Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - July 2007
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
Feedback is welcome:
Tue Jul 31
Over time I've been watching how rough Yoshi and Trek play and
it's crystal clear that the incident with the Border Collie puppy at
Debbie Pollard's was him playing. He meant the puppy no harm, but
he was playing too rough, and I should have stopped it completely
instead of stopping it and then let him try again. Debbie thought
he meant to hurt the puppy, but that's just dead wrong, and I wish I
knew as much about dog behavior as I do now as I could explain it
better. He never bit down, but kept his mouth open, and was
pausing. He was starting to treat the puppy like a toy and that's
where things could have gone very wrong, but things were ok at that
point, though the puppy was getting worried. Debbie and others
were fooled by the horrible growly noises he makes. I've been
video taping some of Trek and Yoshi's wrestling and it sounds like they
are about to rip each other apart, but it you watch you can tell they
are having a great time. I wish I could make Debbie understand
She even hinted at it saying by his sweet disposition you'd never know
"that" was there. That's because it wasn't there. He's no
angel, but he didn't want to hurt that puppy. I absolutely know
I still galls me that I felt the best thing to do was admit they were
right and apologize (it was politic). Now I wish I could have the
conversation over again.
Mentally chewing on the above made me think that the best
revenge is getting him to herd well. So I'm rethinking giving
Tenderfoot time off till the end of summer.
A letter to my herding instructor: Joyce Shephard:
I've been thinking that I do want to try to explore other ways we can
get Mr. Gonzo out on sheep without shredding his paws. Other
alternatives I've come up with are booties or Musher's Secret. In
light, I've ordered some Musher's Secret (puts a layer of wax on the
paws) and when it comes in I'd like to bring the maniac up again as his
feet have healed from his most recent paw mishap.
You don't happen to have a pen that's in between the sizes of the Round
pen and the PT pen do you? Something that would serve as a
stone to the PT ring? Maybe I should just go in with sheep treats
they stay with me as if they don't run, he doesn't either.
and Yoshi the sheep crazed corgi
Sun Jul 29
Took Yoshi on a walk to look for dogs. Wish granted.
As soon as we hit the side way I spied a SFWD (Small Fluffy White Dog)
a few houses down approaching on the side walk. We spun around
and headed in the other direction before he could clue in to what
was going on Though he suspected something, especially because we
would stop and sit every so often (still with his back to the dog) to
let them catch up (about 100' away) and then continue on. He
would nervously look over his shoulder every so often, but he was doing
everything I asked. I was thrilled. This is exactly what I
was hoping to accomplish. Finding a way for him to be willing to
work with another strange dog around. While he really couldn't
see that the dog was approaching, he could plainly smell the dog.
When we got to the streetcorner we turned left and we walked abain
about 100' (two house widths in this area), and I had him sit while
looked to see what the other dog and person were going to do.
Sure enough it looked like they were going to cross the street and
continue on in a straight line. I then repositioned Yoshi so he
was facing the street and could see the street corner (but has not yet
seen the dog). I tell him to sit and stay and wait at the
ready. He sees the dog and instantly breaks the stay growling and
wanting to lunge and charge, but I immediately (I think calmly) tell
him to sit and stay and physically put him back in the stay. He
breaks and we do it again. I'm close to him so he can't move
around a lot. I encourage him to hold it together and stay and
again you can see him trying to control himself.. Then the dog
disappeared from view and he gradually calmed down.
Clearly we need to do a lot more of this type of work. Rachelle
would say that we need to be further away, but for him not to react to
a dog approachine is a huge distance almost to the point that he can't
see the dog and there's no training then.
Sat Jul 28
Happy Birthday to the Prozac Kids! Today Yoshi and his
sibs are 4 years old.
Today Cooper and Mark came over and we worked on stage two of the
Cooper and Yoshi relationship rehab. Once again the first thing
we did is that we all went for a walk and Trek and Terri joined
us. This provided the complication that I was looking for.
When Trek was near by, Yoshi would start giving Cooper the hard stare
"hairy eyeball" (where'd that term come from anyway?) look and I'd
redirect his attention with the Gentle Leader.
