Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - May 2010

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

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Mon May 31
Yoshi walk
Not many dogs.   We caught up to one Golden who could hardly walk up his stairs to his house.  Not exactly a big threat.
Yoshi was very amped when walking so we did a lot of Stops and Sits and Downs which calmed him down some.

Trek walk
Took her down to Broadway (busy street) to watch the traffic and there was a U-Haul with an empty trailer rattling so we stopped and I let her eat string cheese as it went by and I gave her some when we reached Broadway as well.

Had am amusing conversation.  Someone on her porch had noticed me feeding Trek cheese and was asking about it.  She's not a dog person and was wondering if it was ok - I told it was in moderation.  She was very complementary about how "clean" Trek was.  I said thank you at the same time envisioning how coated with sheep poop she was after the goat had flattened her (both sides of her neck were completely coated and I hosed her off at the ranch and again at home), I decided that was too hard to explain to a non-dog person.

The owner of the medium sized short hair dog on the corner walked by as I was chatting with my neighbor.  I mentioned that Trek was friendly and she said their's wasn't always.  I then told her about Control Unleashed and how much it had helped my other dog.

I'm thinking more mat work would be a good thing for both Trek and Yoshi.  Though he's on it right now as I type.

Domino the zen kitty helped both dogs play LAT on a feline.  This cat is amazing as Yoshi had stopped and was barking right at her and she just kept sitting there looking back.  I got Yoshi's attention and then we did LAT for a while.  Then Domino was still there when Trek and I went by and so Trek and I also did the same thing. Thanks Domino!

Sun May 30
Dull day for doggies, but they had fun being out in the yard part of the time barking at things and digging where they shouldn't
Trek got to show off her new dumbbel skills for Patricia and Susan.  Yoshi also got to show where he's at in the process and they both got to do a teeter.

Watched more of the CU Games DVD.  Leslie is just amazing working with the dogs and she's so good at reading them and explaining what she's observing.

Barbara who saw Trek get pinned down by the goat was very encouraging and noted that she didn't freak or scream or run away so she might not be completely ruined on goats.  She might be right since Trek is willing to go near them cautiously.

Sat May 29
Drat Drat Drat.

I had Trek on goats and she was doing ok and I had just stopped her and a goat pinned her down and now she doesn't want anything to do with them.
I kept taking her in and just letting her be there but she'll only get so close.  We put her on light sheep in a small pen and were able to lure her in but she's a bit shook.  I've decided to try her on sheep instead for the HCT but I'm not sure if that will work either. 

I'm bummed because the goats are a blast when they are not being recalcitrant, but now I have two dogs that don't like them.  And the bummer is that it I had stopped her further away from the goats this wouldn't have happened.

I guess this means stick to sheep, though she doesn't like how big they are but she has noticed that they move when she asks.

Yoshi seems to be feeling better but I briefly took him in the goat pen and he wouldn't even look at them.  Trek at least will look at them

Fri May 28
Agility for both dogs.
Well agility for one dog.  Yoshi appears to have pulled an abdominal or quad muscle and doesn't want to hop up on things so we just did ground work mostly having to do with Stop and Down at a distance (the herding related commands.)  I'm not sure how much he'll enjoy being in a class, but we'll have to see in a couple of weeks.

Trek on the other hand was awesome and I'm so happy with her.  She can now go over a jump and send to weave poles and do all 12 poles with me at least 12' away.  She now sends to tunnels quite well.  Doesn't have issues with any of the contact equipment including the teeter.  With the teeter I was careful to stay slightly behind her and not get ahead of her which seems to encourage her to leap off.

One thing she had trouble with is doing a tunnel after doing the poles, but I'm not going to push her as she's already doing great.  I do have to remember not to chatter.

"Over tunnel go" works for a jump and send to the tunnel sequence.

Thu May 27
Trek walk at noon  - not as wet this time.

Yoshi evening walk.  If I'm paying attention he's great but if he sees the dog first he still fusses.  First sighting was 2 vislas off leash going to their car and he was great.  The one he say first was an Aussie who clearly wanted to play though was acting still and hard to read.  Once I got him into a sit he was able to hold it but he was barking at first.  Still looking for dogs and trying to reencounter the Aussie (which didn't happen) we went into Lincoln Park and actually worked a little one heeling.  Right as we were leaving I nearly walked us into a Boxer.  I took a fast left and went a distance away (still in the park) and had him sit.  The owners must have thought we were going to come play as they stayed there for a bit but I just smiled and kept feeding Yoshi who was doing great.  They eventually realized that we were just waiting for them to move and they continued on and we went home without further encounters.

Did more dumbbell sessions.  If I keep this up I could easily have a retrieve on the flat in a couple of weeks or so with Trek.  Again we would split up holding the dumbbell with toy fetch which she's really loving interspered with the oocasional dumbbell retrieve and when her attention started to flag I would do the Control Unleashed Give Me a Break where I let her go sniff and only resume the game when she asks.  This is such an obvious concept that I can't believe none of us formalized it before like Leslie has done.

Then on a whim I stood up and offered the dumbbel to Trek she took it and since I was standing she sat and looked at he holding the dumbbell in her mouth.  I nearly fell over as I've been trying to figure out how to get the concept of sitting and holding a dumbbell to go together.  Every time she has the dumbbell and I say sit she drops the dumbbel and sits.  So I stand up lean over offer it to her saying Take and I stand back up and let her hold it a few seconds and then bend over and say yes and she releases it sometimes dropping it, but not too bad.

