We're following a relatively ok yellow labX and then that dog starts
acting a little odd. Moving, almost pulling, sideways to the street -
but it could have been a really good smell save that there's someone in
the road sorta kinda standing at a funny angle. He goes vertical again
(he's behind a car). Thing seem to resolve in a couple of steps and
then a kid on a bike appears saying "Dad there's another dog!" Well
that's normal, kids point dogs out all the time. Then Dad appeared on
a bike and attached to Dad's bike is a reactive small JRT-like dog who
is trying to charge us and is pulling Dad over.. Yoshi understandably
loses it, I tackle Yoshi and they ride/wobble off as best they sort of
can. Good thing wannabe Cujo was small. I'm sure it is one of those:
sounded like a good idea at the time things. Yeesh.
Took a while, but Yoshi did settle down and was able to do some good work parallel walking with other dogs in the neighborhood.
But the above ridiculous situation is not something I really feel the
need to train for (unless we're going to be in some comedy). At the CU
Streetwalking sessions, we can arrange bikes, skateboards, runners,
children (with effort). balls, non-reactive dogs (both alive and less
so), but I don't feel we need to put a reactive dog on a slow moving
bike with someone riding it who hasn't quite thought things through,
that's just asking too much.
He really did so some nice work shadowing the same labX then another yellow lab and the a golden for a little while.
Sitting works best though he can do parallel walking now pretty well if
not surprised. He's still a disaster when surprised.
Tue Sep 29
Trek Walk. The trash truck made her nervous so we got within 1/2 a block ate treats and then turned off.
So my strategy is to back off to a comfortable distance and let the
other dog cross by while he eats and plays LAT. That distance is
now one street and one house width or 1/2 house length. How
comfortable he is depends on how the other dog is. A worried or
out of control dog worries him at this distance but backing off just a
few more feet makes it ok. The is way better than he used to be.
I've also decided that he's coming with us to agility to just hang out a little.
I can't believe I missed that dept.
Kathleen points out that the mixture in the study was only 15% GABA and instead is:
This explains why I'm not seeing much difference between 300 and
150mg. The study dose is only 45 mg but I can only go down to
75mg (1/32 tsp). I'll take him back down to 150mg (1/16 tsp) and
see how that goes. Bobbie is going to keep Merlin at 250mg (1/2
of a 500mg tablet she has) because he's sleeping through the night now
and had been waking her 2-3 times a night.
Looking at the other ingredients I can't help, but wonder if some L-tryptophan snuck in there. Look at all that lactose.
Mon Sep 28
Yoshi Walk at night. He does pretty well but because I can't see
as clearly (it finally occurs to me that he can see just fine) I
sometimes walk us into situations like a crossing dog whose owner
didn't stop. I had to have us dash out of the way which was not
relaxing at all.
Yesterday he was complimented on his great heeling and Lori made note of it on Friday also.
I was thinking about it tonight and found myself really sad that he
could only do Rally Novice and no obedience at all because I'm not
about to risk his herding career on him charging after a dog and maybe
even biting the dog to make them stop moving. (And sits and downs
with strange dogs - eek.) I am going to start bringing him to the
member's matches and work on Rally Novice there and see how he does,
but that doesn't really help the profound sadness I feel about how he
can't wow the world with his talent in that respect.
Sun Sep 27
CU Streetwalking Session at my house. Way fun and very
helpful. He was initially nervous walking with Wendy's Jasper a
very non-reactive Golden across the street. But when Jasper
started working with other dogs in front of the house and we just hung
out across the street, Yoshi settled down very nicely and could even
concentrate enough to do some great heeling work. Later in the
day he was able to do the same thing with Cathy's Flatcoat Storm across
the street. He seems better able to cope when he's stationary.
I also think I need to stop treating the street as a barrier though I
keep hoping they'll think of it that way. But being able to get
closer to a dog by walking in our street (which is pretty quiet), was
Thanks to everyone who was able to come to the CU Streetwalking session this past Sunday. All of the resident dogs (Yoshi, Trek and yes, even Jack) got a chance to get some great practice. We had a blast. Jack was particularly pleased as he gets taken so for granted around here. :)
Trek was also quite happy to be one of the non-reactive dogs. It was pointed out what a sweet job she has (don't react and eat treats). She says "It's good work if you can get it." Though she has only been used in CU situations where the other dog is under threshold usually. I don't think she'd like to be the dog that gets barked at in C.A.T. sessions.
Yoshi after being stressed initially, started to do very well once the focus was taken off of him and all he had to do was watch the activity going on across the street. I was surprised that it didn't seem to bother him that all the activity was going on in front of HIS house but he rarely sees his house from that view so maybe that's enough of an abstraction that he doesn't care then.
I and everyone else found it fascinating that when Jasper, Wendy's large non-reactive Golden, was laying down and we brought Yoshi up to him that Yoshi suddenly couldn't see large non-reactive Goldens who were laying down nearby. It was like Jasper had a force field or an SEP field around him. It took many minutes for him to even dare sniff Jasper's butt. It's entirely possible that even though Jasper is non-reactive he very much does NOT have wuss on his forehead and Mr. Y. knew that. Earlier if Jasper was moving Yoshi wasn't happy about it, but not moving was another story entirely.
Throughout the day Yoshi did better when he wasn't moving unless the other dog wasn't moving. I've been doing having him not moving in the presence of another dog for quite some time so was experimenting with moving but only having mixed success. It might just be a practice thing.
Thanks again and I'll let everyone else post about their experience (I really want to hear about Jack's work as I wasn't up close for some of it). I really like these sessions as we see something different in each dog every time.
Ellen and Terri
and Corgis Yoshi and Trek, and Jack the ever unflappable stuffed toy JRT
Fri Sep 25
Yoshi's herding instructor is saying that he's ready for an AHBA trial
Nov 14-15. I've been carrying around the entry forms for a couple
of weeks and maybe this is the nudge I needed.
To frapfest and coltsrunkids
Eek, when you train with someone you run the risk of them noticing that you are ready (in their mind) to compete.
Yoshi's herding instructor is saying that if we want we could enter JHD
at an ABHA trial that's being held where we train in Pescadero, CA.
In her mind, he's ready. In my mind, he's ready, but I'm only just now
coming up to speed so the idea of competing is more than a little
daunting (even though we're training at slightly above that level now.)
The real catch? This trial has a preference for Samoyeds. OMG the
place full of large white goofy dogs who look like ghosts. Such a sight
is just reactive dog hell. What a way to test out his calming
supplement. Good thing the trial isn't until Nov 14-15.
I'm staring at the form and I
think I should just send it in. Oct 3rd is his next training
session and that might be too late, so I should send it in and just eat
the entry fees if I don't feel he's ready.
So now I'll just worry about it instead.
Finally figured out how much B1 is in Yoshi's food. It's more of a next to nothing RDA type amount.
It's 12mg/kg If they really do mean per kilogram then things get pretty silly.
His food is 6.7 cups per kilogram, so there is a glorious 1.8 mg per
cup of vitamin B1 in his food so I can pretty much disregard it
especially since it's a water soluble vitamin and any extra just gets,
well, pissed away.
