Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Sept 2010

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

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Wed Sep 30
Trek walk at noon.  She completely impressed me with her bravery.  The school was ending their recess and the kids were lining up to go in.  It was barely controlled pandemonium.  Lots of hyper talking metal banging foot stamping and Trek was on the sidewalk being find and bugging me for treats.  It wasn't too long ago that this would have caused a complete meltdown.  I am so thrilled to see this progress.

Tue Sep 28
Trek Agility Class
Heat wave, but things had just startetd cooling off.  Besides it's good for Trek to learn to deal with some heat though we got to try the cooling coat out which seemed to help some.

The (ahem) cool thing was that the teeter wasn't on the course so for the first time ever Trek was able to do a full class.  She was nervous about being in that part of the field but she ran the courses without many contact drive-bys and the ones that happened she then took on the second time and I don't think it was avoidance just poor handling.  She did try to drag me back to the car but I was able to steer her past it.

Also we did a gamble which had the dog weaving at a distance and she did fine except for a 10th pole pop.  Jim says I need to support it more with my arm.  (Arm gets tired - tough.) 

I'm very happy with her as she didn't quit from the heat and she worked all through the class.  Good puppy.

Yoshi didn't go because of the heat.
I finally filed the 3 insurance claims that I've been needing to do for him.  It won't be much money but it should be some.
April 8 The bite puncture wound on his lip that Weezy gave him. (Antelope Valley Vet Hospital)
Aug 26 bloody stools (Park Centre)
July or Aug ? Conjunctivits (Animal Eye Care)

Sun Sep 26
Terri and I went on a Schooner SF Bay Tour (Rendezvous Charters) for our anniversary so dogs got to stay home and Mark let them out.  When we were back Mark came by again as he didn't know we were back.  Yoshi seemed vocal about him being there even though when we weren't there, he was fine.  I had Mark go outside count to 10 and come back and we said "Hi Mark!" and Yoshi again barked at him.  Hmmmm, it's interesting because he knows and likes Mark.  Maybe if we're not there he'll be fine with visitors that he knows.

Dog walks for both dogs.  I've been running more so ran some with both of them separately.  Yoshi is such a speed demon I have to hold him back.  Trek and I match speed quite well.  Yoshi was able to run by a dog (GSD) walking the other way across the street.  He did grumble a little but didn't react this is nice as he's actually more reactive when he's in motion.  There was a small dog at one point when we were walking and he had the same momentary grumble reaction.

Sat Sep 25
Both dogs went along to Terri's brother's retirement celebration they did fine but were mostly crated for it save for each going on a walk which they both did fine on.

Fri Sep 24
Both dogs actually hung out in the yard calmly at lunch while we worked some on the garage.  How unusual.

[later] Took Trek to Rachelle's agility class.  The teeter was unfortunately in the lower field so Trek didn't want to do it but was loving the dogwalk which we later charged over multiple times to work on speed.  Then we spent some time working with a stressing Trek on the teeter.  We made it so that it went down, not at all, then only a little, then half way then most of the way then all the way.  She was panting more of the time but could function.  Earlier I had given her the choice of doing the teeter (this sometimes works) but wasn't forcing her to do it and she chose to only go half way up.

After the teeter work we went up on the hill for a bit while the other class came in.  We listened to the noise and then went back to the truck which she dragged me to and jumped in to the crate.

I think it's time to admit that Trek has what can be considered a medical problem with her noise anxiety in particular metal clanging noise - she's totally fine with thunderous sounds - wonder if it's like fingernails on a chalkboard reaction, but Terri points out that it seems like it's more that a startle reaction (that fingernails on a chalkboard would get) there's definite I want to slink away to my crate and hide stress   I think we have several herbal things here we can try before asking the vet for help  I need to come up with a way to test it all out and what to try.  I've tried Pet Calm and that didn't seem to make much of a difference (twice now).  I could add the one with valerian but I think it's probably better to just use the Gaba since we have a ton of it and optionally add in the L-Theanine.  there's also Melatonine too or I could increase the Pet Calm dosage.  Then it's a matter of when to give it.  Would right before exposure make the most sense?  I need to know if it's just going to knock her out so she'll get it tomorrow morning, and then we can bang on something a couple of hours afterward and see if there's a difference.  With Yoshi, while it helps him all day it's most effective in the morning.

