the other direction meaning if I have a jump like this
     A B
i shouldn't go past position A if I'm intending to head over to the left.

Her weave poles are doing well as well as her contacts.  She still fudges on the stay when I lead out and I have to go back and reinforce the stay.  She's great at it when I do but takes liberties about sniffing when I leave her on the start line.

After class. I had Yoshi out doing several A-Frames.  He snarked (start to charge at) at a young Aussie in the next class which got him airborne (by me) by the scruff for a moment (I really need him to behave here and am not at all tolerant of his BS) which completely seemed to stress him out but then I had him sit and stay and his demeanor completely changed.  "I can do this.  I can do this"  You could totally see the effort on his face  He was able to settle himself down.Did a couple more A-Frames and then took him out of the lower field but let him watch the class on the other side of an expen barrier they had set up.  finally occurred to me that it was a perfect matt work opportunity and went and got a towel out of the Scion.  He did really well he was actually able to sit or down and watch same young Aussie, a Papillon, and an older Border Terrier (all nightmare dogs for him) and a BC.  This was so excellent, we'll have to make a habit of it if at all possible.  Yoshi's wanting to stop every dog is called "The Fun Police." by one of the students and it totally fits.  It's totally based on motion and in a way Prey drive.

I used a towel this time but I have the outside of an old dog bed that's slick on one side and will be perfect for outside.

Mon Jan 24
Basic walks
Yoshi gets stressed as he approaches Lincoln and Gibbons probably because we've had so many dog sightings there.  He's up on his toes and scanning.  We stop and eat cheese there.

Sun Jan 23
Post to CU_dogs_SF
I've been noticing that once a dog is beside Yoshi he's often ok with the dog.  It's more the stress of a dog approaching.  Just to check on this I took him to Redwood Park in Oakland this morning for a hike.  I was surprised to realize that even though Skyline Gate is very busy, there are a lot of places to get space, and it's a surprisingly good place to watch and meet dogs.

Here are the photos I took


I later switched him over to a regular harness and a long line and that worked very nicely.  I do also place a failsafe line that attaches the long line to my pants or pack in case the long line comes out of my hand.  The nice thing about the harness is that it will not come off and he's not strangling himself and he's light enough that I can still control him, and it serves as a handle if I need to suddenly pick him up.

Results of the hike were mixed (many brilliant moments of just letting the dog pass - some less so), I've decided that I need to protect him less around other dogs - it's more dogs moving that I need to manage carefully.  In narrow parts of the trail, sitting and staying and eating cheese still works the best.  I really wish I had a shoulder cam or something so that I could see the body language of a dog he reacts to.  The dogs he was least likely to react to were the ones who were walking confidently along and when Yoshi looked at them they would glance and then would pointedly, but very nonchalantly look away.

The only down side to the cheese approach is that it's a magnet for other dogs approaching.  This rattles me more that it bothers Yoshi since the dog is past that reaction point of his. I'm rather proud of the calm way I can say "Could you call your dog please?" even if I don't feel calm. Said dogs are pretty much instantly grabbed by their apologetic owners.  

Trek was not along for the hike since Yoshi's behavior is worse with her around.

I don't know if I prefer off or on-leash parks.  The off-leash parks, with exceptions, tend to feature remarkably mellow dogs which I do like.  I had Yoshi at Mission Peak and many of the dogs were on-leash and the percentage of dogs he yelled at were about the same.  I'm also wondering if I can have him heel past approaching dogs, but if a log decides to approach that's kinda tough. 

I also have to try this at Briones Park as the lateral space there is fantastic.  One advantage of the off leash parks is the dogs there are out for a hike and usually are not running full out like they are at the dog park.

It's so nice having him be more sane these days now that we're getting somewhere with his supplements.  Now we're dealing with a training issue though his compulsion to control *everything* is such a big deal, but he is learning with his herding training.  He just really, really needs to know that he's never to herd dogs.

