Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - September 2009

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

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Non-Dog Blog Table of Contents

Wed Sep 30

To CU_Dogs_SF

Here's a fun one.

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.

Yoshi Walk
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:

15% GABA
38% lactose
25% tapioca-starchy
20% dexitrin
2% Ca(PO4)2

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 very useful.

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 combination effect. 

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.

300mg GABA
100mg L-Theanine
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 and Behavior.

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 just right.

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 Alley.

Prairie Salmon
Prairie Beef 9what he gets now)
Timberwolf Ocean Blue

Yoshi walk.  Uneventful.  No dogs.  One stroller being run at him made him uncomfortable until I fed him.  One kid petted him a little.

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 him.

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 the dog.

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.

with H=7


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.

Yoshi 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 yesterday.  D'oh.

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 moving.)

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 focus.

 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 first.

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 (good boy).

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.

Solano Stroll
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 more tolerant.

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

Yoshi walk
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 dog.  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
Yoshi 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.
Trek agility.

[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 smidgen (1/32).

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.

Thu 9/10
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. Cecile Siedlecki  (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.

Ellen Clary
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:

To: CU_Dogs_SF
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).

This article:

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 teach her.

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.

But first:

(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 the rest.

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 have. 

[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 other herding.

Yours in mostly justified paranoia,

Ellen Clary

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 break.

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 chances.

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
Yoshi Herding
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.

Ellen Clary
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 good doggy

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 charge. 

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 back home.

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 (much).

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 teeter.

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.

Archive - Go to:

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Aug 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jul 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jun 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - May 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Mar 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Feb 2009
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jan 2009

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2008
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Nov 2008
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Oct 2008
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Sep 2008
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2007
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