Yoshi and Trek
Training Diary - October 2008
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
Fri Oct 31
Today I was going to take Trek on a walk (and did eventually take her
on a short one) to find screaming children, but it turned out my
neighbor was having a Halloween Party and the screaming children were
just across the fence. Perfect! We stayed in the yard and
ate goodies. Because the dogs were in their own yard and because
they couldn't really see the kids, they were fine. Trek seemed a
little apprehensive but was not trying to get away at all since she is
totally comfortable in her yard.
For Halloween itself we put up an expen to keep the dogs in the back
half of the house. After some barking they relaxed by the expen
to listen to all the visiting Trick or Treaters. (We get about 200.)
Thu Oct 30
Took Yoshi on a walk. Saw one dog and he was grousing some but
not like he has in the past. Given that he seems to have a better
hold of himself I am expecting more of him. I do want him to be
able to sit and pay attention to me when there's a dog across the
street. I haven't decided whether that's too much or not.
He can almost do it without lunging but not yet. I need to find a
middle ground but if we're mid-block the choice is either sitting
there, or walking in the other direction. One cool thing about
turning around is that if done right you have set up a parallel walking
situation. I wanted us to get back home so decided to not follow
this dog and the rest of the walk was without incident.
Did try the throw the treats on the gounds as a reward for
attention. He is suspicious of this, so I need to try throwing
multiple treats, though if he is truly worried about a dog he will
disregard treats unless restrained. (Not quite up to making good
choices yet.) There is also the possible downside of him wanting
to defend the treats from the other dog. He's never resource
guarded food so it's really not somewhere I want to go.
Wed Oct 29
Worked with each dog individually in the Living Room.
First I worked with Yoshi while center-of-the-universe Trek had a
complete pathetic whining, crying temper tantrum in the other room
despite Terri's attention (because it's all about HER).
First we worked on rewarding attention and the reward was a tossed
treat. This is a game that Kienan taught us. By tossing the
treat the dog gets another opportunity for another eye
contact/reward. With no dogs around he has this nailed.
Then I got out the tennis ball dumbell that I use instead of a real doggy dumbbell. He'll do the retrieve, and now will stand
in front of me holding it while I then take it back from him. As
soon as I ask him to sit, he drops it. If I ask him to pick it up
he gets up and picks it up. And so forth. I can now get him
to take a dumbell but if he's sitting he stands up to take it.
What makes this hard is that it cracks me up, and I have to take a
break and laugh every so often. It's sort of like a wack a mole
game. You do one thing and another thing happens. I finally
gently held his butt down (he doesn't mind this) and asked him to take
the dumbell. He finally put his mouth on it and I said "Yes!" and
jackpotted him. I managed to work him up to that a couple more
Also did some basic heeling and recalls. He is stopping short some on recalls, but not often.
And at the end did some Relaxation Protocol with him on his mat.
He did great. I knocked on everything and he stayed on his mat.
Also did heeling and recalls. She did not put a hole in my knees this time which was nice.
Her heeling is only occasional as I haven't been working on it
much. and I haven't taught Wiggle Worm the stand for exam yet.
I mostly teach her obedience out of self defense as she demands to do what Yoshi does.
Worked on the dumbell and she has similar issues that Yoshi has.
The idea of sitting and also holding a dumbell and just mutually
Teeter/noise work. Took the old cutting board and put a dog toy
underneath it. She put a foot on it and it make a noise on the
floor. She didn't like that but was rewarded. I think
started the criteria over to marking attention to the board, and then
making the board make any sort of noise. She hated this but
didn't want to stop. I'll need to find a way to make the board a
little quieter with a towel. Out in the yard she's totally fine
with the teeter as it is currently set up to not make any noise.
She's in Level 2 in most of the CPE classes next weekend (Nov 8-9) and
I have to decide how much to push this.
Tue Oct 28
Noon. Yoshi walk. I've been busy of late and have been
shirking my dog walking duty preferring to let them race around the
yard for exercise but that doesn't help them deal with the outside
world so we're getting back into walking. I'm also interested to
see if the L-Theanine has helped Yoshi at all. Gist appears
that it helps some I think.
Walk was pretty uneventful until we nearly got back to the house. Yoshi
then alarm barked twice straight ahead. When I looked up, I saw
standing on his front lawn was my neighbor's (3 houses down) semi-large
Rottie (off leash - a construction worker had let him out by
mistake). While Yoshi has exchanged many a distant bark with this
dog, he has never met him and obviously now was not the time. I
picked up Yoshi and went across the street and got home that way.
