Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - July 2008

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

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

Wed Jul 30
Just wrote this to Dr. Sophia Yin - put here so I have a copy of it:

Greetings Dr Yin,

You are probably the most well known vet behaviorist in the SF Bay Area. I'm writing as I was wondering if you or your students have heard of the book Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt?  Control Unleashed is a set of exercises based on Dr. Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol and are designed to help a dog build confidence and deal with stress and reactivity (more info at http://controlunleashed.net/book.html)

We have been having Control Unleashed workshops in Redwood City at Jump'n Java Agility.  Our instructor is Kienan Brown who is McDevitt's former assistant and who resides in Southern California.

I am the organizer (along with Jump'n Java's owner Anne Kajava), and I would like to comp an audit spot for either you or one of your students for our Aug 17th Intro to Control Unleashed workshop as I think it's important information for you and your staff to have.
Please let me know if you're interested.  If that day doesn't work, we will be having them quarterly in the future though the dates have not been set.

More information on our workshops may be found at: http://frap.org/ControlUnleashed

Thanks very much,

Ellen Clary
Clary Canine Consultants

Noon: took Yoshi on a walk.  No dogs (that he saw) but lots of stroller.  I think noontime is prime time for people to walk their strollers.  He's less jumpy about the squeeze tube dispenser but prefers that I present it a few inches from his face and he then goes to lick it.  If a dog was approaching I would have him by the collar so I could shove it in his face if I needed to.

For a little while, I've been using one of the soft braided leashes instead of one of the leather ones.  They're long enough that I can take the loop and put it over my  bicep, then the leash is nicely out of the way or I can hold it without having to hold gobs and gobs of it.  It also makes a nice fail-safe so I'm not so worried about dropping the leash by mistake.  It is even a poor person's hands free leash then.

I weighed both dogs.  Yoshi the worry-wart, despite the ton of cream cheese he gets, is the usual 22 pounds but Trek is a startling 25 pounds (sans cream cheese).  Now that I take a look at her I can see that she's carrying about 2 pounds more than I want her to.  So her food is being cut down to 1/3 c per meal (down from 1/2 c).  her food is Innova EVO and is pretty highly caloric, so i'm not surprised that she needs this reduction.  She's pretty food sensitive and doing well on it so i'm not interested in changing to a less caloric food.  I'm running more these days so I could take her running over at Harbor Bay.

Tue Jul 29
At noon I was a little concerned about him as he laid down in the yard and didn't want to move.  I wasn't sure if the clomicalm dose was too high but later in the day he recovered fine - so I'll just have to keep an eye on him.  Might have been: relaxed dog lying in the sun syndrome something he's not taken much interest in so perhaps this is a good thing.

Yoshi walk (Trek later) 3 sightings.  4 dogs total.  
I'm realizing that even though leashed walks are fraught with SECs the dogs are under more control than at the dog park so if he's not surprised then it actually might be easier for him.

In Alameda, there's this wide street called Central Ave. that used to have a streetcar that went down the middle of it.  The streetcars are gone, but it's a lovely wide tree lines street.  (A promenade of sorts.)  When we're walking on it we can see for quite a distance which really helps me to get time to set up.  (We can still be surprised by a dog on a side street but that wasn't an issue this time as in all cases I saw the dog ahead of time.)  Each time I saw a dog 1/2 block away we were able to move down a side street the length of the long side of a house (~120-150'') and I kneeled down and took his collar in my hand, gave him some cream cheese then stopped until he say the dog, and depending on his demeanor I either shoved more cream cheese (like if he's about to react) at him or, if he's sort of with me, said "Look at That."  "Yes!"  And then cheese.  Watching a dog grousing while eating cream cheese is pretty funny (he gurgles).  He held it together and didn't have any meltdowns even though he wanted to.

He was having a moment of being afraid of the squeeze tube as an air pocket made a funny noise, but he appears to be mostly over it.

Trek's walk went  without incident though she's pulling more, and we worked on that some and will do more.

Finally joined APDT.  They asked for a business name, so I gave them the one I'd been toying with for a couple of months:
Clary Canine Consultants

Description: Consulting on behavioral and training issues.  Positive methods emphasized.