[back at home]
Did the mat drive game with both dogs and tossing treats to get them off the mat and then charging back to the mat to earn another treat.  Very fun for all of us.

Watching the 4th DVD of the CU Foundation Seminar.  Leslie breaks down a recall in a way I haven't heard of before.
A Recall is a
 - leave it
 - head turn away from what they were engaged with
 - come to you
 - stay with you (no drive bys)

She also demonstrated combining the Give Me a Break Game with Premack.  with no treats she was able to engage a distracted PWD and then when he would notice her, as a reward tell him to go sniff then ask for his attention again and then let him go sniff.  She then would add a behavior like Sit so that she really had the dog's attention before she released him.  She said the cool thing about having a distractible dog is that the world is then full of limitless rewards.  What a great way to look at it.

Yoshi locks on to other things he thinks are threats, so a ton of leave it work would do him a world of good.  So I get out the CU Games DVD and rewatch Amelia the Basenji learning Leave It, and Yoshi and I play along at home.  Leslie is able to progress much quicker but Yoshi is getting is as he's played Doggie Zen before though it's confusing for him because I do a lot of luring too.

The idea is to look away from a treat that's being shown to the dog (but not actually available.)  The dog gets a click and the treat when s/he looks back at the trainer.  Leslie is able to move pretty quick from handheld treats to dropping treats, but given that we were just playing a mat drive game which involved treat throwing he finds it confusing but learns that if my foot is on the treat that it's not available and he immediately disengages and looks at me and stops looking at the treat entirely unless he sees it again and then tries to get it but I just recover it and he's back to looking at me.  I work the "leave it" into the routing and stop there.  Leslie continues on to tossing treats to be left alone but that's for another time.

If Yoshi could learn leave it for real then his life would change for the better.  If he could learn to leave other dogs alone then he might even be reliable off leash (something of a pipe dream but worth trying for.)

Thu Sep 23
Cathy over for a DVD night.
Yoshi walk before hand did fine.
Had both dogs spend some time on mats while we watched.

Wed Sep 22
Yoshi walk - had one person walking two small dogs on flexis and was talking on the phone.  This isn't a training opportunity more like avoid a disaster in the making so we crossed the street and walked briefly down the street.  Yoshi is watching carefully but not reacting and is able to solicit treats.  When I look back across the street the two small dogs have gone down a side street and there's now a GSD in their place.  (Double take - Presto magico chango).  I have no idea which dog he was seeing as I have to keep a close eye on him to make sure he's not about to lose it.
Then we nearly got home and a dog walker was across the street walking 3 medium sized dogs.  We watched from a distance and that was fine.
Trek front training - she's getting it though still is a little far away.  I may try putting a treat in between my legs like some people do since she rams into my knees anyway sometimes.  I'm finding using a clicker for when she looks at me is working fine.

Tue Sep 21
Yoshi Walk fine
Training Trek - working some on front she's got the idea but I think I need to change it to be Front since I now use Come more casually.
Front is going to mean sit in front of me, no matter where you are.  I also want her to look at my face which isn't a problem for her since she's so flexible.  Apparently it's hard for some Corgi's to look up that high, but not only is she flexible but I'm only 5'4" which helps.
Watching Disc 3 of the Control Unleashed Foundation Seminar DVD
Leslie goes over her mat work fundamentals - I need to go back over it so I've really got it but essentially:
- toss food on the mat every time the dog interacts with the mat
- reward when the dog is on the mat
- increase criteria to lying on the mat
- make it so that someone can walk up and walk away and the dog can look at them but doesn't interact with them
- Then work into LAT

Both of my dogs did mat work while I watched - they are much further along than I give them credit for.

Somewhere in there she introduces a find the mat game where every time the dog lies on the mat you toss a treat.
This builds incredible mat drive as they charge back to the mat to earn another treat

Then I did the find the mat game with each dog separate what a fun game.  Trek is nuts about it.  Yoshi likes it too.

