Yoshi Training Diary - March 2005

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

Feedback is welcome:

Fri Mar 25
I've been distracted with Cali being under the weather so having spent as much time training him.  I've left his dragon down on the floor since Cali hasn't been inclined to destroy it (though she gave it a good work over on Mon.),  he's been carrying it around with him some which is terribly cute, and I woke up this morning to find it with him on the bed.

Mon Mar 21
[lunch]  Squeaky toy session with both dogs.  Cali started to sulk because I wouldn't let go of the toy so she could go rip it apart.  In a huff, she went over to her bed and pouted.  Now I try not to read too much human emotion into dog actions but it seemed very much a sulk.  I finally gave in and tossed her the dragon toy which, after a significant pause, she cheerfully started to work on.  Yoshi in the meantime was merrily squeaking away on his.

Enrolled him in Beginner 2 obedience at Oakland Dog Training Club which starts Tues. April 12 at 8pm.

Working dinner using the clicker.  He was great!  The break seems to have done him good, plus he's had some more time to mature.  Being hungry certainly doesn't hurt either.  It was raining, so we just worked inside on a rug he likes (the lack of outdoor distractions was a help too).  Worked with the target disc and started to add the word "foot" to it when he stepped on the disc (and then a click/treat).  He's getting it though he still noses it too.  I keep wondering if I should just go with the nose touch, but I can totally see him accidentally doing a somersault while trying to do a nose touch at speed.

Then put the disc away and did hand "touch" (use the nose) and shoe "touch."  No problem.  He's really loving the clicker - it builds its own excitement.  Then worked on sit, down, stay, left, right (he remembers!), close, side, and some front.

Contact thoughts.  I am tending towards teaching three different contact behaviors for each of the contact obstacles and I hope it isn't confusing.  The dog walk is 2 on / 2 off, the A frame is running with a foot contact on a target at the end (when all four paws are on the ground), and the teeter is 4 on.  Hmmmm.

Sun Mar 20
Tried a click/treat working breakfast today, and he was enthusiastic - probably because he was hungry.
Did the table (sit and down), teeter, contact trainer.  Worked some on standing on the CD clear discs that make such great targets (they come with bulk CD-Rs).  I incorrectly was using the word "touch" which is his nose touch the hand command.  I hadn't woken up enough to understand why he was touching it with his nose first (good dog).  I have to decide what to call the foot touch.  Originally I used Target, but that's another T-word and it sounds a lot like Table.  But now that I think about it it really doesn't sound that similar.  If anything having the work "get" in there will be more confusing.  "Paw" means give me your paw, so not that.  Maybe "foot."  So to used Mo's N-O (new-old) way of changing a signal name it would be "target-foot" and fade the "target" part of it (see the Agility in Motion DVDs).  Or maybe I'll just drop the word for a little while and then add in "foot."

disc with "foot" seems to work fine.

Sat Mar 19
Did a walk with clicking and treating for attention and sitting at corners.  He did well though still barked at a passing dog.  I think he'll get the idea that it's a better payoff to pay attention to me that to obsess on other dogs.

I'm pulling up our kitchen floor and he likes to chew on pieces of it which is not a good thing.

Later he barfed his dinner and I have no idea if it was too many cheerios on the walk or the floor remnants or something else.

Mar 14-18
[mostly just coasting here]

Sun Mar 13
He's getting better about being around my feet when I have shoes on.  About a week ago I started clicking and treating him when he would touch my shoe with his nose (with me wearing them).  Today we worked up to my taking short steps near him and also encouraging him to come up into heel position.  Oh and I may not have mentioned that he'll work for cheerios.

His weight had gone up to 22 pounds and I was having trouble feeling his ribs so I've cut his food back to 1/2 cup 2x day.  He's down to 21 pounds and most likely should be just over 20 pounds.

