Yoshi Training Diary - Jan 2005
By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)
Feedback is welcome:
Mon Jan 31
So we're back to lots of toy play and with me mostly seated or lying
down. He thinks that's great fun. I can't step on him then.
Since I know he likes to climb things I took a risk and set up the mini
dogwalk that Cathy is loaning me. I placed him on it and could
feel him tense. So I took him off of it and put Cali over it a
few times. Then he was interested and he went right over it
Just heard that we won the contact trainer that Bayteam was raffling
off! Cool, now if I can just get him to want to use it.
The trick will be to get him used to contact equipment and doing
contacts without killing his drive to want to do them. I've
noticed that when I start to make demands on him regarding proper
technique, he shuts down. He didn't used to so it must be
something I'm doing to make it less fun.
Sun Jan 30
I'm getting concerned about his sound sensistivity. Things that
didn't used to bother him now do. He now doesn't like his tunnel
(I hadn't tied it down so it moves and sometimes makes noise. I
threw in some treats and he went through it a few time but then stopped
and wouldn't go in a all, even if I went in also (maybe even especially
that I went in.)
Put the tunnel away and got some ramps out from a dog walk that Cathy
is loaning me. No problem there I braced then against the table
and he went right up. It seems to be mainly sound. And yet
he likes shredding envelopes that have windows made of crinkly
plastic. Guess it's different if he's making the sound.
Took him for a short run, he did ok though still barks at passing dogs though met a lab he liked.
After we got back I took his dinner out to the living room and he ate
(hand fed one piece at a time) while I walked around him and picked my
feet up (one at a time). He was leary at first but then was
ok. So I upped the ante and took out the folded up tunnel.
He didn't like that at all and was across the room until I deliberately
dropped a piece of kibble on the floor then he came nearer. I'm
sitting on the floor with my arm on the tunnel (which is now in the
shape of a tire.) He would come close enough to eat a piece of
kibble and then would back off. Over time he gradually got closer.
Then Terri came home and he relaxed considerably. Ok now I'm
taking this personally. With Terri he would get closer to the
tunnel (I'm still holding it.) and I would squeeze it with my hand to
make a little noise (it's made of nylon so it rustles.) And
though he was leary of it he would get a lot closer with Terri feeding
him to the point that he would stick his head through it to get a
treat. Didn't know I was such an ogre.
Wed Jan 26
Went as a tourist to Cali's agility class where he was less freaky but
definitely an adolescent and got himself crated in the car twice.
The first time was when we were in the small field by the house fence
and Nancy's small dog Toast came out. This surprised Yoshi and he
started barking a growling and wouldn't stop worrying about this
strange loose dog who didn't have a person attached.
The second was more worrysome - we were in the big field and walking
with Yoshi on a leash. I was looking one direction trying not to
step on Cali and Yoshi came right up to Jake. Jake doesn't like
dogs in his face and barked and lunged a bit. Yoshi pounced on
him instantly for about 1/2 a second and then bounced off and I grabbed
him but he definitely wanted to jump back in. While I've never
seen him start anything I would rather he back off and he usually does
with dominate females, but not necessarily with boys. He really
needs to be trounced but I don't know if that will help or
hinder. I'm hoping he grows up - right now he's a year and a half
going on six or nine months.
Tues Jan 25
Obedience class! He did pretty well. Was having a difficult
time understanding that this wasn't playtime. but after about 1/2 the
class he settled down with Terri. (I was across the room
watching.) This week they'll be working on sit, stay, some down,
and some attention.
Mon Jan 24
Another easy day, just went for a walk with Cali. He starts
obedience class tomorrow. He's really liking Cali's food to the
point that he's refusing to eat his kibble. He ate a little of it
this morning and wouldn't touch it this evening. It's 10pm and I
just offered it to him again and I hear him eating some.
Sun Jan 23
Mellow day for him. I went and climbed Mt. Diablo.
He still has good toy drive and he tugs well, played with him for a
while with some of the intact toys (I have to hide those from
Cali). While he doesn't shred toys he loves to pull the stuffing
out of one that already has a hole in it.
Sat Jan 22
Well he's gradually getting back to his usual obnoxious self, though he
still has periods where he wants to withdraw, but he's willing to be
convinced to be social if we're all sitting down to a movie (meaning
he's willing to come out and sleep on one's lap on the sofa).
