Yoshi and Trek
Training Diary - May 2009
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
Our You Tube Video Archive is here
the human's blog see: The Non-Dog Blog
Non-Dog Blog Table of Contents
Sun May 31
Saw 2 dogs but black labs one was quite close (just across a small
residential street, but sitting with his/her people and Yoshi did
great. The other one was moving and bouncier though further away,
but Yoshi lept up a couple of times growling. It's pretty funny when
people make [cute in this case] assumptions and the resulting side
conversations with one's dog it prompts. I've wrestled him
into a sit twice and he's holding it together and the other owner (with
some other folks) have noticed. "Aww, he's learning, what a good boy!
What a good boy"
To which I privately say to Yoshi "Learning my a*s. You Stay."
To them: I just smile and nod.
I've seen a lot of comedies like that. I should look for the hidden camera.
I put the Gentle Leader on her and while she wasn't happy about it she
didn't perpetrate any drama like throwing her face onto the lawn or on
strangers legs, that both Yoshi and Cali did when they wore it.
She just walked like a normal dog and stopped pulling pretty
quickly. One thing I did different was use the regular leather 6
foot leash and didn't put it around my arm but just over my wrist which
meant I didn't have a hand free (essential for Yoshi, not so much with
her) but that was fine and I had an extra foot of leash which meant
that she and I could walk quickly without her dragging me. I
should try the more usual leash and martingale collar with it just over
my wrist and see if that makes a difference. I can bring the GL
with me and put it on her if need be.
Sat May 30
So I took her on a different walk just to see something different and
to maybe keep her from dragging me home (it she keeps doing so she's
going in a Gentle Leader). So I took her to the nearby Lincoln
park and that was probably a bit too much maybe. The thing that
stressed her out the most was the active handball court. She wasn't
thrilled about the occasional baseball hit or the kids voices but it's
mostly the percussive sound. Now I have to figure out how to work
on it. The the last block home she tried to drag me and it took
forever as I would stop each time. Then I just started calling
her name and we pretty much heeled home.
At home I put a drum solo and cranked the subwoofer where I could
definitely feel the beats and she stayed comfortably curled up under
Terri's chair, which like her crate is her safe zone (I even
later made sounds on a mandolin and a drum and she was ok - iffy but
ok. After telling Terri that she had to come with us to agility
from now on I went looking for something else. Played drop the
tennis ball in the living room and some fetch and then switched to a
squeaky toy for some fun fetch. I don't know the way through this
Yoshi on the other hand will immediately come out of the window when I
call him. He did lose it once and I did make the beeping sound
and he immediately stopped. It's so effective I feel kinda guilty.
I shortened one of Yoshi's herding wands and also got out a couple of
riding crops that I've been hanging on to. One of them should do
well in herding.
Fri May 29
I'm bummed that HTrainer3 doesn't want some great video of her and Yoshi
available publicly on You Tube. This means that I have to go
back to handling him since I want to post his training progress on You
Tube as well as here. I do have it listed as private so I can
grant individual access to see it for those who are You Tube
members. If you want to see it let me know and I can grant you
I wish I could make it clear what a gold mine the free advertising on
You Tube is. Not that I make any money on it, but people have put
great promo vids on it.
So I need to watch the videos of HTrainer3 carefully to see what she does different.
One thing i notice right away is that she waves the stick to get him to
switch directions and doesn't bother switching hands (I think which
hand is more a style thing). Her stick is also shorter and that
makes a difference. She also moves around a fair bit, but there's
not a lot of wasted motion. And the sheep break away from her
too. I have video of wacko sheep headed right at me, with Yoshi
hot on his heels (in that case, Yoshi should be called off to let the
sheep return on his own.)
He's a lot calmer around her and I need to figure out why that is
though he wouldn't sit for her initially last Sat either. We had
to put him away for a little while and when he came back had him drag a
Reviewing it again. He's running the elements of a JHD course.
He's still going fast and herky jerky, and she sometimes lets him
circle all the way around and then makes him change direction on the
next time around. She lead out but only about 50 feet. Not
nearly the same distance we've practiced. She moves quickly when
she needs to move, I need to eschew the high top boots for lower top
He circled wide a couple of times before they headed off. He
caused one split by crowding the sheep and coming on too hard.
Got a perfect training opportunity. When we hit Central a Little
Grey Fluffy Dog was walking on the other side of the street and heading
slowly in our direction (still on the other side of the street. As LGFD
approached I had him sit and watch. He vocalized some but
maintained. I let them get past and then we walked along with
them for a couple of blocks. He held it together though when I
thought he was about to lose it, I would interupt him with a word, or
collar pull (not a correction) or a word - though words alone don't
always work if he's starting.After the interruption, he would happily
reengage with me. It was definitely dancing on the edge of his
threshold, but he did it and did it quite well, and miles different
than how he would have been even a few months ago.
Thu May 28
Something but I forget what. Oh yeah.
