Tue Jun 30
Trek Agility Class.
Such mixed feelings. She is brilliant until they start working on the contacts.
Then she can do one but the exposure to the sound of other dogs doing
the equipment makes her just cower and shake even with a thundershirt
on which helps some. I put her in her car crate and then she
won't come out again until the class is over, and then 5 minutes past
that. Then we spent time over with Carol and she got to eat lots
of yummy treats there, and then since the next class was still on the
other end of the field I put her over it once which she did
cautiously. Then I tried it again and she was not interested at
all but go part was up and I lowered it just to get her over it.
I'm dropping all sorts of treats on it.
She also didn't want to do the A-Frame, but was ok with the dog walk
probably because she could see it from the side and knew it wasn't a
teeter. I think next time before I leave I'm going to give her a
calming supplement to see if that helps.
I'm feeling guilty about torturing her but I'm going to give it the fully 6 weeks to see if she improves at all.
So I'm home with a cold and am feeling well enough to do a little
experiment and record it. I took a metal baking tray and am
sitting on the agility table with it. Just moving it makes her
stress. Taping it makes her flinch but less so than the
motion. I recorded that, and have now given her two Pet Eases and
will wait about 30 minutes and then try again. Then I'll do the
same thing with a Thundershirt on her.
So we did this I'm not sure how much the Pet Ease helps
her. The Thundershirt and the regular shirt help but the best
thing is for her to take breaks and work it out herself.
Encouraging her more with food only works so far and she shutsdown
[Break for Mt. Shasta]
Tue Jun 22
It occurs to me that "bye" is already taken to as "By me" means sit
beside me. I like the one person who tells there dogs "go around"
and "the other way."
Of course "Round" is also taken (turn around)
The multidisiplined dogs - I'm running out of terms that make any sense to me.
Wait a minute. "Flank" would work "flank" and "away" and hopefully they don't sound too similar - maybe "flank bye"
Trek PP agility class
Trek hates me right now. I had to drag her out of her
crate. The she recovered and did well for the first part of the
class that wasn't on contact equipment, but when we moved to the
contact area she started to melt down. I did get her through the
course twice and then stopped. The second time I had to beg her
to do anything on wood and even had to do the teeter on leash.
Jim had a good suggestion of having her do a trick like spin and then
run and do the A-Frame which actually worked.
The first part of the class she did great on and was fine with the rear
cross drills and her weave poles are fantastic. Even during the
scary contact part she did perfect weave poles. I'm hoping she
gets used to this. I'll have to coax her out of the crate with
So I have two dogs both of whom would rather herd ducks than
anything. While this is not at all what I planned it's nice to
see them succeed and be happy doing it.
I'm leaving for Shasta tomorrow and Terri has the dogs for the next few days. I need to tell them to be nice to her.
Mon Jun 21
Yoshi Walk. Lots of dog sightings - all positive. Often I
just stopped to feed him when we saw a dog - I didn't always insist on
playing LAT. One particular situation had a Cairn Terrier across
the street which we walked nicely past and then a lab appears on the
same side as the Cairn and the Cairn started to bark and Yoshi didn't,
he just played LAT.
Also saw a dog at Gibbons and Lincoln across the street which was fine
and as we walked home the dog followed us and crossed over to our side
of the street. When we got to our house we hid behind my Scion
and I let him watch the dog for a short while them as they got closer
covered his eyes and then let him see the dog retreating on the other
Sun Jun 20
Terri and I walked both dogs.
Yoshi is more reactive and tense around Trek but he did ok. I
showed Terri how to hide behind a car and feed him if you get stuck,
but the higher valor is to turn tail and go back to the previous side
street and go down that 3 house widths and let the other dog go by,
rather than risk a confrontation you get the amusement of him looking
over his shoulder going "Monster." (As in: there's one chasing me.)
Trek was fine, but totally under foot (mine). I encouraged Terri that walking them separately is a really good idea.
Sat Jun 19
Set up a little circular pen holding nothing, and introduced them to go
bye and away. The go confuses them so I may get rid of it.
Go means go in a straight line to them (Trek was looking at the mini
fence asking if I really wanted her to jump it..
It helps if I say "Out" in front of the cue (since go and come are pretty much already taken) and a push out hand
signal. Maybe it should be "out bye" and "out away" or just "away." Whip smart Trek is already getting it just to be
annoying. Yoshi is less sure but he's getting it. I'm told
that I have to have stock in the pen for it to be effective but I really don't need to own stock, so I'm hoping they at least get used to the verbal cues.