Been thinking more about this walk.  He didn't react to the first four dogs (large, confident ones) but he did to the fifth which was a Boxer puppy who had no real nose and in his mind didn't look like a dog.  The next two were way larger dogs that I worried about and Yoshi perhaps sensing my worry didn't do anything.  He was not an idiot at all which is reassuring that if I'm nervous it doesn't make things worse.

Later having the slow moving big dog come right up to him while he was eating cheese was totally cool, albeit alarming.

Took Trek for a "run" (sort of) on Bay Farm.  She mostly wanted to sniff until we turned around then she was happy to run. (sigh)

Sat Jan 22
Went skiing and the dogs stayed home and barked.

Fri Jan 21
Yoshi morning walk - can't remember much about it - though we said hello and goodbye to Terri the crossing guard who is retiring as of today.  Oh there was a dog approaching as we chatted and we watched the dog approach and then they turned and crossed the street going the other way.  Yoshi was very good about this though he watched very carefully.
Trek noon walk - she got to watch the power company take out the transformer on the pole outside our house.  Chaos made to order and she didn't seem to be stressed by it at all as even though the crane and cherry picker were noisy there wasn't any pounding.  then we went on the walk and heard some pounding but it didn't seem to stress her.  She also got a treat from Terri the crossing guard.

Thu Jan 20
Yoshi noon walk
Met John and Meghan and their daughter Hazel down the street who have a BC/LabX and a Bully breed (didn't meet the dogs).  The BC/Lab is reactive, but she's done a lot of work with him and he's 12 now and much more manageable.  It was just a nice dog conversation - I did offer to teach her CU, but she says her dog will not take food readily.  Yoshi enjoyed saying hello.

We actually started out the walk in search of cats to look at but most were of the stationary and staring variety.  One black one was moving and came right up to us and let me pet him as Yoshi was on instant best behavior and giving calming signals.  I guess being on the same side of the street is not in the chase / must control distance window.  Now it helps that the cats are moving slowly and he seems to understand that he needs to behave around them.  The chase window appears to be across the street, but the cat has to be standing.  Anyway this is really good animal education as he just stands there as the cats come up to greet me.

Trek dumbbell work.  I got the exercise mat out so the dumbbell wouldn't clang on the floor.  She can hold it sitting and let me bend down to take it.  She does drop it from time to time but I just have to tell her to pick it up.  She will also come to me holding it though often drops it as she's starting to sit so the work will be being it one or two steps and sit.

Then played fetch with the Air Dog Dumbbell which is always great fun.

Then did some nose work with both dogs separately.  Took a tug and treat and hid it, then have the dog find it.  Each one needed some encouragement sometimes but they both found it each time and brought it to me for me to take a treat out for them (3 for Yoshi, 4 for Trek).  For Trek I used dry treats (duck and potato and for Yoshi I used the smellier Rollover type of wet treats (which is just a cut up Natural Balance roll).

The CU_Dogs_SF list is active again talking about GABA and other supplements.  I've asked Bobbie to join so she could share her experience with GABA.  She said that GABA helped Merlin sleep for about 4-5 months and then it seemed to wear off.  I also found her email to me about GABA producing foods (complex carbs) and posted it since she had given me posting permission.

Wed Jan 19
Yoshi morning walk. No dogs but he was trying to charge across the street at two cats who were starting at him.  He didn't even notice that a car was coming which I just hate that he locks on so much that he doesn't see anything else.  Sort of like a bird of prey looking at a mouse on the ground and doesn't notice the windmill that's about to whack them.  I corrected him, but I don't think it's making an impression.  The good thing is cats are more easily found than dogs.  Same idea of the flight/charge zone.  If we're closer to the cats he doesn't want to charge, it happened only if we're across the street.

I'm thinking I should give him a break the first 5 minutes of his walk as that's when all his bad behavior happens.  Then some impulse control kicks in.

The rest of the walk was doing a lot of stopping, sitting and watching people walk/bike by.  This and the cats are excellent impulse control lessons.  I'm using cheese, but I really should also be using bread sticks.