The only emotional meltdown we had was when a small fluffy white dog
(TM) came out of a house with his or her owner about two houses away
from the street corner we were sitting on. Yoshi was struggling
with me fiercely to lunge after that dog. I was holding him by
the scruff with his front feet off the ground and firmly and calmly
telling him to "leave it"and "hold it together I know you can do it" (I
think I say this for my and others benefit, not necessarily his though
he seems to sort of get the intention behind the words) and putting him
back in the sit he was in and telling him to stay and asking for
attention (and repeat the whole mantra a few times.) I can seem
him battling with huge impulses. It's like a demon that possesses
him and the demon leaves as soon as the strange dog walks away.
I've written about this before, but it still is something that's only
just now really sinking in with me. He wants to be told what to
do. He wants to know that someone else is in control and making
the decisions (Mark calls him "Private Yoshi"). And he needs to
continue to learn to trust me even when he's stressed. His corgi
pack taught him to be vigilent and suspicious of outsiders (typical dog
pack) As he gets older it seems like he thinks he needs to be
more vigilant and since he's not really very brave, he resorts to
bullying instead of the quiet assertiveness of an alpha dog (which he's
After we got back from the walk we had Yoshi and Cooper out in
the backyard. First I had Yoshi on his Gentle Leader (and
leash). Then I switched him to a muzzle and then put a long line
on him and let him and Cooper interact. While it was generally a
positive experience, Cooper really seemed worried about the muzzle and
didn't seem to realize that with it on Yoshi, he was safe, and not that
Yoshi had a new secret weapon. We then crated all three dogs in
the living room where they could see each other and make rude paw
gestures to each other and then went to dinner.
Yoshi still growls at Cooper when he's near Trek, but Mark seems to
think it's quite manageable especially with all of the tools we have
(Gentle Leader, Muzzle, Long Line, ...) to cope with the
sitation. This is reassuring as they are going to spend nearly a
week together when Terri and I go to Mt. Whitney, and I want it to be a
good experience for all.
Fri Jul 27
A very doggy day.
First Yoshi went to Lori Drouin's monthly obedience class that she
holds at ODTC. It was a pretty stressful environment for him as
one of the Basenji's there was fusing in her crate when her owner was
working the other dog which put several of the dogs on edge including
him, also Bailey a sweet but noisey breathing Bulldog, and a husky he
thought was weird, and a young, spastic laborador. He had several
lunge attempts but I caught him each time, and we managed to work
through it even tough he was stressed (I would give him a break from it
They were practicing 360 rights and lefts and Yoshi does really well at
these. Does good fronts, ok finishes, downs at heel. On
sits and downs he mostly held it together even with other dogs coming
in. Wanting him to succeed, I stayed beside him and when a dog
was about to enter, put my hand on his back. There was one time
when he oh so wanted to leap up but I keep holding him in place and
telling him to hold it togeter.
Then later in the day Trek had agility class and Yoshi went
along for the ride. Trek did excellent, aceing her first run
entirely (pinwheel jumps to a set of weave poles.While the chute wasn't
on the course I did set it up and worked with it in between runs. I
shortened the fabric area so it was more a ring of fabric. She
initially didn't want to cross it then decided it was worth the treat
to risk it. Then it took maybe 3 more times and she was offering
to go through it herself (still shortened.)
I did keep my resolve not to crowd her on tunnels and now she is
readily going through them though she prefers contact obstales over
tunnels (Cali did too.)
I still should work her more on weave pole entrances as she doesn't
nail it each time.
What is remarkable is that she was able to do the class at all as in
the morning she got into a zipped up training bag and ate 2 training
sessions woth of treats, the little cur. When I got out of the
shower my first clue that something was up is that she looked
particularly proud of herself but I though I was imagining things until
I saw that she had stolen a scent article and stashed it in her
crate. I told her that this means that she's asking to be taught
obedience through the utility level. However beyong pooping
a lot she seems to be fine.
Yoshi watched part of the next agility class and he did very well
I find quite encouraging. Rachelle said that he was a good
boy. He seems much less stressed in the agility area than in the
small ODTC training facility. The distance that he can tolerate
another dog passing has shrunk. It used to be about 130 feet and now
it's more like 100 or even less where he's not reative and willing to
give me attention for treat rewards. I think he's trusting me
more unles a dog is coming at us. It appears that dogs approaching
even obliquely are a huge
trigger for him. Once they've passed he doesn't seem at all
worried about them.
