Yoshi Training Diary - January 2006

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

Feedback is welcome:

Tue Jan 31
Got a replacement battery and the tone of the collar is working consistently so now I feel comfortable putting it on him.
I put it on him and let him run around the yard just getting used to its weight.  For the first 5 minutes he didn't make a sound almost like he'd had a bark collar on in the past but I'm quite sure he hasn't.  Then a squirrel ran by and he finally started barking which is something I'm not going to correct, but at least I know he's comfortable enough in the collar to act like he usually does.

Then he found something vile in the yard to attempt to munch on.  But as soon as i backed up my "leave it" command with a "Hey!" he immediately desisted (good boy no spray for that).  I then asked him to come in and as he started back he got distracted and his "just a moment" body language came into view.  Oh my poor boy you know not what you do.  I said "Hey!" and he started to come some more but paused again, so I pressed the button and he got a short spray of citronella.  Boy was he surprised but he immediately took it as an enforcement from me and promptly returned to me.  This is exactly what I want.  I want him to think that I can get to him from far away.

We then went on a walk and he was the perfect gentleman.  Loose leash walking and all.  Granted I brought some cheese along though I deliberately didn't bring the clicker as I was afraid of mixing up the remote and the clicker and instead used the word "yes."  Also on this walk I didn't put a Gentle Leader on him as I didn't want to interfer with any citronella sprays.  It was a good first experience, we didn't see any dogs on the walk but did see people he didn't know and was able to greet and get treats from some of them.  No posturing, no growling, no lunging.

Tonight is agility class and I won't have the collar on him and he won't have any calming stuff either so he'll probably be his usual high maintenance self.  I will probably have him wear the collar for obedience class on Wed.

Actually he wasn't.  He did try and lunge at Rebel (Caryn's big Aussie) but I told him that wasn't ok and he chilled out, and didn't give the hairy eyeball to any other dog including Frida the cocker.

Sharon is having surgery tomorrow and wasn't teaching class tonight.  So tonight was basically run throughs.  While it was fun to see how well he'd do on a longer course, there were some skills necessary such as out and landing side front crosses that we really need to work on separately and with Sharon's watchfulness, so I think it would be best for him to wait on attending class again till Sharon is able to conduct class as I don't want him to get bad habits that would take much more effort to fix than to avoid in the first place.

Mon Jan 30
While I was at Tucson, the Citronella collar came in.  Now I need to decide on an exact criteria for using it.

I went back and forth about using it after using a warning word, or just let him have it out of the blue when he is doing something he shouldn't (will be defined better).

Lori says that I should expose him to it first with fairly minor infractions so he's not completely surprised.
Semi-minor things I can think of that would be appropriate use of it would be the on leash behavior when he barks at other dogs, and when I get the "in a minute, let me check this out first" response when I call him at the park.  In the backyard, if I get that response a simple sharp  "Hey!" gets his attention (and he knows that I'll just come get him after that.)

Major infraction would be not coming when called while chasing a dog at the dog park.

While messing with the collar using the tone only we discovered that it wasn't reacting consistently and Cathy was guessing the batteries.  Sure enough one of the batteries was low.  Will replace it tomorrow before trying it.

Tonight Cathy and Jessie came over and before that I had given him some of the calming formula that I got from Petco.  I gave him 2 dropperfuls (recommended dose is 1-4 for under 40 pounds) and he was way drugged.  Would harrass Jessie as usual and then go lay down for a while.  Cathy noticed that his eyes were very dialated.  When I have to take him on a plane this is probably how I want him but clearly he doesn't need this much.  Apparently Valerian is what Vallium is derived from and it's the second ingredient after Chamomile so that's what's probably doing it.  (And also probably why things that are for horses who compete and are tested for drugs do not contain Valerian.)  While I won't give him this for agility, I may give him just a little (like 1/2 a dropper) for obedience or other stressful situations.

Fri Jan 27
Clicker Expo
[Will put a lengthy report of it here.]

Thur Jan 26
Lett for Tucson and ClickerExpo.  Yoshi is staying at Camp Cooper where he and Cooper will cheerfully have a wonderful time beating each other up.

Tue Jan 24
He started his new agility class today and he did quite well.  Which given that it's a more advanced class is very encouraging.
Funny moment was when we pulled up, we were welcomed by a woman whose name I'm forgetting and I said that you might not be so welcoming once you see how reactive he is.  Before that she was in the middle of telling Caryn (also in the class) that her dog was nervous around other dogs and I said that mine was too, but he didn't express it very well.  Eventually I mentioned that my dog was a corgi and the woman laughed and said the last dog to go after her dog was a corgi.  Laughing I said "Uh oh."  Then I took Yoshi out of the truck and she said "Wait, what's his name?"  I told her and she said (still amused fortunately) "He's the corgi."  I looked down and there was "Frida" the black cocker from ODTC. "Oh no!"  I said.  Though I was relieved to be allowed to have another shot at things as they haven't been back to the ODTC class.  (They're down from Olympia Washington for a few weeks so Frida won't be in the class very long.)