I left "consultants" plural so I would have more flexibility and so Trek could be on "staff."  i like consultants as I'm not presently interested in having classes, but more occasionally spend time with a person with a dog who dealing with a difficult behavioral or training problem.  Plus I don't want a second income. (Well I wouldn't mind one but I don't want to deal with the extra tax paperwork.)  So for now we just work out trades.

Mon Jul 28
Yoshi noon walk, followed 2 dogs around the school.  Park of the time we were across the street and nearly parallel but we fell behind so we just followed.  He was fine until we got too close and barked and we backed off.  But he had been in site of them for most of the way around the block.

Sun Jul 27
Trek and I popped into the Marin Humane Society's Control Unleashed workshop.  Seemed to be going well and Kienan was happy.  Saw some familiar faces and it's entirely possible that there will be demand for more Control Unleashed instruction in the future there.

Anne may be able to rehome her Saturday classes to an outside location. If that happens, then CU Continued could become an all day thing and Kienan is lobbying for a 2 day workshop as she says you can really see the dogs' improvement on the second day.  My concern with that is that there are a lot of people who have had the intro and want more Continued.  It seems like maybe we should have a weekend of just Continued before started a new series.

Then on our way back I took Trek to Point Isabel to play in the water some.  While I love Point Isabel the places to play in the water aren't very safe so I have to watch her pretty carefully (always going down to the water with her.) and some while ago the shoreline (the safe part) became a shorebird refuge so they frown on dogs being there and given Treks predatory bent towards birds I can't claim that she'd leave them alone.

Met up with Debbie and her CU GSD Keefer and we had a nice visit.  Keefer's one of those dogs who's great off leash (and was having a fine time there), but terrible on leash (which is more typical, odd duck Yoshi is the reverse).

There was a "trainer" there who was probably in her late 30's or early 40's who was doing a training session that involved an alpha roll on a client's frightened PWD.  I was seriously incensed about it and especially peeved that she was (a) being paid for it and (b) using a training method just about as old as she was. If it wouldn't have been a horrible breach of etiquette (she was with a client foolish enough to pay her for her time) I would have suggested she consider updating her training methods by a couple of decades   I stared for a little while in hope that I could talk to the PWD's owner (who was a younger woman) but there wasn't an opportunity so we moved on and my revenge is to write about it here.  What I've not sure about how to respond is the trainer has bully breeds and would likely claim that's the only method that would work.  This would no doubt make CU Trainer Kienan laugh as she has Pitbulls and a Doberman.

I at least wish I had a card or a flyer to give out either with my own training contact info (though that would look like poaching) or Oakland Dog Training Club's, or the info for Control Unleashed.  I wish I had taken the trainer's picture as they were standing on public property so it would be fair game (may have to obscure her face).  I so wanted to make a comment about it being time to update your 17 year old training methods (Monks of New Skete published the Alpha Roll in 1991 and not long after said they regretted publishing it.)

The problem is that those methods do work on a percentage of dogs, so a trainer will always have a dog they can point to to say it works, and they get to skip over all the times they've been bitten or had to give up on a dog.  Because more positive-based methods take longer the more violence/heavy-adversive-based trainers like to point out that positive methods "don't work" or that we're just bribing them.

Well our methods may take longer, but we have a better relationship with our dogs. 

Took Yoshi on a walk.  He can tolerate a dog at 2+ houses distance esp with peanut butter.  He can not tolerate the distance of one house (more like the distance of 1/2 a house twice over since the approaching dog was around the corner particularly when a dog surprises him.)  When he's reacting, I don't reward him as I don't want to get the timing wrong.  Kienan will just squirt something edible in the dog's mouth just to get them otherwise occupied, but I don't want to risk it.

Sat Jul 26
Training session with Glenda and Ripley.  Ripley is a Sheltie that is afraid of wheeled things like bikes and noisy skateboards, and children and bouncing balls.  He came over so we could work on the bike since I have a mountain bike that I can ride real slow and I can put the seat way down so I can easily sit on it with my feet on the ground.