Yoshi is afraid enough of the beep that it doesn't have to be on
him. Just near him. I can just leave it on the
coffeetable. Trouble is that he won't go in the room then unless
he on the inside of a crate. Well, he's not screaming at the
Wed May 27
Trek walk. they were stripping a roof off and tossing it into a
truck. True to form, it was ok for a little while then all she
wanted to do was get away. I carried her 1/4 of a block but she
still wanted to drag me till we'd reached 1/2 a block away. Then
she was ok but in the last block wanted to drag me again and we took
forever to get home as I stop every time she pulls on me.
Yoshi Rally Class. He did great. No reactions at all save
for a single growl and that was very brief and more to himself than
anyone. It's too bad that this will be his last class with these
dogs as he's now used to them, having the continuity of the same dogs
week to week helped a lot and also having it only be 6 dogs helped a
lot too. In contrast the obedience dropin class can have 10 or
more dogs and the dogs will change (though a lot stay the same).
Also Rally is a good skill for him as he's pretty good at it. The
next class is Excellent Rally and that's beyond his skill level but
Hazel is encouraging us to sign up and she says we can do it all on
leash. I'm vasilating as it is more money than just doing drop in
but the stability is a nice thing.
For sits and downs I did two things different. (1) I brought one
of his mats for him to sit/down on (it's funny though he kept wanting
to down on it.) and (2) I put his citronella collar on him though I
never had to beep him but he was aware it was on him. Eventually
I'd like to be able to tether him and be a distance away to see the
effect of the beep though if a dog doesn't come in he's very good about
Linda Mecklinburg Awesome Paws Handling System
I want to get more information on APHS beyond what I've read in Clean
Run but the only thing I see (besides jumping on a plane) is a video on
demand 6 hour lecture that I only have access to for 48 hours for the
mere price of $175,00. Not. I love video but the whole
point of video is that I can replay it over and over again. I
would pay that price, but it has to be for something I can keep.
Tue May 26
Yoshi walk uneventful
As we were on the sofa watching TV while it was still daylight I put
the tone collar on Yoshi and he sat in the window and I watched with
the remote control at the ready. In general he was very
responsive to his name when he would bark and we let him just vocalize
as long as he kept his head (it's really, really obvious when he loses
it.) Then he saw something, likely a dog and launched into a
torrent of full body barking. Yoshi. YOSHI!. I
pressed the tone button but didn't hear it and wasn't sure it worked so
I pressed it again and suddenly he broke off barking and lept
over from one sofa to the other to me (I did hear it this time.) Wow. Wonder if I can
keep it that effective. He smelled a bit like citronella so I may
have pressed the wrong button, but I'm pretty careful about it, so I
don't think so and he wasn't soaked in it. (No biggie though if I
did hit the wrong button. That's the cool thing of it not being a
Mon May 25 Memorial Day Holiday
Yoshi in the window with the spray collar on. I need to remember
to not test the tone with it on him if I want it to be an effective
aversive. At first he wouldn't even go in the window with the
collar on, but eventually he couldn't resist. I was in the
kitchen keeping an ear out and he started barking. "Yoshi."
Barking. "YOSHI" Still barking. I hit the tone button and
he immediately stops and comes to me. Good boy have a goodie.
20 minutes later I'm at the table in the front area (which shares a
space with the Living Room) eating a bagel and I have the remote with
me. Y's up in the window and he starts barking. "Yoshi."
"YOSHI!" (I'm just about to reach for the remote.) He immediately stops
and comes to me and a reward him handsomely.
I'm hopeful that I can just use it as a tone only collar. That
would be cool. Though it's not horrible if he gets sprayed - it
just means wherever he is gets scented with Citronella.
For now I'll just use it only in this context. I'll have to
ponder if it would be helpful when we're out and about. I think it
would be too much to handle appropriately if he's attached to me (and
I'm good at handling him when he's attached to me.) It might be
useful when working off leash in class (I don't currently have him off
leash at all right now). Maybe on sits and downs but he's
learning the tone means come to me, which may confuse things.
Have to think about it.
Sun Mat 24
Got the Spray Commander Citronella collar out and refilled it, got it
working, and fitted it to him. I let him walk around with it but
he's quite cautious with it on. It has a tone option and I'm
going to use it to work on his Living Room barking fit behavior.
I'll use it as an extension of what we've already been working on.
He starts barking in the window and the order will be: Yoshi, YOSHI, Tone, Short Spray, Longer Spray.
The tone is intended as a remote click but he's already conditioned to
YES and it works well and the tone startles him so it will be a great
Trek walk - willing to go past more wind chimes without dragging me and will sit near one and eat treats.
Sat May 23
Derek Fisher (who Marion tells me used to live at Willowside Ranch) was
holding a clinic in the main pens (and the open field) so we were in
the pens up on the hill, which was fun as I'd never been up there.