So tomorrow we'll start with ~25 mg of B1 and see if that makes any
difference. We'll do that for a week then add a similar amount of
B6. Likely nothing different will happen but Thiamine and B6 have
good reputations so they're worth trying. I was amused to see
that Yoshi's older calming supplement also has Niacin in it. I
take Niacin myself and I can't take it at night as it keeps me
awake. It's about the furthest from a calming supplement I can
think of - what were they thinking? Unless there's some
Trek Agility class
Did great on the grass and kinda pokey on the dirt which is the reverse
of how things usually are. I'm all set to work on weavepoles and
she of course does them perfectly.. We had a little pep talk when
she started to slow down on the dirt and she picked back up (I started
running with her instead of leading out.) Sometimes I have to
stop and think about how to be clear in communicating when I want Trek
to drive forward. And, as usual, use fewer but emphatic
words. It's funny in practice she doesn't seem to be as stressed
by my voice which means it's something I'm doing at trials.
Told Carol (owner of Fletcher who Yoshi jumped when he slipped his
collar) that I'd like to sometime bring Yoshi since he's so much better
these days. She seemed open to the idea.
[later at home]
A dog outside started alarm barking and Yoshi joined in and I called
him to come to me and he started to HOWL in frustration. My
strategy is to keep calling him to keep him focused, but it's really
hard when you're laughing.
Thu Sep 24
A post to Coltsrunkids:
While of course not perfect, Yoshi is a markedly different dog on his
current supplements. He'll react some, but recover quickly like a
normal dog would (Leave It actually has meaning now). It's really cool
to see, and it's not very complicated at all.
some Omega 3 oil
I may bump up his B1 and B6 once I figure out just how much is in his
food (gonna have to translate 12 mg/kg into cups somehow)
Prairie Beef (though I may change it to Prairie Salmon not sure)
1/2 c per meal
In other news
Bobbie Mayer's restless elderly corgi Merlin who was waking her up 2, 3
times a night is now sleeping through the night - he's getting 250mg of
GABA (and also L-theanine).
In her research she discovered that amino acids are in [complex] carbs which
explains why both dogs worsened on a grain free diet.
Bonnie points out correctly that amino acids are proteins so we'll have to do some more checking on the carbs claim.
Trek walk. Uneventful
Yoshi walk. Mostly uneventful even though we went through Lincoln
Park this time. Two off leash dogs I didn't let him see (went
another direction), the third was a young curious Springer in his
fenced front yard. Yoshi saw him and started to charge up, but I
was lucky enough to be right there and he charged right into food which
completely derailed him and then he was all too happy to play LAT on
the Springer. I was very happy with our good fortune.
Now the project is: since he's more manageable, not to put him in over
his head. I really think we need to start over on his obedience
though he is very good, and gets complements on the street, sometime
shouted from cars which makes me laugh. Yoshi was doing quite the
polished heeling down Gibbons and a cyclist asked "Now, isn't that a
good dog?" . I smiled and said "Sometimes."
We're having a CU Streetwalking session this Sunday at 11am. It's
very handy as I don't have to go looking for the dogs since they come
to me, and in return we spend quite a bit of time training and
observing their dogs. Trek's videos are here! Hurray. Now I get to see what we did wrong and right.
Main thing is tell her what to do and early and while don't chatter,
it's ok to repeat it, especially if she's just plowed into the back of
a chute (way funny).
Get her attention from time to time if there's a bright shiny object out there that you'd rather she not look at.
I need to figure out how to embed video here and then take screenshots and annotate them
Let's try this:
It works! But make sure you click the full screen button.
Oh and I get to use my new catch phrase: Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.
You Tube lets me annotate some and I can do some with iMovie though when I edit it I lose the HD.
She's getting it but needs more mileage and she did both teeters!
Yahoo. Time to swap out the teeter for the weavepoles.
I think I will do Haute Dawgs probably for one day (It's Oct 10-11). Herding is the week before (Oct 3).
Wed Sep 23
Yoshi dog stalking walk
Very productive! 6 encounters.
and he did pretty well. Not perfect of course, but he's mostly able to retain his composure.
- On Court, said hello to a man standing in front of an open garage
beside a car. Yoshi starts barking but not really lunging but
I've gotten right up to him to interrupt and then feed him, puzzled I
look back to see that there's a Scottie standing 15 feet away.
Scottie is unfazed and owner calls the dog back in. I stop and
keep feeding him and then move on. It takes about 1/2 a block for
him to start to relax and then is back to close to normal by a block
which is faster than in times past.
- At the corner of Court and Central there are two dogs waiting to
cross to our side. I realize that it's been quite a while since
we tried walking away from other dogs as usually haven't dogs behind
him makes him nervous. So we give it a try and turn down Central
with them following behind us. I'm getting this swivel head
there's a monster behind us behavior, but I tell him leave it and we
repeat it once (monster! - leave it) and then he chills out and walks
with me though ever so often sneaking a peak. Then while we're
being sort of chased, a Pomeranian appears on the other side
approaching and he may have barked once, I'm not sure, but passed that
dog quickly. The monsters turn off.
- Then a medium sized black dog starts to cross the street in front of
us (perpendicular to us). I stop 2.5 house widths away and the
dog passes in front of us without a reaction. I decide to see
what happens if we do "follow that dog." Now it used to be that
following a dog was the only way we could get close to a dog but now
he's the most animated I've seen him since barking at the
Scottie. Up on his toes and breathing shallowly. I decide
that we're not getting anywhere and let that dog go and go completely
around the block back to Central.
- We again head down Central and just as we were about to turn down
Gibbons a relatively slow moving Aussie is coming right at us. So
we turn around and head the other way and we have a repeat of:
<swivel head> Monster (not barking though). Leave it. <head
turns forward>. step step step <swivel head> Monster ...
What was funny was this was a slow moving monster that we occasionally
had to stop to wait for them to again get within half a block. I
was pretty amused. He held it together.
- Just as monster turns down a street, a medium size black down appears
across the street and walks parallel to us (we waited for them to catch
up). As the dog approached Yoshi made some subtle guttural sounds
but when told to leave it he was all to happy to eat instead.
While parallel walking he kept a careful eye on the dog but no barking,
no explosions. Just a careful watch.
We're really getting somewhere. I think I'd like to start his
obedience and rally training over again and see how he does.
We'll probably stay in the higher level classes as he knows and likes
most of those dogs.
Tue Sep 22
Let's psychoanalyze Trek for a moment
I think her initial 2 years of a life of leisure is an influence. She so
doesn't want to go back to it (1 of 30 dogs, instead of the 1 of 2 that
she is now), but having someone tell her what to do when running is
taking her some adjustment. Running pell mell is her joy. She's fine
but any stress tends to make her peel off and run in circles. Maybe I
should just not correct her, but it's something I know she can learn.
We just have to find a balance.
I think the running aspect explains why she loves working obedience but
has trouble focusing when moving. When growing up her joy was to race
around the large yard with her brother and smell all the intoxicating
smells or play indoor fetch with a squeaky toy.
She didn't grow up working for food though she loves harassing me to
work, but when running it's harder for her.
I think when working on weaves if she pops I'm just going to hide that
she's going to be doing them over, but just taking her in a loop and
having her to them again even though that takes more time than just
completing 11 and 12.
And she's moving back down to PI until she gets the full title (needs 2
more standard Q's and that's it). And no more inflicting her on pairs
for a bit she has one and that's all she needs. Funny she got that
pairs Q during the Friday evening of the Bayteam super regional. Maybe
we can just seek out evening agility (good luck with that.)