First I wanted to see if the look of the cyclists was an issue so we brought Ripley in my house and he did nose touches with the helmet and would even nose touch the helmet when it was on my head and when I had sunglasses on.  So we went out side and he still would nose touch the helmet.  Then I got the bike (which was outside already) and walked the bike 30-40' away.  When I put a foot on the pedal (bike stationary) he started stress panting and looking over his shoulder for an escape route, but I could walk beside the bike and he was ok.  I could even walk the bike fast and he was ok but astride the bike he would stress.  He needed a break so we went inside.

Once inside I realized that we could break things down further (CU and Counter Conditioning is all about breaking things down into tiny steps a dog can handle.)  Ripley was better inside where there was fewer things happening.  I could put the bike beside the table or a wall and sit on top of it or even have the seat all the way down so I was standing on the floor.  I still looked like a human but had this other thing along with me.  Then Glenda got the inspiration to try his herding commands on the bike (she also had him doing nose touches on it.)  Suddenly Ripley had a job.  He started circling the bike.  We even took it outside and he was able to circle the bike even with it moving a little.  I couldn't get as far as actually riding the bike, but he's way further than he was and Glenda is going to get with her nephew who has a bike.

Fri Jul 25
Trek eye test.  The tears level in her eye dropped to 8 from 10 last time.  We're going to keep just giving Cyclosporine until her next appt in 3 weeks.  If it drops again then we'll add the Tacrolimus back in.

Yoshi watching Lori Drouin's Utility class.  He did great though he spent most of the time eating in his crate.  I was able to switch over to a kong at times, but I still had to be there.  There was a (very sweet and steady) puppy there and while he worried about the puppy, he was able to cope though at times I had to shove the cream cheese right in his face to keep him from grousing.  We did take breaks from time to time by leaving the building, but inside the building it's tough to move around (though we did some).  Lori's suggesting out next step might be an expen where I can be in there with him and maybe doing some basic sit/down work with him as well - the crate can be in there as well.

His booties came in - they're like clown shoes: too wide and stiff enough that I don't see him getting used to it.  I'll order the less stiff set and see if I can get them to work and return these.

Vet says now that it's been 4 weeks, we can increase his Clomicalm to a whole pill each meal (20 mg 2x day)

Thu Jul 24
Yoshi and I at Washington Park.  He did ok but we seem to have reached a plateau and I'm not sure how to proceed.

Post to CU_Dogs and CU_Dogs_SF

So for quite some time Yoshi and I have been working on Counter Conditioning and basically trying to win the war with squeeze cream cheese.  I can manage him pretty well, but when a dog approaches even from 100' away, I still have to jump in front of him with cream cheese at the ready. I'm wondering what our next step is - what do we do now?  How do we improve?  We don't seem to be able to shrink the distance that an unknown dog can be around us until they are past

Leslie (and others - like Katheryn) thinks that I may be missing or skipping a step in Classcal Conditioning and Desensitization.  She suggested I have someone else watch us.  Fortunately I have Kienan coming Aug 16,17 so I'll talk to her then.  Katheryn says to emphasize taking breaks and I've been noticing his behavior gets better when we take breaks. 

I need to pay even more attention to the order of stimulus (dog approaching) and results (cream cheese appears)

Tue Jul 22
I ordered Yoshi's booties.

Mon Jul 21
Gear for Dogs says the "Rugged" ones would be the best choice, so once I measure his paws I'll order them.

Results from the CPE Trial are in.

Regular/Veteran - Jackpot Round 1 - Level 1
Judge: David Garrison Dogs Entered: 12
Opening Time: 8" & 12": 30 Gamble Time: 8" & 12": 17 Total Time: 8" & 12": 47

Armband Call-Name Breed ID # Owner Time Points Q / NQ Place
8161 Trek Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) 03558-03 Ellen Clary 42.22 37 Q 1

Sun Jul 20
Yoshi Herding
forgot his booties and decided to try it without them.  Poor guy shredded both large pads on his front feet.  He'll be ok, but he's tip toeing around for now.  Someone had some bandage wrap and we tried that with duct tape and he was able to work a little more doing penning.  I had put him on a long line so he couldn't run.  He did well at this but it's a shame to wait till he's hurting to do low speed, up close work

I'm not sure his booties would have prevented it entirely so I think it's time to get some very sturdy ones.