Fortunately things went fine, though we kept a careful eye on him.  She said that he wasn't the only one to go after her.  They see the word "CHICKEN" emblazoned on her forehead.  He did generally ok but got briefly snarky with the Visela, and lunged once at Rebel a big Aussie who was just walking by, and I got after him for both.  He's since met both dogs and is ok with them.  There's also a very OCD female Border Collie in the class and he doesn't seem to be inclined to give her any issue at all though he took exception to her other BC walking by and surprising him (I had a firm hold of him).

Agility wise he was fast and responsive and better about his stays.  He was unsure about the weavepole entrance when I was practicing with him on leash, but when we did them (all 12!) during a run he nailed it.  My using the clicker with the poles is working.  Click, treat and continue. Seems to confuse him less and if he's still in good position in the poles, continuing rather than pulling him out seems to help him in understanding what his job is.  After seeing him doing it Sharon is fine with it as it's clearly working for him.

The longer runs did tire him which is interesting - I haven't been bringing him to the park as much so he's probably a little out of shape and he's not used to it either (this is even with shortening the runs some for him.)  He still wants to barrel ahead since most of the beginner class is straight line work, but once he understood that sometimes he would have to turn he responded well to being called, and he seems to understand pointing straight ahead means take that obstacle.  Sharon deliberately didn't have us do the lateral "out" part as she wanted him to learn the straight ahead portion first.

The lateral lead outs though we did work on and he seems to be getting it though I didn't stand too far laterally out.

Earlier that day, I got from Petco one of the many "calming" formulas available.  This one has Chamomile, Valerian, Hops, Scullcap, and Evening Primrose.  I tried it myself tonight and it seems fine so he'll get it tomorrow.  Unfortunately, he won't be going to class tomorrow as I have to pack as we're leaving the next day for Tucson (Clicker Expo).

Mon Jan 23

Sun Jan 22
We let him hang out in the yard while we worked on the garage.  It fascinates me that he's so happy just to stand guard to watch out for invading squirrels.  If guarding people or sheep from squirrels was a sport he would be so there.  Sort of a livestock guardian?  (On an albeit smaller scale.)  Unless a real threat showed up then he'd likely be so outta there.  It's like he gets in touch with his inner terrier.  Well one theory is that corgi's were an all purpose dog and that had to have included ratting.  Though I'm not so sure I want to encourage him too much beyond barking at squirrels.

He gets so obsessed sometimes.  If we're inside and he sees a squirrel he'll go ring the back door bell saying he wants to go outside and then pointedly walk back to where I'm sitting, and then walk back to the bell (and repeat, and repeat, ....)

Sat Jan 21
Terri and I went on a lengthy hike so he had to hang out for much of the day but then we took him over to race around with and play with Cooper and then spend the evening with him while Mark, Jan, Terri and I went out to dinner so I think he forgave us.

Fri Jan 20
[class] Went fine though he wouldn't stay which is a little surprising since he was so good in obedience class.  We have to work on his lateral leadouts with the goal of me being 15' lateral of the jump and him going over the jump that I'm indicating instead of coming to me.  The class size is down to 3 people so Sharon has moved us to Tues at 8pm (Hooray).  They're more advanced than he his but she's ok with shortening the sequence for him.  Other dogs that are in the class are 2 BCs, an Aussie, a Cattle Dog Cross, an English Cocker and a Visela.  I mentioned warning the last two about his propensity to bark at other dogs particularly non-herding dogs.  She said that she wouldn't worry about it - the English Cocker is switching classes and the Visela doesn't pay much attention to other dogs.

[dogpark] So much for good dog.  Spark and he went to the big dog park, and he and Spark go along great, but there was a Ridgeback puppy (6 months old - large) that got frightened and started to run and cry.  Yoshi would not come at all and chased the terrified dog (who was at least 3 times larger than him) all over the place until Bill finally caught him.  I even threw a water bottle at him (Yoshi), but he didn't notice (I missed as I didn't want to hit the other dog.)  He was so possessed that he bit his own tongue or gum as he was bleeding from it for a little while.  Ironically I don't think he made any contact with the dog and the owner was ok.

I put him on leash while the ridgeback was still there but let him off for a little while longer but he wasn't much improved.

So I've had it with the "I don't have to come if you're far away from me" nonsense.  I need a way to enforce commands remotely.  I'd rather not have to put a shock collar on him and sonic ones punish the other dogs too, but I've found a remote activated Citronella collar (as opposed to a bark collar), so I'm going to order that one.  (Good thing our company just gave us all raises to celebrate doing well last year.)  KV Vet sells the "Spray Commander."  I'll look at what J&J and Foster Smith offer as well (they don't sell them it turns out).  It's either this or insist that he learn to herd (wonder if that's possible) so he can learn some control.

Wed Jan 18
Went back to Alameda Marketplace and got more Bach Flower Remedies.  This time I'm going to try a combination of Mimulus (fear of the unknown), Beech (intolerance), Holly (suspicion), and Vine (aggression).  (Sounds like some sort of list of deadly sins or something).  I of course tried it first and had no effect so I gave it to him in his dinner.

