Yoshi Training Diary - Aug 2004

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

Feedback is welcome, but due to spam there is no mail link on this page.  Emails addressed to yoshi or ellen at this domain (frap dot org) will reach me.
(I'll get a graphic on here with it displayed eventually.)

Sat Aug 28

Fri Aug 27
Had one piece of the weave pole guides not fit very well on the pole.  I tried to work around it with velcro but the guide would sag and Yoshi would start jumping over the guide thinking it was a jump.  Replaced the part at noon today and Yoshi is weaving much better now.  Basically he'll do it with a treat at the end though every so often I'll need to remind him not to jump out.

Once I have him weaving from either side at a reasonable speed, with my at varying distances, and him entering the poles from a variety of angles, then I'll need to decide what my next step is.  Whether it's to add poles, add other obstacles, or take away some of the guides or something else.

Cali and I will be going to the SMART USDAA trial this weekend.  This will be our first USDAA trial in several month, and now we have 2 in a row.  First this one with a Steeplechase qualifier (in search of that elusive 2nd steeplechase Q) and then the Bayteam's Super Regional Grand Prix qualifier.  The cool thing about the super regional is if you place in the top 50% of the grand prix class you get to enter directly into the semi-finals at Scottsdale.  (Hope, hope).

I'm going to be buying a set of 12 poles from Candy hopefully at SMART.  Hope my guides fit on them (they should.)

Tues Aug 24
More pole work - I think he's starting to catch on, I can get him through with two treats now.

Mon Aug 23
Finally bought the pieces to make some weave pole guides according to some plans that Lissa told me that uses drip irrigation pipe which I already have.  I finished them tonight and put them on the poles.  First put Cali through who jumped over one of the guides the first time but later did them (she's not a fan of the guides.)  Yoshi was initially hesitant, so I went back to luring him through and that worked great.  Put a treat in each hand, start luring him with one, he gets to that one eats it and then he sees the other hand further one and beckoning, then switch to the other hand and by now you're done with the poles.

The trick will be for him to learn to do the poles while still looking ahead.  Maybe incorporating a toy throw afterward.  Though this is later after he's had Some time on them.

He seems to catch on to these faster than the 2x2s. The 2x2s worked up to a point then he didn't get them (when I had closed them to 20 degrees or so.)  We had backed up to an easier point when I stopped and let him grown some (and get more coordinated.)

Sun Aug 22
Picked up the weave poles from Cathy, and let Yoshi and Jessie run around like fools.

Sat Aug 21

Went to the new Alameda small dog park.  How nice. just a place for the littles ones to run around with out a big dog zooming in, and Yoshi is tired - hurray!  Yoshi got quickly grouped with the juveniles - big surprise.

Fri Aug 20
Ok, time to get back into the swing of things.  I've been back since Monday and doing some training, but haven't been writing it down.

On our return, the dog sitter said that they did quite well, though I notice that his recall is worse and it appears that he's gained some weight (probably not from our trip, but more likely that he's just getting too much food at meal times since now he's eating.)  So he now gets 1/3 c each meal and lots and lots of work on the recall.  i may have mentioned this before, but I've recently started taking him for solo walks on a flexi.  Great way to work on recalls.  Let him go all the way out and then call him back and reward him like crazy.

His "close" and "right" are coming along.  "Side" and "right" are more so-so so I'll work those more.
I've changed the sit signal to be a raised hand coming out from my side instead of in front of me.  Much easier for the dogs to see.  "Down" seems fine though I need to raise criteria on it, and "stay" is improving.

Time to get serious and start teaching him to weave.  I called Cathy to get the weave poles back but I think she's out of town.  In the mean time I need to finish the guides that I've been wanting to make.  Both my jump wing style and also the flexible hose variety that are like the wire guides only more visible.

Jim wants me to teach him to touch a target with either his feet or his nose.  I think I'm going to do the feet since I want to teach him running contacts.  I'm going to use a mouse pad for the target.

I also need to make a hoop guide with some flexible hose for the running contacts.

Tues Aug 10
We're leaving tomorrow morning, but time for a few notes.
I was concerned that he was going to lose his toy drive when he got more interested in treats.  This happens some, but certainly today and yesterday he was a tug maniac which was very reassuring.  Cali's been getting into the act too so we have these three way tug sessions (since Cali outsizes him and has very strong jaws she can still over power him in tug even though he's plenty tenacious.)

He's still tightly wound, There was a game at the Oakland Colleseium and he was stressing about the noise of the announcer, and then about the animal noises (Amazing Race was riding donkeys) coming from the TV.  But he finally settled down.

Mon Aug 9
We're prepping for another backpacking trip so there will be a break again here.