The great news is that he wanted to actually do
something (besides real squirrel chasing) which he hasn't wanted to in
a while. I noticed yesterday that he was willing to play with his
toy squirrel but didn't want anything to do with a jump that I then got
out (ok fine we won't do that) - though the conspicuously placed tire
doesn't seem to bother him and he'll hop through that one his own
sometimes. So this time I went for low stress and took him,
squirrel, treats, and clicker into the living room (and took my shoes
off as he really dislikes being near my shoes on my wood floor).
We played with squirrel for a while and then I tossed it a little ways
and he fetched it (click/treat)! We haven't worked with fetch in
a while so it's really encouraging that he not only remembers how, but
seems to enjoy it (Elizabeth says that he used to fetch for them, but I
had to teach him when he got here - the Performance Corgis list is
talking about how dogs generalize poorly and this is an example).
I tossed squirrel a little further and he brought it right back
(c/t). We did this about 10 times or less and stopped while he
was still interested. Did a little bit of heeling and sitting,
but he was starting to get stressed so we stopped.
I've been using some of Cali's W/D canned food to give him his
pills. He likes that a lot. To the point that he's really
taking his time with his kibble, but he does eat it eventually (10-15
minutes. Yes, really.) I've explained to him that it's a high
quality kibble, and that he really shouldn't get hooked on the canned
food but I don't think he's hearing me. ;)
I did wind up getting him some Natural Balance Lamb to use as treats
and we'll see how this sits in his tummy. He certainly likes it.
Thur Jan 20
Woke up to barfing puppy dog so he's going to the vet today at 2pm
(guess he didn't cost me enough money this week.) Wouldn't
eat. Wouldn't eat a bagel (remember that's Cali's favorite.) Would eat some of Cali's W/D canned food.
[lunch] well he's still running around obessing on squirrels so he's not that ill. He would eat some of his kibble
I need to get more Rollover (actually it's Natural Balance) so I don't
overdo the Bil-Jac. No come to think of it I'll just make some
[back from vet]
Well the good news is that he doesn't have Giardia. The bad news
is that it might be Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I'm hoping that
it's just something he ate, or too much Bil-Jac. I sure hope it's not
IBD as I'm really enjoying having a dog that I don't have to worry
about their diet. But we know that he's sensitive to too much
cheese (Elizabeth's son Chip calls him Flatulo). Anyway, he has
some antibiotics (Metronidazole) that also have an anti-inflamatory
effect too. We'll do that for 7 days and see how he does.
Well I must admit that it's kinda nice having him be this subdued (but it won't last.)
Wed Jan 19
I'm supposed to be in agility class, but was too tired to drive
safely. Yoshi's bloodtests came back normal (liver a very small
smidge high but not like last March where it was 143.) So we're back to
just observing him for now. If he doesn't improve then I'll have
him tested for Giardia as he was drinking out of some puddles at the
dog park and Morgan Territory. Park Ctr has an in-house giardia
test so they'll know quite soon. Though it may have been too much
Well in the when all else fails try the obvious. I took Yoshi out in the
back and played with a toy that looks very much like a squirrel.
He loved it. It doesn't even squeak anymore, but neither do most
of the squirrels that he obsesses over. I even had him jump
through the tire a couple of times chasing after it. Quit after
just a few minutes before he got bored.
Stools are looking more normal now (though still a touch soft.)
Tues Jan 16
He's going to the vet for a rabies shot so I had them run a blood panel
as well. He's still subdued, has soft stools, and he's not eating
with the same gusto he usually does and I'm wondering if he's not
Mon Jan 17
Took him for a walk and he did pretty well except for a barking fit
over a small white dog across the street who was posturing a bit at
him. I put the gentle leader on him (after a lengthy "leave it"
struggle (though I did manage to keep my voice calm) and the rest of
the walk was uneventful.
Had Terri feed him some and walk around him. She had slippers on
and he didn't shrink away as she stepped. When I took my shoes
off I got similar results, so it appears to be the sound of the shoes on the wood floor that he reacts to.
He appears to be going through something of an introverted phase.
Twice this evening he left the living room where we were watching
Bourne Supremacy and retired to Cali's crate. The second time I
went and got Yellow Moose (I keep it on a shelf so it stays intact and
keeps it special). He quite happily came out and played with
it. So I have no idea if I should be concerned or not.