I haven't decided how serious to get with her obedience. Yoshi is just
starting to get more manageable (thanks to GABA and L-theanine), so I
tend to want to let it be his domain. Not sure yet - maybe alternate
Wed classes. Yoshi definitely gets to go to the matches and work Rally
I want to increase Yoshi's Thiamine just a little bit (he gets 12
mg/day in his food), maybe B6 ("Pyridoxine Hydrochloride" egads - he
gets 19mg of that) as well don't know. Fortunately the B vitamins
are water soluble so risk of over dose is very low, but I take Niacin
for genetically high triglycerides (despite not being overweight) and
it keeps me awake so I can only take it in the morning and there's on
so no way he's getting any of that (fortunately while his food has lots
of B vitamins it doesn't have that.) So I'd like to increase it
to maybe 30 or 50 mg. Wonder if I'll be able to find Thiamine in
such low quantities. Checking Drugstore.com shows 100mg tablets
which is a lot better than the 500mg ones i found (yeesh).
They're super cheap (around $5 for 100) and I can get them anywhere it
appears. Quartering one of those would be 25mg and that would be
Foodwise II compared Prairie (which I can never spell) to Timberwolf
and for what he needs nutritionally Prairie comes out ahead, and I see
there's a salmon formula that maybe I can special order from Dog Bone
Trek's last obedience class with Terri is tonight.
They did great. Trek is listening more to Terri and will heel
with her. Did some nice recalls also. I showed Terri how to
do stand for exam and Trek is getting it but needs a lot more
practice. Stays are good but not solid. Did stays with
distractions until they started bouncing a ball which Trek tolerated
for 30 seconds but then I picked her up to leave before any
meltdowns. She was starting to pant and was glancing around for
an escape, but kept her stay until I picked her up. She was
stressed but wasn't to the shaking stage yet.
Another person in class mentioned that Flax Seed capsules seems to help with dry eye. Worth a try.
Mon Sep 21
Trek walk. Fine. Yoshi walk. Remarkably also
fine. Saw 2 dogs go by 1/2 a block away no reaction save for
wanting to pee everywhere they did since part of our walk was following
in their footsteps. LWFD 1/2 a block down - no reaction.
DVD night with Cathy. Yoshi demonstrated his bark at the window
and come to me (and away from the window) with little arguing.
The only concern is that he's bugging Trek a little more but he's
always bugged her. I think she's just getting less patient with
Sat-Sun Sep 19-20
Trek USDAA agility at Woodland. Silly dog is back. Zero for
six. Two times she walked off the course because it was too hot
and I can't say I blame her. Both times you can hear on the
sidelines "smart dog." It was around 90 degrees. Tolerable
in the shade but once you got out there even with the wind it
cooked. Ann tells me that October is a cooler month and that
Haute Dawgs Oct trial is still open. I asked if she promised and
she said "yes, it's on order." Because I don't really want to
blow through a bunch of entry fee money, I actually did check using
wunderground's weather history data at http://www.wunderground.com/history/.
She's right, the average monthly temperature for October is 10 degrees
lower than Sept. However there are spikes so it's still risky.
But back to princess dog. The mornings were erratic
zooming. The good news is that she did two teeters without
issue. Her standard courses were clean but over time. Over
time in PI Standard, while net nearly so bad as over time in CPE, is
pretty pathetic and she was really doing some whizzing by things.
I'm wondering if I stop calling her and just stop moving if she'll
notice (probably) but I'm so focused on keeping her on course that I
call her back. As soon as I correct something things seem to
degrade. Though I've fixed things before and she's been ok (like
at Bayteam). She's consistently popping weaves at the 10th
pole. I guess I should put the teeter away and get the weaves out
though the grass is a bit long and I should probably cut it shorter for
that. I hope we all go to 24" weaves as they're much easier for
Funniest moment was on Saturday when doing a gamble she tried to take a chute backwards. I'm buying that video for sure.
Standard - erratic, weave pole issues (I'm actually forgetting and will have to see the video again.)
Gamblers - ran well, except for plowing into the back of the chute which wasn't in the gamble
Jumpers - stalked off the start line into the shade (90 degree heat)
Standard - erratic, weave pole issues
Pairs - Erratic and over time, weave pole issues
Gamblers - 5 obstacles and then ran around the A-Frame and out of the
ring into the shade (This is where Ann tells me that October is cooler)
Snooker - scratched and left
Think I'll just get the 2 standard videos and the silly gambler one.
So I paid for 7 courses and did just over 4 of them. Maybe Trek
really does want to be a NADAC dog (wide open courses with no teeters
though they do have weaves). We could spent the winter going to
WAG as covered arenas that don't have booming teeters are fine.
You know I wasn't really serious when I typed that but it is a
thought. Though I'm such a USDAA person as I love it so much, and
every time I go to NADAC I end up breaking some minor rule
somehow. Maybe some NADAC and just keep Trek in PI for all the
courses until she gets her PI title. We'll maybe Advanced snooker
since the courses aren't all that different, and maybe PII Gamblers and
PII Jumpers. Though I don't know as as soon as I get a Q at that
level I can't go back like I can now, so maybe not Gamblers and Jumpers.
I keep wondering about Trek. She's actually very sensistive even
though she doesn't show it. She's fine on a run until I correct
something then she's starts whizzing by things. I keep hoping
this will improve with time and it is but sometimes hard to see.
Until someone who hasn't seen her in a few months comes up saying how
much improved she is.
Gamblers Math since I just had to work this out
P=Points needed in opening
T=Time in seconds
H=Highest Pointed obstacle
I added the parens for clarity though they're not necessary.
Most common scenario is H=7 and T=30
If H=5 then 15
Though in starters/P1 you only need 13 instead of 15 and I'm not sure
what the actual formula is. Let me email my score table expert....
Things get more arcane when the time is 25 seconds. Then you round up.
Fri Sep 18
Yoshi's GABA increased to 300mg. My concern is that it will be
too much. Initially there seemed to be no change but he was much
more subdued at Lori's class.
Yoshi to Lori's class The parts he knows (the heeling and
some of the signaling) he did great on. Someone from the
previous Open class came it and got their little black dog out to go
home which totally surprised him to have another dog materialize out of
thin air, but I got his eyes covered in time and he didn't react, but
he tensed. In general he did great. Lori said he had the
drugged look but as still responsive.
When they started doing article, I got one of the crate mats out for
him to lay down on. The fact that he was willing to lay on his
mat is a good sign though he did snark at some passing dog if I wasn't
paying attention (so much work.)
He was starting to get stressed so I put the Caling Cap on him. He
did fine with that, but his stress level seemed to be creaping up so we
left before class ended and the dangerous milling abut phase.
Thu Sep 17
Trek walk. Walked her down to High St which is busier. That
was ok for a block but the corner where there was a corner store and a
traffic light and more noise she wanted to leave so we turned down the
street, unfortunately with bikes behind us on the sidewalk that we hid
in a driveway from. We were going to cross the street to go
further but she didn't want to go that was as there was someone
bouncing a ball. Not wanting her to hate walks I passed on
pushing the point as I want her to like the walks so we went on and had
quite a nice walk.
How about 3 for 4? Saw 4 dogs, and did a lot of running across
the street. The first one (small to medium size, brown, curly
tail) I wasn't sure what to expect so we crossed the street and tried
to just walk calmly by with me treating him, but he locked onto the dog
and tried to charge. I caught him with in a foot which was just
enough for him to start gagging on the treats still in his mouth which
completely broke his focus and I could get him back to focusing on
me. I belatedly remember the leave it mantra that worked
What's interesting is that he's not freaked by the experience but is
pretty relaxed. Got a bit hyped when a kid ran past him but not
stressed really. Now on Gibbons
Then we turn the corner and see a LWFD one
block down. We cross the
street and I resolve to really stress the leave it mantra and feed him
a stream of treats as I really want him to succeed They're coming at a
good pace (still on the other side of the street) and they getting close to even with us
pretty quickly, I am telling him "leave it, good
boy, leave it" as we walk to the corner (he's at my side then I'm
walking backwards for part of the time. I look to see if they gone
past. No, they've stopped to watch! (Eek, I guess we are an out of the
ordinary sight :), I look up and nod and tell him to leave it and give
him another treat and they move on down the street. I realize now that
it's so deceptive to watch from a distance as you have this dog who
obviously is a star obedience dog (in their eyes) and they have no idea
that there is a potential barking, lunging, explosion just being staved
off. I have to take into account that the dogs we stalk may decide to
stalk (sort of) back.