Yoshi, like a lot of the dogs wouldn't sit or stop for long so we
gathered him up and put him away for a while. When we got him
back out he was much better behaved and did ok but needed me in the
pen. Crazy sheep was there and tried to crash the fence again,
but fortunately I was able to step into his/her path and slow them down
and avoided a crash though Yoshi then raced off after another
one. I even have part of this on video but not sure how I could make it into something understandable.
For the next run she decided to switch to slower sheep and that made a
big difference and was able to do the basics of a Junior Herding Dog
run, without me having to be in the pen at all. Good boy.
Trek is now down to 25 pounds and eating everything in site. I'd
like her to be 24.5 pounds but I don't want her to be ravenous so we'll
increase her food to 1/3 cup per meal and see how that goes.
Fri May 22
A Dog Day.
took Trek to the eye dr. The measurement in her dry eye is still
holding at 6. She's so funny. She's finds the waiting area
too noisy but loves the quiet exam rooms and as long as they rub her
belly they could do most anything. She didn't want to come out of
the exam room. Such a silly dog - most dogs are the
reverse. Of course at the regular vet she might be more typical.
Then it was Yoshi's class with Lori. He was a reactive twit at
the beginning with both me and Lori, then he settled down once he
figured out those dogs weren't going away. He was great until
after the class we were talking and a poodle walked in and I had to
tackle him. I'm pretty frustrated with him I must admit.
When I got home I took him on a walk just to remind me that he's better
out doors. He fussed about one dog but coped. I've decided
that before I take more drastic measures (prong collar or Ecollar),
that I really really work a routine with him that we follow de
rigor. When someone (animal vegetable or mineral - ok not
mineral), approaches, he sits and stays until they're past. If he
looks at me he gets rewarded but he has to stay seated. this is
for people, people and dogs, people on bikes, skateboards etc. (not
Trek agility class
She did a teeter! Cool. I had her get on it and then let
her hop off but beforehand I let her have a bite of steak that Terri
had cooked up. The next time with me standing fairly far away she
jumped right up and went past the tipping point and I fed her steak
just after it (I helped it lower.) She ran a bit slow, but did all
the obstacles which is a nice change from the past 3 weeks.
Too bad she has a 3 week break (Rachelle is in NY next week, then I'm at Shasta the week after.)
Thu May 21
Yoshi noon walk. Saw two dogs.
The first one was one he say first as the dog snuck up on us as I don't
always remember to look behind us. We were crossing the street
and he started to growl lowly and walk stiffly. I didn't see
anything until I looked behind us and saw an Aussie walking along
pleasantly with his mom and a stroller. They were about 1/2 a
street width and less that 1/2 a house width away. Now I don't
train while standing in the middle of the street, or more correctly I
don't play LAT in the middle of the street, so I told him to Leave
It. He came along with me (after I pulled on the leash). but was
still fussing and looking over his shoulder but wasn't having a
meltdown. I repeated Leave It stronger (but not yelling or
shouting), increased my speed, and pulled again. He quieted and
came right along. After a quarter block I looked over my shoulder
and saw they were starting to go in a way perpendicular to us so I
stopped him, told him to sit and stay, and let him watch the dog.
He was able to do this but sitting was very difficult and I had to keep
repositioning him but he did get it.
Second dog was a GSD approaching across the street that he again saw
first. He started to fuss and I was wondering why he was fussing
about two people on our side of the street approaching. Then I
saw the GSD at nearly exactly the same position on the other side of
the street. I sat him and told him to stay. He barked twice
while sitting. Stood up (no lunge, no struggle, nothing like he's
been in the past). I sat him down. Stood up. I sat
him down again. He stayed and was able to cope and eat treats
while the dog passed. I know somewhere in there I did minorly
correct him with a leash pop, but I never raised my voice (kept it at
veiled threat level which seems to work very well with him for things
he can handle), so the correction didn't raise his anxiety like it has
in the past. The generalization appears to be he is fine with
appropriate and fair corrections as long as it's not something that is
making him anxious. Otherwise a correction just helps create a
complete doggie meltdown.
Current dog research. Finding current research on dog pack
dynamics which is based on scientifically based observation is really
difficult as every google search is buried under a lot of dog religion
or theories based on older research People observe a
behavior in their dog and naturally want to explain it, but given
current research it doesn't appear that dog packs have nearly as much
structure as we think they do, so while their observations are obviously
valid, their elaborate explanations may not be correct. Dog
hierarchy may come down to: How bad do you want something and are you
willing to argue about it in order to get it even though fights are
generally to be avoided.
Here's one email I wrote about it (edited): The context is
younger dogs not wanting to run through their pack to recall to their
owner. Their theory says that would violate pack order since
young dog is supposed to be at the back. I say that young
dog may not want to run through a pack of herding dogs because the pack
is, well, herding dogs.
Finding current research on dog pack order is just hell because there's
so much crud vaguely based on older research.
The wolf pack structure was researched in the 60s and 70s and led to the
80s, 90s dominance theories for dogs.