Worked a little with Yoshi and the dumbbell.  He's so cute as he still after all these years still hold his foot up when retrieving.  At first when we got out there he just wanted to bark at Sky who he can hear on the other side of the fence but eventually was able to focus and do some retrieving.

Both dogs will take the dumbbell and let me hold their nose to help them hold it sometimes.  Trek is fine with this, but Yoshi doesn't really like it.

Trek is going to be doing goats this Saturday and I'm really excited about it.  I have to remember that what intrigues her is their motion so I should get the goats moving first and then with any luck she'll come right along behind.  If there's time we can have Yoshi try ducks though he really doesn't get fowl yet, and it's possible they don't move fast enough to hold his attention.  If I can get the goats to move with me he might be willing to come along especially if I stop nagging him.  Maybe if I completely ignore him.  If Trek gets good at it I could have them in together but that's a much more advanced thing.  I am really diappointed that Yoshi suddenly is afraid of the goats as I had high hopes for him as he was doing so well with them.

Watching some of Leslie's great CU games video trying to figure out what parts to go over in a viewing party so that we all can practice it.  Most of the main folks have had enough CU training that we can just go straight to disc 2  Each disc is about 1:20 so doing all of 2 and some of 3 would do well.  In particular, I want us to see the parallel games and the dog in your face game and may be the car crash one though the fist two are actually more advanced and would be the hardest for Yoshi.

Wed May 26
Rain walk for Trek fine
Basic walk for Yoshi

Got the dumbbel out.  Trek is willing to hold it for up to 5 seconds.  I'm finding that she almost whinces when I say hold (might sound too much like how I say no which is pretty neutral and low), so I think I'll stop doing that and just say take or nothing.  I break thinks up with fetch using the dumbbell squeaky toy.  Sometimes I'll have her fetch the dumbbell but I don't insist on her holding is.  She still mouths it so maybe a wooden one will help - not sure.  This is a plastic one.

Yoshi can fetch too to a lesser extent.  I should probably work with him more indoors since their are fewer distractions but the dumbbell is kinda tough for them to pick up from the floor instead of the grass.

Spent some time deciphering J & J Dog's dumbbell sizing.  It took forever as the key to figure it out wasn't on the page I was looking at:


The numbers signify 1/4" increments.  An 8 means 2", a 9 means 2 1/4".
The one I have is 2" on the ends so I want 2 1/4" (a 9).  Unfortunately the bit size on the one I have is 1 3/4" and they don't make that size except as a custom so I decided to try one that's 1/4 larger - a 9x8 (end size x bit size). 

Asked Facebook for opions and one experienced competitor says that it's better to use plastic while they learn so they don't chew up the wood.  Since I already have the plastic one I figured I'd try the wood since it's not horribly expensive (less than $20 with shipping), though I can always get another plastic one too if this size works better.

Tue May 25
Had to work late.  One of them got a boring noon walk though I don't remember who.

Mon May 24
So I wrote this to a frend;
I stewarded the Rally Ring all day and the progression/degradation of the dog's temperaments and comfort level was fascinating.

The experienced rally dogs all seemed to be having a good time, the advanced dogs were a little unsure, but ok.
But the novice dogs seemed at best just ok and a significant number of them were sulking, and not having a good time at all.

Obviously this is because of the training of the handlers mostly, and maybe because they are must less experienced (both dog and handler).

The bummer about this is that while I can mostly get Yoshi to behave around experienced dogs, I pretty much know what kind of hell he would think I had condemed him to by making him spend waiting time around 5 unhappy, snarky Cairn Terriers.  He's really happy working, but I don't see him competing even on leash.  I could make him and he would probably be ok but he'd be miserable.  So for the second I think I'm going to set the Rally Novice title dreams aside.

I'm also wondering if a vibrating collar would help keep his attention when he's on sheep or training in agility.  I'd want one where if there was a shock option that it would be hard to accidentally press.  All the ones I've looked at are much too easy to confuse the buttons.  i could use his empty citronella collar but that makes him RUN to me so I don't know how helpful it would be into calming him down.  I probably should go back to the chair and a book idea that one wise soul suggested.  Right now I can get him to stop but he'll just sit there and bark and bark and bark.  Of course this is at sheep.  If he would only do that with goats he'd be fine but instead he's just a big chicken.  I should teach him to bark on cue.  I did this for Cali and now Trek, but he pretty much only barks exactly when i don't want him to.  Strange men working on the house and squirrels.  Maybe if i could find a squirrel robot.

Sun May 23
Stewarding at Oakland DTC Obedience Trial in the Rally Ring.  It was very fun and I enjoyed it a lot.  The bummer is that I can totally tell that Yoshi would hate it because of the commotion.  I had originally thought he could be permanently in Novice Rally (because it's all on leash), but it's a funny thing as the day wore on the less happy and more stressed the dogs seemed likely because of they are less experienced and their people are more stressed.  There was more than one Cairn Terrier who seemed particularly unhappy though other ones were ok.  I can assure you that Yoshi would have totally hated it.  It is a disappointment because he's trained through Rally Excellent (though on leash, he would likely be ok around the excellent dogs, but I won't take him off leash as I don't want to endanger his herding career.