Mon Sep 20
I realize that I haven't properly thanked Elizabeth for the foundation work she did with Yoshi.  I think she gets some of the credit for his emerging resiliency.

[coltsrunkids post]

I know I posted about Mr. Y's surprising resiliency, but I keep getting more examples of it.

Now that I'm more confident about how to handle Yoshi around other dogs, I'm more inclined to take him places and I'm finding that besides dogs he's remarkably brave around chaos, traffic, and general hub-bub during the day (he's a bit freaky at night, but that's ok).  I really don't know what changed but I think that now he's better around other dogs, he seems to be able to fall back on that solid foundation that Elizabeth gave him and I really would like to publicly thank her for it.  He's less afraid of balls now too.

Trek doesn't have this foundation and it really shows - she has a much harder time dealing with the noise of urban life - she's way better than she used to be but it's still hard for her.  Yesterday I was able to on impulse take Yoshi to walk over to watch an Omm Pah band who was playing at the local German restaurant.  The were playing outside and we were able to watch from across the street, but on a break we were able to walk right beside the restaurant and wind through the light crowd getting pets along the way.  The only minor issue was him mistaking some white plastic bags being carried for dogs, but he recovered when he realized his mistake.  He did keep a watch out, but did fine and was excellent in the walk home which included walking a block of the main street.  He looked exactly like a service dog, sitting at corners waiting for the light to change and not moving till I released him (ok, he's been doing this all his life, but it looks really good when you're downtown :).  I don't take him down there often as encountering a dog there is a little more risky because of the traffic, but I think I have enough ways to cope with things now.

Yoshi walk
It was medium sized white fluffy dog day today and he did great.  First we parallel walked with a Golden X (we kinda subtly chased after two small dogs but they turned off for hom before we caught up though Yoshi definitely saw them), then said hello to a neighbor down at the corner of Lincoln and High, then down the busy High St without incident and then were going down Central and two Sammoyeds were ahead of us.  We hustled to catch up with them and when we caught up their people stopped and stepped aside.  I mentioned that it was good for my dog to walk with other dogs but they said that theirs weren't good with other dogs (one had been glancing at us but not in a very reactively way more just keeping an eye on us.)  So I got a treat out and Mr. Y and I heeled around the dogs while I mentioned that he is also dog reactive and this is one way I work around it.  It went perfect and it really helped that the other dogs weren't moving and weren't barking or being nervous.  There was no issue at all and I may not have needed the treat, but it made it clear where I wanted his attention and it adds structure and he loves structure.

Then we were back to our block after walking all the way down to Broadway and back and we come across a slightly nervous American Eskimo that Yoshi has barked at before (it was the one where he was doing so well an then there was some unspoken exchange and he started barking.) but this time he held it together.  I also gave him much less of a chance to do so since I recognized the dog.  The other dog held it together too which was nice.

Trek walk.
Went over to Lincoln Park and worked on heeling figure 8s around trees which went ok.  I'm still thinking that I could manage to teach the concept of looking at my face by using a clicker behind my back though I didn't work on fronts today.  After circling trees we then walked by the park's small playground which she's ok with now and the ball field which she's less ok with but copes.  We walked beside a volleyball game, soccer practice and some batting practice (she really dislikes the metal sound of the aluminum bats.)  Then we walked back and I varied the route to keep from having arguments about being dragged but when she does it now I just stop and then she looks back and slowly gets the idea that I'd like her with me.

Later watched some more of the CU foundation DVD and I really like how Leslie lays out her methodology for raising criteria.

CU_Dogs_SF post
Kitty was nice enough to loan me the CU Foundation DVD (Thanks Kitty - 
I'm leaning towards buying it now.)

In Disc 2 Leslie McDevitt makes a very nice summary of her criteria for
progression in the LAT game and LAT in a real setting.

She shows a video of her (at the time) adolescent Border Collie Easy at
an agility trial playing attention and reorienting games.

While the video plays she details the progression of how she raises
- can he be on his mat and focusing on her (they are only 10' from the
- can he look at something on cue (LAT) and look back at her
- can he be off the mat and focus on her
- while off the mat can he do a cued LAT

Now add motion
- can he focus on her while in motion
- can he LAT while in motion

If you can do that then you can walk around the trial.