More current research has noticed that (a) wolves don't live nearly so
peacefully at all and (b) feral dogs are nearly anarchists in comparison
This article (that also appeared in ADPT's publication) notes that who's
in charge of a certain resource in a domestic dog pack is very fluid and
depends on how much dog A wants something.
I'd love to see any research that shows if dogs even know what the back
and the front of the pack is and if it has any significance.
It might be more that both dogs know the harzards of
past herding dogs. :)
Wed May 20
Trek noon walk. Again took her near the school. No kids out
so it was just the occasional banging of the chains on metal. She
still didn't like it but was able to cope since it was only
occasional. Then kept walking and would go through period of
trying to drag me which usually meant there was some metal on metal
sound that she didn't like. If she started to drag me I'd stop
and she'd come back and get a treat. Eventually we got back home,
but it took a while.
Yoshi Rally Class. He did much better than last week. Hazel
had asked me to insist more on his attention instead of letting him
look around when he was working and doing that seemed to work.
More of the: remind him to keep his head thing. His only slip up
was trying to lunge at a passing dog in a moment where I was untangling
the leash during a transition time (I think sits had ended and a dog
was changing position). I grabbed him and I unintentionally
rolled him (on his side - I was just grabbing for a body part and wound
up with a handful of his flank) and he suddenly relaxed. This is
amusing as I don't even believe rolling has any effect at all and I
think it was happenstance, but it still is ironic.
I also brought his mat and he was able to down on his mat and even
though we don't spend a lot of time doing mat work (or enough in my
mind), it really seemed to make a difference in keeping him calm - I
also petted him and massaged his neck which he enjoyed and he even
flopped over on his side for a short time. For sits and downs I
should also remember the mat though he did great with them even though
this time I just had him in line with the other dogs and not set apart.
Every time he lingered on a stare I gently told him to leave it and he
reconnected with me. Sometimes I would also pull on the leash
(also gently) if he seemed to need it. For the most part he
wasn't terribly stressed. Did whine some when Scout the Husky
came close, but later desisted and was able to do sits and downs with
Scout next to him.
He did a run through and did great and was able to work with other dogs
sort of near (10-15'), also was able to participate in a line up of
dogs working on going over a jump.
Mon May 18
Trek walk. Walked her over to the school and I learned something
important. Her sensitivity has much more to do with the metallic
sounds (e.g. chains hitting metal) and percussive sounds (e.g. balls
bouncing, dogs barking in enclosed spaces) and maybe not so much
screaming kids though they are a factor too.
Sun May 17
CU Streetwalking Session
They'll be four of us working one dog at a time with a non-reactive dog across the street.
We'll start with Jack the stuffed JRT I have. If that doesn't get a response then we'll use Jesse or Trek.
The main point of this is to find each dog's threshold and under what
circumstances (other dog approaching, standing, looking, ignoring,
walking away) and what makes things better for the CU dog.
It went very well and we all learned a lot:
A post to CU_Dogs_SF:
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who showed up for the Alameda CU
Even though it was weirdly hot for Alameda, the breeze mercifully picked
up and saved us all from cooking.
We learned some surprising things about our dogs and I'll give those
involved some time to post about their own dogs.
My dog was of course 1st in the Be a Jerk class, but even his outbursts
were generally brief.
Jack the stuffed JRT made his debut.
We put a leash on Jack sent he and a "handler" (me or Terri) across the
street and stood there tugging slightly on the leash to make him move
The handler would also move Jack around to various places when the CU
dog wasn't looking. We'd also spend time petting Jack or talking to
him. I couldn't resist working on his great Stay. Sit and Come still
Except for Yoshi, none of the dogs paid him any attention. As you might
guess, my neighbors are amused.
The JRT stuffed dog was bought to help Yoshi who has some sort of
persecution complex about small whitish dogs (among others), so it's no
surprise that he stared very hard at it, and it's nice to know that
we'll be able to do more work using Jack in that regard - We carefully
made sure Yoshi never got very close to Jack, but given that he treated
Trish King's stuffed Dobe like it was a real dog, it probably doesn't
I now know that Yoshi's threshold distance increases when the dog across
the street is excited and bouncing as opposed to just walking normally.
With a normally walking dog his distance is one residential street width
and one Alameda house width. Bouncing dogs increase the distance by
another house width.
If you're thinking of having your own street walking gathering, here's a
few things we noticed.
- Consider having the gatherings at several different locations. Expect
the host dog to be among the worst behaved since you're on their turf.
For some of the dogs simply being in a new place with new smells filled
up the brain cells quite nicely and seemed to have a calming effect (too
bad that doesn't work with my hypervigilant dog).
- Make note of any of the surrounding conditions. Things that made our
session unique were that it was (a) on a relatively quiet residential
street (b) kids and the occasional bike or scooter would pass by (c)
cars were moving only about 30 mph or less (d) we do have some barking
neighborhood dogs and (e) it was hot.