Right about the time I was nearing the house my brain finally noticed
that Yoshi is quiet and not squirming, and not in "Get that Dog" mode
at all. In fact, he was perfectly fine with me stopping him and
picking him up. Does this mean that my dog might have a shred of
common sense? The Rottie was standing, not tethered to anything,
looking sort of confident (though not really - you could tell this was
not a normal situation for him), not being confrontational, but not
mincing either. This is not a dog you mess with (even though the
dog is mostly friendly I believe). But still, Yoshi doesn't
always have the best sense. Yet again he zeros in on the dog who
is the most chicken and this was not one of them. I don't know if
L-Theonine gets any credit for this or not, but it's an improvement
Mon Oct 27
Dog nails. It was Yoshi's turn since I had just done Trek's
yesterday, but she nearly broke the door down to get into the bathroom
and sat outside with her nose shoved up underneath. When I let
Yoshi out she came bounding in "me me me me" So I did her nails
again since they're still a little long. She was very much like
"Wait, can't we just skip to the treat part?" But she did let me
do them again.
Sat Oct 25
Yoshi and I go watch herding at Pescadero. This was to watch Kathy Carlsen try for JHDs on Drover her
Kelpie and Koa her Border Collie. Yoshi did ok but needed a lot
of management to keep him from reacting at every dog that walked
by. I had given him a Pet-Ease and that helped but it of course
wore off in 2.5 hours and I decided not to give him more as I could get
enough distance from the other dogs so we could play LAT and eat cream
cheese (well he ate cream cheese.) He was excited to see and
smell sheep and wasn't sure what to think of goats
Kathy's dogs did get their JHD titles (they had one leg from before),
and I had a short but nice chat with another herding trainer. I like her style and
she seems pretty accessible and understandable, so I'm going to take
him to see her Nov 1st at 1pm.
The L-Theonine may be having an effect, but it's subtle. It's
possible his recovery time is shorter, but that could just be him
It's pretty funny that when I walked in two people said "Oh I know
you." It was from agility and from Control Unleashed. The
performance dog world is a relatively small one even in SF. Once
you get involved in one dog sport it's natural to want to try them
all. And then there's CU which has influence in many of the doggy
Fri Oct 24
Agility for Trek. Little one is really starting to get it.
The teeter was on the course so what I did was have her do it and then
keep it from banging back. She seemed to like this arrangement,
and was happy to do the teeter. She really doesn't have a clue
about a broad jump. If I get a run at it she'll jump it but
otherwise she'll hop on it looking for treats. I think what I'm
going to do is make a low PVC jump to stradle it so she gets the
idea to jump it.
She understands cross behinds and did an excellent serpentine much to
my surpise. With any luck, she'll do well in the CPE weekend Nov
8-9. I'll have to think about how to make the rear of the Scion a
little more comfy to sleep in as it's pretty much ok except for this
one seam that hits my back
Tue Oct 21
Yoshi Appt with Creature Comfort's Dr Kirsten Williams
I went their to consult with her about what herbal solutions would help
calm him down without making him dopey like the Valerian does. I
bought the Pet Calm and the Pet-Ease to show her and she noted down
what the ingredients were. She carefully examined him and
compared her findings to what she saw when she saw him 2 years ago.
Her recommendations were:
- Consider switching his food to a less "warm" food. In Chinese
medicine things like Lamb, and Chicken are considered warm and Beef,
Turkey, and Fish are more neutral. She gave me a lengthy
preprinted list of various foods to consider. Timberlake East
Ocean looks like an excellent choice. And just to get me back, the
food I was making fun of a few entries ago: Instinct, is on the
- Fish Oil (Omega 3 fatty acide), 1 tsp daily (they sell Grizzly Salmon Oil which I purchased there)
- L-Theanine - 100mg daily - this has a calming influence and I'm very
hopeful about it and ran over to the Natural Food Market and started
him on it today.)
- Standard Process Adrenal Support - to decrease reactivity and help
with stress. (small amounts of organ meats like Liver - this is
one of the more mysterious ones that I'll research more over time -
purchased there as it can't hurt)
- Consider homeopathic consult (they have a Homeopath there) She
says it's different than the Bach Flower Remedy approach. If
things don't improve I'll consider it.