The elementary school kids were out in recess, so I took Trek over there.  Unfortunately by the time we got there they had mostly gone in but then a class came right back out walking in a line and not being quiet about it.  Perfect.  Trek got to watch the whole procession and eat cheese.  She did well through I could tell she was stressed as she was chomping on me some.

Tue Jan 18
Yoshi noon walk.  No dogs.  Working on sitting for chaos.

Trek agility class
She is having a really good time in class - it's so cool.  I don't have to beg her to come out of the crate.  Though we were using the truck and hence the smaller crates so she probably wanted to come out as it's not big and luxurious as her nice crate in the Scion.

I need to tell Ziji that my dog thinks her white Scion is her car (it's a twin).

Trek is relearning to drive ahead which is a problem you want to have but it means me working harder to get her attention more and being clear on my signals.  It's a variation of the zoomies of yor but she's not as stressed.

Sharon does a Derrett lead out variation that I like where she leads out but doesn't turn her body away from the desired obstacle as much.  Worked well.  More pointing at the obstacles whereas Greg tends to point out the path and then change it for the next obstacle (a diagram would help here.)

Mon Jan 17

Very foggy this morning.  Didn't see much of anything during out walk despite one wee dog across Fountain.  Since we were walking and that dog was just standing, I told Yoshi to "Leave It" (which is doing something if we're walking) and it worked.

Trek noon walk.  Did various Rally heeling exercises.  She's so ready.  Though I nearly forgot to work on the right hand finish which is part of that whacky fancy about-turn that is borrowed from Schitzhund where the dog goes around to the right and you turn left (essentially a blind cross if you will).  The right hand finish is an element of that.  If you have them start to do the finish, but then you turn left and start moving it should work ok (you can talk to them if they get confused.)

Sun Jan 16
Took Yoshi running on the local streets for the first time.  It was fun and it got him tired which was very cool.  I found that you can run on the lower traffic side streets fine and can run in the bike lane on Fernside since there's not a lot of bike traffic.  Though it is pretty weird to be that close to the cars and he was happier up on the sidewalk (though sidewalks are honestly too hard to run on much but he was tired then.)  He didn't have much opportunity to bark at dogs though if we weren't moving I made him sit and stay.  This is a challenge for him, but it's a great way to make very clear what's expected of him and it's more of a matter of if he can resist jumping up and barking.  For the most part he can, though not always.

Since it was getting close to dusk rather than worry about raccoons, Trek and I went to the dog park and played fetch there.

Found out today that the Rottie that I was mistaking for a Lab is Buster a Rottie/LabX.  :)
Didn't meet the dog today just Holly one of his owners.

Sat Jan 15
Basic dog walks since Terri and I spent part of the day hiking Mission Peak sans dogs.

One interesting thing was that Yoshi and I were walking down Central and the light was fading so i didn't see a dog that was approaching till a bit later.  when I saw the dog I didn't turn around but hustled to the next turn off just beating the dog.  We had just enough time to get less than 1/2 a house length away and I put him in a sit stay and I held him I the collar just to be sure as the dog was pretty much crossing the street right them.  I kept repeating stay as Yoshi was growling lowly, but he held it together and didn't try to break.  Medium-sized whitish dog.  Just reinforces to me the idea that he's better when told to do something.

Fri Jan 14
Yoshi Herding, Trek Herding Ground Work
Because Yoshi is so much more manageable now and also because he is at his most relaxed at the herding training facility, Trek can routinely come along.
While we waiting for our turn with the sheep I put Trek in an empty pen with some movable self standing see through barriers and did some basic ground work with her.  She's better at it than Yoshi.  I can send her out around the barriers in either direction.  And since I've now figured out that I can remember the directions by noting what hand I'm holding the wand with I'm better at them too.  When you are sending the dog out in a counter-clockwise direction around the stock ("away to me" which I call "away") you typically have the wand in your right hand so I remember it by thinking "right away."  If you're sending the dog in the clockwise direction ("come by" or "go by" which because all those words are already taken, I just call "flank") you usually having it in your left hand which my brain thinks of as "not the right hand - use the other word"  It's really too bad that she doesn't care for sheep as she'd be really good at it, but as it is she'll do ducks if/when we go back to training her (I have to be better first.)