This also applies to any space he's been in for longer than 5
minutes. He then owns the space and new comers are instantly
suspicious and he has to meet or at least get used to every one
of them. Why do I only realize now that this makes him just about
the worst candidate for an enclosed dog park. He's almost
guaranteed to never get truely comfortable with dogs coming and
going. ODTC I can see him getting used to, and agility trial is a
very remote possibility, but a dog park seems beyond the pale.
Wed Jul 25
Trek wanted to work some, and given that tunnels and chutes seem
to be something of an issue I got out what's left of the tattered kid's
tunnel and an old towel (to give the feel of a chute). The tunnel
is starting to separate from the metal rings so it hangs a little which
is perfect to get doggy used to going through fabric.
What a pro - she made it clear that as long as she was in her own back
yard that she had to problem with any silly tunnel even when there was
fabric hanging off the end. I could send her through it standing
6-8 fet away and even stand perpendicular to it and say go
tunnel. She loves it and once she gets used to varying tunnels
she's going to be fantastic at them. The chute, rather than buy
another fabric I should just rent the field and get her use to the ones
She's also learning left and right and though not up to Yoshi's sill
level yet, she's just now starting to get it.
Yoshi has his lasttt Rally class tonight. Should be fun.
Mon Jul 23
Tested the irrigation system in the back and Trek was dashing
through it and even got Yoshi to do the same. now the back is
mostly dirt as I've let the grass go to seed and it's pretty sparse
right now hence the dirt and it's quite dusty. Once the
were on it became a doggy mudfest and Trek would throw herself into the
puddles which was hilarious (should have taken photos), but earned her
It's occurring to me that Trek has never seen the ocean. Trek
loves the water so much that it's imperative that she go to Fort
Funston to see the ocean and play in the waves at low tide There
actually aren't a lot of places that a dog can go swim in the water
around here. Point Isabel dog park is one. Fort Funston
another. there's one in the hills around Stanford. Lots of
privately held ponds, some go out to the boat lauch on Alameda's
Northside (Grand St.) . And the best absolute best is Lake Del
Yoshi's pads still seem a little tender, so I wrote Joyce asking if I
should wait until the ground softens up again. she agreed and
said that the ground starts to soften around October whether or not it
is raining. I told her that we'd see her in October, unless he
drove me crazy which would make it sooner.
Did Trek's nails at noon.I've mentioned this before but I really think
I should do movie clips showing how to do corgi nails since the best
site on dog nails features Dobermans, so of course they don't get into
ways that you can hold you dog. The problem is that I'm not very
timely about doing my dog's nails so they are hence chronically longer
than they should be. I suppose I could freely admit that: "these
nails are too long but this is still how to do it." I could show
various positions that you can hold your dog e.g. you sitting on the
floor dog on their back between your legs. Sitting on the floor with
dog leaning their back on you (almost vertical but still essentially on
their back). sitting on floor, dog on side on the floor, one of your
legs over the dog's shoulder and the over their midsection (this is
Debbie Oliver's style). Dog standing up like a horse and feet
help like their being shoed. Dog standing up on a grooming tabke
Sun Jul 22
Worked on moving part of the irrigation system from the front
yard to the backyard. The dogs sort of helped and they really
like it when the sprinklers work more like fresh water dispensers
instead of real sprinklers.
Sat Jul 21
Terri's friend Rick came over to rehease some music for a
performance that they're doing tomorrow (they're in a contra dance band
that plays mostly Irish jigs and reels). I was in the bathroom
when Rick came in and I was idly wondering how Yoshi would be with a
relatively unknown male human walking in (they've met one or two a
while back). Suddenly I hear intense barking and Terri's voice
sounding exasperated. When I got up there she was holding Yoshi
saying "He went after Rick" Incredulous I asked the oh so
articulate "Really?" She then took a breath and said "Well it was
more charging, snarling, and barking (i.e. no biting, no
contact)." I took Yoshi and asked Terri to go get some treats fot
Rick to give Yoshi. While holding Yoshi I then shook Rick's had
and was talking with him and Yoshi relaxed some. When the treats
cam he completely forgot that Rick was supposed to be a threat and
enthusiastically started eating treats from his hands.
After some debriefing it appears that Yoshi was fine until (ahem)
the-face-that-launched-1000-ships Trek walked into the room. Trek
is such a huge trigger for him. I didn't want to deal wirh
worrying about them as I had yard work to do so we crated both of them
in the living room so the could hear the music.