Ultra Paws looks good:

Either this one ("Rugged"):

or this one ("Durable"):

I'm not sure which one (and they're expensive enough to make me hesitate ordering both) so I wrote and asked:


During the summer in Calif. the ground is very dry and abrasive and
herding dogs around here have a lot of trouble ripping their pads when
they have to suddenly change direction.

I'd like to get some Ultra Paws for my super fast Corgi who tears his
feet up on a regular basis but I'm not sure which to choose as while it
sounds like he sound have the most rugged boot I still need him to have
a lot of dexterity.

Could you help me choose which would be best?

The we stopped by the Bayteam agility trial so I could pick up a ribbon from yesterday and do some dog watching (armed with cream cheese).  He did well at this but he asked to go home so we didn't stay long at all or get very close.

Sat Jul 19
Trek CPE Agility
(Will fill in)
She did ok, but needs to be taken off the AKC fast track, as she's still occasionally doing ring tours and sometimes stopping to sniff or find goodies.  So she's going to be a CPE dog for a while.  We could also do NADAC but CPE is more fun for us as more of my friends are there.

There are a whole bunch of CPE trials coming up but Terri and I have decided to get married at the end of Sept and we're going to have a small ceremony in the back yard, and the back yard looks exactly like you'd expect it if two speedy Corgis raced around it on a regular basis - in other words it's a bit of grass and a huge amount of sand and dirt with some resilant plants around on the edges.  So I really need to spend the next two months putting the yard back together.  She'll continue training, but I think trialing is going to wait till October.

Fri Jul 18
Teeter fear

Wed Jul 16
From a CU_Dogs_SF post I made:
Subject: Finding that threshold

Cathy (with Storm a Flat Coat), at the last workshop brought up a good
topic for further discussion that we didn't have time in the workshop to
fully flush out.

The question is: What if you dog doesn't seem to have a threshold? What
if the sight of a dog at any distance makes your dog react?

While Emma Parsons talks about dealing with "zero threshold dogs" (I
should have a reference but I don't have one at hand - check
http://www.clickertraining.com), I find they're pretty rare and that you
have to sometimes go to large lengths (sorry for the pun) to find a
distance a dog is comfortable with. But if you can find it, then that's
a place to start and to build on.

Cathy brought up the example of a distance of across a wide street
(Cathy correct me if I get the details wrong). Given that you are in
the South Bay I know that's pretty wide, but it's my experience that
even that wide is not enough.. With Yoshi, I had to start with very
large parks. Washington Park in Alameda (where we often are) features a
fenced dog park inside a large park. I can get 200-300 feet away from
the dog park fence which is fantastic, though in Yoshi's case I only had
to start at 150'. Once you have found a distance, know that you've done
the hard part and now all it takes is patience and time and a lot of
treats. You will get really good at judging distances that your dog
is comfortable with.

We were able to gradually shrink down the distance to the fence. Our
progress was delayed due to my impatience (shrinking the distance too
fast and causing a reaction). Only recently have we been able to go
back to walking on the sidewalks. I find that an ordinary "walk" is one
of the most challenging things we do and it's only been possible to do
it now with a squeeze tube treat of some sort, some well practiced
scanning for dogs on my part, being good at changing the direction
you're going, planning escape routes, and appearing calm even when
you're stressed. Who knew that just walking the dog would take so much
effort, but it's very rewarding when it works.


Went on a walk in the evening with Yoshi.  (Armed with cream cheese).  Again, with anything unusual occurring we would stop and eat.  About half way through our walk I spied a dog standing on his driveway with his owner.  Yoshi hadn't seen him and was just about past when he saw the dog and startled and barked once, but did not lose his mind.  I got the cream cheese in his face (calmly saying "Let's move along" and he immediately started licking and didn't pay any further attention to the dog.  The rest of the walk was without dogs though more than once baby stroller appeared which are fortunately not issues for him (but he was rewarded for being calm around them anyway.)