Now that I think about it he might actually be happier being a tourist in the agility environment (or maybe even doing the FEO at CPE on leash) though I have walked him around an obedience match before, but that wasn't waiting to go in a Novice ring with a slightly crowded together bunch of nervous dogs.  It's hard to know as he actually has more emotional control when he's moving less, but given how he is with dogs moving around him that may not matter.  Any he usually pauses an instant when he's about to make a bad decision though I don't always have time to intervene then.

Sat May 22
This was supposed to be Yoshi's day and it mostly was but Trek wanted to go along so I brought her.  She still completely ignores sheep but she's way intrigued by goats.  Actually wanted to herd them.  I could see the light bulb above her head.  So I'm going to work her next Sat on goats and maybe enter her in HCT goats June 12-13.

Yoshi on the other hand is continuing his I-hate-goats strike.  He won't even look at them and only will go near them if I'm dragging him on a leash (twice).  We got some brief time on the school sheep and while he did okish we're still having the same arguments.  However I can get him to stop more readily if not entirely reliably.  HTrainer3 doesn't like that he goes straight for a sheep that's strayed instead of flanking.  Others I find worry less about this when the dog is still training but honestly he should know better by now.

I think it's time for him to swtich over to fowl and see how he does. He's been on them once and while they still puzzle him he could do well at it.  I have scratched him from the June 12-13 trail and I'm likely going to put Trek in HCT on goats in it if there's still room.  Next week I've asked that they both go Trek on goats and Yoshi on ducks.

[later]  There is room!  So she's now in HCT on goats which is the very first class at 8:30am in Pescadero.  (Zzzzzz).

Fri May 21
My dog training day.

Trek first went to the eye dr to get a tears test to see how her new medication is working.

Her tears are in NORMAL RANGE!!  First time ever.  I am so thrilled though it means her taking doxycycline (an antibiotic) the rest of her life.
Left eye is at 18, and it's usually at 6 with one time at 9.
Right eye is at 22.

She still needs eyedrops but it's much more manageable.

Yoshi class with Lori
Went to the Open class.
It was good but he did snark at a passing dog.  It's the sudden movement near him.  It's like a weird "you're too close go away"  Once time I carried him out (very unceremoniously) to let him chill out and then we went back in.  There were a lot of good moments, but there are some dogs there who are a bit snarky too so it wasn't perfect though he is able to mostly cope.  I have to decide whether to maybe take him back to the utility class where there are fewer dogs and they are quite solid, he has been to the Open class twice and each time he has been ok but uncomfortable.  Given that he's never going to compete in obedience seriously it can be whatever class fits his needs best.

Trek agility
She had a nice time
She is really starting to enjoy running and we're starting to work together much better.  She had some very nice runs.

Also spoke about maybe Yoshi doing an occasional drop in.  That is ok. I can run him on leash (or not) and the other dogs would be put away when he runs.  I think I want to do this some with him to see how he is.  Rachelle also described to me that in CPE I could do a For Exhibition Only entry for him and keep him on leash.  This is intriguing.  He might actually kinda like that, but he'd have to be in class for a while to get a feel for it.

No class next Friday, but we can bring our dogs to practice.  Then next week I'm at Shasta so Yoshi won't get to try class till June 11.

Wed May 19
Noon Trek walk fine.  Got to meet a neighbor and did ok.

Evening Yoshi walk.  Because it was later in the evening we weren't seeing any dogs so we did a lot of training instead. Stop. Stay. Sit. Down. Walk. Come.  Wound up working on Stop and Come the most.  When he's distracted he pretends not to hear me and I have to pull on the leash to get his attention.  then he goes back to being perfect until his attention drifts and we do it all over again.

Then near the end I see a GSD walking towards us on the other side of Gibbons.  I have his sit and he watches the GSD walk slowly by who even looked at him.  What a good doggie.  He was calm and didn't even really tense too much.  Even offered LAT when he made eye contact with the Shepherd.  Phew!

Tue May 18
Yoshi does clean up well

Yoshi walk noon - Trek didn't want to go so he went.  Worked a lot on Stop with me moving or not.  Stop gets a pause.  Stop Stay works better.  Stop Sit or Stop Down or Stop Come also work.  Yoshi Stop also is effective.  Saw a pair of dogs that we caught up to and walked parallel with briefly.  One dog was staring but not menacing just curious.  Yoshi was fine.  He was prancing as we caught up but seemed to relax when we got up to them (across the street.)

Trek evening walk.  She wanted to go then.  Checked if she understood Stop and she does.  Practiced a lot of heeling which she offered so it went well.

Mon May 17
I was concerned that Yoshi might still have a tick on him so I bought some Zodiac flea and tick shampoo and gave him a thorough bath and he's looking very fetching right now.  No more ticks after the 9 that I pulled off of him.  I did let the stuff soak in for over a minute just to be sure.

Both dogs were great when Cathy came over for our DVD night.  Yoshi sat beside me while Terri let her in and then we were able to calmly walk up and say hello.  He of course later exploded at the window at a passing dog and I held him while he spazzed out and then calmed down.

CU Games DVD is here - now to figure out when to see it.  I'm going to be having viewing parties for it as well.  Tempted to wait till August when Terri is out of town but I don't want to wait that long.