Yoshi and sheep
He of course did great.  I did better than I've done in the past.  The main thing is that we often end up on the same side of the sheep so the sheep naturally leave.  Linda says we have to be on the opposite sides of a wheel and there should always be one sheep between him and I.  Also I still fall behind so I started jogging to keep up which is not ideal, but the sheep stayed relatively under control.  And in my effort to keep sheep between us I sometimes get penned onto the fence and can't move.

We also worked on stopping further away from me which is really tough for him as all his life he's been taught to stay close to me because of his tenancy to charge dogs, but when the sheep would get to a stopping point I would tell him to stop and kept him from coming to me by waving the wand slowly in front of me and my hand up in a Stop position.  A stop is vital to control sheep and he has to be able to work far enough away to maintain control smoothly.  He's getting it

After he was done I had him in an empty pen similar to the way I was working Trek.  The difference is that he charged off to bark at the resident BC on the other side of the fence.  I called him back and then he ran back and I called him back again doing the same sort of crying which means he doesn't want to stop but he's going to do what I'm asking (at least briefly.  He charged the fence 3 times but I was able to get him back since there was a fence.  He just had to underscore that he can't focus without being inside a fence.  However it was great to be able to work him off leash which is something I don't have access to outside of our yard.  As usual when the dog was gone he did great though he does get frustrated with the barrier work - I don't think he sees the point without stock around.  But his stops and recalls were fabulous.  He would stop at a distance.  I could tell him to stay and walk further away and then tell him to walk up and tell him to stop.  We repeated the process numerous times while walking around.

But I don't know how to reconcile the fundamentals of what we're learning with an AKC herding course.  Linda says it's more of the same but we're not far enough along to know how it fits together.  I'm pretty sure he won't be ready for the April LA Corgi herding trial and I'm becoming ok with that (I can sponsor a trophy or something) since there are 4 AKC trials a year in Vacaville that we can do, and there will no doubt be some AHBA trial too.  AHBA trials are way more fun and creative than AKC ones anyway - AKC is the same course almost every time.  Also the Corgi Nationals will be in Oregon in 2012 and we'll go to that.  Though I don't think we're going to St. Louis this year unless a miracle happens well before October.

Trek Agility
I need to start planning out her trailing schedule.  I'd given her the winter off while we worked on her teeter noise phobia and I worked on my own physical training (mostly treadmill running).  I've kept her away from the noisy covered arena trials that she hates (except for the NADAC trials that don't have a teeter).  Because AKC trials cost more per class than USDAA we'd been mostly just doing USDAA, but I think Trek should start doing AKC this year as I'd really like to start making real progress.  I also need to figure out how seriously to pursue NADAC.  She can easily do it and will go as far as I want to but I'm just not that interested in giving NADAC a whole bunch of money.  USDAA is much more fun and AKC has the reputation (seems to be a theme with me but heck I'm the one paying the bills here.)  Then there's CPE - don't know about that one we've done some and enjoy it, and there's even the other orgs which I can't mentally keep up with UKI and ASCA.

Thu Jan 13
Terri has come up with this way to slow down Yoshi doing his charge in the crate and spin routine that hurt his back a very short while ago.  She sends him to his crate ahead of time before the food appears and either tells him to stay or if he won't she closes him in there

Yoshi morning walk
We saw the large black dog (who is a Rottie it turns out not a Lab) coming so we crossed Lincoln and waited for them.  As soon as Yoshi saw them he started to charge.  Fed up, I corrected him.  He locked on again.  I corrected him again.  Then he stopped and started to offer LAT which I acquiesced too but he was still very amped.  We had just gotten out of the house and it seems like this type of thing happens right at the beginning and not so much later on.  Went down to High St and parallel walked with two dogs one a BCx and the other a medium sized one.  This time he did great.