First question I usually get from people is: "Do you believe in all
that?" My response (and I have to tell this to myself as well) is
the same: My belief is not required for this to work (or not
work). As Terri would say "They can dance in circles and chant
incantations, if it works." Not to mention that it's probably
much less invasive than the heavy duty meds that he would likely have
to take if we went the Vet Behaviorist route (since Prozac and
Clomicalm have not had great results). The hardest one to do
would be homeopathy since homeopathy done right sounds oh so wrong
since the solutions get so diluted that it just has to be just water that
you're giving the patient (controversial ref. is here). But that's not a bridge I have to cross yet as we'll do this for a month or more.
Dr. Williams says that the L-Theanine should take about 3-4 days to have an effect.
She says it's ok to keep using the Pet-Ease/Calm if it seems appropriate.
Sun Oct 19
I gave him a Pet-Ease before we drove up. That meant that we were
able to walk around the outside of the pens without him losing his
mind. He would sit for me and not try to drag me to the
pen. The sheep would be willing to be within a few feet as well as long as a fence was inbetween.
I went over the reward/punishment grid with my instructor and I talked
a lot about the power of negative punishment (the removal of something
good) in terms of the removal of access to sheep. Her though was
if I could get him (in the round pen) to approach the sheep and stop
before he got to them and then send in the other direction and then
stop again would be a good exercise.
Maybe on paper. In reality, it was too frustrating for him to
stop before reaching the sheep and I found myself in a lengthy argument
(the Pet-Ease had worn off then). i put him on a long line and
things improved a little, but not too much. What's likely to have
more success is to let him have the sheep once then stop. Let him
have them again, then stop. The problem is that he gets so amped
and then the sheep want nothing to do with him (smart sheep).
Things that did work. He could do an on leash sit stay with the
sheep running around him. He was more willing to stop than he has
been in the past.
Next week we're going to go to an AHB herding trial in Pescadero and maybe meet another herding trainer. I'll take him to
her in November likely.
Trivia: The Petaluma Pumpkin Patch causes traffic slowdowns on 101 as
the patch is right by the freeway and they build this tower of hay
bales for kids to cilmb and play on and you can't help but look.
Sat Oct 18
We were in Bed Bath and Beyond and noticed they were selling the
As-Seen-On-TV Pedipaws which is the "revolutionary" way to trim your
dogs nails. I could not resist having a look. Guess
what? It's a Dremel. Yep a done-up Dremel placed in a
fancy case and with a plastic guard/guide where you would place your
pet's nail. Oh and it's completely non-standard. The
sanding drum is over sized so you would have to buy the refills from
them (for as long as they make them which probably son't be long), and
I wouldn't be surprised if it were way under powered.
Fri Oct 17
Trek agility. She basically rocked the house. The teeter
was off to the side so not generally a consideration. We ran clean, she
was able to send out, A-Frames/Dogwalks no problem, and her sequencing
was excellent. I felt like I was running an agility dog which was
a great feeling. We then took some time to work on the
teeter. I started out just rewarding her for just touching the
teeter and was later rewarding her for going 1/2 way and then had her
go over it. Initially she was fine until it make a sound after
she had left it then she didn't want to get back up on it. Given
that in competition, we'll be far away from the teeter when it comes
down I'm not sure how much I should stress about it. It's almost
like working on it makes her fear the teeter more. I also find
that if I stay with her on the teeter (like right beside her) she's
more likely to stay on. Now I'm reconsidering my decision to hold
her back at level 1 in the Bayteam Fall CPE in everything besides
jumpers. Level one doesn't have a teeter or weaves. Just
checked and she can be in level 2 in everything except Standard where
she needs one more, so I'm going to take a chance and move her up.
Wed Oct 15
On Thur I'll go get the video camera and teeter.
So Yoshi is going to be starting back to obedience class tonight.
Because of that I took Trek for a short walk over to the school where
the kids were just trickling out. At first she was fine to eat
cream cheese, but when it became clear that we were going to be hanging
out there for a bit, she wanted to leave and I let her since this is
pretty much an optional issue, but stopped her in 1/2 a block to see if
she would eat more - she did and tolerated the occasional kids walking
by with their parent(s). While she likes the cream cheese I think
she prefers the meatier treats. i'm going to let her set the
limits of how close - much like how we're going to do with the
teeter. Maybe I should have her do nose touches on kids like
Glenda does with Ripley but I don't want to force her to interact in
fact I'd rather she just reorient to me.