Tue Jul 15

Whipped Cream Cheese
Trek offers to try it out

I have a new secret weapon.  Instead of peanut butter, I'm trying whipped cream cheese, as peanut butter was getting to rich for Yoshi in the quantities that he eats it.  Today is his first day with it and we'll see how he does.

noon: Yoshi inaugural cream cheese walk, he seems fairly relaxed.  We don't see any dogs but there was plenty of rewardable chaos and more than one rewardable dog barking from their yard/house.  I've noticed that if you have a dog barking at you, no matter how intensely, if you stop and reward your dog, the barking dog shuts up.  So much for intruder alarm barking, we're sitting right there having a treat session and the alarmist dog has shut up.

evening: He did so well at noon I think he's ready to try a cream cheese dog park walk.
He did fantastic.  After 5 CU workshops, I think I'm finally learning to respect my dog's thresholds, and to incorporate reorienting into the process. 

When we got there a parking spot right at the gate was available.  It was perfect. We sat in the passenger seat and ate cream cheese while watching dog park TV.  The big dogs were only about 25' away.  Every time he tensed and stopped eating, I put the tube in front of him and he immediately started licking again.

After about 5-10 minutes I decide he's had enough and we start out on a modified dog park walk.  This time instead of starting at the small dog park side, we start on the large dog park side, and didn't get trapped in between the street sidewalk (which sometimes has a leashed dog walking on it) and the fence - the site of his last meltdown.  I have resolved not to push him so we stay 50' away from the fence and anytime he sees a dog he gets more cheese.  He's certainly more relaxed and scanning/stressing less.

Since we were further away from the fence, he seemed interested in walking along one of the walk ways instead so we followed the path over to the beach area and walked along the beach pathway (dog's can't go on the beach which is a serious bummer).  Part of the way down I notice that there's a leashed dog following us and I pick up the pace so they don't catch us as we can't move laterally because of a temporary fence.  Yoshi notices the dog but doesn't react,  The fenced area finally stops so we can then turn right to go back to the park.  I get some space between us an the other dog and we stop to eat cheese and Yoshi is ok even though he knows the other dog is passing by.

We head back to the park and instead of walking in the narrow section by the little dog park we just reverse our steps.  As we're walking along, a JRT walks by about 75' away with his people in tow.  We stop to eat cheese while they walk by, and reposition some as a pit bull in the park has wandered up to the fence (hence about 50' away).  Yoshi keeps eating and doesn't react at all.

Just as we're coming up to the turn for the parking lot, a loud altercation starts in the park, but it's mostly a human yelling NOOOO! at another dog who has jumped her toy poodle.  I was pretty rattled myself and had to work hard to not communicate my distress.  Yoshi didn't react at all.  (The poodle was  ok.)

This whole experience is bringing it all home to me.  Even though he's very doggy (well not so much now that he has Trek in his life), he really doesn't give a hoot about being in the dog park and in fact he finds it very stressful as he feel obligated to police every dog.  He's so much happier now that he's doing real herding and not herding dogs that don't want to be herded anyway.  At first I thought he wanted to greet every dog but it seems like it's more to size up every dog and to bully them if he could.  Now that he's not obligated to interact with every dog he may be relaxing around them some.  Hard to tell as he gets heavily rewarded for being calm and there's always the Clomicalm too.

Of course now as I write this, he's barking at invading boogy men (boogy people? bogies?), but I can call him off and he'll come to me.

Also took Trek on a neighborhood walk.  She's offering heeling and not dragging me around as much.

Sun Jul 13
Intro to CU
Yoshi was so good last night that we gave him the day off and Trek went instead.
It was a very successful workshop.  I took more time in making sure everyone got time in the box and that seemed to work well.
Trek got to demonstrate her excellent Whiplash Turn, and some Look At That which is a game I just taught her.

Afterwards I was inspired to work with Yoshi on his reorienting at doorways and that along with some whiplash turn practice and give me a break went great.

Sat Jul 12
CU Continued
It's all a blur, but I remember he did well.  I'll write more as it comes back to me.

It's coming back.  Trooper and he did There's a Dog in Your Face where separated by a ring gate we had the dogs on opposite side and one moved around and the other was stationary getting rewarded for not reacting.  We were both very happy with the result.  They also did some parallel walking and Yoshi wasn't worried about Trooper but he was concerned about Ozzie and Rex who were at the end of one of the paths where he had to turn around and head in the other direction.  Kienan says that I need to increase reinforcement at that point as that was a criteria change.