Thinking we were through with dog sightings we cross back to the side
of the street that we need to be on. Then I hear kids laughing
and running with a medium size dog right at us though hidden from
Yoshi's view for this second. We duck behind a parked car and
race across the street again actually in time for another leave it
session and I note with some satisfaction that this dog looks very
similar to the one he reacted to (curly tail) though I thought the
first one was a shiba and this one definitely wasn't.
Just as soon as they leave a Papillon (another honorary LWFD) appears
and we have another session. (Cool, but I'd like to go home now.)
Wed Sep 16
Trek noon walk. Not much of one, I took her towards the school
and probably should have done our usual walk instead, but I got her
near the school and she got lots of treats for it.
Yoshi walk. Almost ended anticlimactically as we weren't seeing
any dogs. I decided that we really needed to find some so we took
off to the school. Still didn't see any dogs til 3/4 the way
around then saw a yellow lab heading down Versailles (we were on Buena
Vista). I wasn't sure if they were going to turn and head right
for us so we crossed BV and parked ourselves 2 houses (one was long so
more like 2.5 houses). The lab crossed BV continuing down
Versailles and they crossed right in front of us from a comfortable
distance and Yoshi showed no reaction.
We chased after them, but someone wanted to say hi to Yoshi so we
stopped said hello and then lost them. We were working out way
back home and saw a lab mix approaching the wide part of Gibbons on the
other side of the street which is perfect as it's really wide there and
tapers closer. Since yesterday he seems freaked about stopping I
let him walk along beside the dog. He barked once but it was an
excited bark not a Get That Dog bark. We kept parallel walking
with them crossing Lincoln and continuing up the street Yoshi is aware
of the dog but not freaking out. We both can tell that the dog is
female by the way she stops to pee and this enables us to catch
up. Then she stops to poop and right at that moment we arrive at
the corner of Santa Clara and Gibbons, now he's been such a good dog I
think it's time to walk away but to get back home we can either turn
around, but I do so hate to make our dog stalking look so obvious, so I
take a huge chance and we cross Gibbons to continue to go down Santa
Clara. The other dog is 1/2 a house away but occupied and I'm
hoping that we get across before running smack into them. It was
close, dog and owner recommence walking down Gibbons pretty much right
at us. I'm conversationally and as gently as I can telling Yoshi
"leave it. good boy. leave it. good boy." When he looks
over I tighten the leash which over the months has evolved into a cue
to look at me (how cool is that?). He did it! the other dog
came within 10 feet of us and he walked on by without reacting.
Details on the other dog (since I got such a good look) were
small-medium size black lab X with a greying muzzle and not
confrontational at all, though she did notice us. She appeared to
be an older version of Ruby who he saw just two days ago.
I am thrilled. It means that we can work on just walking normally
now instead of having to stop and do counter conditioning (we obviously
still have to do that but these days he might find it easier if he's
All in all we walked nearly 2 miles. This dog stalking makes one
take really strangely circuitous routes as drawing it out on the map
makes it look really silly.
I am still planning on trying him on the higher GABA dose come Friday, but he may not need it.
Tue Sep 15
Where is my neurotic dog? - Has anyone seen him?
Yoshi noon walk. To be fair we didn't see any dogs, but saw two cats
and hobnobbed with 3 people and even saw the mail carrier with a pith
helmet (from a 1/2 house width distance but it was our property he was
walking on) and he didn't criticize USPS fashion sense this time.
He's also walking like a regular dog and is not longer stopping at every tree like he was doing when we first put him on GABA.
This is day 5, and he hasn't seen many dogs, and it's still too early
to really glean much save that his is more relaxed, which by itself is
such a gift.
And why aren't we all talking about this?
neurotic dog is back. Saw two dogs approaching - a lab and a mini
schnauzer. They were across the street and coming right towards us,
I backed him off 1/2 a house width to see how he'd do and he
reacted. Barking and stressing. The other person said
they'd take a detour and turned down Court instead of continuing down
Santa Clara. After thinking about it we followed at a respectful
2 house+ distance. He stayed amped the entire time even when they
were out of sight.
Does this mean that the GABA had worn off (he had it in the morning)?
He hadn't had enough of it? He's getting 1/2 of what the study dogs got.
Or that it doesn't help in these circumstances?
If I increase it do I go to twice a day or just double the morning dose?
I'm not going to do anything till next week
[Trek and Terri class]
They set up a mini agility course and Trek got to demo. She though the equipment was a little strange but she did fine.
Then they worked on stays (they did great) and some heeling. I really need to work with Terri on heeling with Trek.
One more class to go
Just out of curiosity I took Yoshi out again. Normally he's kind
of a freaky boy at night and he started out that way but then relaxed
and we had a nice walk (no dogs - nothing notable at all really).
Given how hyped he was during the early evening this is a nice surprise.
Maybe he just has to continue to learn how to relax around dogs now that he has some supplement help with it.
Mon Sep 14
Noon. Yoshi walk
Today we moved his GABA to the morning (to go along with the L-theanine) and have cut the Genesis.
I really want to find some dogs.
Things started out not great even before the walk as Snowball the cat
was in the yard (I didn't see him) and the dogs chased him up the fence
and he left the yard, and Yoshi wouldn't come, but kept going back to
where he climbed the fence. I finally walked to that spot and he veer
into the yard and when I stopped chasing him he finally stopped. I
wonder if it would have made any difference to use the Stop or Down
herding commands. Not likely but I wonder.
I really hope they don't ever catch up to that cat as they will get hurt (the cat will likely be fine).
So off on our walk and he has recovered from the cat chase. He sees
another cat, but this one is dead still so we stop and play LAT on it.
He does great at this. Clearly the trigger again is motion.
No dogs during the walk at all until we get all the way back and there
is a woman with her small to medium sized black dog (lab x) talking to
my neighbor. Cool. I see her sit her dog down and she says "Be
nice." Oh a CU dog, this should be fun. I sit Yoshi down
behind a car and slowly work him out to where the dogs can see each
other. Perfect. No outbursts or anything. The other dog is being
great too and is more looking on with curiosity (she's not what I
would consider a CU dog). He does LAT without my having to have a
treat directly in front of his nose and nary a peep - he didn't even
stiffen. After a few times I tell him what a great dog he's been and
we go inside.
Because I like to proselytize, I grab Control Unleashed book and go out
to say hello. Her name is Jane and the dog is Ruby who is 4 years old
and very people friendly. She says that Ruby's responses are
inconsistent and sometimes she barks at dogs and sometimes she
doesn't. I know that when I hear that that the owner hasn't spent
enough time observing what happens when the dog barks, as healthy dogs
are remarkably predictable. Even Special Needs Yoshi who has something
of a brain chemical imbalance is very predictable - he's not psychotic
(hence unpredictable as a psychotics reality is often vastly different
from what a "normal" person would say it was), he's just exceedingly
neurotic. I don't have time to teach Jane this, but I'm cheered to
learn that she lives just right around the corner (I pretty much
instantly like her dog Ruby). She makes a note of Control Unleashed
and Leslie McDevitt's name. I explain that it's very good for teaching
I take him on another walk as I really want to see him when he sees other dogs.