Sun Jan 16
Took him running with me. I was deliberately going slower
(jog/walk) for my own training purposes, but he didn't seem to mind too
much. He's still weird about meeting dogs along the path so today
I deliberately avoided dogs entirely and praised him for "leave it" - I
use a relaxed voice which seems to help. For the most part he did
well, but there was a golden who he really wanted to tell off (the
golden was barking at him as well.) The effort that he puts into
struggling with me when he wants to charge at a dog surprises me.
though he didn't get away (I had him by the collar.)
Still doing the feed him and walk around him. He's still
concerned that I'm going to step on him, but he seems a little better
about it. He also likes physical reassurance I've noticed.
If I want him to understand that he needs to "stay" then having a hand
on him for part of the time seems to help.
Sat Jan 15
Went to the park and I had a black man there say hello to him and Yoshi
was fine, so it may have been the grocery bag, or it may have been that
the guy was walking by our house.
In the afternoon, all of us went to Cali's tracking lesson.
Yoshi, who has had no training in tracking at all, started to track and
even found some food drops that the dog on the track had missed.
Debi says that tracking helps alot with confidence. Hmmmm,
tracking is certainly easier to get to and easier to train at home than
herding. I deliberately hadn't taught him anything to do with
sniffing since I was enjoying him not doing so (Cali being such a pain
about it), but if he enjoys it, it might be good for him.
(Generally, safer too.)
The chute fabric arrived today so it's laid out in the living room for
him to get used to it. While he doesn't go out of his way to step
on it, if I throw a treat on it he will step on it to get the treat.
Fri Jan 14
Went to the dog park at lunch where he got some ya-yas run out.
Before we went to the park, I took him to work so he got lots of
exposure to folks. He barks at Ann who is Chinese and very
expressive. But once she bends down and says hello then he's ok
(It migh have been that she was carrying an evil jacket or that she walks in a furitive way). The
other day he barked at a black man who was walking by (he was carrying
a grocery bag). I don't know if race has to do with it, but I
need to make sure he meets folks of every race I know.
I've decided to put Yoshi in a beginner obedience class. The
chaos will be good for him and Terri's agreed to handle him, so she'll
get to learn something in the process too. With all the training he's
had between what Elizabeth and I have done he'll no doubt be the star pupil.
After talking with someone at the obedience training club that I took
Cali to (Oakland Dog Training Club), we decided to put him in Beginner 1 as that's more chaotic. ;)
If it is truely boring for him (one can only hope) then we can always bump him up a level.
Thur Jan 13
Well he did ok in class. To the point that I had him out and just
tied to a stake with Cali with all the other dogs milling around.
I would take him with me on the walk throughs and he said hi to all the
folks and he seemed to enjoy that. Gail even picked him up and
walked around with him and he seemed ok with that (I'll have to ask her
Cali did incredibly well and I will write more in her diary. My
plan was to start competing with Yoshi this year and let Terri compete
with Cali. It's clear that Yoshi needs a lot more time to grow up
(like several months or even a year or so) so I'll probably see if Cali
wants to compete in an organization that lets her run in the regular
classes as an 8"er (NADAC, and CPE).
[Just sent this email to my classmates]
Well last night basically confirmed what I was beginning to suspect.
Cali not only still wants to do agility, she wants to do it fast and
well - just not at 12". Given that it's turning out that Yoshi needs a
lot more time to grow up and build confidence, and Cali saying "Put me
in coach!" I think we're going to become CPE and NADAC competitors as
we can compete in the regular classes at 8" (while still chasing that
USDAA ADCH). Oh and AKC? We'll probably stop with AKC agility (Terri
may do the Preferred classes with her), while still doing tracking and
obedience where we can pick up a versatility title.
Wed Jan 12
So to continue on yesterday's thoughts. I think I'll lay off the
agility training for right now (except maybe tunnels and chutes, and
the occasional jump.) He's been introduced to everything so we
can always return to it. So it's more leash work though today I'm
hoping to go running at lunch and I'll take him along. Oh and he
likes his table so much I guess I'll give that back, but no weaving for
Gail had some good words of advice (with permission):
Don't make the mistake I did with Pic, of using your first dog as a
guide for "good" behavior. It just sets you up for disappointment
and frustration. You and I got lucky, getting first dogs that
matured fast, are sufficiently tough that they take to training
easily. Pic matured MUCH more slowly and is what Nancy refers to as
an "emotionally soft" dog: a dog with drive but that can't take
pressure or conflict.