i still don't know if the correction helped or not.  He was still very amped but didn't see horribly anxious (he'd just had his supplements about 30 minutes before.)  To me, it looked like the herding driven "Get that Dog" (Or charge up and yell at or chomp on them to make them stop moving) type of thing that he does sometimes when a strange dog walks by when he's herding.  Given that he doesn't seem anxious the correction is more than justified i just don't know if it's the most effective thing to do at this point.  By far the most effective is a Leave It and a Recall, but he gets worked on that all the time.  i think more dog park work is in order but he has to be able to interact with the dogs too, just not chase them.  But it's so hard as he gets SO much joy out of it.  But I don't know, maybe it's, not joy and just extreme compulsion.  I think pizza crust is the answer here.

But he needs to know that he is NOT allowed to charge dogs ever unless it's him and Trek playing in the yard.  i think on the street I have to  (a) tell him what I want ahead of time and (b) be more emphatic not "leave it" but "Leave It" but with no stress in my voice (easy as we've been doing this a long time).  Either that or tell him to do something like Sit and Stay (which he's really good at in herding) or Heel.  Maybe even reward him by running in the other direction after a success.

He gets to herd so it's not like he never gets to act on his desires.  It's raining right now so I don't know if we'll be able to herd tomorrow or not.

Trek got a fun Air Dog Dumbbell fetch session in the yard.  She gets winded after about 10 (treating about every 3 or 4) or so but she really likes it.

Wed Jan 12
Yoshi morning walk.
Hasn't done a morning walk in a while and he was very much up on his toes - completely recovered from his Sunday hike.  Though about reacting to two sets of kids with bags and backpack but I told him to stop and he seemed to listen

We were most of the way through and I started to cross Santa Clara and a dog I nearly walked us into a GSD who just across the street and started barking at us.  I apologized and they turned down Santa Clara and decided to walk along beside them on the other side of the street.  It worked - he earned a lot of treats.  Both dogs did well.  The GSD's issue was exactly like Yoshi's - dog's approaching.

Most effective words are hEAR, also Come, Leave it, Yoshi - they all pretty much mean the same thing.
Did some heeling down Court with the GSD still on the other side of the street.  I was fairly often having to say Heel but if I don't say it he still acts the same: Looks at me and then looks away and then looks back at me.  I should probalby stop nagging him so much and give him more leash and really reward him for making the right decision.

Trek had a short walk during lunch.  Did manage to walk by a noisy truck that was being unloaded.

On the CU_Dogs_SF list I was very nicely called a "dog pharmicopia geek." I should make that my new title.  :)
But of course the only thing I know is my own dog.
The things that you do because you feel you have to.

Tue Jan 11
Yoshi noon walk.  He's back to his more usual hyper self but we had a nice walk - no dogs.

Trek agility class.  Once I finally got her out of the crate, she had a nice time.  Worked a lot on front and read cross positioning.  She did the teeter in the lower field twice without hesitation and one of those times was at a distance.  the best part was that she was able to be there in the space while other dogs did the teeter as well.  This is a huge improvement.   It's so nice to see her enjoying herself.

Keystone cop moment was I was following Sharon along during a walk-through - sort of following her movements and I nearly plowed into her when she stopped suddenly.  I managed not to run her over and she didn't even break a sentence, though my classmates were amused.

Mon Jan 10
A very mellow Yoshi had the day off.
Trek had a nice noon walk

Sun Jan 9
Yoshi Mission Peak climb
What a great experience and one we'll repeat.  I wanted to climb Mission Peak for my own exercise so I brought him along in hopes it would tire him out.
I think I saw every one of his dog responses.

Oh and objects are closer than they appear, but Yoshi doesn't seem that interested in cows fortunately.  He's likely never going to herd them anyway as he likes stock that moves easily (sheep, ducks, no longer likes goats)

Going up to the gate along the road we have a LFWD screaming at him across the street and he didn't care - on a mission - no time for you - sort of response.  That didn't last and he ignored some dogs reacted to others, got fed for others after reprimanding him didn't seem to help though later I scruffed him which actually seemed to help - putting a trekking pole in between him and the other dog. 