Since Yoshi hasn't been to class for a long time I think we'll skip the
sits and downs with the other class as those dogs are a lot less
experienced. I'll try to remember to give him a Pet-Ease tablet before we leave.
I did give him a Pet-Ease around 6:30/6:45 and it seemed to make a
difference. He was able to be around strange dogs big and small
and be able to concentrate on heeling and did a recall also.
Around 8:30pm he started what appeared to be stress panting and we
retreated away from the other dogs who were working on recalls and I
just fed him. He was quite happy to focus on me and only
occasionally looked at other dogs for which I said "yes" and he
immediately turned back to get his treat. At no point did he even
growl at a dog even though there were times I expected him to.
After 8:40pm I decided he's had enough and wanted him to end on a good
note, so I put him in his crate in the Scion, and I just watched the
rest of the class and socialized (a major part of the class. :)
Dog's that Yoshi knew there were Calli the Mallenois and Mr Giles the
CKCS. There were plenty of dogs that could have reacted to and
didn't. Barris another CKCS, A Boston Terrier, A French Bulldog,
a large intact Swiss Mountain Dog, an old Golden that he's groused at
before, another Mallenois, a Std Poodle (though he's surprisingly good
about Std Poodles, and a St Bernard.
Though I'm not noticing it as much tonight, I noticed the night before
that when Yoshi came off the Pet-Ease he seemed even more sensistive
and reactive than usual. This is why I put him away when I did as
I didn't know if he was going to become dramatically worse.
(Didn't seem that way this time). I'm very happy with him.
Between managing him well spacewise, and the Pet-Ease, and the feeding,
he was very well behaved but alert and could still work, and hopefully
he will remember this positive experience. It feels like he's
trusting me more.
It occurs to me that I don't know of any rules against giving your dog
meds or herbs before going in the obedience ring. I could give
him a Pet-Ease before a class and could even give him Pet Calm (the one
with Valerian) for sits and downs. In Novice they only have to
sit for a minute and maybe he could hold his head up that long.
It's funny to think of AKC doping scandals though I would imagine that
happening in agility, but not obedience and more to give a dog more
speed as opposed to calming them down.
Yoshi just barked at an outside barking dog. I had him come up in
my lap and while he groused some about the dog and my neighbor being
outside talking, he chilled out much faster than he usually does. It's
10:10pm so maybe there's still some residual effect.
Tue Oct 14
From an email to Elf re Trek's teeter issues:
It's the noise.
She had no issue with the all wood teeter on grass at any height. She'd
do it for fun.
She had some issue with your base and it clanged a little but got used
to that. That was the overnight: "oh this isn't a big deal" thing which
happy dashed the plan I had for getting her used to it again.
Sharon has/had one that was really loud and she hates that one and
started worrying about any moving board.
Worked on a lo-tek wobbly board (cutting board with a towel underneath
it) in the living room and she got used to that.
Then she flew off of a teeter at an AKC trial as it was placed beside
the dogwalk and looked exactly like one. I don't know if that was a
factor as she's still prone to occasionally fly off of the backstairs
landing just for fun - a 4' drop (i keep telling her a day will come
where she can't do that any more.)
Sharon's teeter is now quieter and she'll do that one if I'm there.
But I'm now going to do Leslie McDevitt's approach detailed in the June
08 Cleanrun. Where you let the dog choose how much of the teeter to do
but keep raising criteria in order for them to earn a reward. Leslie
wrote the CU book so I trust her judgment and Trek is very food driven,
so I know it will work.
I'll start with the board with the metal guide on the low PVC base I
have and then add in your base.
McDevitt's approach is unique as she let's the dog decide how much is
ok. The dog is allowed to jump off the teeter. Scenario is
Now Trek is very food driven, she likes toys but prefers food. For her it will be:
- first pad the teeter so it's quiet
- dog approaches or maybe puts a paw on the teeter
- click and throw the reward (toy or food) away from the teeter -
dog is allowed to jump off the teeter (Leslie cues the jump off) the
release of pressure is rewarding in that negative reinforcement
- if the dog wants to retreat with the toy to another area let the, play with them there if that's what they want
- collect the toy and let dog approach the teeter again.
- raise criteria when dog is ready
- front paws on teeter
- click and "get it" (light colored food)
- let her jump off and get treat
- she will no doubt be right back at the teeter.