Thu Jul 10
Went and picked up "The Corg" license plate today from the DMV.  It's been almost 4 months, but I was just happy to get the plates finally so I wasn't complaining but the DMV employee I picked it up from smiled and said: "Took long enough huh?"  I asked what the hold up was.  She laughed and said "They [Folsom State Prison] were on lock down and not making plates."  That's great.  My pseudo bad-ass plate was delayed by the real bad-asses.  Take your time boys.  I'm not about to rush you.  And don't deliver it either please.

Took Yoshi on a walk.  We didn't see any dogs but he seemed a bit more relaxed - had his mouth open and was listening to me.
However after the sun went down he was reacting a lot to sounds from outside.  One time when he was really spooked, I held his collar tight and massaged him and repeatedly soothingly told him to relax.  He would start to relax and hear something and react stronger.  I didn't let go of him and he finally chilled out a little.

Mon Jul 7
The Dog Trainer Demographic
Just for fun I asked You Tube for the demographics on who's watching my videos.  It's classic dog trainer.  Well over 90% women and the majority in the 45-55 age range (an age range I've only just barely crossed into.)  With the predictable smattering of children looking for video of cute doggies.

The most popular video by far?  The World's Shortest Agility Career
That's what I get for the smart ass name.

Sun Jul 6
Yoshi Herding
Well Clomicalm certainly isn't having an adverse effect on his herding drive.  He's still possessed.

Still herding at 110 mph.  Though he certainly herds and this time we didn't have the onesy, twosy herding like we did last time.

He had his booties on his front feet, but actually tore a back pad.

After we did a portion of an AHBA Junior course (which I have on tape and need to edit), I think took the now hobbling dog into work on some low speed penning.  We successfully did one pen, and then it occurred to me that we could work in the sheep pen without the sheep.  As expected, without the sheep he was able to stop, sit, and stay as I waslked on.  We di this all the way across the pen and back.  I spoke to her about it, and she said that we need to find a way to teach him self control around motion.  Like have him stay at my side and I roll a ball or something.

Sat Jul 5

Finished Trek's Fourth of July video - here's the announcement:

Greetings Control Unleashed folks and fans.
I hope you all survived your Fourth of July with your wits, dogs and house intact.

Here's a short video of Trek relaxing to a fireworks display on TV from that evening:


Yoshi was actually in the room for a while, but got bored and left.

Let's here it for a semi-peaceful Fourth for us. 

Yes that old TV still works though its only job these days is to show a picture as the stereo does the sound and the VCR does the tuning. The dogs have requested a high resolution flat screen upgrade and an Animal Planet subscription.  So far their request has been denied. :)

And since it one of Fred Hansen's video's of dealing with an aggressive Corgi (Mix) matched Trek's video I decided to comment:

Let's see how long it lasts:

While you do get nice results, I personally prefer more positive reinforcement methods instead of the adversive of using an electronic collar.  It's more fun too.

This dog would have probably had excellent results with Control Unleashed.  http://www.controlunleashed.net

I have no financial affiliation with them.

Took Yoshi on a walk with him on his Gentle Leader, and me armed with squeeze peanut butter.

He barked at a dog right in the driveway but I wasn't prepared so just held him by his collar till the dog was passed.
Then halfway through our walk I noticed a GSD coming at us from way down the block.  Perfect.  Yoshi hadn't seen the dog yet so we had plenty of time to cross the relatively wide residential street and set up.  I kneeled down in front of him and took his collar and started feeding him peanut butter.  When the dog got into hearing and visual range he immediately stiffened and crained his head to look, but because I had him by the collar I could easily manuever the peanut butter in front of him and he started to lick it again.   He'd try to react (by now he could see the dog), and I'd say (a very neutral) "nope" and something like "here ya go" and mainline the peanut butter.  Despite his obvious stress, at no point did he refuse to eat for more than1/2 a second (such a Corgi), and at no point did he get a chance to lunge and bark  It was pretty funny.  "A DOG!! [peanut butter appears under nose] "A D-...Oh look peanut butter."  Lick Lick Lick.  "BUT THERE'S A D-... Oh look peanut butter.  Well if you insist." Lick Lick Lick  (repeat at least 2 more times).  Strangely entertaining I must say.