- Have more than one non-CU dog of differing sizes. If they can do a
stressor on command that helps. In our case, Trek can bark on command,
and we also had a bouncing adolescent (which she comes by naturally).
- Have different possible routes back to the start point
- Have a way that CU dog can retreat if necessary
- Do one dog at a time
- Have fun, make it a low key party.
General approach that I used was:
- send the non-CU dog and handler across the street and have them just
stand or sit there in plain view about a house width down.
- bring out CU dog, and let him/her notice the dog - if they choose not
to that's ok too, but generally they'll be playing LAT.
- then depending on the CU dog, have the non-CU dog move around - walk
up the street a few houses then turn around and do the same thing
- at this point you can do whatever you like. non-cu dog could run, or
do tricks, parallel walk, optionally come to the same side of the street
and have then stand closer.
- we didn't have the dog's meet, you can choose to, but dog greetings
usually need more lateral space than a sidewalk as arcing non-direct
approaches work best, so it's a lot harder to orchestrate and you really
don't need to do it.
- then put the CU dog away and bring out another CU dog or let the
non-CU dog take a break.
Looking forward to hearing from others.
Ellen and CU Yoshi (aka Bolt)
and CU training assistant Trek
Sat May 16
Well things started out a basic disaster. The first session had
him crash a sheep into a fence and I don't have enough sheep smarts to
know when one is going to crash (I was filming). For the second
session he was in a much smaller size pen with heavier sheep and he did
great. I think with the lighter sheep he's just overfaced right
now and can't resist the chase and hasn't yet learned to flank.
This is odd as flanking is exactly what he does when he sees a
squirrel. Trek will run at it and he will run out to the
side. I hope he figures out he needs to do this with sheep
too. Reviewing the video it's hard for me to tell when a sheep is
going to turn away from the fence and when they're going to hit.
The main thing is that he has to be able to recall from chasing a sheep
and last week he did but not so much this time. This recall I'm
realizing is vitally important to him in real life as it's when he's
locked on that I can't get him to listen. He learned his Corgi
Pack charge very well and came that way and I've been battling that
ever since. i'm really hoping he can learn this discipline on
sheep as the next step is an E-Collar and working out timing on that is
critical for it to be at all effective and I'd hate to have to do that
to him, but I've been contending with his trainer that delayed
corrections are ineffective and this is the obvious solution to instant
corrections. The good thing is that with an E-collar I could
off leash which is something I don't do now. But he's been making
such great progress recently it would be a shame to have to go
backwards to it. And he is a sensitive boy (even it he's also a
complete asshat sometimes) and an E-collar could potentially make him
even more weird than he already is (mystery shock coming out of
nowhere). Right now he's weird but consistently weird and I know
how to respond to him.
Here's an example:
I suppose I could just use the tone/vibrate part. Anyway it's not a decision I have to make any time soon.
So for next time for herding it is going to be heavy sheep in a
larger pen. It is tempting to do it next Saturday, but I really
should be prepping for Shasta, but I could probably do that Sunday.
Fri May 15
Today was a good day for both dogs
Noon Yoshi Walk
A few doors down they were replacing a telephone pole which involved a
lot of people and a cherry picker and a fair bit of comotion and
calling out. Yoshi and I stopped to watch for a little bit and he
was totally fine, even took time out to see a neighbor who asked "Is
that a Corgi?" and he waltzed right up to her "Well yes I am!" We
then moved on past the hubub and I'm thinking that Trek would have been
terrified and I would have had to carry her. Yoshi is cheerfully
walking along and I'm trying not to be morose about what a terrific dog
I have when the world is dog free.
Then as we're at the corner of Central and Court, he sees a dog (medium
sized lab) across the street and three houses down and barks but once
again not a threatened bark but more an alerting bark. Since
we're at a corner we move half a house width down (I later paced it off
as 10 of my longer paces which is around 2.5 feet). and had him sit and
play leave it and LAT. This time I stood up and let the leash
loose so he could have lunged, but he didn't. This is his
threshold now. One street width and one half of an Alameda house
width (or more it was a largish house). I do need to keep in mind
that he's usually ok with black labs and the distance may be more with
something like a husky or JRT or LWFD.
On Gibbons I see another dog (something like a GSD) before he does this
time and again we go about half a house width down Johnson and set up
and he's able to sit and eat treats and watch the dog again.
Phew. This time after the dog has passed he seems more up and on
his toes but he usually is at the intersection of Lincoln and Gibbons
as there's quite a bit of foot traffic there and a lot for him to keep
an eye on - plus it's the turn for home. I slow him down and get
him to reconnect and we get home fine. I'm so happy to see him
coping. Too bad we can't make ODTC larger.
I was experimenting with him moving past the dog, but he is less
successful at that. The moving seems to excite him. It's
funny you'd think that it would be less pressure to move on past a dog,
but in herding he is learning to stay put in the face of very exciting
sheep so he has a context for it.