First one was hardly fair at all as while approaching a street corner a
beagle going in the crossing direction appears out of nowhere.
We're within half a house distance (way to close) so we spin right
around and go in the other direction. He is barking at the dog
over his shoulder, but not having a meltdown. At one and a half
house widths he settles down and I see the Beagle has moved on.
We stand there a second to settle back down and he does.
Then something extraordinary happened. I notice that just across
the street are 3 Little White Fluffy Dogs playing off leash in that
house's front yard. Yoshi is usually completely horrible about
LWFDs so I edge him out slowly from behind a parked car so he can see
them. He watches them with interest and he doesn't react(!)
We even start playing LAT on them and he does great. These dogs
are not stationary they are
running around unleashed. It doesn't appear to bother him.
(Whoa.) We continue on our walk the rest being uneventful.
Dosage. I think I'm going to keep him at this half strength
dosage (150mg) till Friday which would be 7 days and then consider
increasing it. I need to see in more dog approaching situations
Sun Sep 13
Yoshi long walk. Looking for dogs and not find many.
Walk. Walk. Walk. Only 1 dog and it was an old slow mostly boring
Scotty), Yoshi pretty much paid him no mind (which is a nice change),
but I kept a distance as the dog was off leash, and with a small kid,
and well I find Scotty's a little inheritly reactive so I didn't want
to trust it. In fact the dog did notice us and started towards us
so we quickly walked on. Also saw one cat (exciting but he
eventually recovered), what was funny is that he walked right past the
cat who was up on a perch 3' in the air and didn't notice until the cat
jumped off, and 2 squirrels which he looked at and looked back at me
But no normal walking dogs and we looked and looked
Lincoln-Court-Central-turned around and went back down Central-then
back down Court-turned on Santa Clara and went into Lincoln Park.
Hung out in the front section for a while, gave up and went to the back
area where on the way saw the boring Scotty, then wandered around the
ballfield for a while before giving up and going out the back which
eventually put us back on Central that we then took all the way down to
Gibbons and back to Lincoln. It was spooky. Doesn't anyone
walk their dogs on Sunday between 8:30 and 9:30? It was
about 2 miles (he usually gets 1 mile). What's funny/annoying is
that he gets back and doesn't act the least bit tired.
I had told Tasha that I could come by and bring her drinks at the ODTC
booth. Trek got to come along. I blissfully had forgotten
where on the route the booth was save for on Solano so i parked near
the bottom and later learned that the booth was near the top.
What I hadn't planned on was that there is a parade too, and we walked
right into it. I held Trek for a little while but it quickly
became too much for her so we retreated. The parade ended and
then we had to search for the booth. I finally found someone
official to ask and she told me the location and then we hoofed it the
12(!) blocks to get to the booth. Trek is sort of coping but not
really esp when there is a loud drum (which I try to steer her
around). We get to the booth and I'm amused to see that 2 of the
3 dogs are what I consider CU dogs, but Tasha explained to me that
Calle loves people (and there probably aren't a whole lot of horses or
sheep around either). The other one snarks a bit at Trek but that
dog's owner notices and verbally corrects the dog. I take Trek to
the back of the booth to see if she can relax there but right next door
is about 100 small wind chimes and i can tell this isn't going to
work. The other side of them was setting up for live music.
So we say our good byes and head off down a side street which Trek
enjoyed a whole lot more.
The interesting thing was that since I was carrying a shopping bag I
couldn't carry her so she had to cope and she did. She didn't
panic as she didn't start dragging me, she just came along, stopping
every so often to let people pet her (she seemed to like that).
The funny moment was when we were leaving I bent down to pick her up to
carry her past a tight section and she rolled over to have me put her
belly (or maybe run interference). We were out of the way so I
indulged her for a little while before picking her up. Once past
the tight section I put her back down and she was relatively fine, but
happy to escape to a side street. So it appears that she's
getting more tolerant tf noise and chaos. She's not a fan, but
Back to Yoshi
Cut out the Genesis (yesteray) and he seems ok.
Tomorrow we're going to move the GABA to the morning since it and L-theonine work together.
Sat Sep 12
Thunderstorms in Sept! It started suddenly raining around 1:30am
(I was up late watching Jockeys on the internet - my first chosen
occupation which due to my average size never happened.) I waited
for a break in the rain and took the dogs out and they were fine.
Back in and it started to thunderstorm again. What's interesting
is that sound sensitive Trek doesn't give a hoot about
thunderstorms. Yoshi does bark at them, but doesn't start shaking
like a thunderstorm phobic dog does. I find out this morning that
several people had sleepless nights. And Yoshi? Hardly a
peep at all. A definite difference
He saw one JRT. Some definite reaction (stiffen, shift weight to
back legs, fast intake of breath, one bark - then I get food in front
of him, and then he ate while breathing faster), but he recovered
faster. He's usually a freaky boy for much of the rest of the
walk and now he settled down in 1/2 a block. And he's taking the
time to pee on things and roll on the grass like a normal boy
The annoying flip side of being more relaxed. I'll take it.
3:30pm he seems more antsy (but it's been 22 hours since he has had a dose).
Took him on another walk to watch him. He was acting like he
usually does on walks for about half of it (looking around, hyper
alert, sort of up on his toes). About 1/2 way through he started
to relax some which is pretty typical. Started finding trees to
pee on. Not sure if his morning mellowness if from the
Genesis. I'm going to try taking that out tonight
(completely I was just going to stop the evening, but I want to see the
morning behavior tomorrow.)
Bobbie sent me some really interesting info about Gaba producing
food. Carbs play a big factor which is why having him on Trek's
grain-free food (Innova EVO) didn't really work.
[will post more info in a bit]
Fri Sep 11
walk. 2 dogs Corgi and a Golden that we followed. Yoshi
wasn't tense at all, but following dogs is his power position but he
seems more relaxed.
[will fill in]
GABA Math since a couple people were asking me.
The study used 30mg/kg. Yoshi is just over 22 lbs which is almost 10kg.
So that would be 300mg. I cut all recommended doses in half to start with (unless a vet says otherwise)
So I want to give him 150mg/day
The capsules I have are 750mg
750/150 = 5
So I have to figure out how to get 1/5 of a capsule.
Not quite weird science moment.
I pour it out and start messing around with how many 1/4 tsp it is. Just over 4 but not 5.
I eye balled a capsule to be 5/16 tsp (I have since bought a 1/16th tsp measuring spoon)
so his current dose is 1/16 tsp which is right around 150 mg.
Now that I have a dosage, I opened several of the capsules and put the powder in a small tupperware.
Over a week it's likely he'll get used to the dosage and we may want to increase it to 300mg (1/4 tsp).
I found the mini tsp measures at our local kitchen store. They
have these amusing designations of pinch (1/8 tsp) dash (1/16) and
100mg was recommended by his vet, but that's actually a human dose and
I'm inclined to cut it in half, but I only want to change one thing at
a time. Next change is to cut the evening dose of Genesis Anxiety.
Yoshi walk. Saw Darwin - fine. Saw a mail carrier sans pith helmet and he was fine. Such a fashion critic.
Trek walk, uneventful.
Doing some research into Cali's disease - still heartbreaking as it's still a brutal disease.
But wow a whole lot of info to report on cancer screening and my first use of GABA on Yoshi.
Dr Applegate called me and told me that she called our local oncologist
at BAVS Dr Siedlecki and they had a good conversation about my question
about using abdominal ultrasounds as early cancer detection.