Sun May 16
Took Y herding to his other training place and he did great on slow sheep.  There were some lighter sheep there but the wouldn't stop running so we just gave up.  But the heavier sheep were perfect.  He can mostly stop though HTrainer2 wants him to be able to stop while I'm moving which may be asking a bit much, but she wants me to keep working on it because she sees that he wants to do the right thing and is trying, and she likes his stock sense and how he manages them even if he does split them up from time to time.

My big challenge is that we don't appear to be able to walk a straight line along a fence with stock.  Yosh gets behind them and the sheep move away from the fence.  I must be doing it too as the sheep will follow me when I cut back to the fence (these sheep trust me which is nice).  I think when I turn to Yoshi to get him to change direction I just be getting behind the sheep too much so they turn because I'm not at their heads/shoulders.  I can do a very nice front cross in agility but can I walk a straight line?  This remains to be seen.  However if this was a PT run it would have not been terribly elegant, but would have been an easy Pass.  I think a few (say 2-3 or 4) more times practicing how to walk a fence line and we can go get that last PT leg at a trial up here.  He still barks a lot but with test sheep that will work.  Light sheep make him nuts so I don't know about that save for a lot of exposure and working on distance and Stop.

Just to make things challenging a neighbors Aussie was across the fence.  Yoshi stopped and barked at her but it was obvious she was totally friendly and flopped on the ground so I was actually able to call him back to work (twice).  If the Aussie has wanted to fence fight I'm not sure if I could have gotten him back but it was nice that I can now get him to refocus sometimes.

So I don't know how he'll now be around goats, he might be fine.  HTrainer3 has some ideas that we can try next week.

I was carrying a crook similar to what Judy V. in S. Calif was using and it worked better.  I can't find it on the internet so I'm hoping it's just the black color so I've instead ordered a black graphite wand from Border Collies in Action (http://bordercollies.com).  This will be way lighter than a crook anyway which I like because the crook is a bit awkward and heavy for me.

Sat May 15
Went herding and he didn't want anything to do with the goats!  He was afraid of them and they were carefully sizing him up.  When they didn't move right off he decided he didn't want anything to do with them.  We even then went to a smaller pen and gave him the smallest most mobile ones who readily came along with me, and he still wouldn't engage mostly though one time I put him in a stay and went across the pen to the goats and then he came running up but wouldn't go any closer.  I'm hoping it's just a bad day for him though we'll have him herd sheep tomorrow to get him going again. 

It was strange to see him fearful and he was doing a lot of snarking at dogs on the other side of the fence (offset aggression), though what surprised me was that I was able to sometimes call him off of doing that which is a nice change.  HTrainer3 noticed that he was crying when I called him off and I explained that it means that he's going to do what I ask, but he doesn't want to.

I hope all of his behavioral improvement doesn't mean curtains for herding.
He is entered in a trial to get his JHD in goats.  Hope I'm not wasing the money.

Stopped off at Half Moon Bay to go to the beach.  I wanted to check out what this huge building on the bluff was and it turned out to be the Ritz Carlton and the sign said there was free parking for Coastal Access.  What a great way to check the place out and it was a lovely walk and we found a way down to the beach.  The only bummer was that he brought back 9 ticks.

Fri May 14
Agility for Trek socializing for Yoshi.
Both did great.  Trek ran well and didn't freak out about what anyone else was doing and even went toward some barking dogs to get attention from another person.  Brave girl.  After Trek was done I brought Yoshi out (and had him out earlier too) and he did great just being around the activity.  He was even able to sit and watch 2 terriers go by at a distance of around 30 feet.  That never would have happened before.

When the other dogs had left the field I took a few minutes and ran him off leash.  He's out of practice and tentative but he did fine.

Thu May 13
Trek walk.  Deliberately low stress.

Yoshi training.  Deliberately high stress.
I decided that I was getting tired of looking around and hoping we'd see a dog (though we usually do), and I really wanted to work with him around small dogs.  So I took him to the small dog park in Alameda.  I usually just have him inside but he seemed mostly ok so I took him in on leash.  He was stressed and sometimes coped sometimes didn't.  Amazingly two or three dogs approached us because I was feeding him goodies.  He was a little freaked but decided that having treats mainlined was ok and he started to ignore the occasional dog who would come up.  I carefully let him interact with some and some he was surprisingly good about though I was concerned about a Chi that he snapped at (I have my hand in his collar).  I was pretty surprised that the Chi came back - brave doggy.  There was also a fox terrier who came right up and I was totally worried that things were going to go really bad but they got along fine though the owner noticed my trying to keep Yoshi from interacting too much and I said that he wasn't that great with other dogs and the owner called the dog.  Though later they said hello and it was going well enough I told the owner that it was ok and he actually had a good encounter.

We then walked the perimeter of the dog park on the outside and practiced doing on leash walk up and sit with the Canadian Geese (we were not very close to them).  He's much more interested in the dogs than the geese which he most just doesn't even see the point of.  Then I tried to wipe some goose poop that he'd rolled in off of him and then some big dogs walked right by and he was a barking fiend. (sigh).  I then had him spend a little time on the outside of the small dog park but I'd pretty much had enough by then.

So it was mixed  I like the fact that if we're in the park I can control his interaction and I can make it very clear on what I like and don't like.  But I can't control the other dogs and these are not obedience dogs - they are unknown.  After we had gone in the park and once he had settle down, he was actually pretty good, but I do worry when I can't control all the factors.  If I wanted to be completely safe, I'd just have him outside the fence but that's not the whole experience and the fence adds frustration all the while keeping everyone safe.

