Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - March 2011

By Ellen Clary (Copyright 2004-2011)
(reverse date order)

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Thu Mar 31
So the reinforcement zone predictably is a place where your dog learns to go to be rewarded.  A sort of "ready for action" position.  Fortunately this is something that we work on every day at every single street corner, and it's "By Me" which is sit on my left side.  Though when walking my dogs offer heel position on my left.  However they both still pull if allowed to because I do let them walk ahead of me, but when in a room off leash they usually find that spot.  Trek does but gets distracted by things on the floor (guess who needs to work on leave it.), Yoshi is distracted by the environment and other dogs.

One thing is that I don't ask for my dogs to assume that position when off leash so maybe that's something we should start doing.  It would be really easy to do.

Speaking of Leave It, Last night we worked on Leave It and Crate Games.  I videoed all 4 sessions but only have finished the Leave It videos:

Trek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylvn2rRKsHM

Yoshi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-iQOao9tnQ

It breaks my heart to see Trek's frustration but she does get it eventually.

They love my sandwich and really like rotisserie chicken and cheese and breat is nice too, hey they eat lettuce.

No time for a noon walk so Trek and I just played fetch with a toy.  Did a little bit of leave it since they completely forgot it in the presence of a sandwich.  She was chomping on me at first and then relented.

Yoshi walk.  We actually passed a slower moving dog by just walking out into the street.  We were just past a car width from the dog and this worked.

Wed Mar 30
I looked at my class area by looking at
logged in
It's not active yet but the titles include the reinforcement zone.

Doing some googling Reinforcement Zone sound a lot like what you do in Choose to Heel.  You reward the dog for coming to a particular space near you.
OMG I found this when Googling for reinforcement zone dog

Whole Dog Journal has an article on loose lead walking that talks about the zone and you can see some of here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=FNyYZDZQL0gC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=reinforcement+zone+dog&source=bl&ots=p0dqWt_NnS&sig=L3Vxd692kxbNhvF0vKIc8uHZua8&hl=en&ei=O4iTTYWFOe7ViAK6w7DlAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=reinforcement zone dog&f=false

And Mary Ellen Barry is quoted about it here

But off to walk a dog and work on our own reinforcement zone.

Yoshi's walk went fine.  I let two kids accost him and he did great (they were really good except for the charging up on scooters.
They were across the street, but suddenly turn and head right at us.
We start backing up.
"Can we pet your dog" (Mom is right behind them
"Yes but you first have to stop as he doesn't know what you're doing."
[Mom and I are amused]
Scooter gets dropped and they bend down to say hello and pet his side very nicely.
Yoshi did very well, Trek would have been more "Help me!"  Though with management she copes.

Saw a couple of dogs bing run by a person on a bicycle.  He got cheese immediately for that one as it's so unusual.

i have one more pre-requiste game to go over with the dogs and it's Susan's version of Leave It which is oh so important.
I should film Trek and I doing it because Trek is very likely to give me such a verbal thrashing about withholding treats.
Sit with a fistful of treats.  When dog stops pawing at you, open your hand.  close it when dog comes back.  Only reward them once they stop trying to get the treats.  It's similar to Leslie's version but a little harder.

Trek walk - more bicycles and some barking dogs but that's about it.

Training time!  Worked on a leave it game  and also did Crate Games.  Each dog separately and I videoed the sessions.  The leave it game has almost no talking so may need subtitles.  The Crate Games have more talking but you can't see that I'm tossing treats in the crates so I may subtitle that one too.

Did a preliminary version of the Leave It games without subtitles and uploaded it to facebook.

Tue Mar 29
Did dog nails today

Made a video of some lateral leadout work that Trek and I did over the weekend
It's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34O9K9X_hYA

It's in marked contrast to how she couldn't really do it at all today at class where she wasn't lateral at all.  It the video I was able to get two steps lateral but 3 was too much.  Today it was no steps lateral.  I'm glad I filmed the clips so i could put them together into a video and show it to Sharon.

So while class was fun and not raining(!), her head didn't seem to be in the game much today.  It's still muddy so I'm not running as hard which is likely affecting things, and it's possible I was putting more pressure on her too since she had such success in the backyard.

Did some collar grab training out in the backyard at noon today.  Also worked in a premack squirrel chasing reward for Yoshi for a collar grab which he seemed to enjoy.  I'd grab his collar with both hands say yes, thunk him on the side with my right hand and send him off to chase a squirrel in the tree.  Given that I've given him scruff shake corrections it's nice that he's not afraid of me doing that.  Tried the same thing with Trek, but after the side thunk send off she just stand there with a "pay up" expression (which I do).