Fri Jun 18
What a great doggie day. Did both herding and agility.
Both dogs had fantastic duck herding lessons with Linda. She uses
very biddable Call Ducks and it was more a matter of me avoiding
stepping on them - which I managed to avoid doing so with effort.
And each dog was mostly very respectful of them and didn't treat them
like the moving dog toys that they must resemble. This was Trek's
3rd time on the Calls and she did great. This was Yoshi first
time with ducks at all and he did very well and I was very happy with
him. This means that if I choose, both dogs have a herding
future. I much prefer this dilemma than neither dog liking it. I
think because of money and time and the fact that I'm just learning,
we'll just keep training Yoshi. Trek is happy doing whatever and
I had her doing a little herding to help her confidence, but she
doesn't need confidence help with Calls. Maybe with the larger
Indian Runners and Geese, but not Calls.
I'm just happy that Yoshi seems to like the ducks and is interested in herding them.
With fowl you have to start out at the trial level so this is going to take some practice.
Today was Trek's last agility class with Rachelle which I'm sad about
but Yoshi can continue if he wishes. Today I noticed he seemed
much more at ease at the ranch than at agility. Unfortunately the
class times are being rearranged so i won't be able to continue on a
regular basis but on the once a month Friday that I take off so that
one of the dogs can work with Lori Yoshi could go especially because it
will likely be Trek that goes to Lori's lessons for a while now. I
think Trek is going to be going to be at the Open level. I want
to get her trained through Open before I put her in the ring.
Both dogs enjoyed running the courses and Trek did a great 3 jump lead
out that included a tire. Yoshi is often a little weird about
tires but with cajoling he did this one. I'm going to give Yoshi
a little while back at agility class before deciding if he really hates
it. He is markedly more relaxed in the herding environment.
The last agility class at 7:30 is in two weeks. Trek's Power Paws
class starts next week, but I may put it off a week since I'm doing
Thu Jun 17
Trek walk got to met someone in an electric wheel chair and she did
great. Went around the corner and there was a couple of people
playing catch and the sound of the ball hitting the mitt was way more
stressful that any wheelchair, though she was able to eat around the
ball play but still stressed.
Yoshi walk. Had a barking fit at a couple of labs crossing the
street near us and coming towards us. Started out great and then
they got too close and I didn't have food out to hold his
attention. However after that he did great and we even walked to
the vet to get more pill pockets for Trek. He was very watchful
but did well and even stopped at a local bar to say hello to folks.
On the way back I had two dogs coming right at us an instead of
crossing the street we just went into the street and placed a parked
car in between us and the dogs. Riskier since you're in the street
and if your dog reacts you have cars near you, but it worked great this
Did some more obedience work in the school playground.
Both dogs herding ducks tomorrow - looking forward to it.
Wed Jun 16
Trek - fine.
Yoshi many (around 6 or more) dog sightings all good.
Did some obedience work with Yoshi on the painted school playground.
Tue Jun 15
[will fill in - it's written down on a piece of paper somewhere.]
Mon Jun 14
Dog walks. Obsessing on Stop for both dogs and they are both
getting more solid at it. Trek I can tell to stop walk away and
do a utility routine (spoken cues with the signals so not the whole
thing.) Yoshi is now pretty good at Stop and Down not as good at
Sit but I'm not sure I care. He usually sits on a Stop
anyway. Trek knows the difference and will remain standing for
the most part. With Yoshi I worked more on this in the backyard and off sheep he's really getting it.
A friend said her herding trainer said that Corgi's are apprehensive
about laying down probably because they are afraid of losing the
sheep. That might be some of Yoshi's issues but I haven't been
able to get a reliable stop so he more gets downed If I
could get him to Stop I would do it.
I've arranged for a lesson for them from the duck's owner on
Friday. Trek will have a good time but I'm really interested to
see if we can get Yoshi intrigued. Yoshi may have to switch over
to fowl and while he's been on geese once he hasn't been on
ducks. I'm hoping he can learn better skills with the fowl and
then maybe go back to sheep though that's a huge leap. I think
regardless he will try for the rest of his PT in Sept as he's
ready. There are two trials pretty close together and I'm
wondering whether to enter one or both of them. Probably just
one, as that would be two tries for one leg. I'll have to ask
around which one to enter.
It's official! Trek is now in the Tues Power Paws agility class.
I have something scheduled tomorrow so she will start next Tues on my
birthday. I've sent Rachelle email saying that she's switching
and could maybe Yoshi have her spot since things appear to be working
with him in the class and he seems to be having a nice time.