- fairly soon I will be able to start raising criteria
Cathy over for DVD night
Since I finally had some time to watch Yoshi I gave him a different
version herbal supplement called Pet-Ease by Nutri-Vet. This one has
Chamomile (45 mg), Hops (45 mg), Ginger Root Extract (35 mg),
L-Taurine (20 mg), and L-Tryptopan (10 mg) and no
Valerian. It definiely mellowed him out (too much I say) but
only lasted 3 hours and then was back to his usual self. The
directions said one tablet for every 10 pounds so I gave him two, but
next time I'll give him one. It also claims that you can give it
to them day to day. Maybe I'll give it to him tomorrow for class
as the 3
hours is a nice time period for a class.
Mon Oct 13
I've been seeing this ad for a while now and it always makes me
laugh. It's in Cleanrun and it's a dog food company who makes a
dog food called Instinctive and the copy line is: Is You Pet's
Food Instinctive Nutrition?" implying it's what they would eat if left
to their own devices. Here's the image that's used in the ad. What a romantic viewpoint. Dogs are
the ultimate scavengers and will try to eat just about anything
once. i just had one of my dogs into ER for eating something she
shouldn't of. They had just finished up doing surgery on a Golden
who had eaten a corn cob. Domestic dogs may be experts at
non-verbal communication, but they are fantastically poor judges of
what to eat. The photo shows one of the more exotic cats and a
Border Collie (!) out on what is implied to be the Serengeti. And
by the way when was the last time a Border Collie was on the
Serengeti? I don't hate grain free diets. Trek is on
one, and Yoshi is on Wellness which is also a premium dog food, but I
don't think we need to be sold on this weird mythos about dog culinary
habits. Many of us know all too well what awful things our dogs
try to eat.
i did scratch Trek from Madera., and I'm going to borrow back the
teeter from Elf. The reason I saw the instinctive ad is that i'm
looking up the teeter phobia article that Leslie McDevitt wrote for
Cleanrun back in June 08 (which ironically has a Corgi bounding up a
Here's the link but it requires a paid Cleanrun subscription.
Sat-Sun Oct 11-12
Agility Weekend for Trek.
With anti-nausea medicine in hand we drove over to Dixon for a Haute Dawgs USDAA trial.
Summary, while she's progressing well she definitely needs a lot more mileage under her belt.
Things she does well: Jumpers class - she Q'd twice
Problems areas: Contacts particularly the teeter.
Things that are a bit rocky but will improve with experience: Obstacle
sequencing. First we do one obstacle and then another and so
forth. If I've pointed her at an obstacle it means take it.
Jumpers - Q (3rd pl). (Video taped by Silvina.) Did
surprisingly well. Overshot a tunnel but was easily called
back. She's usually erratic the first run so this is a nice
Standard - Clean, but over time. (Taped by Elf.) Trek kept
running past obstacles - I'll have to review the tape to get more
detail. Slow on the teeter but did it.
Snooker - 32 pts not a Q (need 37). (Taped by Silvina) Bailed on the teeter which was #6.
Gamblers: just worked on the teeter which she did hesitantly
Steeplechase - scratched - we're both wiped and it's a fast course - which will be a blast in the future.
Standard - (not taped fortunately) Wow she would put a paw on a contact
obstacle and then jump off (true for teeter, dogwalk and
A-Frame). This is concerning me.
Dixon Fairgrounds has a small stadium that we normally don't have
access to, but this time we did. While casting about for
something that she could practice climbing on, we discovered that the
steps were useful I could send her up them and then throw a treat up
there so that the reward wasn't when she was right beside me and also
just having her hop up on an aluminum bleacher and walk along it for a
while worked great. I video'd some of this and I hope at least a
little came out.
A huge plus also was that there was a concrete isle way that I could
practice sending her out. I could say go <beat> go
<beat> go and after some reps she caught on (such a smart doggy)
and would send away. Then I could stay "stop" and she'd stop and
turn around (just occurred to me that Utility dogs work for months on
this - eat your heart our :) and then I usually would recall her with
Gamblers - (taped by Silvina) we did a really simple opening that
worked on the skills I though we could be successful at and it work (no
gamble Q but I wasn't really trying for that. Opening was
Dogwalk-jump-send to a tunnel-jump-dogwalk and it worked (phew.)
I was thrilled that the send to a tunnel worked, and that I could get
her back on the dogwalk.