I think I should keep him outside for a few minutes first and then consider bringing him in once I've had a look at the other dogs there.

Trek has agility tomorrow and he's going and I'll try to go early again.

Wed May 12
Trek noon walk.   Again the kids were at recess so we headed down to the school.  She did great.  Screaming happy children, bouncing balls, metal clanging.  We were across the street eating treats.  She was definitely chomping but not horribly so.  Then the bell when off and all the kids stopped (how odd) and then the aides were telling them to walk back to class (seemed pretty authoritarian but oh well).  As a result though, Trek and I were able to cross the street to the same side of the school and eat more treats and then we walked along the school where the kids where lining up.  Figuring she's had enough we walked on with her trying to drag me home when she knew where we were though we did stop and say hello to the crossing guard who fed her treats.  What a good dog.  I think we'll go on a calm walk tomorrow just to give her a break.

Yoshi walk.  Uneventful, the only dog we saw was a Lab at about 2-3 house width distance.  He's usually not very reactive to Labs in general, but even so he's up on his toes and checking the dog out.  I wonder if I'll ever be able to get him to relax around dogs.  I can mostly manage him fine but it would be really nice if I could get him to not be so stressed.  Even the sight of a new person excites him.  Guess that just being a dog.

Tue May 11
Trek walk.  The school was in recess so we headed over.  In the past I couldn't get easily to across the street this time she did much better.  Was able to stand across the street with screaming kids, balls bouncing, and metal clanging.  She wasn't thrilled but she coped much better.  We were on our way back and a shadow started moving and so did Trek.  I looked down to see the Shih Tzu that always barks at us was out and racing around Trek.  After a moment I could see that this dog was friendly and soon had rolled on his back.  I saw that he had a tag on an it was indeed the same place and we were right in front of it so I opened the gate for him and let the people know later and I refrained from not lecturing them about giving their dog more attention.  I said that he was friendly and the guy seemed a little surprised and implied that it varied.  I'm just glad I didn't have Yoshi with me.  I could have coped but it wouldn't have been easy.

Also encountered a recycling truck a couple of times and we waited for them to move one once they were done.

Yoshi walk.  Saw one dog come out of a house and surprised both of us.  He barked and we retreated and since the other dog was moving slow we were able to calmly cross the street and play seated LAT.  Then since it was early in the afternoon we went all through Lincoln Park looking for dogs and didn't see any.  Just as I was lamented that fact a front yard started yelling at us and Y. started to charge and yell back.  I finally got a look at what was barking (felt like I was watching Lost for a moment there) and saw that it was either another Shih Tzu or a Tibetan Terrier.  Getting Yoshi's attention here was really hard.  Collar corrections really weren't doing anything (they often are of limited use when he's upset), but grabbing him and pulling his fur did work.  Now that I think about it.  Grabbing hold is what dogs do (In fact I just did it now as I type this when a dog outside barked and it settled him down).  They don't do collar corrections people just started doing that because it was easy.  Once I had Yoshi seated the other dog settled down and I apologized to the other dog that I didn't know if I could feed him.  The second we'd move he would start barking again.  I stopped and settled everyone down twice and then gave up and we walked off.  Yoshi was fine and the other dog was barking which is probably a long established habit.

Mon May 10
Trek walk uneventful though it had been raining and she didn't pout.
Yoshi walk weather's still iffy so we only saw one pair of dogs but it was perfect and I'm really pleased.  We had to go towards two dogs approaching before we could turn off walk a house width down and sit and watch them go on by.

Sun May 9
CU Focus First Advanced workshop today.  It's for Yoshi but I brought Trek too since she makes a great non-reactive stooge dog.
Yoshi did very, very well.  We got there early and from near the back of the room watched each dog come in.  He did this without reacting though he kept a careful eye on everyone.  But him not reacting to dogs entering the space is a huge milestone for him.  We also repeated this at lunch too.  The only times he reacted (and yes he did react every so often) was not standing with space around him, but when a dog was near him and his crate and then moved or walked by.  If I had him out on leash he did not react at all and we milled around with the other dogs quite a bit, also at the end of class I had him out in the ring area playing fetch and he was able to focus on that instead of the dogs around (who were all tired by this point).

He still needs more mat work though I'm really glad we were doing some these past two weeks.  I'm leaving the mat out by my chair as it's easy to work on it that way.  It makes for such a nice off switch.  I hadn't done a ton of it because he was always more comfortable in a crate but it's a nice skill to have.

Now I need to figure out his next step.  I think it's transitions where he's not good.  I will bring him to agility situations a lot more now.  It's also tempting to take him downtown more often but the stakes are higher there in a way as there's not a lot of room to escape like there is in agility contexts.  I also have to decide whether to take him to obedience more.  I originally was thinking yes but he does better in a larger space so I'm not sure.

I'm very happy with him and Trek got lots of attention as well.

One thing I now realize that I forget to work on is Reorienting whenever his crosses a threshold.  Every time he crosses a threshold he is supposed to stop and sit and look at me.  This might help some with his focus and impulse control, and the sample of the CU Games DVDs show this.  I mentioned this to Terri but I should show her what it looks like.  One easy way to do it is to have him on a leash when going out and then taking him off on the landing.