Sun Jun 13
She did it! Trek got her HCT with me driving. Fortunately
in HCT they can coach from the sidelines so I got a lot of help.
She did grip a duck and I did hit her with the stock stick
(lightly). She immediately released the duck (now that I look at it she released on my voice first) and startled
completely disengaged and ran off a short way, but I was able to get her back with out a lot of
begging. What's really cool is that she has a stop and she was
able to look back and retrieve one duck that was behind. There
was an amusing exchange between me and the ducks' owner who was also my
sideline coach (and is also a judge). She said that you're not
allowed to hit the dog because the public doesn't like to see dogs
hit. We both agreed that it was ironic because the public doesn't
like to see a dog biting a duck either.
They tell me that Trek could do well at this with with training. I don't
know as test levels usually don't have ducks so we'd have to start at
the much harder trial level. Though interestingly enough both
dogs can train at this level. This would not be cheap
I did make a video and after some consideration I've decided to include it here:
Keep in mind that this is essentially her 2nd time on ducks.
Sat Jun 12
Trek AHBA Trial
Well Trek made it clear she doesn't care at all about sheep. I
could get the sheep to follow me (they'll come along with me - all I
have to say is let's go sheep in a happy voice) but she wouldn't even
come along unless I kneeled down and called her.
The judge asked it we wanted to try ducks instead and I immediately
said yes. I've had her on the ranches indian runner ducks but
these ducks are the smaller (cuter!) Call Ducks and she really liked
those and with the judge's expert handling (get close, but not too close)
she Q'd. The judge is allowed to help at the Test levels.
I've asked if maybe we can squeeze Yoshi in to try HCT ducks, but I
haven't heard back Unfortunately no because they only have two sets of
ducks. and Yoshi can't go back to HCT since he already had his
JHD. HCT is not a stock specific title. JHD is though so in
theory if offered he could do a JHD on ducks. I could probably
talk them into doing it if i wanted to.
Trek won a really strange curly coated stuffed toy pig that Yoshi has cheerfully stolen.
Fri Jun 11
Agility class for both dogs.
Trek did well and Yoshi seemed to enjoy himself too. Trek has hit
her stride again. Let's see if trials don't mess it up
again. Her next one is Bayteam July 4th weekend (just Saturday).
Yoshi's first two runs went well though he's of course tentative.
The third run he was more distracted and even popped his weavepoles to
go see the donkeys though I was able to call him back to weave in the
other direction. I still don't have him jump near where the other
dogs are even though they're in crates/xpens.
Oh no! Bad news. Super-Corgi Porsche has a partially torn acl and
Debbie's consulting with surgeons to see what the best thing to do is.
Thu Jun 10
Today out in the yard I blew the herding whistle
I thought both dogs came until I realized that Trek was running past me to go hide in her crate. Sigh.
Trek dog walk fine - I lured her out of her crate with cheese.
Evening Yoshi dog walk. He did really well. 3 dog
encounters all across the street (one I crossed the street for.)
I was feeding him cheese so he seemed particularly attentive but if a
dog had really bothered him I could have been holding anything and he'd
still bark. But in all cases he looked at the dog and then looked
back. For the first dog since it was smaller terrier like dog I
started feeding him immediately without asking for a behavior. He
liked that a lot. Leslie does this in her DVD so I no longer
hesitate doing it. Scary dog? Let's eat.
Dumbbell work with Trek. She'll hold it but is a little tired of
the game so i need to switch it up more. I sometimes have her
retreive it which breaks things up.
Wed Jun 10
Trek still wouldn't come out for noon so Yoshi went instead.
She went later.
Dumbbell work inside on a Yoga mat and it went fine. Yoshi will even hold it for a little while.
Tue Jun 9
I'm realizing that Yoshi likes his cue's more sharp or louder and to
get away from yelling at him I should consider switching over to a
whistle, so i get it back out and start back on getting a reliable
sound out of it. when I first got it I spent enough time to
figure out how to make it sound and then put it away as a fun toy, but
not something I'd use. Now especially with sheep or even just an
ordinary recall it could be useful.
Yoshi really likes the whistle. Sound sensistive Trek on the
other hand hates it, and went and pouted in her crate and wouldn't come
out for a walk at noon though she did later.
Dog walks: fine.
Dumbbell work for both dogs. I think the wooden one is too big,
but it was nice to see it in comparison - I'll see if I can sell it to
someone at ODTC.