Grand Prix - No teeter, and A-Frame didn't have enough of a run at it -
though she did try it. I tried the teeter twice and gave
up. The A-Frame I decided not to try again
The jumpers run had a place where it really called for a cross behind
which we'd been working on in class pretty diligently, but had only
very recently gotten past thrown toy. But armed with the "go" cue
we'd been working on previously we went over to the practice jump and
spent some time with "go over." No problem at all. Things
are looking up for this jumpers run.
Jumpers - Q! (not taped) and no run bys (2nd pl). I deliberately
ran it slower and methodically and kept my voice very calm. It
I do worry some about Trek learning to do agility slow. Cali was
always medium speed, but that may have been a factor of her jumping 12"
as when I moved her down she was a 9 year old speed daemon. But
slowing down is helping Trek learn better and Susan Garrett stresses
"DASH" Desire, Accuracy, Speed, Habitat (changing environments) and in
that order. Accuracy before
Speed. She also doesn't do nearly as many run bys. Of
course speedy Corgi Hubble was 15 seconds faster, but that's just the
way it's going to be right now, she needs more work on the basics.
Now I'm trying to figure out what to do about Madera next
weekend. My inclination is to just scratch her and eat the entry
fees and my part of the hotel room. Looking back I see 3 bailed
teeters which is not something I like her repeating - she did this even
after sucessfully doing those teeters (save for the Grand Prix one
which she'd never seen before). Now I could go to the trial and
just do jumpers and gamblers (and maybe the Grand Prix). Gamblers
doesn't have the four paw rule where if your dog bails you must skip
the obstacle and go on. Grand Prix doesn't either, but that's
with a lot of people watching so I'm not inclined to try it more than
once, and simply trying things at trials is fun but can really
backfire. What she needs is more experience and there really
isn't time between now and next weekend esp since I don't have time to
get down to San Jose to again borrow the teeter (or maybe I do - hmmm.)
Fri Oct 10
Spent 3 hours in
ER last night when, not to be outdone, Trek started
throwing up in color, first it was green which is the watch stage, but
when it turned red she won a trip to the
ER. She's ok ok now but a little subdued. We did have them
do an x-ray to check for blockages and there weren't any but her
intestine showed she'd eaten something furry/gritty. I don't
remember her getting into anything, though the grittyness could be her
(ahem) cleaning up after Yoshi (the continuing argument). There's
also the possibility she ingested some of the mulch which is not
poisinous, but could be irritating to her sensitive tummy.
[later on] No smoking guns in her poop.
Vet wants her on a bland diet which she'll get today, but is not
something I can maintain this weekend. Though she'll get her meds.
She's still going to Dixon this weekend but may
spend it all in a crate sleeping. (She didn't).
Wed Oct 8
Figuring out where we are on Yoshi walks sans cone. About the same, but he's very vigilant
Tue Oct 7
Cone day 10. Called Park Ctr to let them know that he was coming over.. I refrained from saying "Here.you deal with him." I dropped him off in the morning.
I called at noon. Staples are out and Cone is GONE! Hey ho
the cone is dead! Lori asked me if I wanted the cone back. I
declined and refrained from saying "Hell, no."
I brought him back and after a couple of careful sniffs from Trek they
immediately started to joyously play. Then Yoshi started rolling
in the grass in celebration of being able to do it (see photo).
Mon Oct 6
The Benedryl only mellowed him out for a couple hours last night,
Then at bedtime I gave him 2 dropperfuls of Pet Calm. He settled
a little but not really. At 3am he was up and fussing and, after
some cone surgery, I gave him another dropper. This sort of
calmed him down or I just passed out from exhaustion.
Cone day 9. picked up the Acepromazine oral tranquilizer from Park Ctr.
That night with much caution I gave him one tablet at 6:05pm and got my
cell phone and made sure the BAVS emergency room number was on it and
had the car keys in my pocket, and got the stethoscope out and double
checked that I could find his heart beat quickly. Dog pulses can
be found on the inside back leg, but just try to find one when you're
stressed and in a hurry and are not sure you have the right
place. He started to mellow out within 10 minutes, and within the
hour was very relaxed but not asleep. We kept him within sight
for an hour and a half or so and then when it appeared that he was
going to be ok, we let him go back into the bedroom to chill out.
It was a very peaceful evening, but it didn't last. Again at 3am
he was up and fussing. After much massaging of his neck we
finally got him to sort of chill out. and I resolved to call Park Ctr
and tell them that I was going to be dropping him by so his wound could
be evaluated to see if the staples could be removed.