Even before the point she had him coming out of his tent and turning
back to her (reorienting.)

For those wondering about the DVDs. The first one is called the Control
Unleashed Foundation and is a CU Seminar that she gave at Clean Run.
While it's no substitute for actually going to one of Kienan or Leslie's
workshops, it gives you a great idea of what to expect and what the
methodology is. (Though having someone evaluate your dog is so
important and something that you can't get from a DVD.) The CU Games
DVD gives you some good ideas on how to really use the games detailed in
the book in real life training scenarios.

Ellen Clary
and the ever improving Yoshi
and the getting braver and less well behaved Trek

Sun Sep 19
FB Staus update:
Why is it dog reactive Yoshi is a pro in traffic and chaos?  I just took him to watch an Omm Pah band at the local German Restaurant (they were outdoors and we were across the street).  Trek wouldn't have gotten with in a block of it.

Yoshi also walked down 1 block of Park Street and headed down Santa Clara.  But before that just getting there was a project as Lincoln and Broadway is not a signal.  I had decided that I would just carry him across and hopefully that would make stopping the traffic easier (and the street crossing faster), but just as we were approaching a LWFD appeared right on the corner.  I turned Yoshi quickly so he didn't see the dog and crossed Lincoln.  They were just standing there and I had no idea which way they were going to go so we hung back 3 houses away on the other side of the street.  Turned out she was waiting for someone to catch up to her and they headed down Lincoln.  Yoshi never saw the dog and when we go to the cross walk someone else with kids had stopped the traffic so the crossing went fine.

We hung out across the street while the band played a couple of songs.  I'm not a big fan of Omm Pah but I can't pass up a great dog training opportunity.  We watched for a couple of songs and Yoshi's only reaction was the lunge and bark at a couple who were carrying white paper bags that were full of something and fluttering.  I told him it wasn't a dog (they laughed) and he sort of calmed down but kept an eye out for other intruders.  I'm wondering if he reacts to that then why an I thinking of spending $28 for another Melissa and Doug realistic looking stuffed Westie? (http://melissaanddoug.com/stuffed-dogs?n=1)

Trek of course never got past Broadway.  I probably should of given her a chance, but it was dusk and my neighbor told me that some raccoons in the area have been attacking small dogs so I we took a more ordinary path though she still is weird about the traffic noise of Broadway.  The band will probably be playing again so I might try it again.  Though she might do better on a walk to Dog Bone Alley.

Fri Sep 17 [will fill in]
Dog Training Day
Trek Ob Class with Lori
She did ok, not great.
Lori's going to cut my left leg off if I keep heeling into Trek's path.  Oops.
She still thinks figure 8 heeling around other dogs is weird.  Even worse when the dog she is closest to is a large Bouvier who doesn't look at all like a dog.  As we were heeling by she suddenly ducked behind me and went all the way to the end of the leash.
Lori tells me that the only way to really get her targeting my face is to be on my knees or in a chair and spit food at her.  Yeeuck.  If I do that she's going to start bashing my face every chance she gets (I taught her to jump in my lap.).  May be I could get her to lick my chin or nose but she eats some appalling things so I'd rather not.
But the recall with a crate trap set up did work ok though she was definitely looking at it.  Lori guessed correctly that Trek has done a lot of crate games and it's an offered behavior - just not the correct one.

Yoshi Herding Lesson with Linda

Thu Sep 16
noon Trek Walk.  We ran into a couple who owns Molly who is the Pappilon who's always barking at us from the safety of her house.  Her mom and dad say it's because she wants to play and I believe them, as she's very friendly - Trek said a polite hello and then deferred.  I was pretty sure we were a block away from the collar slip incident on Monday, but I asked anyway since they were out and they thought that dog was a block down and I relayed the story.

No walk for Yoshi because I was at the gym.  He's barking like a slightly madman so I am paying for this now.

Tomorrow is my monthly dog training day
Trek has an ob class with Lori in the morning at 10am then we head for Woodside for a herding lesson for Yoshi.

Wed Sep 15
Nothing very remarkable if I'm remembering things correctly.  Basic dog walks.