Fri Jul 4

From a CU_Dogs post of mine:

Solutions for tolerating the 4th.  Now it should be said that personal fireworks are illegal here which dampens them down a lot though there is still plenty and the public displays increase.  One thing I can absolutely say I've done right over the years is to leave the radio on during the day when we're gone. And we're not talking light jazz or classical, but rock (something with a beat), with a local radio station that doesn't have screaming DJs (KFOG).  This helped the adjustment of both dogs to city life as they're both from the relative boonies, and it made them less reactive to booming sounds - at least recorded versions.  In fact, recorded music is such a part of their lives now that it functions as a Conditioned Relaxer.

Earlier in the evening I put them both in the living room crates and I watched reruns of the Amazing Race which has just enough recorded chaos to cover up the outside booming (the living room speakers also have a subwoofer which also helps cover booming). 

One thing I found really telling is that I had them outside to pee and they were barking at the fireworks, but when I took them back inside, Yoshi decided to hang in the back bedroom with KFOG and Trek joined me out in the living room where I had a fireworks display with booming and
From thmusic on the TV and she actually fell asleep to it.  I made a little video of it though I don't know if it is going to turn out.

Now that things have died down some we've all retreated to the back area and have KFOG on.

Yoshi is on his Clomicalm, but not a benzo or herbal supplement, and Trek is on nothing.  Phew.

Thu Jul 3
Left a message with Park Centre asking about a dosage increase.

Spoke to Dr. Wydner later.  she'd like to see him at this dosage for 4 weeks (it's only been a week) before considering increasing it just to give it enough time to come up to full effect.  It's certainly not hurting him and he is a little better on it.

Later I had a conversation with Leslie McDevitt who mentioned that in the case of Panic, benzos like Xanax do well as the dog can still work and learn without tipping over into panic or being knocked out.

So I left another message to Park Centre saying I'd like to contemplate adding benzo at the end of the 4 weeks, if he's still panicking.

Wed Jul 2
Took Yoshi to Washington Park to see if he's different after a week of Clomicalm.  The result was that he is calmer but if a situation puts him in a panic (we got cornered by a walking dog and I just had to hand onto him by the collar while he had a melt down) he still very much is in a panic.  So he needs more time on the med and likely an (expected) dosage increase.

Poor guy - it's so sad to watch him lose it.  I just wish there was a way to let him know that a dog walking by is ok.  I've never anxiety/panic up close in a human or a dog.

The cool thing was that he was able to recover and do another loop around the outside of the park (and even enjoy it)

I uploaded Yoshi's most recent herding video from June 1st that Diane was nice enough to tape for me.

Demonstrating possibly the most inefficient herding style possible:


We figure that he'll slow down when he's around 12 or so. :)

Tue Jul 1
Took Yoshi on a noontime walk and then again in the evening. Still didn't see any dogs but plenty of other things.  I was pretty surprised not to see any dogs in the evening, but  figure the cosmos are giving him a break so I didn't push anything.  I'm thinking tomorrow would be a good time to take him over to Washington Park.  A dog barked at him from behind a fence and he barked back.  Once.  Cool.

Also took Trek out.  I've been getting sick of her pulling on her martingale collar so I put her on the Gentle Leader which I'm not sure she's ever had on before.  No pulling and she didn't freak out about the GL either (she got a lot of cheez-whiz out of the deal which seemed to help.  I do need to find a longer 1/4" lead as the 3' one I have I nearly step on her and the 1/2" 4' ones seem a little heavy for a GL.

Mon Jun 30
Took Yoshi on another noontime walk, but didn't see any dogs.  Plenty of other stimuli like baby carriages and other oddities, but he's not very reactive to those - though I still gave him plenty of peanut butter for watching them.

Walked Trek later.  She's not showing any ill effects from sailing off the teeter.

Archive - Go to:

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jun 2008
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - May 2008
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2008
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2008
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Feb 2008
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2008

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2007
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Nov 2007
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Sep 2007
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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
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Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2006
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