Yoshi Training Diary - July 2005
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
Feedback is welcome:
Sat/Sun July 30/31
Spent the weekend competing with Sammy the Cardigan Corgi. Mostly
fun, though way hot in Livermore 90+ degrees. One one run, tried
to handle Sammy with more distance since he sends so well. Well
he sends well but he barks so much that he basically forgets where his
feet are and thus levels the jumps. Fortunately the next run went
much better Yoshi stayed in relatively cool Alameda.
Tried tying a stuffed toy squirrel to a rope and got some interest for about 30 seconds.
Had some success with fetch! I've switched to using the smaller
balls and they fit his mouth better. The best size is the medium
size tennis balls but I rarely see those so I instead use the small
ones. This time I used string cheese and he likes that so much
that he'll keep doing it for longer than a minute (I stopped after
about 3 minutes or so.) Techniqud: roll the ball about 3-10
feet. He goes and gets it and brings it back (we're at least to
that point). At first, I was rewarding him for getting it semi
close to me, but then started insisting that he at least try to drop it
into my hand. What's cool is that I could see the wheels turning
in his head (something that doesn't always happen). If he didn't
get the ball close enough and no cheese was forthcoming, you could see
him think about it a second and then go get the ball again.
Hooray. I find that if I talked to him too much it would distract
him. So I kept my encouragement down to just a little bit.
I've decided to start taking him to the Novice Dropin Obedience class
at Oakland DTC. The dogs are under more control and he has some
of the basic skills that you need for that class.
Today I introduced him to Stand and also worked on a formal Come (and
sit in front of me). Both of those intros worked great (I think I
used to use Come quite a while back). I don't think he'll ever be
able to tolerate a judge coming at him with a clipboard (and shoes
eeek!) and touching him and him staying still, but you never know.
His sit beside me has gotten rocky so I'll need to work on that.
Had a funny conversation with Nancy about what to do about doggy focused dogs. Here is a post I made about it:
I asked Nancy Gyes about dealing with dogs that are way dog focused
knowing that she had to deal with that with Wicked. She said that
Wicked is fortunately very toy driven so she can work around it but that
she's had to deal with it in other dogs and it's the biggest pain in the
*** as you have to keep finding ways to keep the focus on you and keep
You have to find the most disgusting smelling, dog appealing things to
put in a bait bag. Examples she gave are lamb tails (after they've been
docked) and bird wings (feathers and all - not just a chicken wing).
Ewwwwwgh. Now that's dedicated. No wonder she wins. Though she didn't
say anything about cat poop, though she did say an actual (dead or
alive) squirrel might help. :)
Fortunately my doggie really likes bread sticks so maybe I'll keep
working the bakery angle. Though I know I can always ratchet it up a bit.
Fri Jul 29
We're getting a new kitchen floor installed today, so Yosh and Daisey
the kitty are with Terri at work and I'm here trying to get some work
done here at home (and mostly not succeeding.)
Sun Jul 24
[morning] The delinquents bolster their reputation. Cooper and
Yoshi went to the dog park and had a grand time making pests of
themselves. They have this talent for finding the dog that
doesn't want to be herded. And they wound up getting leashed 3 or
so times. Though there were plenty of other dogs who wanted to
play, so we let them stay. Cooper is showing a new
behavior. If Yoshi starts pushing a more submissive dog around,
Cooper will intervene by getting inbetween the two. This should
be welcome by the other dog, but Cooper is barking like crazy (and
Yoshi is barking back and not backing off) so the other dog is still
not thrilled at getting a front row seat to this corgi game being
played out under their nose. When this happens we
intervene. The only problem is that sometimes the owner of the
other dog will try to help by throwing the ball and getting the other
dog to run which just makes things worse as then they all take off
running. We'll do some actual training later today when it cools
Sat Jul 23
More heeling work. He's definitely getting it so I started to add
the word "heel." He actually does better when I talk to him and
add words. Almost like he needs the encouragement.
I can't believe that he's really doesn't understand running along with
me. (It's always the simple things that get you). It didn't
even occur to me to teach him even though it was my and Cali's favorite
game. I feel so silly. I would take him running, but he was
always ahead of me. Hopefully this will be reasonably easy to
fix. I think more walks and less dog park is in his future
(though the dog
park is far too good at wearing him out and I'd have to go for miles
before he got tired. Actually that's not entirely true, as I
he got tired after 2 miles of brisk walking).
I was running around in the back yard encouraging him to be with
me. Wasn't quite working, so I put him on a 6' leash and that
worked better though when he's sort of listening he's slow and falls
behind me. Later he was excited about something in a tree so I
ran along beside him. He seemed to like that. It doesn't
seem like it will take long to get him coming along with me, but I'm
not sure how to translate this back to sequences of jumps.
I called and left a message with Elizabeth Sores the instructor of
Oakland Dog Training's Beginner II class to see if I could squeeze him
in for this session. They started last week, but since we've had
the class before, it really isn't a problem to start late, but it more
depends on if there's room.
Mark's herding instructor got back to me via email. She's fine
with us tagging along for Cooper's lesson and having one
ourselves. Looks like it won't be next week, but maybe the week
or weekend after that.
Fri Jul 22
I've decided that he needs more time to work on focus so I made this
his last agility class for a while. Ironically he did ok.
Did a great teeter, loves the table, fine with tunnels, hesitant but ok
with his weaves (I bring them to class). But he still very much
lacks focus and would rather run off to try to herd and play with with
Cirque, one of Sharon's Border Collies. Still not great about
sequencing jumps though I can tell if given time he would get it.
But I think his time would be better spent doing more obedience and
rally and possibly a herding lesson or more. I've been hesitant
to teach him formal heeling but it's clear that he has no problem
working at a distance so it would probably do him good.
Brought out his rawhide stick and he would chew that at class which is a nice change.
Went to the school yard and intro'd heeling with the clicker.
While walking beside me on leash if he looked up at me I clicked and
gave him a treat. He's getting it.
Thur Jul 21
Went to the school yard to watch the goings on, wouldn't chew his toy so we just watched.
Later switched his bone toy for a compressed rawhide stick which he's loving.
Wed Jul 20
First tried just sitting out on the step but he was being too
protective of the house property. Even reacting to passersby that
didn't have dogs. So we went to Lincoln Park instead. This
was better but he still wouldn't chew his bone toy
Fri Jul 15
I'm sick but I brought him to class just to be there and try to play with his toy which he pretty much ignored.
He still loves his toy but won't chew it much when other dogs are around.
Though we sat on the front step and he did chew his toy for a little while.
Made a toy that he likes. Took a rope from one of the leashes and threaded it through a rawhide. He loves it.
Fri Jul 8
Went to class early for a private with Sharon. She thinks he needs more relationship work and focus/play work.
Sharon asked if he's play with his toy at home. I said yes, and she
suggested taking it on the road - like to parks and the like.
Yoshi Training Diary - Jun 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - May 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Apr 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Mar 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Feb 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Jan 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Nov 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Oct 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Sep 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Aug 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Jul 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Jun 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - May 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Apr 2004
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