The biggest factor on whether he would react wasn't if me was tired, but what the other dog was doing - mellow. slow moving dogs got the leash reaction.  It's easy to think that I had to have been causing it some but there were a couple of times when the leash was loose and he outright charged a couple of times.  Even to a BC who wasn't looking at him.  Feeding him is still the guaranteed of good behavior.  Well over 20 dogs passings.
The biggest, most interesting one is that we were coming down and stopped because we saw a dog smallish but still very much a dog.  That dog was off leash and just as soon as he saw us he came right towards us.  I backed Yoshi off but I and Yoshi could tell the dog was friendly so while I did call out for help from the owners who came right away I did let them greet.  It was a positive experience though the owners were apologizing.  It was nice to see that Yoshi does know his dog body language and knew that even though the dog was coming right at us that he was friendly.

Though there was another where he didn't react - it's when a dog following a mountain bike breezed right beside us and while Yoshi was surprised he was fine and didn't even bark.

Dog Park Work
Given that I finally had him tired I took him back to the dog park.  He asked to go in so we did.
He was much better than I thought, way better than yesterday.  Not perfect by any means but he was able to nicely say hi to a remarkable number of dogs.  Even play some.  Things are a bit hair trigger though.  The slightest dog snark makes him react and I had to pick him up one to settle him down when another dog wouldn't stop bugging him.

Again it was LWFDs that got the strongest reaction yet he was able to nicely say hello to a few too including a Pomeranian and a dog that resembled Bolt who he was unsure of since the dog would race off Bolt-like.  And he got to do some on leash play with a small lab-like dog and spent a little bit of time with a GSD puppy.  I don't think I'm going to worry as much about bringing him in now, though it makes a huge difference if he's tired.  But I want him to have some positive dog exposure and esp. with small dogs.  There were a couple of small dog disagreements and we weren't involved and he didn't seem compelled to charge in - probably because he knew that he couldn't.

And down at the end of the small dog park is often dog free and we can do a fair bit of rally work.  Might even be able to do some mat work at some times.

I then took him in the large dog park which went fine and even did some more obedience work.  The problem was that a Pit Bull X named Lucy just would not leave him alone twice.  The second one was a little scary as when I picked Yoshi up the dog started to hop on me and his owners couldn't catch her for the longest time.  Walking away was just having her follow up and I didn't have her parents there so I stayed close to them and kept moving around them in hopes that they would finally catch her  Next time I might just toss Yoshi over the fence or I could go climb a bench which might make the dog easier to catch. The only issue is that this sort of justifies his fears, but they didn't seem to carry over to the other dogs unless one ran right at him.  One of those was my fault as we walked right into a dog playing fetch.

There's a certain range where he might react.  If a dog appears right beside him he's often ok and he's ok if the dog is more than 50' away, but the middle distance is when he's the most reactive.

But the most important thing is that he's really tired tonight.. Phew.

Sat Jan 8
Was inspired by Chaser BC who knows over 1000 words (that prof has my dream job - he gets paid for what I do for free) so I got three toys out to continue to try to teach her the names of things.  Fish, Squirrel and Octi.  She still doesn't quite get nouns, she keeps thinkg thinking they mean for her to DO something and that would be ok I just want her to indicate it.  She kinda gets it but then gets frustrated - Yoshi was out and distracting her which was a contributing factor.

Yoshi Dog Park work
Such a twit and this is after running him around the park for 1/2-1 mile.
Really couldn't get him near the fence and there was one dog in the parking lot who innocently walked by who surprised him and I could tell that he was going to chomp on that wee dog if he had the chance - he wasn't listening at all.  While we were walking around the park I had paused to watch flag football and an Old English Sheepdog appeared and he was very much What IS that??!  Though later the dog walked by and he was fine (with cheese.)  I'm pretty frustrated with him though he redeemed himself the next day.