Keep your training sessions really short--no more than 5 minutes (really!)
Increase the rate of reward. I found that the problem with Pic
wasn't so much his lack of work ethic, which is what I thought for
the first 2 years. It was that he was easily discouraged if he
didn't get things right. Make Yoshi successful. Make training fun.
Soft dogs will find all sorts of ways to distract themselves if they
aren't having fun, so if you find he isn't working well, move your
training to a less stimulating environment.
Let him "win" occasionally. For example, you are outside and he
comes when you call. Reward him by releasing him to chase a squirrel
(or a llama, or whatever it is that you've been keeping from him).
Make sure Yoshi gets lots of off-leash exercise. Pic has great
difficulty working with me in training if he doesn't get 15 minutes a
day of full-out running.
"Emotionally soft" That's quite apt.
So perhaps I will take him to the park today at lunch as I have power paws tonight so maybe I should go easy on my running.
back from the park and he had a blast and appears to be learning some social skills.
2 dogs were barking at me (owners were intervening) and although Yoshi
was very much in the thick of things he did not try to bark at or in
other ways confront the dogs which showed good judgement on his part as
they really could have done some damage. Also in another case a
female dog snapped at him for being too pushy and he backed right
off. Plus he had a blast running around with a female lab mix.
He's tired now and here at work as doing well. He'll spend the
evening with Terri as Jim doesn't have time to see him tonight since
Nancy is at the AKC nationals in Florida.
Tues Jan 11
Had about 10 women over for a potluck book club meeting. I kept
Yoshi on a leash to keep an eye on him and to get him used to the
relative chaos of several people talking at the same time. He did
fine though I notice that he really wanted to withdraw
afterwards. I let him for a little while and then did some nose
touch exercises to earn his dinner.
Since I appear to be the bad cop and Terri's the good cop I decided to
start teaching her how to do some basic obedience training first with
Cali and then with Yoshi. They did great. We just did 5
minutes indoors of touch, close (walk on left side), sit and then
touch, side, and sit for the right side. He walks right beside
her. She was wearing slippers and I notice that he was better
around me if I took my shoes off (we have wood floors so even running
shoes make sounds). Though this doesn't explain outdoors. I
then got Cali again and showed her how Cali would stay even with me
stepping over her, whereas Yoshi will move out of the way if you walk
within about 3 feet of him and that I'd like to work towards Yoshi
allowing us to step over him. (A trust exercise of sorts).
Mon Jan 10
Ok it's time for remedial leash training. He's afraid to come
near me and this is starting to bug me. (It's like he's afraid
I'm going to step on his foot. So the rain gave up a reprieve and
instead of going to the park I took him on a walk with the gentle
leader. We worked on walking beside me and sitting at corners and
stitting beside me while looking ahead instead of having his butt
Maybe I should take him to the novice obedience dropin at Oakland Dog
Training Club though Laurie doesn't work there anymore, but I hear the
other trainers are good.
I hope I'm not killing his drive to work. He certainly likes to
play with dogs and will tug for me or Terri and he loves to jump on the
table or other contact obstacle (closer to the squirrels). I'll
give him a break from weavepoles. Maybe just jumps tires and
tunnel and table. Arlene was telling me that beginning CPE level
doesn't have weaves so that's quite tempting. In the meantime, I
took the table away as he was getting to the point of not wanting to
leave it at all.
Sun Jan 9
Took him running
(about 3/4 of a mile and then a good walk back), and he also played
very nicely with an Old English Shepherd puppy named Maddy.
Thur Jan 6
Took him to my work so I could take him to the dog park at noon. He
was a bit of a freaky boy. Said hi to Ann and then later when I
had him running around in the hallways, he saw her in the hallway and
started alarm barking. Got him settled down and she again said
hello to him. Then we were walking out and he freaked again at a
tree in the lobby. So we then spent some quality time with the
tree. He got used to that and again said hello (nicely) to
Ann. Then we finally got off to the park.