Trek class. This is her first time back at class since taking he
off the Cyclosporine. She had some hesitation about coming out of
the crate but I didn't make a big deal of it but reached in and clipped
on the leash. As soon as I did that she came right out and jumped
in my arms ready to go.
She still didn't want to do the teeter and I didn't force her beyond
having her stand on the bottom, but she did the dogwalk and A-Frame
several times (and was heavily rewarded for it). One very telling
thing was that she didn't want to go anywhere near the canopy at
first. I realized that last time, there were some loudly barking
dogs under it, and the echoing must have freaked her out some. I
was also trying to leave her in a crate then for walk throughs like I
would at a trial. This time I went back to taking her along
during the walk through and she was much happier about that.
Also had her do a jump chute of 8" and 12" jumps which she seemed to enjoy.
She's entered in trials June 20 and 21. For the AKC one I'll just skip the teeter and the CPE one won't have a teeter.
She's also entered in the large Bay Team 4th of July one but that's a
ways off so I'm not going to worry about it. We may just go down
and not do very much at all besides jumpers and gamblers and maybe
Wed May 13
Had some time in the morning before work, so was able to squeeze in a
walk with Trek in the morning. We've never done that before so to
some extent she was wondering what was going on but she coped. It
was early enough that there weren't large hordes of children out yet,
just a few here and there.
Yoshi Advanced Rally Class. Will my dog ever stop being a twit
about moving dogs around him? He has such a big personal space
bubble and I can get it down to just over a street width but there's no
where near that amount of space in the training facility. He has
gone there quite a lot and has coped in the past and has gone there
once a month for years. Once he gets used to the dogs he's
generally ok but just as soon as a new dog appears or a dog he's iffy
about walks by and I don't have food in his face he barks or growls and
tries to lunge. As soon as he realizes that he's supposed to play
look at that he usually can cope but this time a couple of the dogs
sent him way over threshold (through no fault of the other dogs.)
I can't decide whether he needs more of ODTC or less. My thought
is more and I should walk him before hand to have him a little tired
(he didn't have a walk today.) It's funny as there are other
times there where he's been great but it's usually around the confident
Utility dogs and not these less confident Rally dogs.
Tue May 12
Yoshi Walk. Saw two dogs both completely different, but useful experiences.
First one was a medium size brown dog which he did bark at more excited
than anything. Because the other dog seemed completely
unconcerned we spun around and parallel walked with them about 3
blocks. Yoshi pretty much pranced up on his toes in that high
alert sort of way the whole time, but was able to maintain and earn
The second dog was across the street on our own block but not one we
knew. It was a very precious Little White Fluffy Dog (Bichon
Frise), which is a type of dog Mr Y. can be just horrible about.
As we walked by I gave him the opportunity to see the dog and earn
treats and he was great. This dog was also off leash, but didn't
seem to be moving fast. So Y and I sat for a while and then
started to move on. Then I heard the owner call out the dog's
name. Oh this should be fun as that likely means LWFD has taken
the ill advised choice of running across the street to say hello (no
cars fortunately). I take a hold of Yoshi's collar and start
feeding him. LWFD is about 10 feet behind us looking cute.
Yoshi is chowing down, but keeping a careful eye on the dog and doing
this odd snorting as he tries to growl and eat at the same time, but
he's not lunging and is very happy to keep eating. The owner
catches up and I explain that Yoshi isn't friendly to his kind of dog,
and the owner gathers LWFD up and Y and I move on. Phew. At
least LWFD didn't come bounding right up.
Trek walk. Uneventful.
Mon May 11
Trek walk. Normally during the day I walk Yoshi, but Trek needs
the exercise and I won't have time in the evening because I need to
host a BiFriendly meeting in SF. She did fine. I
deliberately didn't take her anyplace that she would find stressful,
though we did pass a person using a car vac. She kept an eye on
it but was ok and got lots of treats for it.
Sun May 10
I did make the herding movie but it's mostly with the camera pointed
all over the place and lots of good audio, so I think I won't post it
on You Tube and will work on making a more presentable one next time.
Just posted this to coltsrunkids and frapfest
I decided after letting Yoshi crash a sheep into the fence (the sheep
is fine - I was shook), that he was just too much dog for me in the
herding arena and that I should have our instructor handle him. I wish
I had made that decision a couple of months back, but I guess I needed
to find out for myself. They had their first session together last
Saturday and he did fantastic. I did have to go into the arena as he
wanted me there, but was fine (mostly - he would stress from time to
time, but then recover) with HTrainer3 working him. Same stupid sheep
crashed the fence again, but at least it's not me doing it. :)
I've never seen him so happy, I'm excited for his herding future. I'm
having her train for the trial level and will skip the PT level in case
I ever want to do it with him in the future.