That said he did some very good heeling work in the parking lot

Trek Dog Park
She actually had a very nice time.  We played fetch for a bit and then she found a dog to race around with and had a marvelous time.  Then right as I was thinking of leaving another Sable Pem (7 months old) named Carly appeared and they also had a grand time charging around and I spent time talking to David about where he could get a herding instinct test and more obedience training.  What was cool is that he had his iPhone there and we could look up Linda's and ODTC's sites while we spoke.

Fri Jan 7
Yoshi Herding
He did well. Working in the small pen.  Reving up a lot slower which is Linda's goal for him in hopes that he will learn that he can handle sheep with out turning into a crazy man.

Spent a fair bit of time with Linda trying to figure out what she does different from me.  I fall behind, she doesn't.  For one thing she changes directions a lot more, but she gives ground much quicker than I do.She also takes bigger steps.  I need to go watch the video of her working him.  But the main thing is the dog needs to keep a good distance from the sheep in order to keep them together and keeping them from escaping.

Yoshi was being a complete pill about watching Shelties work especially Linda's dog.  Bark Bark Bark Bark.  But only if they're working if they're standing still he's fine.
Also walked right up to a Bernese Mtn Dog and was ok.  And walked right past Shelley's Cardi's.  Was cranky about other dogs walking past on the street.

No walk for Trek but she went ask a tourist and wandered around the pasture and said hi to folks.

Thu Jan 6
Great training walk with Yoshi this morning.
Saw the black lab agin, but what was realy cool was that we were on Fountain in between Santa Clara and Central and there were no cars parked on the street (probably a street sweeping restriction) and who appears on the other side of the street but the Golden and the Wee Black Dog.  So I have Yoshi sit part of the way down and we watch them approach and pass the entire block with Yoshi doing LAT for cheese.  No responses from any dog until I said good morning to the owner and he replied the same.  Then both Yoshi and the Golden were instantly on alert but no barking just more "What's happening?" sort of thing.

That would have been fine in and of itself but right as they left a LWFD (more Bichon sized - not tiny) appeared in the same exact position and we did the same thing again.  Yahoo!

Noon Trek walk went fine.

Gave the dogs antlers to chew on.  Saw Trek walking around later and went to pick up hers.  Couldn't find it.  Turned out Yoshi had stolen it and had both of them - that's a dog fight in many cases so I'm just happy they get along so well.  What's really interesting is that if Trek really wants something she gets it usually.  This just shows that "alphaness" is in the eyes of the dog that wants whatever resource the most.  I gave Trek back one of them and both dogs chewed for a bit and then Yoshi got that covetous look on his face and had stopped chewing because hers is of course better.  I closed the door to Trek's crate to head off anything.  Yoshi walked around for a bit and then when back to his antler.

Wed Jan 5
Yoshi Walk.  Right out the door a black dog goes by and he starts to bark while we're on the driveway.  so the next few minutes were brought to you by the word "Heel"  He would focus then pull focus then pull, then could more focus.  Off leash I wouldn't of had a chance of getting his attention.  We saw another black dog and again did a lot of heelling.  More used to the idea he was more able to concentrate.   Yoshi Come worked well too

Now in the morning he's getting
GABA 1/16 tsp
1/2 Quiet Moments chewable tablet
100 mg L-Theonine
1/2 c kibble
and water

Evening he gets the other 1/2 of the Quiet Moments.

I want to get him prepared for showing in Rally and I'm not sure how to go about it.  The Oakland DTC is a small space and he can work there, except for the meltdown when a dog appears but I can manage that, but it's not that similar to a trial environment, but if I can get him used to that environment then he might be fine elsewhere too.  The dog park is a higher stress environment.  There are monthly practice gatherings for ODTC which I'll take him too.  Though those are much more sedate than a trial environment.  I think it's outdoor matches that are going to be necessary.

Trek walk.  Walked past a lot of gardeners using blowers and rakes and did fine.