Tried it a little tonight.  Crossed the threshold and he just stands there and is so intent on listening that he doesn't even respond to his name which means that we really should work on it a lot.  Sometimes making a kissing sound would help other times not even that would do it.  Just waiting worked the best eventually.  I don't use treats here just release him from the leash.  He'll get it.

Sat May 8
Just learned that the Alameda Park Street Art and Wine festival is going on so I'm going to drag Trek down for a short while.  She usually hates it but copes.  I carry here when it's too noisy.

We just got back. She did much better than I thought. I think the visit to Dog Bone Alley (http://www.dogbonealley.com/) and Books Inc (http://www.booksinc.net/) made all the difference. Then we went into the vacuum store and I have the perfect vacuum test right there with me. I just put some of her fur on the test carpet and they were able to demo the vac with a real like example. :)

Going there she started to shake when we got within a block of Park St and I carried her to Park St and down part of it.  Then we stopped and I got some Calamari and we sat on a bus bench and suddenly she got distracted with all the goodies on the ground.  Annoying as that we to police it really helped her stress level and then we were able to walk down to Dog Bone Alley.  We were actually able to walk all the way back down Park St to Lincoln.  She did want to drag me some and I mostly let her but on the whole she did fantastic.  Maybe distraction is a good tool for her and all the lovies that she got from DBA and the book store (one of their employees used to have a Corgi named Cooper.)  I can totally see making a habit of going down there.  I bet I could pick up food to go at Bowser's pizza or Tomotina and they'd probably let me pay for it at the door.  Or maybe I could have someone at DBA hold her (we spend a fair bit of money there).

Now I have to think of something for Yoshi.  There were too many dogs appearing out of no where in close confines for him to be at all comfortable.  Too bad as he'd do fine with the street chaos.  As I write this he's being really barky and didn't want to come back to his mat though he finally did (this happened multiple times).  Since there are enough dogs around we could probably go within a block or so of the festival.

Just took him on a normal uneventful walk and that was fine.  Though I'm now doing more of what Cali and I did by going down by the condos.  No sign of the off leash lab but there are other dogs there too though they must have all been at the street festival.

So I'm still thinking about him in agility:

Greetings CU_Dogs_SF

So Yoshi keeps torturing with the fact that he still remembers how to do all of the agility stuff I've taught him - to the point that I use him to train Trek.

While it doesn't seem like he'll ever be trustable enough for the chaotic world of agility trials.  It occurs to me that maybe he could keep training in it.  However he has bitten other dogs (bite and hold) and I obviously worry about that.   I thought about an eCollar, but these his chomping incidents sometimes happen so fast I doubt I'd be quick enough for it (though now that I think about it I did have some time).  Has any one tried doing agility training with a basket muzzle?  It didn't work for us at the dog park as he could still pin a dog down but in the context of agility class that wouldn't be the concern.  I was thinking it wouldn't allow him to pant but that's silly as greyhounds and terriers run muzzled doing their respective sports.  I do have a basket muzzle that fits him and I could modify it so he could have treats.

My other question about the use of muzzles is does it make a dogs behavior better or worse?  Eventually the goal would be so that he doesn't need it, so if it increased his frustration then that wouldn't work.

Fri May 7
Noon Yoshi walk.
He gets the noon walk today since Trek has agility class tonight.
I expected the walk to be completely sleepy but we actually did see a dog most of way through.  Turned out to be perfect as it was a tallish corgi/pug type dog who stopped and stared at us with one leg raised as Yoshi sat.  Yoshi held steady.  Good boy. 

Trek class.  Both dogs are going Yoshi as a socializer.  I try to get there early so Yoshi can be out on the lower field (on leash for a little bit before Trek's class.  Didn't get there that early, but he still had 5 minutes to hang out with the previous class briefly.  No surprise appearances of dog fortunately and Ally held little Eva up (though she was already there so no surprises but he groussed at her last week so it was probably wise though I did let Yoshi sniff her a little) and a Lab (he rarely has issues with Labs just standing there.)  After Trek did her last run I put her away and got him back out again.  I then have him watch the last of the class from a distance and then sometimes so some more obstacles but he was groussing about Ruby a Cattle Dog X (I think) who was doing some work so I let them be and we followed the other dogs out.  We sometimes hang out and socialize after class and I did with Yoshi and he was fine until he started insisting there was a monster in the dark down the driveway by repeatedly barking (not loud but persistent) so I put him away in the car and he settled down.

Trek did great in agility!  She may actually be starting to enjoy it.  This class could easily have been one where she would quit because there were two additional dogs one who liked to bark a lot, and one of the dogs from the previous class was there in a crate and sometimes barking.  So while I had Trek's crate set up near I also had her out with me away from the noise and she seemed much happier that way.  No real obstacle issues and we did all of them, and her speed is improving.

Thu May 6
Agility Videos from last weekend are here:

PI Standard run in which the teeter is jumped off of as usual.

PII Jumpers run - qualifying

PII Snooker run - qualitying even though we only got through 6 and did 7, 7, 2 for the opening

I need to make up a chart for Snooker scoring.  There are several ways to approach it but I tend to look at it in terms of how many points do I need if I get up to X in the closing.

It's funny how rumors get started.  I mentioned having viewing parties for the CU DVDs I just ordered and now people are talking about them.  I think we have to wait for the DVDs to get here first.