Evening after class.  Remembering crate games.  I've ordered the DVD but I remember the basics from a seminar I took from Susan Garrett a long time ago.  My dogs are great at charging into a crate but they're not good at staying in it if the door is open.  So I used one of the mesh crates with the top open and just kept tossing treats in it.  I think Susan using a metal create though I don't know why given how cool the mesh crates are about the top opening.  If doggy comes out treats stop until they go back in.  Doesn't take them long at all to figure out this is where it's at.  I could move all around the room and as long as my throwing was accurate each dog was able to figure out how to stay in the crate even with the door open.

The other important thing is to counter condition the zipping or opening sound as the sound usually means charge!  (It sure does with my dogs and is a constant source of argument with them.)  I feel silly for not having done this before.  zip treat zip treat ....

I'll have to also work in her version of the leave it game which is pretty much just like Leslie's.

After seeing a few CU_Dogs posts with people having a hard time visualizing the exercises, I posted saying that if you're having trouble visualizing things then you really need to get the DVDs.

Mon Mar 28
I'd forgotten just how chatty the CU_Dogs list is.  I turn around.and 30 messages appear.  It will die down but not that much.

All this and I still have to finish those lists for Susan's course.

Reinforces to add

Trek walk. 
Spent time just letting her sniff things and see what she liked to do.  She's learning that "Sniff" really does mean sniff but she usually fakes it and looks to me for a reward.

Need to see if there's home work
No, these are the free (really nice) videos.

Here is the class area:

I really do admire Susan and what she's accomplished but it seems like she can never rest to keep things going.  I think I would be more trying to teach trainers and making them do all the work.  That's more why I'm more a Consulting Dog Trainer.  I like to train trainers.

Yoshi walk
6 dogs!  Mostly he did well.  I pushed him too close to one dog and he objected but that was my fault  (mostly).
Stopped to let 2 small dogs approach on the other side of the street to see if they were going to keep coming at us.  We watched them turn off.  While we were doing this a medium sizes fluffy white dog crossed to the other corner and commended yelling about us.  We watched them walk away.  Then while I was picking up poop Harvey across the street appeared on a walk and Yoshi started to bark at him.  Harvey is blind and so not reactive so I calmed Yoshi down and let him watch Harvey for a while to see he was moving slowly and not a threat.  Then a larger than average Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was walking towards us so we crossed the street and I didn't go all the way across but stayed walking on the street.  The other dogs bristled at us and Yoshi reacted so I moved him further away and let the dog go.

Then we were over at the school and were parallel walking with an older Cairn Terrier who was old enough to not be acting like a typical bark bark bark terrier  while we were doing that the Cavalier reappeared and across the street passage was entirely peaceful this time because I was thinking about Susan saying how it's much more powerful to teach do than don't so we were doing heeling with the Cairn and the Cavaler (2nd time) and it worked perfectly,  he didn't even really pay much attention to them and he seemed much less stressed.  I like that.  Saw a 6th dog blast by on a run and the only thing noticable about that is that years ago that would have sent Yosh on a barking frenzy and now he just noticed them and then let them go without a word.

Class time!
First we're doing some foundation work.  The first game has to do with making grabbing the dog's collar a rewardable behavior.  the purpose of this is to completely torpedo the you can't get me keep away behavior.  When I grab your collar you get a cookie.  It means that a collar grab is another game, it doesn't signify that the fun is over it's just different fun.  We just practiced it indoors and both dogs aced it.  What we need to do is take it outside, fir just sitting on the agility table with no distractions and then later with distant barking and then wair for a squirrel to appear (a much harder test.)

The next game (I'm doubling up to catch us up) has to do with having 1-3 people calling the dog's name once and when the dog comes to grab their collar (I say "yes" also) and reward them.)  Then have another person call them and repeat.  I've conditioned both dogs to greet people but they expect the reward to come from me so I was kinda pleased that they would look over their shoulder at me at first sometimes but after a bit both dogs were cheerfully coming up to Terri or Cathy (it's our DVD night so I had training victims at hand).  If the dog doesn't come repeatedly you don't repeat the name (they just don't get the reward) and someone else calls them.  She also has the dog on a leash if necessary and if the dog is completely distracted you move them to a less distracting place.  With ADD Yoshi in particular I often break the call once rule and it will be interesting to see if I can get improvement on his outside 3 second attention span.

Sat-Sun Mar 26-27

Backyard training with both dogs (separately).

First Trek working on her lateral lead out.  I need to measure how far I can get.  Currently, 2 of my steps laterally is ok (10'), but not 3 steps 12-13'
She's also funny about stay.  I tell her to stay and she sniffs the ground, the second I take a step away.  I'm not sure if this is a problem or not but it's clearly a stress reaction.  If I tell her to stay and remain there she doesn't sniff.  It has to do with my leaving.  And she doesn't sniff doing the backdoor stays:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ympV828nrcI

Then worked with Yoshi in the back.  I set up the jump and weave poles and the table is always there.  He was great but would get distracted, but I rewarded him each time he reengaged.  What's cool is that he's quick to reengage most of the time.  I think I'm now a higher value that I used to be.  I think those years of counter conditioning are paying off.  When a dog who is confined (i.e. no threat) barks at him he looks at me for a treat.  He still bristles at non-confined dogs but the distance they can be away is shorter.