Trek is starting to learn Hold. I'll hand it to her and touch the
bottom and top of her mouth to encourge her to just hold it. It's
working gradually though she still wants to spit it out.
Mon Jun 8
Still bummed about how Yoshi still is not calm and doesn't listen when
he's around lighter sheep. I can get him to calm down if
we're all not moving, but as soon as they move he floors it. He's
so good at keeping sheep together, but if I can't control him it
doesn't matter. If he was around sheep every day then he'd likely be able to work through it, but not twice a month.
I'm remembering how good he was with Judy Vanderford (name used with
permission), and how good he's been with other people. I clearly
need to take myself out of the sheep picture here. I'll do the
fowl and goats but he's just a nut case around me and lighter sheep, but he may not need to do sheep.
I think it's his fear kicking in He would be fine out side the
pen but inside he would just bark, though interestingly enough he was
ok in the larger pen with the slower sheep.
What I can't figure out is whether he still likes sheep or not.
He's really uncomfortable with light sheep but the slower ones seem
ok. Maybe we should go in the larger pen and completely ignore
the sheep and see how he is, or am I just making him miserable. I
don't think, so as if he's not happy he won't engage. He actually
gives the goats calming signals, so it's pretty clear when he's not
It's interesting the way he is with fearful sheep is the way he is with
fearful dogs. Really really pushy and somewhat aggressive.
He stops listening and he charges in instead of gathering. So
competition-wise he has a couple of PT runs (4 if I choose since the
shows are close together in August) and then that's it save for Judy
Vaderford's mellow trial sheep, unless he changes which doesn't seem
terribly likely. If he never did sheep again would he miss
it? I don't know, he seems really interested, but it could be
anxiety I can now tell the small round pen isn't going to work
anymore, save for going in and doing nothing. Maybe i should have
an animal communicator talk to him. I did this several years ago
and what I really like was that my belief wasn't required for it to
provide useful information (it's very freeing to not have to agonize
about an imponderable) and it's not that expensive. Though I do
wonder how much they pull from your own head instead of the dogs.
I'm really hoping I can get him intested in goats again. And it's
going to be fun to see if he will herd ducks. Fortunately there
won't be any fear issues with ducks and I'll be very careful about
which geese he sees. In the meantime we're in to rush for sheep
as the GSD trials aren't till August and I know he can Q now even with
Dog walks both fine.
At some point in time I should start bringing Trek to Wed night ob
class, but there is a lot of training I can do here so no rush there.
Sun Jun 7
Both dogs went herding today. Trek really wanted to go so I decided to take her along.
Yoshi spent his first session screaming at sheep in the round
pen. I didn't even let him off but instead just sat with
him. Then gave him a break. The sheep were puzzled but
happy he wasn't after them right then.
I then put Trek in briefly and she sort of walked around with me and
the sheep - not really herding but may be enough to pass - don't
know. I took her into the larger arena but the sheep never
settled down and we left which is funny because she's so soft but she's
a bit darker in color. But the trainer's dogs are dark and the
sheep don't seem overly disturbed by them.
Took Yoshi back into the round pen and he was just riling up the sheep
and one crashed the fence (which is what got him kicked out at the
other place with sheep) so we switched over to the larger arena.
He actually did better in there as he was able to round up the sheep
and we could do some moving of them. He still has trouble
stopping but when the sheep are calmer so is he. Worked some on
the walking down the fenceline problem of him peeling the sheep off the
fence. If I keep him on the side of the sheep instead of letting
him go all the way behind then things work better.
In response to the trainer's usual lecture about Yoshi needing to have a down on
recall, I got to cheerfully demonstrate his fantastic off-sheep down on
recall at 50'. (He looses his mind around sheep and doesn't listen but with no sheep or dogs around he's great.)
Convinced, she changed the plan to more long line work around sheep.
He's such an enigma.
So I'm still back to what should his performance future be?
can get him to just chill out around sheep then he would be
great. But it's been years and he's still not really calm around
them and to go to the trial level the sheep are usually lighter and
less sane. He's crashed sheep into fences before and he's not
really getting how not ok that is. It's probably time to start
him working ducks.
Ducks take a lot more control, but he has it if he's willing to work
them. I'm hoping he decides that goats are ok as he does so well
with them. He has the skills to get that last PT leg and that
might be a good time to end his sheep career. I suppose we could
wait until the Corgi herding trial though they won't have one for a
long time. But after all that typed I'm thinking it would likely
be really good for him to learn how to relax around sheep, but it's not
that urgent. And it would be good for Trek's confidence to do a
little herding too - we'll have to see how she does next weekend at the
trial which starts at 8:30am sharp.