At least it's nice to know that we can use Ace if we need to.
Sun Oct 5
Cone - day 8 of 13. Gods I hate that cone, but not nearly as much
as Yoshi does. He kept fussing and scratching and chewing at it
on and off (mostly on) all last night. I called the vet basically
asking for coping advice and saying how we were getting sleep
deprived. I later had a good talk with Dr. Applegate and we
decided that a sedative might help him. She said that we could
try Acepromazine, and I said (right after "Eeek") that he couldn't have
that because a littermate had died from cardiac arrest after Ace and
Telazole. She said that this was the oral version and that they
use it everyday in the hospital and while she knows of problems with
the injectable Ace, she more suspects the Telazole as there have been
more issues with it.
I assented with reservations, but the hospital had already closed so
I'll pick it up Monday. We then talked about Pet Calm and how
effective that had been for him. I told her that it worked great
but seems to have a short half-life and then he starts fussing in the
middle of the night (and we start suffering). She said to have it
at the ready to give to him in the middle of the night. She also
said she didn't know of any problems with Valerian and encouraged us to
explore herbal medicine as plants are definitely medicine. I
mentioned on how I wish there was a better way to know the potency and
she agreed and joked that she carefully researches any medicine she
takes, but was seeing an acupuncturists for her knee and was taking
Chinese herbs which she knew nearly nothing about and had little luck
finding much out about them.
I asked about using Benedryl to knock him out and she said that in dogs
it only makes 10% of them drousy, but to try it as it may help and she
agreed with my theory that it might help with the itching. It did
initially knock him out and I was hopeful, but, of course, as I type
this he's awake and trying to scratch and is back to chewing on the
cone. I am sometimes to the point of saying fine destroy it see
if I care, then I think better of it as I really don't want him
removing the staples and Dr Applegate tells me that it's still too soon
to take the staples out.
I also mentioned that I'd figured out that a slip lead will fit over
the cone so she encouraged us to take him on a long walk. I did
and he crashed right after it, but that was 4 hours ago and while he's
better than he was last night, I'm not optimistic on him sleeping
through the night so he's getting more Pet Calm.
Thu Oct 2
Much as I hate the cone that Yoshi is going to have to wear for another
week, I do love the peace that has settled on the household that it no
doubt had a role in bringing. A couple of days ago I stopped
giving him dropperfuls of Pet Calm to see what would happen and things
have been well calm relatively. Trek is still cautious around the
cone but doesn't run away from him and he has had no outbursts at
all. Even on walks he's better. Still tries to react if he
sees a dog, but chills out all the faster and the cone narrows down
what he can see periferally which seems to make a difference.
I've threatened to have him wear it all the time on walks if it didn't
make us all so miserable.
I did check around for a no bite collar and no luck at the first place
I checked but they recommended another store nearby. If I can't
find it locally we'll just suffer as by the time mail order would get
here the week would be nearly over.
I was having to walk him on his regular collar which wasn't fun till I
realized that a nice slip leash we have can be loosened enough to go
over the cone and then can be tightened back down. Now we can go
on nearly normal walks.
Now that he's on an enforced break from herding I've been thinking a
lot about how to go about the list that down in the Sept 15th entry.
Learning how to simple exist around sheep without screaming is this
winter's project, and I realized today that if I can get him to be
calmer around sheep then a lot of our sheep arguments will be much
For one is that he wants to charge the sheep into the pen which is way
dangerous and I haven't been letting him do it. If he can be
calmer, then the sheep won't be so far away from the pen (right now
they don't want to be any closer than 100' either that or they're
breaking down the gate to get it to get away from that possessed
dog. What I need is for Yoshi to stop and hold the flock about
40' away while I open the gate and then I send him out around the flock
and they go in. Even if he were to try to run them they would
already be in the pen.
i was also looking at the AKC Herding Course A which I've seen done at
the Corgi Nationals. With more control it's something I know he
can do. (Click image to make it more readable.)
Some dogs have trouble with the initial outrun as the handler has to
stay behind a line. That's no problem for Yoshi and it's one of
his strengths. He can fetch sheep to me from all the way across
the arena. He sometimes splits them but he's learning.
Speed and drive are not an issue. Calm down and slow down are the
mantras for the next few months.
Archive - Go to:
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
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