Went on a walk with Yoshi and we went to the park and worked on Rally.  I found this cool part of it sort of behind the building so I can control how much of the rest of the park he can see.  He's never been there before so was having some trouble concentrating on the Rally exercises we were working on but he mostly coped.

Susan Garrett is offering a "5 minute recall" course.  She's done some excellent free intro videos here


Given that I've just about flown us both over to either Leslie or Susan the price of the course is cheap in comparison though the prices have gone up since the first one she did.
I had decided that I was going to sign up for whatever the top level was until I saw that it was $997.  Heck for that I can fly us to Canada so we went with the $397 level that gets us a course DVD.

I think I've recovered from one seminar of hers where I felt like I wasn't getting it and felt a little like a failure, but I no longer think that way and Susan's teaching is way different now and this is online anyway.

I even wrote an intro:

ellen said: Greetings, My name is Ellen and I have the somewhat infamous Yoshi the Corgi.
He is/was highly dog reactive and has made a world of progress with Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed and some careful supplementation, and years worth of counter conditioning.

He is now manageable on leash and competes in herding, but a solid recall would solve just about all of his remaining control-freak issues

I am very much looking forward to this course.

If you’re at all interested here is a video of Yoshi before Control Unleashed:

And here is one of him playing my version of the Look At That CU Game:

He has come so far, but I know we can go further.
I’d love for him to be able to compete in agility but that may be just a dream though he is my most talented agility dog (sigh).

Ellen Clary

I've let CU_Dogs_SF, coltsrunkids, and frapfest know about it and posted the link to Facebook.

Leslie McDevitt is nearly done with her CU Puppy book and she's going to be bringing back the main CU_Dogs list which should be fun though I already get too much email as it is.

3 lists for the recall class.


Reinforcers (highest to lowest)
Barking at squirrels
Barking at dogs (I don't think he's having fun though)
Barking at people passing by

running at or with dogs / herding dogs (not allowed to do)
herding sheep

peeing where other dogs have peed
peeing on trees
peeing on the grass
sniffing the ground/grass
rolling in something disgusting
rolling on an earhworm
rolling on the grass
Playing with / harrassing Trek

playing agility in the backyard

Eating treats
Playing fetch

Food rewards
she thinks I should list ever food
I don't have enough room but I do limit what he gets so it is possible

Highest to lowest
Bread/breadsticks/pizza/sandwich/anything I'm eating including lettuce
cat poop
dry treats - duck, venison
dry treats - charlie bears, old mother hubbard

Trek's list is similar but dog poop is pretty high up there (gack)
Trek's more of a fetcher that he is and she likes playing tug with paper:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyP5sVuHWnw

Fri Mar 25
Herding rained out - more umbrella walks

Wed-Thu Mar 23-24
Rain rain rain
fitting in the walks where I can some under the umbrella (me - the dogs seem to prefer being out away from it.).  Dogs are doing great with all the wet which is nice.

Tue Mar 22
Yoshi rainish noon walk
Trek actually had a rainy agility class and she did surprisingly well.  After Sharon lectured some on how small dogs often don't like to work away from the handler, Trek did some great work at a distance which Sharon was happy to see.  I keep bringing up how Linda M. might have handled something (vs what Greg D would do), but my knowledge is based only on what I've read in Clean Run so I need to find a better (well more in depth) source..

Trek's stays are iffy in the agility context or any context where I put her in a stay and walk away, except with a line up of dogs which Lori pointed out that Trek understands that means stay.

Mon Mar 21
Trek walk
Roofers, cool!  Wow they make a lot of pounding.  Fortunately I heard them way off and got a lot of cheese out.  And she was able to really focus and eat and not freak out at all.  She understood that if she was able to engage she was going to be rewarded.  She didn't particularly like it but she was very happy to eat.  I think we're really getting somewhere at least in this respects.  The roofers were across the street and we were able to slowly walk by.

Yoshi walk.  He met the new neighbors Eric and Renata and one of their daughters (whose name is escaping me)  while we were talking a Cavalier KCS and a wee dog walked by so we hid behind their van while we talked.  Then later one we saw the same pair of dogs sitting at a corner chatting with someone.  We paused and while it was clear they weren't moving anywhere we crossed the street and heeled by them which worked well.  Then we immediately crossed back and another dog (a lab I think) appeared and since we had plenty of warning I had Yoshi sit and watch the dog approach and when they got closer we started heeling.  He did make some guttural noises and I was able to remind him with a very gentle tug on the leash and that was very effective at getting his attention and reminding him what I wanted him to do without increasing his stress level and actually giving him some guidance.  It was doing a "correction" all wrong and it worked very well.

Sun Mar 20
I passed on the workshop and slept in.
Though the heavens parted for them so they weren't drowned which was nice.