Sat Mar 12
Not sure exactly what's telling me this but he's showing the occasional glimmer of maturity.  Maybe slightly less skittish, not quite as intent on the squirrels, very interested in toys, a little more willing to engage Terri or I, still quite barky but seems more easy to call off.

[this might have been Friday]
Unless I screw up and play videos of Kristine's cardi Rugby howling ("singing" - http://www.cardigan-corgi.org).  It was late and I just wanted to check it out and had the volume set really low.  Not low enough.  Yoshi (in the next room) went into pull the fire alarm barking and it took several minutes to settle him down.  The next day NPR did a segment on Music for Dogs.  The song about the squeaky toy had Mr Y. pacing all around the place, but the real fun was the incredible penetrating stare that Cali was doing when "You're a good dog" was playing.  To her, that means she's done something good and may likely get a treat.  The fact that it was the radio saying it didn't seem to matter.

Wed Mar 9
(Eek. Falling behind.)
Went on a walk at noon and he's still readily sitting at corners.
We walked past a concrete mixing truck and he was leery of it but ok.  Cali was with us at the time and that helped.
Cali soon after started to limp some so she and Terri turned around and went home.  Yoshi was not happy about this at all and took him at least a block to stop whining about it, but eventually he chilled out.

Since Cali is injured and limping, I took Yoshi to watch Power Paws class.  He did very well and seemed to enjoy himself including going over a full size teeter (with me damping the landing) during a walkthrough.

Tues Mar 8
Walk at noon.  He's sitting at the corners - sometimes without being told.

Last beginning obedience class.  Beginning 2 starts April 22.
He did great except for the end when the current Beginning 2 dogs came in, and he reacted with alarm barking and growling.  But fortunately he was easily enough distractible when I walked him away a bit and asked for and got attention and a sit.

Sat Mar 5
Went skiing at Royal Gorge and Patricia visited them.  No major problems.

Thur Mar 3
Rousing game of tug on the bed resulting in the toy in 3 pieces.

Wed Mar 2
Cali at the vet.  At lunch Terri threw a tennis ball for him and he brought it back!  She threw it again and he brought it again.  Pushing her luck, she threw it again and he went for it but then got distracted by a squirrel.  Usually when I have him fetch it's a toy as he never seemed all that interested in the ball.  I think it's more a deference to Cali's ball obsession.

Tues Mar 1
Terri took him on a walk at noon.

Class today - session 6 of 7.  Spoke to Elizabeth the instructor on the differences between Novice Dropin and Beginner II.
Basically the Novice dropin is for folks that may compete so they all have pretty much the same goal.
That's not true of Beginner II where people's goals are usually a better pet, or dogs that need more work.  That would imply that Novice dropin would be a better class for him but certainly the dogs that are in the Beginner II class right now would be fine, and since he's growling at them when they come in at our classes end it might be good for him.  In a sense the continuity is more important than what the class is.

Did great in class.  Even took the tunnel a few times.  I need to come up with a way to anchor my tunnel as its movement is what seems to bother him.

General class notes:
Started with stationary exercises (sit, down, stay)  He's of course popping up on the down.
Get into heel position and sit.
greeting behavior/not jumping up practice (doing well)
spent time on more selective rewarding.  don't pay for sit when you ask for a down.
Wait - make sure you reward the wait position and don't call them to you to reward - reward in place.
Agility practice
Recalls - adding distraction of people milling around and had to work around the agility equipment
Handout - Enabling a sitter to bail your dog out of the pound.
Take pictures of your dog and license photocopy and photocopy of other paperwork - put in an easy to grab envelope and store in car and house and other places.
Walking on leash with halts and sits.
Worked on watch (tough with him obsessing on the arriving beginner II dogs).  Put his Gentle leader on and he was improved.

Go to:

Yoshi Training Diary - Feb 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Jan  2005

Yoshi Training Diary - Dec  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Nov  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Oct  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Sept  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Aug  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - July  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - June  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - M ay  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - April 2004
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