Tue Sep 14
Yoshi walk.  He seemed watchful when we got back near the scene of the small dog mugging from yesterday but we were on the other side of the street and nothing happened so he started to relax.

Trek Power Paws class.  Did well in the jumpers part.  Worked on sepentines and 270s and sending to tunnels and getting ahead for front crosses.  She was mostly successful in the contacts area.  She wanted to leave, but I wouldn't let her this time.  She was able to run multiple courses with the dog walk and the A-Frame.  Jim has very kindly been doing courses without the teeter completely without my asking for it. He stresses that I should time it so that I'm with her right at the beginning of the contact so she's not as inclined to run around it.  Things were going great until one dog took an off course teeter which rattled her.  It takes about 5 minutes for her to relax from a teeter crash sound near her so we gave her a little while and then I could get her to reluctantly run again and she did the A-Frame but blew by the dog walk this time so I put a leash on her to encourage her to take it without forcing her which worked though after that she made it abundantly clear that she was DONE, and dragged me to the car.  It also almost never happened at all because Jim moved a smaller teeter out of the way right at the beginning and that sound frightened her, but again after about 5 minutes she stopped shaking.

I'm told that Bay Team and SMART have all rubberized contacts (including the teeter) so that I should try one of those trials.  It's also been suggested that I ask the club in advance of a trial, if they are "rubberized" which has that amusing slightly pornographic sound to it. :)  But it's a really good idea.  The only bummer is that I was going to start her on fun matches but it's not likely for those contacts to be rubberized yet so I should probably go back to sacrificing piles on money to the agility gods.  And I have Bay Team entry certificates anyways from working full time and SMARTs a good club to funnel money to as well.  Of course both of those clubs have just had major trials but there will always be more.

Mon Sep 13
That sinking feeling when you hear the sound of the little dog across the street slipping their collar.  Yoshi and I were doing so well, but it's a risk when you train for ignoring untuly barking dogs.  Sometimes you confirm your dog's worst fear that the other dog isn't under control

Terri and I were walking both dogs which doesn't happen that often as little training gets to happen then, but we came up on a Shih Tzu sized dog on the corner whose owner was chatting with someone else and his kids, so we crossed Central which is a wide 2 lane street with a parking and bike lanes.  We were walking past them and the other dog was barking and jumping up and down like crazy.  I was focused entirely on Yoshi and we had gotten past them and Yoshi was doing great getting a lot of treats and watching me in a situation right at his threshold when Trek is not around (Trek being present makes his behavior worse - someone to defend I think.)  That dog was at a corner and we had just crossed the side street so we were catty corner to them and just about to be out of range when I suddenly heard the sound of yelling and pitter patter of running doggy paws.  It's that moment when you think it's not about you and if you ignore it it will all just go away, but you know it's not, and things are about to change quickly.  I knelt down and got a hold of Yoshi.  I was hoping to pick him up, but the dog appeared, suicidally barking right at us, and Yoshi started yelling big time and I'm keeping my body in between the two dogs while trying to elbow the little dog further away from Yoshi and I am shouting at the dog "GET OFF."  All while trying to keep hold of my thrashing dog.  The owner appeared saying twice his dog was friendly and I tell him that my dog is not friendly (and I skip telling him what my dog thinks of nervous yappy little dogs).  It all sinks in with the owner (it's his dog that's in danger here) and he immediately starts to profusely apologize and manages to grab his dog. 

And that's it - no contact fortunately.  Terri had immediately picked up Trek who was fine until the other dog got close to Yoshi and then started to bark and thrash in her arms, but she (Terri) held on - Thank heavens as having Trek in there would have made things much much harder as Yoshi then really would have someone to defend.  Now I have a mega revved dog so the walk gets doubled in length and finally by the end he starts to be a little less jittery.

Sun Sep 12
Dogs ignored in the name of home improvement.

Sat Sep 11
Most of the day was taken up with working on a kitchen door threshold.  The dogs stayed clear of the pounding.

Dog walks, both were longer than normal.
Yoshi had 2 dog sightings and he did well one small one medium.  (No pissy Amer Eskimo dogs this time - though I decreased the time in between treats just to be sure.  We also walked beside the Golden Doodle who hangs out in his front yard and is friendly, goofy and barky and can put his head over his fence, but we did use the parked cars to get some distance.  Yoshi did well even when the dog barked at him.