Yoshi walk.  Nearly got penned in a couple of times and we were able to uturn and then heel out of it.
First time the LWFD down the street was off leash out side (which happens from time to time.  Yoshi saw him and barked at him (not very seriously) and I told him to stop but as we were about to head down the other side of the street from the dog another started to approach.  We watched them come for a while and when it became clear they weren't going to be turning down a side street we just turned around, but it was good for him to see a dog approach and it not be a big issue.

then going down Gibbons we see the Golden Doodle approaching and down Johnson a ways there is a wee dog coming.  Hmmm.  So we went down the other side of Johnson to let the wee dog pass.  Instead of sitting I had Yoshi heel this time as he did pretty well with it.  Once we were a house width down Johnson the GoldenD appeared and choose to turn down the same street but saved us the effort of crossing and went across the street themselves.  So we repeated the heeling bit and it seemed to work ok.

Sat Mar 19
Vallejo DTC AKC Trial in Dixon
It's predicted to rain all weekend and it certainly did.  fortunately only lightly in the early morning but it had been earlier and there was a fair bit of standing water and we sloshed our way to a Fast Q.  What I'm very happy about is that she was able to concentrate and run successfully even though the sounds of the timers were bothering her.    Her training is giving her skills to fall back on and I find this very encouraging.  I think this means that unless she's really having a meltdown that I shouldn't worry so much about her anxiety as long as she can eat (which she could.)

After that the rain started to get worse and my resolve disappeared, so after we got the ribbon and award (we were the only dog and hence first place and got a nice bag of treats, we headed home.

Later on they decided to cancel the trial on Sunday because the area will be under a high wind advisory and will be getting gusts of 25-50 mph which is enough to blow a dog off a dogwalk or A-Frame.

Tomorrow we are scheduled for an obedience workshop but the prediction for Hayward is "pouring morning rain" and I think being wet and cold for one day this weekend is enough

Fri Mar 18
Trek noon walk
Now she's eyeing the crossing guard with concern.  I came prepared with cheese and started feeding her a house distance away right before I knew the guard would whistle.  She had some very conflicting feelings she would eat but wanted to bolt but really liked the cheese.  During a non-whistling time we went closer to the guard and then further away around the corner and stopped again a house distance away and fed her again right around when the whistle blew.  She survived and still was willing to eat.

Yoshi evening walk
Saw an older Yellow Lab near the school and worked it so that they were following us.  Y barked once the first time he saw the dog, I gave him a mild correction and he stopped - since the dog wasn't really stressing him it seemed like a good place for a "knock it off" move. 

Saw a small dog walking a posturing at us.  We crossed the street and Y stiffened to yell back but I told him not to and he desisted.

Then later saw another lab who was also older and limping and Yoshi didn't bark at him

Thu Mar 17
Trek noon walk
Went over to say hello to the crossing guard and this one was new, and she blew a whistle which Trek was completely unprepared for (the one she knew never used the whistle)   The first time was ok but then it happened again and Trek was starting to shake.  I took her home and she was dragging me to the point that I finally decided to carry her instead of having to fight with her about dragging me.

Wed Mar 16
Yoshi walk - morning very mellow just wanted to wander and sniff - no dogs.

Trek Obedience Class.  So heeling in a figure 8 around Corgi Gage was fine but around the PVC clothing stand was weird.  Samantha Hazel's Saint Bernard who was just lying there in an expen was scary (was last time too).  This time I was able to eventually get Trek near enough to her to feed both of them treats.

There were other things she rocked on though.  Her recall fronts were awesome,  her recall stay is less so - though that's more of an exposure issue.  Her down stay is perfect and I can even leave the room briefly.  Her sit is find though after a while she'll want to lay down.  She'll be fine for Novice but will need some help getting though an open 3 minute sit.

She's more that willing to fly over a broad jump now with me recalling her over it.  Given that I want her to get through Rally Excellent before starting Open, I'm not real worried about her broad jump.  That said I have been working with her with the dumbbell as that skill takes longer to teach.  She can now hold the dumbbell and will retrieve it and hand it to me (without holding).  Hazel says that I need to be able to have the hold on cue and then when she comes in I can tell her to hold it so I don't have to race to get it from her before she drops it.

It might pour on Sunday.  If it does Yoshi isn't going and weather resistant Trek will get his Rally run

Tue Mar 15
Noon Yoshi walk.  White dog encounters.  Followed same semi JRT near the school and they went on and we went around the school admiring the chaos.  The caught up to and followed a medium size whitish short hair dog who didn't pay much attention to us until we got with in a couple of car lengths then doggy turned around and really looked at us.  We crossed the street and moved on with out any issue.  It was a good encounter as Yoshi was relaxed which was nice.

Poor Trek's class was canceled so she got a last minute evening walk with an umbrella.