Fri Jul 20
California newcomer Trek felt her first real earthquake this
morning at 4:45am. It was a 4.2 that shook the house for about 4
seconds (http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Quakes/nc40199209.html) and
the epicenter was only about 5 miles from us. We recently have
started leaving her crate door open at night so she bolted out of the
room. What was funny is that she then didn't want to come back in
the bedroom after the quake was over. Awwww. "Er honey, I have some bad
news for you, it's not just in this room." Fortunately she then
did come back in and seems to have survived the ordeal fine (no
discernable aftershocks which helps.)
Wed Jul 18
Rally class for Yoshi. He continues to improve
behaviorally. We've been working on look at me when I say Yoshi
and it was working well. What's cool about the name response is
the early warning it gives to an impending outburst if I don't get a
response. I can almost see my words bounce off his ears when that
happens. It's like the wheels in the cortex have stopped and the
cerebellum (or lower :) is running the show. When other dogs
would come in for the next class I did see ourbursts but because I knew
they were coming was on him in a flash, and was able to make hime sit
I see I haven't written about it... The current Time magazine's
front page is about addiction and its causes. What really
intrigued me about the article is that a part of it sounds erily close
to our training. The more the cortex (i.e. the analytical part of
the brain) is engaged the more control you have over the impulsesive
behavior. I hope Brenda Aloff sees this as it's precisely her
approach as well. Maybe I'll email it to her.
Tue Jul 17
Trek and Cooper went to the dog park. Cooper had a nice
time. Trek mostly just hung out with me with occasional flights
Mark then brought Cooper over to our house and we took Yoshi and Cooper
for a walk and that went very well. So now we're trying to figure
out what the next step is. Cooper and Yoshi in the backyard I
think. Yoshi either on a leash (done that before and it went
well) or a long line or a muzzle. Probably will do the long line,
but treat it as a leash at first and see how it goes.
Mon Jul 16
Took the contact trainer over to Sharon's so Wendy can take it
to Petaluma to be reraffled at the Bayteam trial. (This is
probably the 4th time it's been raffled - nice money maker.
Brought Yoshi along for the exposure and he did very well which was
very nice to see. The class was working in the lowerr yard and
they left the door open so we could see in. I had him about 50-70
feet away watching the dogs work and he was quite willing to sit
quietly and give me attention and eat treats. Both Karen and
Wendy saw him and were happy to see that he's doing better..
He only had one outburst which was completely justifyable as right as I
was taking him out of the truck a woman in the earlier class and a red
and white Border Collie were walking straight at us.. The woman,
whose name I never got, asked itf "you could meet" (meaning her
dog. Slightly incredulous and still holding a growling,
struggling dog "you want your dog to meet him?" "No you, he stopped
running the course when you left, and Sharon says I have to deal with
it now" "Oh ok" (I had gone up to the upper field looking for
Wendy.) Apparently "Taylor" had decided I was evil when I
disappeared from view. I pitched Yoshi into the truck and walked
over carefully not looking at Taylor who was growling an "I'm
uncomforable but not terribly serious growl" I sat down
facing sideways with a dried chicken treat extended towards him..
He wouldn't approach closer. I laid down and he approached but
wouldn't eat the treat. "Oh he doesn't like food here's a
toy." So I'm laying on the ground playing sort of tug with a
growling BC when Wendy drives up. She's very amused. At
this point I sit up and Taylor is clearly doing better. Taylor's
mom got him to eat some hot dog treats and then gave me some to give
him which he readily took. Seeing this I pulled out the beef
flavored Red Barn food/treats and I had a friend. I never touched
him but he clearly had settled down so she thanked me and they left and
Wendy and I then loaded the contact trainer into her vehicle.
I'm thinking I should go to the Petaluma trial for one day, but I don't
know which dog to take. Trek needs the exposure but Yoshi needs
the training. Given that Trek is getting good exposure at class
I'll probably take Yoshi.
Sat/Sun Jul 14-15
We were at a kayak class (I for goth, Terri for
Sat), Trek did fine at Mark and Jan's. Yoshi did well
at Park Center.
And I very much enjoyed class which you can read all about in the Non-Dog Blog (see the CCK entry).
Fri Jul 13
I never heard back from the bootie folks. Guess I should
Ok now I feel guilty. We're doing a kayaking class both weekend
days in Sacto. Trek is going to be at (day) Camp Cooper.