[dogpark] Lots of puppies for him to play rough with. He
nearly got him nose taken off by another dog but that dog was leashed
(lucky for him). I hope he learns social skills soon before he
gets injured. I think the social lessons he's leaning here are
good, but I just have to be careful. (And keep the credit card at
Wed Jan 5
Probably will be a light day for him as it's Cali's first agility class
of the year. Though I'll bring him along. Hope we don't get
rained out. I'll see if Jim has time to take a look at his
Jim was getting ready for a trial and didn't have time, but he said it
was ok to use the small field even though it was mushy from the
rain. Got out six jumps and made a jump circle with one of them
being a middle jump of three in a row: |
| | |
He did pretty well though was easily distracted when Jim would walk by
or a dog would bark or he decided that the trailer parked near was
scary. He can do a stay with a two jump lead out and will do a
jump circle or run with me (albeit a distance from me) over the three
jumps in a row. A bit confused by a front cross but haven't been
doing many of them with him so that's not surprising.
At class he enjoyed saying hello to folks and they were interested in
that he hasn't kept his show puppy build (he's much more lean now), and
in his burly thighs which contrast nicely to his small size. He
got into Flint's space and Flint promptly told him off, and while that
excited him he stayed a respectful distance from Flint. Though I
won't be surprised if he provokes Flint again.
Tues Jan 4
Got a break in the rain so I took him to the dog park and then to work
for the afternoon. He's much less skittish when he's tired and at
work is even playing with the jacket that he's leary of. I new
have it on the the ground to see if he'll lay on it (no) though he will
eat treats off of it.
The most common comment I hear at the dog park right after "he's fast"
is "he's not a small dog." The big dog folks are amused by him
which is nice given how nervous he makes some of the small dog
owners. Though today I took him in the park on leash and found a
dog playing fetch and asked the owner if the dog would be ok with a
manic corgi chasing them. In this case it was an Aussie and the
owner was saying: Please let him chase her - she'd love it (she
did.) I think I'll keep doing it this way as it's a great way to
break the ice.
Did more weaves - looks ok. He's less hesitant and seems to
better understand how to do them. He's doing them better now that
I stand 5 feet away from him (way different than Cali).
However this makes "close" and "side" a challenge. He'll do them,
but seems afraid that I'll step on his paw. I can now chain
commands such as: close-left-side-right. Though left and right
always need a signal (which is fine).
His sit stays are getting good up to 15 feet or so. He still
seems to blank out on what "sit" means if the context is
different. Down is not as good but still improving.
Lower pitched voice seems to work better than high.
Mon Jan 3
I'm getting tired of his skittishness. Which of course isn't
helping. He doesn't like one of my jackets either because of the
rustling noise it makes. I realized that I was trying to get him
used to the dog food bag while I had that jacket one but that was
proving to be too much. So I took the jacket off and got some
improvement. Oh and did I mention the stuffed bear that he's
afraid of too? Maybe this is a third fear period? Let it
end soon please.
In the mean time I put 2 of the weave guides back on and he's weaving
ok. Not fast but not too bad. He's still hesitant to start
them but one he's going he's usually ok.
I'm still experimenting with the tone of my voice. At first I was
using a higher pitched voice, but he seems to do better with a lower
pitch. Will keep experimenting with it.
Sun Jan 2
Yoshi is afraid of his dog food bag. I had left it on the table
(it's usually in the pantry) and he started to alarm bark at it.
I took it down and put it on the floor and started putting kibbble out
on the floor for him. I could get him within a couple of feet,
but no closer. I was going to get a different container for the
food but not anymore. It's going to stay out.
Sat Jan 1
Happy New Year. It's raining off and on, but I took doggies to
the park any way. It's difficult when I have two of them as I
can't watch both as closely as I would like. The big dog park was
a mud puddle so I took them into the small dog park. I asked the
other folks there it if was ok since his can be a little much, but they
indicated it was ok. He would up getting the other dogs excited
and a disagreement occurred and because I was down at the other end of
the park with Cali, I didn't see exactly what transpired. Later
one of the people there said that it was probably him that got them all
excited. Maybe I should change his name to Destablizing
Influence. Anyway, those dogs left and he then proceeded to have
a nice time with several other dogs both big and small. In
particular he had a nice fence running session with a big dog named
Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Nov 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Oct 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Sept 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Aug 2004
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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