Trek walk
I've decided that I need to up the ante with Trek so we went on a very simple but challenging for her type of walk.

All we did was walk down the street, stop at Broadway a semi busy street (but busier than High Street the other busy street) eat some cookies and leave.
Oh and walk past a school (twice) where a class of children are out with a ball that occasionally bounces (this is a huge issue)
Oh and a reactive dog behind a fence (not as much an issue)..

She did great, though she was really bummed that I wouldn't let her eat the human cookies by the sidewalk.
I'm really impressed with her being able to walk past the school.  She wasn't thrilled about it but was able to cope ok which is way way different than weeks/months back where she could only go up to a corner across the street from it.
I didn't make her walk down the busy street as I've done in the past as it's really too much right now and I wanted her to succeed.

Yoshi Walk.
It's so based on the other dog.  First dog he was up and barking at because the mini Schnauzer was barking at him.  He was sitting ok, but right after I relaxed and said hello to the owner and was about to move on he broke and lunged hard, but fortunately I remembered from yesterday to hold his collar so was able to reset him pretty easily.

Then we headed for the school so we could work more.  Let a Cattle Dog cross our path and we followed them briefly - we got pretty close to them.  Everybody was so calm which is amazing since it was not long after his outburst.  Then we went down Santa Clara towards the park and crossed by the front fenced yard of a Golden Doodle.  This dog barks but is friendly but we usually don't go right beside him.  Tried it this time and the dog started to bark and Yoshi started to join and I had the good sense to not have us leave the scene in a hurry but instead I placed him in a sit and both dogs instantly got quiet.  Then we were able to calmly move on.  I'm very happy about that.  Then we had 2 dogs go by on the other side of the street and I was feeding Yoshi pretty often because on of the dogs was a Boxer right on the edge of barking at us but instead was just starting at us.  Yoshi did great and kept his stay.  Then after one more block, a nonthreatening black Lab walk past on the other side of the street  No problem and we ended the walk by walking parallel with a GSDx.

He's not as responsive to "sit" so I've started emphasizing the "t" more.  It sounds more like "sit-tah" but it's working much better.

Wed May 5
Happy Cinco de Mayo

Kong has a new treat dispenser and I'm just imagining the hell Cali would have made of my life if she had had one.  She would follow me around with an empty Kong and pointedly bounce it on the wood floor over and over again trying to get me to put something in it.


Big News.  Leslie McDevitt (well actually Clean Run her publisher) has released her CU Games DVD!  I've ordered it.


3 DVDs!  I may not leave the house.  I can already see some things with the sample video that i could teach Yoshi.
She has her BC Easy exit the crate and stop and sit and look at her for a C/T.  I use the opportunity to charge out the door after I've said ok as a reward but I have less control that way.

Trek noon walk.
She was able to walk by two different people hammering right there on the side walk.  I need to find a way to up the noise/activity ante.  I think we can go back to walking with in a block of Broadway and see how she does.  She has walked down a block of Broadway but she was dragging me to get away.

Yoshi evening walk.
I decided to walk him down Broadway and he was fine with respect to the noise.  However we did discovery a limitation with him and other dogs.  If the dog is mellow and not confrontational he's fine.  But across the street a tallish JRT-like dog was barking at him and calling him all sorts of names.  Yoshi was totally "Get that Dog" and I was having to force him into a sit which he fought until the dog was even with us and then he relented since it was clear the dog was going to go on by and had settled some.  Later on there was a smaller dog perhaps a CKCS or a Shiz Zhu who was barking at him and this time I had him by the collar and he was better able to keep it together.  I don't know if it's my hand on his neck that made the difference or the dog or both.  We had just steered around a Sheltie and a GSD without incident, and just for practice we followed them for a few blocks before turning off.

Tue May 4
Trek noon walk.  Watched a Trash truck pick up.  We kept a distance of a street width and about 1/2 a house width.  She did great.  Also walked by some construction where they were using  a "Wacker" which is a large but hand guided machine designed to pack down the earth.  It wasn't on to day but it was yesterday and she was able to walk past it ok.  She must be getting braver though still goes through the "I don't want to" mood swings.  Today she didn't want to come to me to be leashed for her walk but when I went and got her she was all for going.

Yoshi walk.  Still building on success.
Across the street viewings of 2 moving JRTs and then 2 also moving Vislas, but the real win was that we crossed Central and went down to an area where there is often an offleash older Lab.  I saw him and his owner out talking with another Lab and his person.  As we got quite close, instead of crossing the street we just went around them by going in to the very quiet street and going around the parked car that was right beside them.  We also stopped and sat before and after we were past, just so he could get a good look at them. AND then we turned around and went back the same way (the Lab folks didn't seem to mind fortunately.)  Yoshi didn't seem stressed at all by the slow moving Labs.  He was stress panting at the JRTs, but held his stay fine.  I made sure to tell him what a good boy he was.

Mon May 3
Trek walk
She walked past a mower (he had reduce the rpms but it was still on, and a nearby line trimmer. She did great and we weren't too close to risk getting hit by anything.