Trek walk.  When we walked past our usual turn off she kept trying to pull me in that direction for at least two blocks.  I'm going to have to vary her walks more.  We did go by the school to do some heeling around a tree.  Stopped and chatted with the owners of a Boston Terrier and a Wheaten X.  There was a kid driving a large go cart all around the playground and it made Trek worried but she was able to do some training which I was very happy with.  This is the same playground that she wouldn't go anywhere near a couple of years ago.  We did some heeling around a tree in both directions and then we left.  What a good dog I know that was hard for her.

She then tried to drag me home so we did a lot of stopping and giving her a reward when she turned back to me.  A few repetitions of this and she wasn't pulling that much anymore.  I really should make a video of it as it's easier than a lot of loose lead walking approaches.

When we got home I let her run up the steps and rather than calling her back to go throw the poop away, I figured I'd just leave her sitting there.  I went to give the signal and whacked my hand on the recycle bin handle.  Ouch!  It did puzzle her, but she just stood there until I could get enough breath out to give her the cue.  Once she did she stayed there fine until I got back.

Fri Sep 10
Herding lesson for Yoshi and I
We first did a commune with the sheep in the stall session, then Linda set up a small pen with 3 fairly mellow sheep.  She then did some handling with Yoshi and of course he was brilliant.  I get in there and everything goes to hell because I am sending mixed messages.

I spend a fair bit of time following Linda around and getting confused and then I try it myself and sort of get it.
It involves putting pressure in the direction of the dog's ribcage area but backing off and easing the pressure off while the dog goes around and you start following the stock - this is a subtle move that I'm taking forever to get.  I asked what if the dog dives in and she said the I need to hit the ground with the bottle (on a stock stick) and immediately ease off when the dog backs off.  Things to watch out for are the dogs body getting perpendicular to the sheep

There is hope.  She's very happy that he did so well and that the work has to happen with me.

One thing that's hard for both of us is he keeps wanting to come to me and he's supposed to stay away.  If he approaches I'm supposed to hit the ground and say back.  I think I'll just say "out."

It was terribly cute in the stall he wanted to come up in my lap which I used as a reward for doing a successful circuit of moving the sheep from one side to the other.

Help me. There are sheep staring at me.
Sheep discussing what type of animal is in the stall with them.

I sent in her entry to the Mt Diablo DTC in Martinez on Oct 17th.  Much cheaper than a trial, and I don't think she's really ready anyway.

Thu Sep 9
Yoshi walk.  Just to remind me that he's not completely ok with life we were working on letting an American Eskimo (Dog) walk by across the street and he was doing ok until the dog was right across the street and the dog and he must have said something rude to each other or something and he barked and started to lunge.  Bad dog you don't get the cookie that I was just about to give you.  I was waiting from him to choose to look back at me and that criteria was too high in this situation.

Wed Sep 8
Yoshi walk - went fine.

Trek obedience class.  We still haven't entered the trial on Oct 2-3 and I'm trying to decide whether I should enter or not.  I still can't decide.  I find myself saying. "Oh we are so not ready for prime time." Then she aces the next exercise.  She's such a dream dog except for the noise factor but that would go away outside.  But being outside has a whole bunch of potentially humbling "Wow what's that smell?" factors.  Maybe I should just put her in Rally Novice which is all on leash and see how that goes.  The only bummer about that is that then she doesn't get to show off her fabulous stayd and recalls.  Now I'm talking myself into it.  It's not the end of the world if things don't go well (I hope).  Maybe we'll just do one day and enter Rally and Novice A.  We can't do the other day because Hazel is the Novice A judge so we'd only be doing Rally.  I'm tempted to enter Mr fabulous heeler Yoshi, but he'd really hate it and he's so happy in herding environments and I really don't want anything to mess up that hard won happy attitude.