Here's a summary I sent off to Bayteam and Frapfest:
Greetings Bayteam and Alameda dog residents,
Ever since I lost my Corgi Cali to Histiocytic Sarcoma 4 1/2 years ago
I've been thinking that there had to be a way to get more early warning
for cancer. It wasn't lost on me that the only reason that I had a
month's warning was because her cancer was discovered by accident during
an ultrasound. Over the years, I couldn't help but notice that the
primary diagnostic tool was abdominal ultrasound.
Given incidents of late and given my own experience, a few days ago I
sent off what I regarded as a slightly paranoid email to my vet Dr. Mary
Applegate of Park Centre Animal Hospital in Alameda asking if it would
be useful for a dog to have a cancer screening abdominal ultrasound at
age 8 or 9. Instead of telling me that I'm being over-reactive, she
calls our local Vet Oncologist at Bay Area Veterinary Specialists, Dr.
(http://www.bayvetspecialists.com/ourdoctors.htm#Siedlecki) who is
someone that far too many of us have had occasion to talk to.
Not only does Siedlecki think that screening abdominal ultrasounds are a
good idea, she does it to her own dogs, and she thinks it should be done
as regularly as is financially feasible starting around age 6 (she does
it every year, but she has access that most of us don't).
She also added that another good diagnostic tool around age 8 is a chest
X-ray which can catch cancers that start in the lungs and if you catch
them early then they can be curable.
and Corgis Yoshi and Trek
They also had a serious conversation about my mostly joking question of
should I have my dogs' spleens out now. The gist was that if a
dog is going to get histio then it will start in another area if there
isn't a spleen. And of course that cancers can start in other
areas, just the spleen is a common one.
I asked about how she diagnoses lymphoma and it's actually pretty
obvious as in dogs they are lethargic and the lymph nodes under the
chin are swollen, plus there are ones behind the knees. Cats are
actually much harder as they hid the fact that they are sick and the
lymph nodes are more hidden.
Dr Applegate went on to say that they usually have to talk people into
an ultrasound (because it's not cheap - theirs are $360 which in all
fairness hasn't really changed since Cali had one), it's rare to have
someone actually asking for one. I told her that agility people
are pretty twitchy about their dogs' health (I say that in the most
positive way I possibly can) and they would likely be all for it, if
it's financially doable.
So later on this year Mr. Y. is going to get a belly shave. I
need to pay the flower stamen snorting bills first. I really wish
I could find a way to take a photo of it in its test tube with a $380
price tag hanging off of it. I did submit his insurance claim so
should be hearing from that too as well.
And what I was working on when Dr
Applegate called was my first experiment with GABA since I had the
whole evening to watch Yoshi and see how he responded:
Has anyone tried GABA on their CU dogs? I'm experimenting with it on Yoshi some tonight. To be fair, I took one as well (yes, I feel some effect - not sure what - maybe a touch mellower).
I'm using something close to 150 mg on him (750mg for me).
talks about using GABA to see if it helped older dogs with a host of issues, but it also reports that others have had success using GABA in children (yes, humans) with behavioral problems. The article is really interesting and isn't too technical.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is actually not an herb, but is an amino acid derivative and is (quoting from the bottle) "a key inhibitory neurotransmitter." What's intriguing to me is that it's not an herb - I have difficulty getting herbs to last very long and wearing off at really inconvenient times. :)
The study in the article used a dose of 30mg/kg and the capsules I have are 750mg. Since I don't yet have a gram scale I eyeballed it with the goal of getting him about 150 mg since I wanted to give him half the dose they used (he's about 10kg). In practical terms it was about 1/4 of a 1/4 teaspoon (in other words a 16th of a teaspoon. A capsule of this is basically a heaping 1/4 teaspoon. The GABA I have here is by Source Naturals, and was just over $19 for 90 capsules. Now that I have an amount that I can work from (either by raising or lowering that base amount) I can empty out all the capsules into a container and just measure directly from there.
It's now been over a hour and he does seem mellow - still alerting to things he hears both inside and outside the house, but has less of that over the top frenzy that I have to interrupt so he can get himself under control. Of course as I type this there's something he's grousing about so we'll have to see how this goes, but he just got himself under control - it didn't take me telling him to chill out. Hmmmm.
If anyone has successfully GABA on their CU dog we'd love to hear about it.
Ellen Clary and CU Yoshi and the Un-CU Trek
As the evening has progressed there have been several occasions where
Yoshi would bark at another barking dog and would chill out either on
his own or by talking to him in a normal tone of voice. I haven't
had to yell all evening which used to be the only thing that got his
attention. He's acting like a normal dog. How weird.
Wed Sep 9
The second of the dogs that Yoshi originally trained with got his
Herding Started Title. This is such an assume achievement, but
it's pretty hard to hear as with Yoshi it's been a much harder
road. The first blow (which was really a favor) was that that
instructor decided she didn't want to work with him. Then I took
some time off to think about it before it became clear that to get
control of his impulses, he was going to have to learn to herd.
Then the journey began again. There are now two places that I can
take him to herd and they like him. I don't think I'll ever get
over being peeved about him being misunderstood at the original place,
but the only way to really work through that is to go back there to
compete when he's ready and do really well. Given that he and I
are only just now starting to click, that's not going to be right away,
but it has to happen or I'm just not going to let it go. Our
current instructor has offered to train him at that facility and
essentially said she'd run interference (my term) for him if necessary.
Anyway, those two dogs have their HSA's and Yoshi doesn't yet have his
PT even though he has the skills for it, but I have to keep in mind
that I'm actually training him for HSA. It's tempting to skip PT
and just go for HSA but that's giving up a lot. The bummer is
that there aren't any more PTs in this area for this year, so we either
have to travel or wait till next year.
But this is all just messing with my head. Yoshi learning to herd
is about him and I working together and him getting control of
himself. The titles are completely secondary.
Yoshi dog walk uneventful, though he did see BC Darwin at the end and
while I made Yoshi sit and eat for a bit while Carol (his dog walker)
and I were chatting I did have him approach. Yoshi said hello
nicely and then wanted to play which Darwin was willing to, but the
play would have been rough and Carol didn't know how to read it and
Darwin was still unsure so we decided to end it there. Carol is
around for 3 weeks while Mady is on vacation so maybe I should try and
Sun Sep 5
Yoshi and Trek play tourist at the Bay Team Super Regional. I was a full time worker today, but I also had both dogs.
(Copied from my Facebook status) Such a bittersweet day. Both of
my dogs exceeded my expectations of how they tolerated the Regional
which didn't seem nearly so big because of the large field at
Prunedale, but I'm very sad that Corgi Koby passed away last night from
internal bleeding - I don't know the details. I'm regretting not saying
hello to him Friday even though he was right nearby. We always assume
we'll have another time <shudder>
I saw Koby from a distance on 20' on Friday and he looked ok though he
was sitting in an expen. On Saturday he was obviously ill (hearsay),
she had Vet Cindy take a look at her and Cindy said Koby was bleeding
internally and that this was a grave emergency, and well we can surmise
I wondered how Cindy knew this and I woke up at 3:30am this morning
remembering from Cali that all Cindy had to do is take one look at the
dog's gums and saw white. (end of copy)
I'm glad I managed to actually go back to sleep. And I'm slightly
alarmed that my emotional defenses actually temporarily blocked that
important bit of knowledge out. Checking the gums is part of a
basic physical exam and tells you so much. To their puzzlement,
both Trek and Yoshi got their gums looked at more than once this
morning, so I knew what their healthy gums looked like (pink, not
white, not red - pink). If you see white, your dog needs a
transfusion: Stat. I can tell you that firsthand.