The funny thing is that if I'm in the arena, he'll still bring me
sheep. I'll be filming and notice that the sheep are getting bigger
and bigger in the viewfinder - eek. Gee thanks Yoshi - how thoughtful
and Yoshi (Look what I brought you!)
and Trek (Herding? Make him do it.)
Sat May 9
Yoshi herding. This time I had HTrainer3 handle him and that worked
out fantastic. He would come running back to me once in a while
and eventually I did have to go in but other than that he worked great
for her. The only problem is that sometimes he brings sheep to ME
while I'm trying to film so I have this great effect of a sheep getting
larger and larger in the frame. Thanks for the present Yoshi
("Look what I brought you!") The video is very herky jerky so I'm
not sure if I'll put it on You Tube, but the audio is important so I
made a full movie of it, even if it only lives on the Mac and maybe a
KFOG KBoom is clear in the background though not loud. I took
Trek out on the front steps and held her in my arms to see how she'd
do. She listened carefully but didn't seem to react so I took her
in after 5 minutes. Not long after I took Yoshi out (on leash to
help him maintain) and Trek came along. While in the backyard
with the sound of fireworks clear in the background, my hard to predict
sound sensitive dog started playing on her teeter totter - making it
crash down just to add to the noise. Such an odd duck. I
think it has to do with sounds that are close where she can feel the
percussion. And she's just used to her teeter's sound (and she's
making that happen).
One thing I've learned finally is that she has to go at her own
pace. I can encourage her but forcing her is as effective as
squeeing a wet bar of soap. I think I'm just going to let her
skip contact obstacles until's she's ready to do them. One option
is to just do NADAC (no teeter).
Fri May 8
Bayteam USDAA July entries went off this morning. We're camping
then and hopefully we'll be able to get a ringside camping spot
(Starter's ring) since i sent it in relatively early. If that
works that means that I can crate Trek in HER nice quiet car, which is
what she wants. I'll have to remember to send Karey a copy of her
yellow card when it comes.
Need to do both dogs nails at lunch. Did Trek's at lunch and
Yoshi's in the evening. For Yoshi I have to slow the dremmel way
down but he will now let me do them. I start with the dremmel off
and just rub it against his nails then turn it on very low and then
wait for him to start struggling, do his nails some then turn it up a
little and wait again, and repeat. Very slow process, but he's
much less traumatized this way
Trek class. Her sound sensitivity is getting worse and even
barking dogs worry her. She won't even get on contact equipment
at all and she seems different. I have to beg her to come out of
her crate. Karen and Rachelle noticed that she's gained weight
and I verified that she has gained 2 pounds in 2 months which is really
I am going to cut her food down, but the major change has been the
addition of Cyclosporine on Apr 23rd. It's been 3 weeks which is
soon enough to test for effectiveness, but I'm thinking if it's making
her this weird, it's not worth having her on it. I'm going to
take her off of it and let AEC know. A quick web search that
nerological effects are possible but quite rare. No mention
of weight gain so that's probably unrelated. The weight gain is a
concern in case there's tumor, but you can feel the layer of fat so
that's likely the cause. I'll refrain from rushing her off
to her regular vet until she's been off the Cyclo. a week and I can
reevaluate - we'll have class again then too.
Email to AEC:
Trek has been gradually getting weirder and weirder these past couple of
She's always been sound sensitive, but it's getting much worse to the
point of not coming out of her crate when we get somewhere in the car.
The only thing that's changed is the addition of Cyclosporine 3 weeks
So we're going to cut out the Cyclosporine and cut her food back and be
more diligent about making sure she gets a walk to as Yoshi has been
getting all his training walks and it's time he shared.
ago. I know neurological effects are very rare for it but it would just
be our luck wouldn't it? I'm going to take her off of it for a little
while to see if I see her joie de vivre come back.
I'm also trying to decide just how much more I want out of Yoshi.
I've been working so hard with him and he's mostly managable right now
but still reactive at times. I don't know if I'll ever get him
not to be reactive and I'm getting tired of shielding him and not
living life (in my mind). Where's the balance? I don't want
to undo all the work we've done but I don't know how much further we'll
get. I'd love for him to just be with me without worrying about
or reacting to other dogs. I don't know if that's possible or not.
Thu May 7
Yoshi Training Walk.
I'm concerned about Trek feeling neglected, but he needs this more
Saw one dog. He say the dog, barked and I was able to collect
him. I'm not sure his behavior is improving esp since the Rally
class started, but Tue's walk went well so I don't think it's fair to
Wed May 6
Sent off Corgi Club and Bayteam entries
Yoshi Rally Class. Talked about
- Turning around and obstacle and then fronting,
- Jumping and going to a target. Yoshi is excellent at this so was a
good demo dog - though it's pretty funny that he'll go to the target
eat the treat and then do a perfect front for Hazel who's doing the
target loading. Pretty much have to semi-drag him away to do it
- Kick back stands (i.e. not having to move forward to stand.