Sun Aug 8
The Yosh dude stayed home today since it was supposed to be even hotter (and it certainly felt like it.)  No double Q for Cali but we got one of those odd feeling zero point jumper's Q's (with the green ribbon as a parting gift.)  She started out the standard run slow but ok then left me standing flat footed as she barreled to an off course that I hadn't anticipated.  Maybe we praticed the go outs and rear crosses a bit too much at the warmup jump (and maybe I should add that caveat to the warmup jump article.)

Trained in the backyard with Yoshi.  Did some low jumps and the teeter and got the tunnel out.  I expected to have to go back to basics with the tunnel as we haven't done it in a while, but he charged right through it.  With two jumps I was able to lead out and call him over them or send him over them or stand to the side and send him over them (with a thrown toy and tug as a reward.)  I also introduced  taking a single jump at varying angles (jump around the clock) and he was great.  With the teeter he jumped off the first time then I targeted the contact area with a soft treat and he promptly started going to the contact zone.

Got a couple of the 2x2 weaves out and worked with them some.  He'll run through them but he really doesn't understand what his job is so I'm going to have to make some guides.  Star's mom gave me a good idea for making some guides or I'll build the one's I was thinking of using the jump wing material.

Sat Aug 7
Double Q for Cali and much socialization for Yoshi.  Good day despite the heat.  Yoshi and Loni's corgi Robin (a male) hit it off and ran around like fools for a while.  Come afternoon he was completely wiped out (ahhhhh).

Thur Aug 5
Terri says he way obsessed on a squirrel when she went home for lunch (I went into work later so wasn't able to go home.)
Though in the morning he was fine.  He's so funny, the pounding and hammering of the construction next door doesn't bother him in the least, but if a dog barks 1/2 a mile away, he barks and growls.  Wish I knew what was going on in his head.

Wed Aug 4
Didn't lock him in his crate tonight and he did fine, and during the evening before we went to bed he was laying in his crate with the door open.  Cali was laying in hers doing the same thing and it was way cute. He seems calmer this evening, probably because Terri ran with him some on his walk.

He hasn't peed on something in the house in a month and when he did it was for Leslie.

Had to work late tonight so no class - bummer.  Next week I'll be out backpacking so we won't get to class till the 18th when I'm going to bring goodies to celebrate Yoshi's 1 year birthday.

Tues Aug 3
This morning I was able to recall him from a squirrel (multiple times).  I rewarded him with Bil Jac and also by releasing him to go stare at the squirrel some more.  He's so different than even a month ago - my occasionally good boy.

[night] He did a major alarm bark at the top of the trashcan dome that I had left of the floor.  Silly dog.  i turned on the light and let him check it out.

For a few days now I've been experimenting with letting him sleep outside his crate at night, but so far he hasn't settled down.

Mon Aug 2
His recall is doing well now.  I've really started using Cali to get him interested in what we're doing and now that he's eating it's working a lot better.  When they're both in the yard I say "ok let's go" and Cali (or sometimes both) comes charging in.  I have her sit in full view of Yoshi and make a big deal of rewarding her.  He sees that and comes a running.  I have him sit and reward him as well.

He's also charging right into his crate when I say "crate" and point at it.  I reward them both with their Kongs (hers medium, his small) stuffed with a treat.  What's great is that Cali can tell the difference between them.  Her's is "kong" and his is "little"  When I ask her to get the kong, she'll pick his up and then drop it (well only if it's empty), because she realizes it's the wrong one.

It's interesting to me that when I open Yoshi's crate Cali charges over to check his Kong (little).  I was concerned that this would lead to disagreements but it never has even when Cali tried to jam herself in there before he'd even left.

Did a couple of 2 minute down stays with Yoshi while we were watching a movie, now he was at my feet so it was easy to drop my hand down to make sure he stayed down and he wanted to lay down any way, but hey I'll take it.

Sun Aug 1
I'm giving up on the water dish thing for now.  It's no big deal if he doesn't eat for a while but it's essential that he drink so we're back to having two water dishes out.

Took him to Point Isabel dog park which is a huge dog park on the SF Bay.  Kept him on leash till we got a ways from the parking lot and then let him off to play with a miniature Schnauzer, and then with a small Beagle, and with the occasional large dog intervening but Cali would then play dog cop and the large dog would leave (mostly because the owners of the larger dogs would call their dogs off to leave the little dogs alone.)  We then walked for a ways practicing recalls from time to time and then we met some pembrokes and had a pem party for a while.  Oh and there were some Norwich Terriers in there somewhere.  It's nice to see small dogs there as it used to be pretty much just mostly big dogs.

Then we gave him a bath at Mudpuppies (a dog washing business that is on the edge of the park) and then we had a blissfully zonked puppy.  Ahhhhh.  The household gets a brief reprieve.

Go to:
Yoshi Training Diary - July  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - June  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - M ay  2004
Yoshi Training Diary - April 2004
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