Yoshi walk.
He keeps surprising me at his progress.  As long as we avoid surprises he does great.  He sat and watch a Lab walking down Lincoln on the other side of the street, and then later we went over to the school and were following an Aussie and a Poodle and another dog appeared across the street so we sat and watched them go by, then we caught up to the Aussie and Poodle but another Golden came up on a side street so we followed them instead.  The best part was that the Golden stopped to talk to an LWFD (little white fluffy dog) who was off leash in front of his house (with his owner).  We paused for a short while and then we walked around them by walking around a parked car.  We didn't have to cross the street.  We pause and sat after we went around to take another look (they are only 15' away), then I fed him a treat after he looked at them and we went home.

I am thrilled.  I've been trying to come up with distances that are closer than a street width since he can handle that with calmer dogs.  I don't like being in the street but working around parked cars is one way to do this.  I think on the less busy streets this will work.    None of the dogs we saw today were reactive which made we could go closer.  Now that he's not in a frenzy we can work a lot closer to the dogs without worrying him or the other dogs or owners.  What a huge step.

Cathy came over for our DVD night and this time I put Trek in a crate and had Yoshi on leash and had him sit as she came in and had her walk up to me and shake my hand and only then did I release him from his sit-stay.  I only had to tell him to sit twice and once he understood the game he was great.

Excellent news!  Yoshi can practice on the goats before his JHD on goats.  Cool.

Trek is still reminding me that she wants her teeth brushed.  And she's still happy to pickup Yoshi's toys that he drops in the yard when I ask her to as long as she's paid for it.

Sun May 2
Yoshi Walk.  I was debating whether to do something more elaborate but I'm happy that I wound up just walking him as there were some good experiences.

Saw one on Lincoln just as I was talking about Corgis to a neighbor who had one lost him at 15 and wanted another one.  The dog on the street was a lab across the street and he did great but I noticed another dog coming who had in obvious self defense was walking down the street itself since both sidewalks were occupied.  When I saw that dog I realized that it would be too much so we moved on while we were ahead.  Then we crossed the street (Court) and let the dog that was in the street but who was now back on the sidewalk catch up.  Yoshi did great but was a little unsure.  I looked at the other dog and noticed him starting at us.  Well no wonder Y's a little uncomfortable.  That dog moves on down Johnson and we continue down Court. 

Later we saw a dog that was colored like a Border Collie moving slowly and we let them pass on the other side of the street.  After they had passed we were about to move on when Yoshi saw the dog again (they had turned around).  I had him sit again and let them pass.  He did great both times. 

Then we saw a Corgi.  We crossed and let them pass.  Then we chased them down as I didn't know the dog.  His name was Buddy.  He's 3 and she says he's not great with other dogs.  But the other dog actually looked ok.  Curious and unsure but not hostile at all.  So I had them do a half circle around each other and meet briefly.  Yoshi wasn't being terrible pushy but the other dog was ducking a little (he would move forward and shy back slightly when Yoshi swung his head closer, so we separated them by my walking a foot or two away with Yoshi and then I had Yoshi sit in front of me so that Buddy could sniff his but and he did.  Dogs are so much more comfortable with the rear end, probably because there's no teeth.  That done we said good bye and we walked home.  A very surprisingly productive and positive walk.

Later on Yoshi was losing his mind about a dog barking outside so I had him do a leashed stay on a mat beside me and the computer and that seemed to settle him down nicely.  A couple of days ago I just put one of their mats beside me at the computer and it's working well as a chill out zone though often Mr. Y gets leashed for it.

During the walk I was wondering if I had taken the full-on adversive shock collar route with him and his aggression how would he have turned out.  Don't know as while he's pretty resilient, his neuroses would probably have come out in force and if he had transferred he frustration at the corrections to other dogs then he wouldn't be safe off lead so it's not like he would have had a brilliant agility career anyway.

Sat May 1
Trek Bayteam Agility Trial at Prunedale
The most amazing thing today was she didn't quit (the weather was perfect).  She tried to go back to the car a few times when walking on leash, but I was able to distract her by doing a session at the training jump each time.

Last night I had a flash that we were going to get 3 out of 4 Qs.  We came close.  1 Jumpers, 1 Snooker and she got the Gamble, but didn't get enough points in the opening (25 seconds which is way short).  She did bail off the teeter in Standard but never once left the ring which I'm thrilled about.  I was deliberately running her slowly so she could focus.  As a result she didn't run by any obstacles though just didn't have the speed for the teeter and the A Frame I did have her do a better run at so she could get up it.

Given that I'm not sure I want a 3rd PII/Advanced Gambliers Q just yet, conveniently arranging to not get enough points in the opening sounds like a fine idea (though there's not a way we could have gotten enough this time though we would have been close had she not knocked a bar.)  That way we get to do the gamble correctly without being forced into Master's Gamblers.  Elf tells me that not many dogs got that gamble which means that it was not just a gimme.  I was a little surprised that she didn't seem to have any problem with it.

I'm just so happy that she might actually like this game.  It really makes a difference that I was being so low key, and even though she was running slow her speed appeared to pick up and I can always go faster too when things gel better.

These are her first PII Jumpers and PII Snooker Qs.  The previous runs she was all over the place and over time or trying to quit or in one case I screwed up the snooker run.
Her Gamblers Q's are nice and consistent. One from VAST Turlock in Feb and one from Haute Dawgs in Oct of last year.  It's funny I don't think of VAST as that sucessful but she did get a PI Standard Q there as well so I shouldn't whine too much.  Eventually we'll get out of PI, I can now tell.

Archive - Go to:

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Feb 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2010

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Nov 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Oct 2009
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2008
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2007
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Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2006
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