I can actually speculate more here. Hearsay said it was a
bleeding tumor. IF that's correct, it means that Koby likely had
masses in his spleen (like what Cali had, as other dogs as well), and
one of them burst (not with Cali as hers was removed hours after the
masses were discovered). If that happens the dog has hours to
live. Cali's was discovered during an exploratory abdominal
ultrasound because she was showing symptoms of slowing down. I
was lucky she had a tricep injury and was having the ultrasound done
anyway. Many other dog's don't show symptoms and since this
happens when doggy is 8 or 9 some slowing down is expected and can
easily be missed. I was lucky in that I had just moved Cali's
jump height to 8" instead of 12". For a couple of months she was
completely outrunning me, and then that suddenly changed. That's
how I knew something was amiss. If you don't have that
opportunity to see a dramatic change it's going to get missed (if doggy
even shows you anything is wrong).
Over time some of us have watched the terrible effect of losing a dog
(well any being you care about) suddenly. With Cali, I had a
month which was hell, but it's a month that many others didn't
[Update with real information]
Koby was bleeding internally in his abdomen and had an ultrasound and
had tumors on several organs - inoperable. She had no choice but
to let him go.
[back to my angsting]
And the What Ifs can make you crazy. What if Cali's tumors had
been caught earlier? Would she have lived? Her disease was
cancer of the red blood cells (Histiocetic Sarcoma) and once it gets into the bone marrow it
spreads everywhere. But it starts in the spleen. What if
What if What if. I do know that both dogs are going to have
screening abdominal ultrasounds when they are 8 or 9. The
question is whether 8 is too early and is 9 too late or about right?
Just sent this missive off to my vet
Hi Dr. Applegate,
During an agility trial weekend, two nights ago another agility
competitor's dog (a Corgi - not in this area) passed away due to a
ruptured spleen tumor. One or two months ago the same thing happened
to a friend's Border Collie (again at an agility trial). It's not lost
on me that had if Cali's tumors hadn't been discovered during an
ultrasound that I also would have had that same heartbreak, instead of
having a hellish, but precious month with her.
With all this in mind I am going to plan to have both Cali and Yoshi
have screening abdominal ultrasounds when they hit 8 or 9 (especially
since it's so non-invasive, just expensive). My question is when do
you think is the best time to do that? I don't know how fast the
tumors grow. Is 8 too early? Would a small growing tumor be missed
then? Is 9 better or is that too late? If you catch a Sarcoma early
enough will it make the cancer go away? (Cali's had already spread to
her bone marrow).
Should I just have my dogs' spleens out now? (I'm joking - mostly)
Both dogs appear to be in excellent health fortunately, but they're
only 4 and 6 year old Corgis, and active. One does agility and the
Yours in mostly justified paranoia,
Ok now back to how the dogs did at the Regional...
Fortunately there was plenty of room to park on the perimeter road
(because it was by special permission only: vendors, trial committee
members, full time workers, disabled access and the like. I got a
spot near my ring and shaded the car. Shading the car worked
great except for later in the day when the sun was directly on it and
Trek seemed a little uncomfortable but nothing serious.
The bummer is that I was timer for the entire Master's Standard class
broken up into 4 groups. I got about 5 minutes in between
rotations which meant I had enough time to do may be two things of pee,
eat, walk one dog briefly. It was pretty tough and I did a lot of
running which fortunately I can do, but still not really enough of a
Right at the beginning I gave Yoshi the Valerian containing supplement
and after a few minutes was able to walk him around on the grounds
during the walk throughs when all the nice doggies are snug in their
crates and the only ones out were the occasional non-combatant, and a
few playing but we didn't go over there. We were actually able to
stand in the middle of the fields with a bunch of hubbub going on an
even had a conversation with Cheri and the world's mellowest BC Jeepers
without incident. He did bristle at a spaniel walking by but was
fine. It's tempting to have him on Valerian regularly but I'm hesitant
as it's very powerful stuff.
Trek did way better than I hoped. The noise was dissipated into
the air and I didn't have her spend much time around the higher stress
areas like the entrance gate. The teeter's didn't bother
her. She got to say hi to a lot of people including Anne and
Julee and ate lots of treats. She's really taken to heart to
harassing random strangers which I only hope she does this at agility
trials. The one place she seemed stressed was under a canopy
while watching the Grand Prix. Lots of energy, lots of ooing and
awwing. She took it for a while then started to stress pant so I
took her out (this was after my work was done for the day.)
Yoshi coped ok. I didn't repeat his dose so wasn't suspiciously
mellow, just more himself. Fine unless a dog approaches.
The cool thing is that we had a lot of lateral space around us save for
the aisle in between the ring and the canopies. We did a lot of
go part way down and then back back out since a dog was coming.
Feeding him helped a lot. When 5 papillons walked by I just
covered his eyes as that would have been way too much. It was
hard for him but he coped though one time I found his water dish turned
sideways in his crate so he probably had some explosion at some point.
I think he can now cope with being at an agility trial under a canopy
inside of a walled city of sorts. In a crate (hard shell or his
large soft one), inside an expen with a sheet over the "walls" overing
his view. I've used something like this sans canopy at CU
Workshops and it worked great. The most critical part is the
sheet. If you block the visual you block the trigger and I don't
want him to trigger when I'm not around. The dogs at an agility
trial are much more under control than they are out in the wild.
I'll just take him to non-AKC trials as I don't want to endanger his
herding career in case he barked at a dog owned by sensitive person, he
won't get away now that I have a special leash with two attachments to
his neck (a fail safe) but he can look pretty scary when he wants to,
though I don't let him get very close at all, but still I'm taking no
Another place that I want to start taking him is the ODTC member's
matches at Hayward, we always seem to have a schedule conflict but I'm
going to put them on my calendar anyway.
Sat Sep 4
He still goes too fast but now will stop. Stop often takes the
form of sit which is fine. I use Down also. Down works at
the beginning, Stop works better in the middle of things.
HTrainer3 had us working on a lot of obedience. He put him on a
larger flock (14) and just worked on getting more distance. She
thinks the line is now frustrating him and going to make him
crazy. This time we're allowing him more room to work which is a
relief as my being close to the sheep was making him run right at them
instead of circling around.
Worked on: Down, (walk half way to sheep turn face him, position
stick in the Come Bye position which he seems to prefer. Ok Get
Out. Now the subtle trick which I never knew. Put lateral
pressure on his butt not his
shoulder. If you pressure him at the shoulder or head he'll just
change directions. (It's not an agility Out) And while facing him
back up in the Other direction (get out of his way) once he's changed
his line. HTrainer3 came in the ring to show me - it's so smooth and
remarkably subtle for herding. It worked.
Given that the flock is really larger than he should handle right now,
we just did a Come Bye and Stop and then praise and reset. We
also worked on having him in a Down or Sit and me walking to the other
side of the sheep with him staying, then me walking away from the sheep
and recalling him. (This took several tries, but he got it)
I think coming away from sheep deserves a treat (since he doesn't get a
sheep then) and I had some to give him fortunately.
Oh and switching to "Come" for both dogs has been a huge win.
A corgiherders post: I just wanted to report some success with getting Yoshi's outrun back.
For a long time I've been often making him drag a long line so I can
insist that he stop when I ask. Over time, his stop has gotten much
better, but the flip side is that what outrun he had kinda went away.