Yoshi I've decided to board at Park Centre (his vets) as that's likely
the best place for him. When we go to Whitney he and Trek will go
to Cooper's, but for this short period I figured it was better if he
was there and I then would get more time to train him and Cooper to be
nice to each other.
He's in a nice run and the other dogs seem polite and not barky.
I brought his bone and a kong and some treats and the cheese wiz and of
course his meds but I'm thinking that he would like to have his crate
too. I just called them to tell them I'm going to bring it by and
that's fine. I asked how he was doing and she said "Fine. Totally
fine." (and she meant it.)
We're dropping Trek off at 7am tomorrow at Mark and Jan's on our
way.. Honestly, as a guess, it will be Trek who has the harder
time even though she'll be spending the nights with us.
Fortunately she get to go to agility class tonight. The bummer is
I can't bring Yoshi as Park Centre will have closed by then and we'll
be leaving long before they open on Saturday.
Wed Jul 11
Rally and Obedience class. (Zanna talked Patricia and I into
staying for the Novice/Open drop in)
Most surprising thing was during the drop in where Yoshi brought back
the dumbell to my hand without my reaching for it (I toss it a short
distance away first - I'm sitting on the floor). We haven't been
working on it at all so I was completely floored.
In the Rally class we did a short Novice level course.. Intro'd
spiraling around the cones, Halt. Step forward. Halt (etc) . Went
over that there are subtle differences in the signs. Some have a
finish and then a halt and then heel. Others have no halt.
The differences matter and during the walk through you are allowed to
ask the judge questions.
Hazel is telling me that I really need to stress name recognition - he
should look at me when I say his name which he usually does but not
always and she wants me to be more strict about it and insist on it if
I don't get it immediately.
She also things I should push him a little on tolerating the other dogs
working around him. This is sort of running counter to Rachael
waning him to work below threshold but I think we can walk a fine line
here. I have been protecting him more in this class as there's a
doberman who is a worrier and there's a chessie that reacts to
it. So we try to stay out of the middle of those two. But
she's right, he can watch the others work as we do that with the other
Did a little bit of jumping in the other class and while he
likes it the long line is staring to get in the way of jumping and the
recalls. Maybe I should work him with a lighter line or with a
Mon Jul 9
It's bootie shopping! REI has a pair of Granite gears that
They come in pairs so I think I'll just try the front paws first as
that's where he gets injured and where most of his weight is.
Amazingly they have a pair of booties for trekking complete with vibram
sole! Though they don't look that appropriate for running.
A quick google showed the rolls royce version and it's not too horribly
expenside. It's called Ultra Paws.
They offer 4 diferent versions. I beat they could tell me which
one would work best for herding on hard soil.
Just sent this off to email@example.com
I am interested in getting some front booties for my corgi for herding
as he keeps ripping his pads (3 times!) on the dry hard soil (he's a
high drive knucklehead). Which of your booties would work best
and Yoshi the obsessed herding corgi
Sun Jul 8
Herding class for Yoshi and Trek came along too. Despite
my having treated his paw some with Paw Guard he still ripped a pad for
the 3rd time in a row, even though he was just in the round pen.
So tenderfoot is getting booties silly as it seems.
We checked his pad and Joyce treated it and wrapped it.
Unfortunately he managed to get the bandage off in a few minutes but I
knew the underlying pad was ok (just tender) so we when out on leash
into the large pen and worked on walking
with the sheep. It was tough on him as he so much wanted
to run but wasn't trying to insist on it. Hopefully he
In the mean time I practiced moving the flightier sheep around by
myself and learned a lot about how sensitive they are to space. I
could walk within 10-15 feet and then if I took a step towards their
rear they'd move. If I tood another step they'd bolt.. If I took
a step towards their heads they'd stop. If I took another step
toward their heads they'd turn. If I were to take another step
right then they'd bolt in the other direction. The trick is to
get them to move under control where you want to move them.
Getting Yoshi to go this slow is going to be tough. I walked them
around the pen on the fence line then went in the other direction and
guided them through a self standing pair of fence sections which was
Also took Trek into the round pen and she did her usual fine. She
would actually do well with it as she's more open to taking direction
but you can totally tell it's not really her thing.
Fri Jul 6
Trek agility class and Yoshi observing the next class.