Just heard that it's ok for Yoshi to continue to attend agility
class that is another thing that should help his
confidence. I just won't run him when we're on the lower field
which is over threshold for him when the other dogs are around.
I think we'll let Yoshi do the agility class and learn to herd
ducks. Trek will get the agility class and get more serious about
Open obedience. Yoshi has earned a break from obedience.
Sat Jun 6
Couldn't resist doing a Facebook update:
Doing mat work with Yoshi while I work on the computer. It's a
fantastic off switch when he's decided to bark at everything outside.
Except when he can't stand it anymore and leaps up barking because it's
an EMERGENCY! I call him back to the mat and he does this pathetic
(but really funny) crying, which means he's going to do what I ask but
it's really, really hard.
Dog walks. Took Yoshi through the park and looked at a couple of
dogs from a distance which was totally fine. Walked right past
the Tibetian Terrier at the corner of Central and Fernside. Yoshi
started to lunge at the dog who was behind the fence, but I quickly
stopped him and then he seemed happy to eat. The Tibby was really
intrigued by the food, but i found that he mostly just wanted to be
petted which I did through the fence. This was a great and safe
way for Yoshi to deal with a type of dog he usually doesn't like.
It was really sad that the Tibby was so starved for attention.
Maybe I'll go say hello more often. The park itself was way busy
with screaming children and skateboarders. Yoshi did great, but
it would be Trek's personal hell so i didn't take her there, though she
did come with me down high street to check if the theatre box office
was open for Terri.
So I'm rethinking future plans for both dogs. If Yoshi decides he
likes agility class it might be really good for him. Some limited
dog interaction and he can work on his agility skills. Given that
Trek is moving to Power Paws at the end of summer then he could have
Trek's spot since the class isn't full. I'll have to check if
this is ok with Rachelle but it sounds like it is and she knows that
Trek will likely be leaving. This might be more fun for him than
continuing obedience classes. Trek will be happy in the obedience
classes and she's already working on open skills like dumbbells.
Yoshi and I will continue to work on herding sheep calmly (and will
continue this tomorrow - mostly let's walk down the fence line without
pushing them off the fence), and of course stopping when there's sheep
around. I don't think I'm going to take Trek as I want the sheep
next week to be a surprise. Though she does well in Joyce's round
pen so I'm not sure, Trek like's being with me through whatever though
she has her definite limits. Of course, now I want to take her.
Fri Jun 5
The weather at Shasta was rainy and icky so I actually drove home today
and was able to take both dogs to agility class. We put the dogs
away when Yoshi ran and I fed him a lot during his runs. He
actually did ok. Knows the obstacles but of course is a little
tentative. Almost agoraphobic in a way. He did start to
leap at one dog and I immediately collared him. After seeing
Leslie McDevitt's DVD I'm way more free with feeding him.
Fortunately he's lost that 1/2 pound he'd gained. Unfortunately
he appears to have given it to Trek so now she's going to get 1/3 c
too. Trek ran well too though was a little tentative at first
because my attention was split. I set up one crate and covered it
when Yoshi was in it. He still sometimes barked when a dog was
near but it became less so during the class. I may have Yoshi in
class a couple of times a month as it would help him to focus, but I
have to keep in mind that this is Trek's time but I'm having her herd
so it seems fair.
Off to Shasta
Tue Jun 1
While I am disappointed that Yoshi is afraid of the goats I have to
keep in mind that the goal is to have him calm down enough around sheep
since he knows he can move them. I also want him to work ducks
though that may not work.
Tempting to try the thundershirt but it would just get sheep poop all over it.
I'm going to Shasta this week and when I'm back it will be Trek's HCT test, then after that we can maybe work on it.
He will be in agility class on that Friday before.
It's tricky. He's calm enough with HTrainer2's school sheep, and it a bit too energetic with HTrainer3's.
He mostly needs to learn to walk a fence without peeling the sheep off
so I think that means lots of fence walking with HTrainer2's sheep.
Yoshi walk noon. Mostly just worked on Stop and Sit etc.
Trek walk evening. Went down High St which is mildly busy without a thundershirt and she's so much better these days.
Thundershirt has released more before and after videos and while it
pains me to watch the before one as the dog is so over threshold, it is
impressive to see the dog calmer with it on. I put it on Yoshi
for a little while tonight I had to give him a stuffed kong to keep him
from trying to take it off, but he definitely was calmer with it on.