Yoshi does this anyway so Hazel encouraged me to put "stand" to it and
not move my hand forward, but instead make a fist in front of his nose
and initially help him stand by touching his tummy (legal at the novice
- Step right laterally. She teaches this by holding the treat in
the opposite direction and using collar pressure. Yoshi was
hopelessly confused by this and I wonder if there's another way to
teach it.. You stand giving him collar pressure he stops thinking.
Tue May 5
Yoshi Training Walk
Saw two dogs - one white dog in particular he/we did very well with
Saw a person walking slowly and slightly off balace in that there's a
living thing attached to me with other opinions sort of style. We
just stopped to watch as I didn't see a dog but there sure seemed to be
one around. Sure enough a medium size whte dog appears, and we
immediately cross the street, and set up. i have Yoshi sit and I
feed him, then once I'm sure he's seen the dog I start walking
backwards still feeding him but he's now moving. Somewhat worried
about the dog but coping. Good boy. Almost right after that
saw another but they were just crossing at a 1/2 block distance, so a
less loaded situation.
Trek meals. Garill suggested putting a spoon in the metal bowl and that's
providing a good challenge for Trek. She doesn't like it, but copes.
Mon May 4
I think I'm going to split the difference as far as picking low key trials.
Skipping the next large one (AKC TRACS), and will do 2 low key (Corgi
and Bayteam CPE) and 1 large one (Bayteam July 4th weekend) since this
is my game too.
So the plan is:
Nothing until my Shasta Trip the first week in June.
Sat June 20th Corgi Club AKC at WAG
Sun June 21st Bayteam CPE at Palo Alto (a trial within an hour's drive!)
July 4-5 Bayteam USDAA Prunedale
then Terri and I are off to Mt Whitney July 15-19.
Then we can do whatever.
I'm not moving Trek up but will keep her at the lowest levels.
This may be a bit counter productive as there's no teeter in CPE level
1 but she'll see one the day before. I might enter her in
Advanced Jumpers in USDAA (in fact I'm supposed to since she has that
title), but I don't have to decide that for a while. I'll just
enter her in P1 and if I need to I can move her up.
Trek Noon Walk (I think it was this day).
She's so interesting about her noise tolerance. She'll cope ok
for a few minutes then will cross a threshold and just when you think
she's going to be ok, will start to majorly stress. Walked over
to the school and the kids were out at recess. Went to the corner
that was across the street from the school and was prepared to
immediately turn back. She seemed unconcerned. Wandered 10
feet down, no issue, 20 feet fine. So we just started
walking. Right after we pass the halfway point she starts to drag
me (which means she's stressin) and wants to run away. Rather
than fight her on the leash, I just pick her up which settles her down
a lot, and we walk to the corner. (very tiring on your arms but a
good arm workout). Turn the corner put her on the ground and
she's still stressed but trying to cope and improves once we turn again
on Moreland (1/2 block away). It's tricky the distance I need to
be away is about the distance of inside the kitchen or living room of
each house - how inconvenient. :)
Sun May 3
Trying to figure out what the essence of Trek's sound sensistivity.
Turns out we're fairly far along. Any recorded sounds/music is fine (they listen to KFOG everyday)
Snoozed through an appalling You Tube video of an automatic shotgun
demo (nothing gruesome just no one should be allowed to have such a
Went through a bunch of iTunes sample sound effects - no reaction.
Feed her with a metal bowl - fine.
Finally Terri was outside hammering. That got a response so she got to eat a lot of treats while that happened.
So it's live situations, and human stress levels and shouting definitely have an effect.
So I think we're going to seek out lower key trials like CPE and NADAC
and some AKC for a little while. It's a bummer for me as I love
the huge huge USDAA trials that we (Bayteam) host. But it's
likely that I'll just be working at our USDAA trials for a little while.
Sat May 2
Noise sensitivity is the main issue.
Tried a hard crate under a canopy which helped but she didn't want to do any contact equipment today.
First Std class. Coaxed her over a teeter, dogwalk and A-Frame and then
finally knocked a bar at the end (was certainly over time anyway.)
Pairs - wouln't do A-Frame
2nd Std Class - no contacts at all - maybe a dogwalk
Sat by Master's ring and every teeter got a treat. She was ok but wasn't happy about it.
If she's in my lap she can cope but on her own can't.
Scratched her from PNS. No Nationals this year. Asked Bayteam for ideas on quiet trials.
Getting lots of responses.
Archive - Go to:
and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2009
and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2009
and Trek Training Diary - Feb 2009
and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2009
and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Nov 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Oct 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Sep 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Aug 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Jul 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Jun 2008
and Trek Training Diary - May 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Feb 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2008
and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2007
and Trek Training Diary - Nov 2007
and Trek Training Diary - Oct 2007
and Trek Training Diary - Sep 2007
and Trek Training Diary - Aug 2007
and Trek Training Diary - Jul 2007
and Trek Training Diary - Jun 2007
and Trek Training Diary - May 2007
and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2007
and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2007
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