Anyway back to class.
Her heeling on leash is okish
Her heeling off leash is surprisingly good though I have to hustle to keep up with her
We didn't do figure 8's though I know they still aren't good.
First time retrieving dumbells with the big kids and she did pretty well.  She tends to stop too far away from me so I have to get her used to coming in close with the dumbell.
Stand for exam.  Very nice.  She'll stand up with a cue even though my hand cue is not clear enough yet.  I vassilate between a hand with finger tips touching pulling away from her or a fist.
Recall.  Good with my hands hidden.  iffy when my hands are beside me.
Left hand finish.  Fine.  Sometimes a little short.
Her stays rock.  I can even leave the room for about 15 seconds before she starts looking around.  Compared to the bad old days of Cali who would pop up if she hadn't had a treat in a while it's a dream.

Tue Sep 7
Yoshi noon walk.  2 workmen said hello and gave him a lot of attention.  It's always good for him to meet more men and he seemed to enjoy it.

Trek agility class.  The jumpers portion went fine, but the huge news is rubberized agility contact equipment may change her life. A rubberized surface is much, much quieter and she happily runs on them.  For the first time since joining the class she was able to work in the contacts portion of the class.  Now we didn't do a teeter this time but Jim says he has some ideas on how to make it quieter (it's not rubberized yet either).  She was a little worried about it (stress panting) but I was holding her some and she wasn't shaking and I would have known.  Talk about being born at the right time.  Rubberizing equipment is only a recent phenomena.

Mon Sep 6
Yoshi walk
3 dog sightings.
A GSD, a LWFD, and a Rottie X.
We ended up (ok I made it happen) parallel walking with the LWFD which was very very cool.  Y didn't react.  He watched carefully and was up and interested but was happy to eat as well and mostly focus on me.  The Rottie was excitable but we crossed the street and Yoshi was able to focus.  No big reactions from either dog.

Sun Sep 5
So Trek and I went over to the school yard.  She was able to walk right in there even though the tetherball chain was clinking against the pole occasionally.
We did figure 8's around trees.  Wow we're really bad at it, but even after one session we improved.

There is a tree outside the school yard that we can work with and there are also some at the park.  i could also set up a couple of cones in the front yard too.  Need to get cones - wonder where from?  A quick google tells me just about any sports shop should have them.  Even places like Kmart, Target and Amazon, even Walmart (pass).  Prices range from $1-10.  wonder if Pagano's hardware would have such a thing.  Height is from 9"-18" and some are collapsible.  Maybe one of our agility training places would like to sell a couple of more trashed ones.

Right hand finish.  This is something we've never worked on and I'm trying to figure out how to teach it.  I finally figured out that backchaining it might work well.  I placed in in front of me and the while holding the leash in my left hand I turned myself 180 clockwise.  My back is facing her.  i then told her "by me" and she came right around into heel position.  Ah ha!  I then started pivoting more and more so that she had to travel more than 180 degrees to get to heel position.  I got it up to 270 degrees and then stopped while i figure out the rest of the process.

Front to my face instead of my hands works though she is starting to experiment so I need to make it clear that she's doing what I want.

Yoshi walk
A dog rom a car barked right at him and he asked for a treat.  Good boy.

I'm wondering if he and I should try ducks again since we're one for two in interest.  I've arranged for some Friday afternoons off to work with Linda so we'll see how that goes.  He mostly needs to learn how to settle down around sheep, and i now how some idea about how to do that.

Sat Sep 4
I was a full time worker (scribing the Standard ring) at the Bayteams USDAA Western Regional (agility trial).  A whole bunch of Southern Calif people come up for it and it's always a blast to see them all.  Right at the end I was a ring steward for the Relay which turned out to be a difficult course with many E's.  I didn't bring the dog's this time as since today was a Team competition there were no course changes and thus essentially no breaks (save for RUNNING to the bathroom), so they would of had to have stayed in the car or under a canopy all day and they wouldn't of liked it.

Fri Sep 3
I'm starting to collect some of the wonderful comments people have said about Yoshi when he got his PT.

I'm a little late with my congratulations, but they're no less heartfelt.  I watched your video over the weekend and was tremendously impressed with you and Yoshi.  ESPECIALLY that sit....and your (apparent) utter confidence in Yoshi as you turned your back on him and walked toward the sheep.
I know how far you two have travelled.  I first saw you and Yoshi work at the 2006 Nationals in Vacaville.  At that time, Yoshi was horribly reactive and  stressed by other dogs.  He's changed so much....when you were at the SoCal corgi trial last spring it was like seeing a different dog.
You should be very proud of yourself....and him!