Mon Mar 14
JRT on a cell phone and then another dog appeared and came right at us just as we had moved to let them pass by.
So we wound up doing some fancy street crossing

      <-- jrt
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   od |   |
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Yoshi handled this fancy dancing very well.

Sun Mar 13
Daylight savings time is here!  I can now easily walk the dogs after work now.  Hooray.
Yoshi is being barky despite his having a Pet Ease but he may be a little better not sure.

Yoshi walk -
1 dog on Gibbons - a lab
While we sat at the corner this dog crossed diagonally which was a bit usual but Yoshi was ok.

  od |  | us
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Sat Mar 12
NADAC Elk Grove (WAG)
Things started out rocky as her first class she was going back somewhat to her old stress behaviors stopping to skiff, being erratic, skipping contacts (the dog walk).  I think it was noisy (I had her with me for the morning briefing and she was shaking some for that) and I had put her "on deck" crate (It put her in a close by crate during the walk through since she was first dog) under the arena and the noise was making her unhappy and I hadn't warmed her up at all.

From notes I took there:
Classes: Chances (Gamblers), 2 Standard
She doesn't like under the arena at all even with no teeter.  Had her with me during the morning briefing and I was holding her and she was shaking a little but not having a melt down.  Chances - forgot to take her collar off and she was all over the place any way.  she would send out 10' but not 15' (Yes, NADAC makes Novices do this distace - it's their thing)  Near the end of the course, she skipped the DW and took a tunnel.  She wanted to leave so I let her take the final obstacle.

Then we had a break for over an hour while Elite and Open Standard ran (2 classes each).  Instead of letting her go back to the car right away, I pulled out a mat and first had her lay/sit on it, then she let me massage her and she relaxed.  I probably should get the Margarate Duffy massage DVD to get a little more precise.  I've learned a bit from Linda as Pawssage and from Cali's PT and a have a fair bit of human traing by others, but a good overview would be nice.  Anyway then after she relaxed I put her back in her crate

The thing is that if she isn't happy at WAG she shouldn't do NADAC, but she varies a lot.  Sometimes she's fine (see below).  One issue is that she's often first dog on the line, so I have to crate her briefly in the arena or near it and not really fully warmed up.  Things actually got a lot better when I moved the crate to under a tree to just outside the arena, just outside of Anna's care.

Then when Open was running did some fun warm ups and I put her in the outside crate while I walked the course.  This time she rocked and just nailed it.  And she did it again.  She now has her title and I find out that she did get a Q  way back in Jan 2008 but I don't really count that because it was just barely Qing.  So she definitely has her Novice NADAC Standard "NAC" title.  Now she has 4 solid Q's in Standard and if she never goes back to WAG then that's ok.  She really doesn't like echoing sounds.

Reg 1 Q-10 2nd place 3.59 yps
Reg 2 Q-10 1st place 3.85 yps

Apparently she already has her Novice title because she managed to Q in her very first NADAC trial (amazing - sure didn't deserve it), so these are actually her 4th and 5th Novice Q's.  In NADAC you could actually leave a dog in Novice and get 10 Qs for a different title.  I have a feeling she's done with NADAC but I don't have to make a decision right now about it.

I tracked down the Cardigan Corgi who beat us in Reg 1.  The dog is Papi and Dad's name is Seiss.  Papi is faster but less reliable as you might guess.

Fri Mar 11
We're now giving him a Pet Ease in the morning.

Yoshi herding.  More than 6 hours later and he's a different dog doing herding.  He's calmer, moves slower (almost too slow but Linda says he still covers his sheep).  He thought about reacting to Linda's sheltie but decided it wasn't worth the trouble.  He did charge the fence in the larger arena to snark at a passing dog, but I chased after him and actually go what looked like an apology from him which is different.  The impulses are still there in him, but they're not as strong.  We'll have to see how he does over time.  Used the flag and that seemed to work well and didn't freak him out.  Needs to work on staying further out but that's always the case though now we may be able to make some headway with it.

Thu Mar 10
Trek noon walk - fine.
Yoshi evening walk.  Saw two dogs at a distance but no real encounters.

I'm now stressing about Yoshi be actually entered in a real Rally trial. He hasn't even been in a match yet and he's not entered in the May 22 trial so I need to stop worrying about it.  while it would be great for my ego to get his RN he really doesn't have to do that, but I want him to have the skills (he does) and be able to cope in a trial situation (which matches will help with.)

Wed Mar 9
Yoshi morning walk
Kinda leisurely.  Let him just relax and sniff more since that seems to help him.

2 sightings at nearly the same time which was great
On Central.  Saw a senior GoldenX walking with her mom and Mom's young daughter.  The dog was actually off leash but no threat at all and Yoshi watched carefully but came to the same conclusion.  Walked with them for a bit and we all came to the corner and heard brief barking - not from that dog.  Looking closer I see that it's the Golden and the Chihuahua who we see all the time walking with their Dad.  Dad held barking Golden back and the GoldenX and her family moved on and after watching the whole thing across the street I decided to walk along with the GoldenX  They then turned off at the next block and we finished the walk without further incident.