Tue Jan 4
Saw some scary mushrooms in the yard.  White gills - eek.  Didn't have a cup at the bottom so I know it's not a Death Cap but still not happy to see it and they went straight into the organics bin.  Fortunately dogs show no interest in them.

Yoshi walk noon - couple of dog sightings, nothing major.  Chased down this woman and what I thought was a Golden but it was a large bag.  But we ran into a medium size black dog that we tailed for a little while.

Trek Agility Class.  Trek's essentially happy here.  I need to admit that and mentally get over the fact that the Power Paws class that I worked her into isn't right for her - I also need to really be thankful there's an excellent agility teaching environment that she likes.  Not to mention Sharon can really teach us some things and if we want we can later drop into PP every so often though she'll likely hate it - esp now since there is no daylight to do the jumpers part where she rocks.

Sharon was telling me that it's better to throw the toy or food pretty far forward to keep Fydeau from looking back at you as the looking back is what starts the leaping off.  Her Air Dog toy is great for throwing.  Cheese shows up well but isn't as throwable.

No teeters tonight but several dog walks and a couple of A-Frames and no hesitation about them at all.  Wasn't staying out as much as I was expecting, but it could be that we're really rusly.  She did a reat send to a table while I was on the other side of a jump.  Missed a serpentine now and again.  Practice practice.

Mon Jan 3
Back to GABA, out of Quite Moments so will get more today.

Yoshi walk
up and pulling and excited.
Didn't bring treats - my bad.
He was happy enough to walk though

2 dog sightings.
One across Central, approaching us but on the other side of the street.
He barked and pulled but I backed him off 1/2 a house length and he settled but carefully watched to make sure the dog was going away.

Then we (for blocks) followed a Black Lab home.   they were 2 blocks away and we gradually caught up to them.  We were within less than a house width distance and they stopped at the corner of Gibbons and Lincoln so we then went on the house's lawn to go around them.  This worked great but he's at his least reactive when the other dog isn't moving and he is.  It also helped that it was a steady Black Lab as he's not very reactive to them.  And yes, the color appears to matter.

Had a small system disaster at work so didn't get home at lunch, but I was able to squeeze in a walk right at dusk for her.

Gave Yoshi a full Quiet Moments chewable.  That had 150 mg of Chamomile and I had zombie dog for a little while so he needs to get 1/2.  This is frustrating as it means he gets only 1/2 the L-Trptophan - 17 mg or so and I'd rather he have 30 but that's close to 1 mg per pound of body weight which is what's recommended anyway.

Sun Jan 2
Happy New Year
Yoshi dogpark walk.
What a pain he's being.  Definitely 2 steps back.

He hasn't been out much and it shows.  He was acting as if he hadn't had any supplements this morning though I found out later that he actually had the very last bit of it.

Though he was golden in the morning when I did his nails - go figure and it's not Chamomile as it's not in this version of the Quiet Moments (the other versions that we're moving to do have it which is not a good thing - see above.)

He'd try to hold it together, but the second a dog would run, he's be lunging and barking.
Out walking/running he was better though there was a dog he didn't react to at first when we had moved off he path 30,' but then we saw them later and he did bark at the dog - that dog was nervous about Yoshi.

Outside the Small Dog Park it was much the same story.  Black/Dark Brown  small dogs that looked like dogs (short fur, had an obvious dog snout) he wasn't worried about but the strange looking fluffy ones he through were really strange, especially if they ran.

Granted outside the dog park on leash is one of the most challenging environment for him.  The most being inside the Dog Park but that's really hard on him.

He had had the last of the Quiet Moments this morning.  I think he's going back to GABA, but I think he'll also stay on Quiet Moments as he seems happier on it.

This is going to make his morning meal even more complicated.

Quiet Moments (for the L-Tryptophan)

Yoshi is still underweight so he's getting 1/2 c kibble every meal.

Trek run/walk
Took Trek running and she seemed to enjoy it though half way through we started to walk just to give us both a break.

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