First, to Ellen. You have done a remarkable job with Yoshi. I saw him at the beginning - he and you have come a long way. I wish you the best no matter what you decide to do with him. I think he has taught you so much and maybe that was his mission!

Wanted to tell Ellen C how happy I was for her surviving PT on her own and putting the PT on her own dog.  I knew you could do it, you knew you could do it and I am sure Yoshi is all the happier for it.

Not only proud of him for getting his PT, but also we're proud yourself for working so
hard and sticking by his side. 
Some of our dogs that are the most challenged, the ones that may not go far in the public
ring, are be the ones that teach us the most and make us so much better trainers than an
easy dog that trains in a snap.

Incredible Journey :  Read every word of Yoshi's journey, and have to agree, it's the tough to train that teach us the most. 
Ellen, keep on keeping on with your boy.  I think many of us are just as proud of You as we are Him.  :)

Congratulations, Ellen and Yoshi--our inspirations.
You hung in there and showed us all that there truly is HOPE!
Get those dogs a tiring job!

You have done a fantastic job with both Trek and Yoshi.  I admire you for your patience and your fortitude.  I have learned a lot both about being a better person and being a better handler through watching you

Ellen i'm so glad you got the job done.  I do understand where your coming from.  [My dog] was that way and I had one horrible time with him.  He did also come around at the age of 6 and I did get some titles on him then.  Do we call that lifes experiences or one hell of a ride????

Congratulations, Ellen.  It's quite an accomplishment given all the things you've had to work through.

What a great story! And congratulations big time!

Congratulations Ellen and Yoshi.  All the hard work you have done is paying off. 

Many congratulations to you and Yoshi.  It was, as you say, a long journey from HT to PT, but it was a remarkable one in which you’ve accomplished a great deal with a dog that many would have thrown the towel in on long ago.

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Awesome !!! Yoshi is so  not about to let those sheep get away! Nice calm handling by the way.

Here's the video of the run:

Thu Sep 2

Trek noon walk.  Huge success for Trek.  I took her down by the school and the kids were out playing at recess.  When Trek first came to live with us she could get within a quarter block of the school when the kids were out playing (even if it was just a few).  In the past few months I've been able to walk her down beside the school on the other side of the street.  Today she was able to walk on the same side of the school with kids playing and the metal of the swings clanging.  I am so proud of her.  The breadsticks I brought along probably helped too but if she's really stressed she will eat but will chomp on me.  Today she wasn't chomping.

Yoshi evening walk.  Success for him as well.  2 dog sightings one a Lab and one a Shiba Inu.  In both cases I started feeding him before he saw the dog but I didn't feed him continuously.  I let him look at the dog and he chose to look back at me!  It's like giving him food at first provides the shortcut I need into his brain and it over rides his reaction even when he has the oppertunity however brief to react.  Given that he reliably reacts to Shibas I was more waving the food at him then (instead of the Lab who he's not that reactive to) but I did let him look at the dog.  He thought about reacting but then a treat would whiz by and he refocused on me.

Wed Sep 1
Dog walks fine
Trek Ob class.  She now rocks the dumbell - hooray!  She gets to go on the side of the class who knows the retrieve now.  I showed another Corgi owner about the tennis ball dumbell and that dog who up until now had been really careful suddenly lit up with so much excitement that I insisted they keep it (since I have so many of them.)

The noise in the building does bother her.  A dog tripped over a jump and the thudding sound startled her.

Her recall looked great.  No standing in front of my hands.  I did speak to her as she was approaching to get her the idea to look at my face.

She still thinks figure 8s with dogs are weird.  Especially because she got a St. Bernard tail in the face.  I told her that she didn't have to do that in the trial class.
I'll have to go to the park or the school and practice figure 8's more.

Archive - Go to:

Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Aug 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jul 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Jun 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - May 2010
Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Apr 2010
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Yoshi and Trek Training Diary - Dec 2009
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