Trek noon chaos seeking walk.   Saw a noisy mower, Went over to the crossing guard because I over reinforced visiting them and they ususlly have treats so now she drags me to them but still finds the metal stop sign (yes it's actually metal just like the street stop sign) kinda scary and she hadn't met this guard before so was a little stand offish but I told her to say hi and she went up a nosed him and immediately came back for a treat.  Ah well.  She'll improve.  Then went around the outside of the school.  Got to walk by the kids in the garden area and then two developmentally disabled kids going on a bus who were making sounds she'd never heard before.  Then back home and didn't drag me which was nice.

Obedience Class.  Both dogs.
They both have a match coming up and for the next two weeks I want to bring them.  I wasn't sure if having both there and switching off was going to be a mild disaster so I was a little concerned but my fears were unfounded.  Trek did the majority of the class and I switched in Yoshi for the heeling and he didn't freak at all.  We walked in carefully and I fed him cheese and joined the heeling dogs when there was an opening.  He was able to focus, knew his job, and was not a swivel head.  I carefully kept him away from a potentially reactive Shepherd who had been looking at all the small dogs in the class as small morsels.  I'm very pleased and am slightly hopeful about the match.

I now remember I had given him a Pet Ease.  For short term stress situations this has served him very well.  I gave it to him just before driving to the club and he wasn't brought out right away so it had about 1 hour to take effect.  In my experience it only lasts the length of a class, but I'm now realizing that the class transistions are the most stressful so it's perhaps unfair to say it wears off then.  Pet Ease is again mostly Chamomile (45mg) like Quiet Moments but doesn't have B1 which made him a stress case.  The ingredients are:

Nutri-Vet Pet Ease
Chamomile  45 mg
Hops 45 mg
Ginger root extract 35 mg
L-Taurine 20 mg
L-Tryptophan 10 mg

Trek did well.  She didn't like sitting with her back to Samatha Hazel's very sweet Saint Bernard who was in an expen right near by, so I let her do recalls a few feet away from the usual spot.  Like in agility her stay is flakey so we worked that into the recall.  I would walk out aways turn around and reward her for staying.  Also when I was about to call her ("Trek Front"), Hazel had me wait a moment to get her to stay a bit longer.

Dumbell: about the same as before.  She'll hold it if I have my hand under her jaw and she'll hold it for a little while if I let go.  Hazel says I should move slower when telling her to release it.  And of course she'll happily fetch it.

Stand for Exam is improving and didn't do a little happy dance when Hazel approached.  Sit stay I had to encourage her not to lie down (which seems the most natural thing in the world: While I wait I'll just get more comfortable.)

Jump.  Most of the dogs were working on retrieve over the high jump but Trek is working on Rally so I asked if we could do a heeling with a jump.  Trek of course is a bit enthusiastic about the jump and charged ahead the first time.  the second time I went slower and got her attention better and it work much nicer.  I don't blame her since just yesterday we were working on driving ahead on jumps.

ODTC's trial is Sunday May 22.  With luck I'll be able to enter both dogs in Novice Rally.

Tue Mar 8

Yoshi noon walk.  Still have developing a structure in mind but the circumstances where more along the lines of dog finding.
Caught up to a LWFD across High St.  Yoshi looked pretty hard at the dog and I called him and he reengaged with me.  Walked with the dog for about a block.
Then we went down Mound St and the Goldendoodle was out in his yard while his Dad worked in the yard.  GD  "Cooper" is large enough to hang his paws over the fence so we crossed the street towards him at an angle.  Then stopped and sat and watched him bark (nicely) at us while we were 20' away (counting sidewalk sections here.)  This was right at Y's theshold but he succeeded at it.

Trek Agility Class
Yoshi Agility Class watching

Mon Mar 7
Yoshi morning walk.  The correction experiment - do corrections make any difference?
Fountain St. near Santa Clara.  There's a GSP who often comes running up to his gate which is right near the sideway, but he rare barks but does run up to it and then stands there.  He is with in 6' of the sidewalk so he's close but very much behind a gate and just standing there tense and watching.  Yoshi notices the dog charging up and bark at him.  I give him a standard collar jerk correction.  I get him back for a second and he turns around to repeat the process.  What worked?  Distance.  Even more than usual because he's now all jacked up.  He did start playing LAT but I didn't treat him for it since it was too close to him misbehaving.
Dog #2 a Shar Pei across Central.  Yoshi has walked a block and calmed down some.  The Shar Pei is across a wide street but uncomfortable and staring.  Yoshi is really trying to do LAT without reacting and he succeeds.  Given the attitude of the other dog i don't think a correction would have been a useful thing here as this didn't fall into the "Yoshi just being an asshat" category.
Dog encounter #3.  We're nearly done and I see two wee dogs that we've seen before coming right at us.  We cross the street and sit and wait.  The wee dogs are bouncing along just like prey and Yoshi starts to snark.  I pop him and he suddenly resets and starts playing LAT.  Did the mild correction make a difference?  It could have, but he was mostly under threshold.  This time I did reward him when he started to behave.