So for his most recent training day, my instructor had me take the long
line off (she's not a big fan of lines for anything besides an instinct
test, but understands using them - in his case it was using a line or
an eCollar and I didn't want to resort to the unless I felt there were
no other options - not because I think they're cruel - the new ones are
not - but because he's something of a head case and I don't know how
he'll respond to it and I haven't trained for it and the timing is
critical). The other thing we did was put him on a larger flock (14)
in a medium sized enclosure. I put him in a down and went only halfway
to the sheep (I think this was the important part), then released him
and put lateral pressure on his butt (not his head) and then back out
of his way. It worked! He did an actual outrun. No bowling like he
was doing with me standing right in front of 3 sheep.
The lateral pressure was really interesting and so hard to describe as
it's so not an agility style Out where you put lateral pressure on the
dog's shoulder area. Doing that in herding just makes Yoshi change
directions and dart around me.
and starting to get it Yoshi
Fri Sep 4
This is the first day of the Bayteam's USDAA Super Regional
Trial. A huge endeavor. Fortunately Friday is not nearly so
well attended, since it's just the pairs classes and it's during the
week - albeit the afternoon, so I was hoping that the activity level
would be something that Trek could tolerate. We needed a PI
pairs Q since we don't have any and we need one for her PI title.
Mission accomplished! Trek qualified in the Pairs Relay class. She also
loved all the attention she got from some of the Southern Calif Corgi
contingent (Shelley, Whitney, and Jackie) and is looking forward to
seeing them again on Sunday (she'll just be a tourist then.)
shelley owns Cardi Letti, Jackie attended with her fluffy pem Stevie,
and Whitney was here with her tri pen Cooper. Jackie and Whitney
are from the Solvang/Santa Ynez area and given that I spent 9 years in
Santa Barbara, I could actually have a meaningful conversation about it.
And the noise level was right about her tolerance level though she
seems to be improving every time. The sound of teeters hitting the
ground doesn't automatically make her flinch though the echoing
underneath the really cool circus-like canopies over the scoretables
was getting on her nerves so I spared her that pretty quickly. Such a
It will be interesting to see how she does on Sunday but she'll be
crated in the nice quiet car which she loves. I joke that she prefers
her $16,000 crate (meaning the Scion). The part of the joke that
we didn't tell Trek was Gwen saying her dogs preferred their $350,000
crate (meaning the nice RV). I said that we can't let Trek overhear
that. I see her casting an interested eye at them already. (Eek.)
So tomorrow is herding. Terri is leaving in the morning to go see
her mom, so I have both dogs for herding Saturday and for my working
the Bayteam trial on Sunday. Saturday will be fine but I must
admit to dreading Sunday though I have arranged to be able to park on
the perimeter road close by (hope there's room).
Wed Sep 2
Save for the occasional snort Yoshi seems fine after his flora misadventure.
Tue Sep 1
Yoshi snorts his way to the hospital.
Just as we were getting ready to take Trek off to the obedience class
that she and Terri are taking Yoshi came in from outside and started
having a relatively violent whack the head on the floor sneezing fit.
I look at the clock at see it's 6pm and the vet has just closed. "Oh
you really wanted to go to the hospital tonight didn't you?" He
responds with achoo. While I'm watching him for a bit pondering, Terri
says in her polite, but emphatic way: "Take him." "Ok, you and Trek
have to go to class on your own." She agrees and Yoshi and I head off
(it's only 15-20 min away - which is gratefully close but, an eternity
when it's an emergency - fortunately this wasn't).
As you might guess, just like at the car mechanics or when someone is
trying to show me (an IT person) a computer problem, once we got to the
hospital, he seemed fine. Dr Powers examined him (she admired his nice
low heart beat and I explained he was a herding dog) and tried to see
if she could get him to sneeze and checked for anything obvious and
there wasn't anything. We talked for a while about possibilities. I
could leave him there and they could sedate him and take a further
look, or I could take him home and keep an eye on him and if he started
up again bring him back and there wouldn't be an additional exam
She went to type up some notes and in a few minutes came back and we
went over them (mostly a rehash of what we already talked about. While
we talked I had Yoshi up on a bench with me and I put him down on the
ground as we were getting ready to leave when he made a short snort. I
said "That's almost what he was doing but not really." As if on cue,
he started in on a major sneezing fit complete with eye squinting and
pawing at the nose, and Dr Powers said that was definitely a "I have
something in my nose sneeze." Ok, well that seals that. I hand her
back the notes and she goes off to make an estimate for me. Thank you
Yoshi (I think). I'm just glad he didn't start doing that after we got
So he's there right now being sedated and they'll dig around his nose to see what they can find.
There was something there - not a foxtail but something long and
spindly with a slight barb on it. I'm having them save it so I
can walk around the yard with it.
He'll be ready in about 30 minutes - he's still groggy. I think I'll go pick some suspects since I have a moment.
Yoshi is back now with a sore, but functioning nose and we also have
with us a $380 stamen-appearing object that's about 1.5" and thin
enough that I probably wouldn't be able to get a good photo of
it. Glad his insurance is current, and best of all, I'm back by
10pm which I think is a record.
While there was no match with what I had picked in the yard, it's
vaguely possible it's a match to a very thin fuschia stamen. I'm pretty
sure I know how he
did it. My neighbor has a cat that likes to hang out in our yard
and bolt over the fence when the dogs race out (I look for the cat but
he's not always visible). So then the dogs, Yoshi in particular,
smash their noses into the ground right where the fence hits it and
INHALE, so most anything on the ground could get vacuumed up (though
the fuschia isn't over there but sort of close).
Maybe it was on the cat and he snorted it right off of him.
Sat - Sun
Trek's big Agility weekend.
I hoped that Trek would finish her gamblers and Snooker PI titles and
maybe make some head way on her standard titles and maybe just maybe
get a pairs Q. Well we got the first two so I'm not complaining
Her Gambler's run was perfect and in a grand style, after coming up
with all sorts of convoluted courses I got the course map out and
designed the most efficient one I could think of as I wanted to
compensate for puppy dog running off some extra mileage. I
avoided things that we often have conversations about like the weaves
and the teeter, but instead just did
tunnel(2x). tire(2x) A-Frame (2x) (2+2+2+2+5+5=14) which was above the
13 we needed and unbeknownst to me was giving Arlene fits as she
thought the minimum was 15 (it is for masters), before the buzzer,
while we were screwing around waiting for it we actually did take one
more jump so Arlene could breathe. Then the buzzer when off and
she rocked the gamble. tunnel-chute-jump.
The really cool thing is that she would start to carry in towards me,
but i remembered my lines (just say the obstacle name, early) and she
corrected each time and took it - it was really cool to watch and I
can't wait for the video. What a great way to get a title.
Of course that was the high point. Everything else was just work, but progress was made.
By now it's roasting hot.
Standard. Clean right up until the weaves which was the
second to last obstacle. She blew out of the weaves at the 10th
pole and nailed the last jump stopping the clock. Well at least
she took the last jump instead of blowing by it. And she did the
Pairs. One teeter a day it appears. She hopped on it and
hopped off. Judge Jelinda said we had to go on and I good
naturedly said "I hate the 4 paw rule." She did not
disagree. Weave poles were even more atrocious.
Jumpers - She's asleep so I scratched her and just gated - she already has her PI Jumpers title anyway.
Standard. Pretty silly. Knocked a bar, but even with her erraticness was under time.
Gamblers. Not great. Did ok on the gamble though she blew by a jump.
Snooker - Q and dubious Title. But I really had to work for this one
and it wasn't pretty. Lots of wanting to run off to the shade
even though it was cooler that day. 2 or 3 jump run bys which I
was able to fix.