What a very productive evening. Trek is getting more used to the
concept of running a course though still on occasion going around the
jumps (she'll get it soon enough. She's improving on the tunnel
though still goes in and back out the way she came in. Even has a
bit of a stay now, and seems braver in class.
Cash the whippet is still head over heels in love with her. Her
owner (whose name I'm spacing on for the moment) said she laughed all
weekend about Cash being dubbed "PePe Le Pugh" (Cash is black and
white) She says she's never seen him this obsessed. Trek just
thinks she has a stalker (Hey as far as stalkers go he's pretty
polite). I'm now Cash's best friend cause I smell like Trek.
Then I got Yoshi out and we watched the next class when they
moved to the upper field. the entire evening he had two
outbursts, one in the parking lot and one during the class, but he also
has 10's of very good decisions too and the evening went remarkable
smoothly. The weird thing is that because he's on a Gentle Leader
and if he starts to react I tighten the G/L which closes his mouth and
effectively keeps him from barking, so others often don't know what's
going on which is good and bad. (Less disruptive, but good to
know if a dog is wigging out around you.)
The parking lot outburst was the german shephard and her owner coming
quickly out of class to get something out of their car and it caught me
off guard and Yoshi freaked at this Shepherd coming at him. We
were able to back off enough to where he was able to tolerate the other
dog's presence. I paced it off later and it's around 135' (45
strides). Seems like a lot but some of that was the surprise
Then when we went up to the upper field he did really well. When
a dog ran, we mainlined the treats which worked fantastic. The
other outburst was when I paused the treat disensing long enough to
thank one of the dog owners and Yoshi had a moment to lock on and lunge
(even though he's up on an embankment and there's no way that the small
dogs could get to him. Though it was disconcerting that the
shepherd ried to climb the wall to get to us (out of curiousity - we
moved as I didn't want to undo the progress that we'd made.
I hope we can continue this. It more depends on if the dogs that
get the zoomies can handle having him around. One is a Huskie
named Ziggy and she gets the zoomies in a big way and also stares at
Yoshi. We they ran we hid.
Thu Jul 5
Mark and I took Cooper and Trek to the dog park. They ran
around for a brief bit but Trek didn't seem real interested though
would chase after Cooper chasing a ball. She mainly just hung
There was a woman there with a bright green medical uniform, slightly
wild curly hair and sunglasses that Trek thought was Freddy Kruger's
partner in crime and barked and semi-charged at her (all bluff of
course). Surprised all of us though, unlike Yoshi, Trek is
perfectly capable of responding to recalls during such times. If
I'd been thinking properly I would have put her on leash and had the
woman give her treats.
Wed July 4
No class for Yoshi because of the holiday.
Sat Jun 30 - Sun Jul 1
I've have stuck a blow for intrahousehold peace (Cooper &
Yoshi)! This has been something of an involved process so
it will be tough to summarize.
Cooper stayed overnight on Sat and is still here (it's Sunday midday
and Ive been taking time to work on having them coexist. They're
both boys and generally like each other so we have to be able to work
When Mark brought Cooper over we met out on the front lawn. Cooper was
very carefully communicating that he wasn't a threat by sniffing the
ground and not looking at him. the dogs were tense but after
about 15 minutes they were willing to acknowledge each other and stand
next to each other. We then too them on a breif walk down the
block and that went well. Then I took them both on the same walk
and they were still fine.
They got to spend the evening in crates near each other as we had a
dance performance to go see. When we got back, we had them out in
shifts. We did have one incident where Yoshi charged Cooper while
Coop was in a crate. That yielded about the results you'd expect
of My Y. boucing of the crate wall and me lifing him up by the scruff
till he stopped struggling. I then put Yoshi on his G/L and had
him stand outside of Cooper's crate. Cooper was not thrilled
about this and was stress panting inside so I didn't do it for
long For the night, we divided the house and I and Cooper were in
the living room (him uncrated and me on the sofa, and Trek, Yoshi and
Terri in the bedroom. While Cooper isn't thrilled about being
around Yoshi, I can tell he's starting to trust me and that I won't let
Yoshi hurt him.