Trek walk
Went down High St for some traffic noise.  It was windy so she heard a lot of wind chime which really used to bother her but every time I hear one she gets fed so she's improved with food and exposure.

I think I can now start developing a real reactive dog training methodology.

For a correction to be effective. The dog has to absolutely know what the correct behavior is.  Simply yanking on a dog who hasn't been taught another behavior is not really fair though I'm sure I've done it too.  A correction may make you feel better, but it might not help at all.  Certainly with my dog there's a possibility for the resent me for the correction to be transferred into "Offset Aggression" where your dog blames another dog for their misfortune. (Stereotypicaly: Boss yell at you and you go home and kick the dog.)

Using the dog's stress level is an excellent measurement of how well a training method is working.  Unless putting the dog under stress is a part of the training like it is in CAT.

Sun Mar 6
Yoshi walk.  I'm of the opinion that it's time to find out if corrections really work at all on him or not.
It appears to come down to does he know what he's supposed to be doing.  It's tough as it's such an emotionally loaded thing.
You really have to have a criteria for him to follow and he absolutely needs to know it in order follow it.  Only then is a correction justified.

Today a small dog approached with a kid on a skate board.  While we were crossing the street he was starting to bark and lunge and me of short patience picked him up by the scruff and placed him unceremoniously on the sidewalk across the street he was whimpering and stressed here but recovered.

Then standing on the corner of Gibbons and Lincoln saw a lab who he barked at and I took a step back but refrained from correcting him to see what he'd do.  He turned around to me.  Good boy though I didn't give him a treat for that but it's nitce to see the default behavior kicks in eventually.  Hmmm.

We then parallel walked with the Lab for a couple of blocks and then they went on and we went down Central to walk down Broadway.  Then things got interesting (to me).  Almost to Santa Clara we came upon a dog rounding a corner (actually there were a couple of them we later noticed).  I U-turned.  See saw the dog barked but went along with me and the further along we went the happier he got.  So creating distance does make him happy and his herding dog "You much be apprehended" thing seems to be a conflicting drive.

Later he was in the windows and barking at a dog.  I grabbed him and held him away in a position still on the sofa but facing away from the window.  He whines, barked and complained for much longer than if I'd let him see the dog go away.  Interesting.  It's almost like I should teach him to watch the dog go by, but I'm not sure how to do that without him barking and thinking that had something to do with the dog going away.  The thing that would solve it is to have a shill dog appear and stay on the lawn until he quieted and then the dog goes away (in the "CAT" style).  Anyway like a person his imagination makes things worse which is interesting because if he can't see a dog initially he is less stressed.

Sat Mar 5
What a doggy day.
Started out with Joan and Murray coming over to do some CU training.  Murray is a great dog and Joan has done a lot of work with him but he worries about other dogs near him and Joan worrieds about off leash dogs.  We worked some with Trek around the house and then went up to the Skyline Gate of Redwood Park as there is no shortage of inadvertant volunteer dogs and there are numerous escape routes.

Took both dogs over to Elf's and had one of those weird incidents that hasn't happened in a while where Yoshi pins a dog down and snarls and screams but that's it.
CU_Dogs _SF post
We had an incident last night that I wanted to ask others about.

Last night, I was over at a friend's house and I had both my dogs with
me and she has two dogs (both medium sized - one a BC).

Since it was night so we really didn't have time to do introductions in
the backyard, but they met through a barrier and Yoshi was iffy enough
that we decided to keep the dogs separated while we made dinner.

Then completely by accident (you can see where this is going), a door
separating the dogs got opened. I didn't entirely realize that the door
led to the other dogs and I realized too late and by the time I said
"Grab him." he was out and charging at one of the other dogs. The other
dog (a very soft female BC) cowered and cried and Yoshi had pined her
down and was making these horrible snarling sounds.

When I got to him I immediately grabbed him with both hand by the scruff
and pulled him off hard (I am not nice to him in these situations and he
instantly goes limp.)

But he hadn't bitten the dog. Deeply upsetting that it was (dogs and
humans) - it was all noise.

We took the dogs out and did some work on leash work (indirect circling
approaches and walk bys) to help cool off things off though the BC was
not happy and didn't go any near where he was crated from the rest of
the evening.

How common is this I'm wondering. It's like he has what he wants he has
the dog under control and not moving, but he's pumped with adrenalin and
doesn't know what to do with all of it. He also has conflicting
drives. He wants the dog to go away, but he also has the herding dog
"must control, must stop" thing going too.)