Sunday morning I decided to focus entirely on their coexisting after
morning rituals of going outside and breakfast. I have Yoshi on
leash on a G/L and took all three dogs outside (Cooper was hanging back
so getting out the door worked out nicely. Then we had me walking
Yoshi around Trek wandering and Cooper on the step. I moved
futher back into the smallish yard, and Cooper then came out into the
This went on for some minutes. Then Trek and Cooper started to
play, which was hard on Yoshi to be around but it seemed to help him
see it so we stayed out there though I kneeled down and held his collar
and put myself inbetween him and the other two. While it was
initally tough on him he actually did start to relax some which way
intrigued me as I didn't expect it.
When Trek and Cooper took a break I faked Trek into going into the
house (she was not pleased about this subtrefudge.) and then I had just
Cooper and Yoshi (still on leash). Cooper is having a blast
rolling around and getting dirty and his whole physical affect is
different. He's standing up, head in the air, mouth wide open
with a huge lolling tongue, and not stiff at all. Yoshi is still
a little stiff but I decide to walk him closer. What happens next
is hard to describe but essential, wish I had it on tape. Yoshi
is going towards Cooper but he's leaning back slighly and his head is
in the air. He still is stiff but there's something different
about it. He then does a sort chest ram, but bounces back a step
and pauses. IT'S PLAY! Hurray! When it's a fight
there is no backwards leaning, or back steps, and most inportantly: no
pauses. Cooper realizes it too and they play for a while all the
time dragging me around and he hasn't earned being off leash around Mr.
C. Though I did take the G/L off and had the leash on the
collar. I'm so releived. this is by no means over but we've
gotten further than I thought we would.
I think one this that made a difference in today was that after playing
with Trek, Cooper regained his confidence around Yoshi and had his more
usual body language. A huge trigger for Yoshi the bully is dogs
that broadcast "please don't hurt me" Some dog just don't
tolerate weakness at all even though they crave the assurance that they
rank higher than the other dog. Though he does accept it in Trek
but Trek is usually extremely confident around him. So we need to
work on Cooper's confidence just as much as Yoshi's reactiivty. I
appear to be a claming influence for both dogs though I can't be around
all the time so this will need more practice with others eventually.
I was originally planning on having them interact with Yoshi muzzled
and may do that in the future, but what I wan't right now is for him
not to react (and reinforce that neural pathway that I don't was
reinforced) and that requires my being attached to him preferably via a
gentle leader so I can control his head and break off his stares.
It's working better than I expected. I'll have to remember not to
push things too fast and build on success.
Ok I could help but pushing a little. Learned a lot. The
trigger is Trek. Doorways much less so.
Tried Yoshi muzzled/leashed and Cooper in the yard. Cooper wasn't
sure what to think of the muzzle and Yoshi was soliciting play by
bumping him with it. Too bad as it was surprisingly cute.
Later still took Yoshi and Cooper on a walk and that went great.
Seems like things are much better if they have something else to focus
on. Yoshi even had a barking fit over a dog and that didn't phase
Cooper at all and having Cooper along didn't interfer with my managing
Yoshi. Though Cooper was pulling on the leash so much that he
earned the other Gentle Leader. Then I had two dogs who would
randomly throw themselves on the grass which was pretty silly looking
but hey I could walk them.
When we got home when we walked in Yoshi saw Trek and immediately tried
to go for Cooper (this was at the doorway again but it's clear it's
Trek who is the catalyst. I dragged both C+Y into the yard for
some training. Sit beside each other and eat treats. Once
again this was fine till Trek showed up (we let her appear) and
everything was fine till Trek walked over to Cooper. Yoshi had a temper
tantrum and tried to charge and we did a fine immitation of a fish
thrashing on a line and I did yell at him too - which did seem to get
his attention some.
So exit Trek and I continue to work with C+Y and they go right back to
doing well. One interesting thing I found is that Yoshi seems to
be deferring to Cooper now which I find surprising. Cooper was
sitting on the table and I tell Yoshi table and he won't get up
there. He's fine with sitting beside Cooper but didn't want to
join him on the table.
Mark has picked Cooper up. The stay was very revealing and showed
me where the lines are at present.
- they can go a walks together fine
- watch out when Trek is present
- all crated near each other works well
- Cooper is relaxing and that helps
- Yoshi is slowly realizing that there are limits to his behavior
- keep Yoshi leashed around Cooper for now
- Yoshi has a short fuse but he recovers quicky too
- consider doing more playtime sessions with the muzzle
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jun 2007
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - May 2007
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2007
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2007
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary
- Feb 2007
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary
- Jan 2007
Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2006
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