On the drive home I realized that he's done this before with Trek 3
times while he was on Clomicalm before I took him off of it.
My next door neighbor's reactive Husky would do this to the BC she lived
with also.
What I omitted is just how peeved I was at him and definitely corrected him firmly.  But the back of my mind was still working out where a correction just made me feel better or whether it actually changed his behavior.  Jury still is out.  It appears to depend on whether he's above or below threshold

Fri Mar 4
Walkies walkies.  Yoshi and I went a different route because it was dusk and I wanted to stay away from trees, parks and raccoons.  Such a pain either dog is when on unfamiliar ground.  WHAT'S this smell?! and this and this and wow what about this...  Though it occurred to me that while he's doing that he's not scanning looking for threats so maybe that's a good thing and I should indulge him more.

For the second day in a row Trek had to cope with a very noisy street sweeper (different vehicles each time.)  She did great, and it's not like I need her to be used to them just not trying to bolt when something like that is around.  This one was large so we actually ran by as it passed.

Thu Mar 3
Trek noon walk.  Went fine worked on some Rally.  Did backing along my neighbor's garage door which she started when she backed into it (since she backs at an angle away from me, but on the 3rd time was able to do it well.

Yoshi on the other hand really doesn't get Back unless I'm in front of him.  Worked a bit on Rally on the wide sidewalk beside the school, but the big news was that he had two very positive dog encounters.

Both had moments that were potentially surprising and he chose to trust me each time.

First was as we were on Lincoln approaching Versailles.  A very large lumbering Newfoundland who lives in the immediate neighborhood appeared walking down Versailles.  We were within 1/2 a house width of the corner so we backed off one house width.  Yoshi barked once did not lunge and followed me and sat in front of me.  I had called his name once and interestingly enough had the school marm hand raised index finger pointed in the air pose and said sit.  I didn't mean to do that, but it worked.  There's even a caricature of Victoria Stillwell doing that it's so stereotypical.  It's like Yoshi had something to focus on.  He still played LAT on the Newfie which was fine.  The woman walking him said something containing the word good and was smiling.  So I said something along the lines of "Let's test this out." and we parallel walked with them for a block.  Then we turns around and continued our walk.  I thanked them, though I'm sure they didn't know what for.

On the other side of the school we were looking at a wee dog barking at us from the second story of a house across the street when I realized that a dog and person were walking up behind us.  We walked on ahead quickly until I found a place I could cross the street.  Then we parallel walked with them for 2 1/2 blocks.  That dog was a medium sized short hair dog (pretty much a classic "dog" if you will).  Pretty mellow and didn't seem worried about Yoshi.  We got up to Versailles and Central a moment before them and waited for them to walk by when I realized that they were walking right at us.  The dog is clearly not reactive as the owner doesn't have that automatic space creation habit that owners of reactive dogs have (same poles of a magnet repelling force kind of effect.)  Fortunately I saw this in time and we backed off 1/2 a house to let them pass.  Yoshi was amazing about this.  He seemed to trust that I would make things right and that the cheese was better than the mellow dog.  The attitude of the dog clearly has a huge influence too but the main thing is to have an established routine when you see a dog,  U-turns place a large part.  Also my attitude makes a difference.  The more steady I am the better he is.  The more tense I am the worse he is.

Wed Mar 2
Pretty uneventful dog day.  Both walks went smoothly.  Worked with a right hand finish with both dogs.  I'm further along training Trek, so Trek and I did a couple of right about turns (dog goes around to the right and handler turns left which is completely loopy, but looks impressive.  Trek can do a perfect front from heel position now without me taking a step back even though that's allowed in Rally and never required in Obedience.  What's nice is that she understands what "Front" is though sometimes she will target my hands instead of sitting directly in front and looking at my face.

Tue Mar 1
Yoshi noon walk.  One dog 3 houses away and across the street and heading away.  It's nice to see him actually being under threshold.  He watched the dog but that was it.  Also said hello to Ray.

Trek agility class
Sharon has started work on the lower field so classes will entirely be in the upper field for a while.  Did a lot of table work and sending out to a farish jump in a pinwheel.  After spending some time describing table run bys we tried one and Trek did a full 360 watching me before laying down so she said that maybe I should just put her in the down and then move off to the next position.  Works for me.  In the send to the far jump of a pinwheel I was stopping short and she took that to mean turn around but once I took another step (and stopped talking to her so much) then she did great.  Throwing a toy as a reward helped a bunch too though if I do it too soon she skips the jump and runs for the toy.

She also did some excellent lateral weaves with an off course jump in between her and I (distance was around 15').  There was one moment during a cross where my momentum nearly made me fall but I was able to run enough to get my center of gravity back above my feet, though when that happens it always feels a little strange you're just about to fall, but have a choice whether to give in to the fall or try to catch up to the momentum.

It was chilly tonight, but I had brought one of the puffy jackets and wrapped her up into it sometimes.  She may not be real familiar with the concept of jackets, but she seems more than happy to learn.  I have her wrapped up in it again and she seems content.

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