Obedience class tonight - and he did surprisingly well.  Heeled well and was generally tolerant of doggies including the open dogs.  Barked and growled a couple of times but I was able to get his attention back fairly quickly.  His sit and down were excellent.  Part of his good behavior may have been the Bach's or it could have been the magic string cheese which he thinks is heaven.

Tues Jan 17
Got out the clicker and treats and worked on the weave poles for a little while.  i added the last two poles and I swear he can count as he was popping out at 10 consistently.  He seemed to get a little frustrated, but i got him excited enough to continue and earn some success at it.  I still try to randomize the position that he gets a click.  Also did a couple of teeters and some left and right.

Then went to the dogpark as I wanted him tired and I don't have the time to walk him 2 or 3 miles to get him that tired and I wanted him to run some.  As you might guess he was being a pill at first because he hadn't been for a while.  I called him to walk to a more remote section of the park and he started to come along and then took off back to the playing dogs and wouldn't come.  Which is really appalling for a dog that's had months of obedience training.  Clearly the dogs were more interesting than I was.  At first I hid for a bit to see if he'd notice but i've been working on getting him comfortable without me around and it's working a touch too well.

So I caught him using a lab puppy that he wanted to play with, put him on leash, and we and the puppy walked to a further corner of the park.  The puppy eventually went back to her handler and Yoshi and I worked on on leash recalls with cheese as the reward.  That got his attention.

Then we walked still on leash over to the fence where the small dogs are so he could see them.  At nearly the same time 3 Weimeramers walked by and he tried to launch at them (in that trying to play but coming on to strong style) and I gave him a leash correction (he almost gave himself one.)

He seemed to chill out some so I let him off leash to run the fence with the small dogs.  One of the owners put one of his dogs over the fence so they could run around and play rough. (We need a medium size dogs who like to roughhouse section.)  Had him do a recall for cheese and then immediately let him go back to what him was doing.  (In other words, coming to me doesn't necessarily mean fun's over, and you may get a really cool treat.)

Finally he got tired (he's actually in not as good shape as he was when he was going regularly), and I took him home.  Right as we got home the kids were getting out of school and the training opportunity was too good so I went and got some more cheese.  By the time we got back out there the kids had passed but we went down to see Cathy a neighbor of mine.  And in the process of walking down passed another neighbor who a few months ago got 2 rottweillers (bad idea - for them, really bad idea).  The rotts hit their front window so hard the curtain rod came down.  Someday they're going to break that window though given that it's held up so far makes me think it's plexyglass.  Anyway Yoshi was pretty good (remember he was tired), and not very reactive.  He'd bark once at people or dogs in the distance (sometimes I'd catch him before but not always) and i'd call him back to me and have him give me attention for a couple moments before I'd click.  There was even a dog approaching and he stopped worrying about it and just paid attention to me.

So all in all a mixed afternoon.

Mon Jan 16

Sun Jan 15
I went on a lengthy hike and Terri watched Yoshi (much squirrel chasing and toy play).

Sat Jan 14
Reading more about calming products and calming signals.  Terri Ryan has a good article about Turid Rugaas' work http://diamondsintheruff.com/calmingsignals.html

I also got the book Bach Flower Remedies for Animals.
Ones I'd like to try in addition to Mimulus, are Beech (intolerance), Holly (suspiscion) and Vine (agresssion - though not really intended for fear agression like mimulus is) - I tried Aspen (fear of the unknown) but wasn't convinced that it did anything.  My partner Terri was asking if I really believed all the claims about the Bach remedies.  I haven't a clue and fortunately my belief is not a requirement for being willing to experiment with it since the risks a low and the cost is reasonable.  And besides, anything I give him I try first (not that that's much of an indication of anything, but it makes me feel better that I do). So far, the worst I've seen is that sometimes he'll start spitting up, so it's possible the alcohol doesn't agree with his stomache.  I think that's because the Rescue Remedy uses 4 drops and not 2 like the others (both diluted).

Stress appears to be a big problem is dogs as I was looking at the Foster Smith catalog and they have a whole section - half of which is devoted to calming products - seven of them.  One is RR but the others all seem very different and take different approaches.  Not a lot of detail in the catalog, but things I see mentioned are Valerian extract, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, Inositol (not familiar with the one), Chamomile, and L-Tryptophan (last two are intended as a mild sedative for dogs stressed by traveling).  I suppose I could take it to obedience class and give him the chamomile and L-thryptophan right when it's time to do sits and downs and the open dogs come in.  Then we could stay for part of the open class with him hopefully feeling comfortable enough to snooze.  Well it's a thought anyway.

Fri Jan 13
No agility class as Sharon is at the AKC nationals.
So I've been rethinking weavepoles.  Sharon's method is to throw a toy at random places in the poles so they can learn position.  She doesn't use a clicker in that case because your timing has to be so correct.  I was thinking that I bet my timing could be at least as good as my toy placement and wouldn't have the problem of being intrusive.

So i got out a clicker and some string cheese (a favorite of his).  We still have 10 poles set up with guide stubs on the 2nd and 9th pole (will take these back off soon). I initially clicked him just for a good approach.  He immediately caught on to the game. 0 poles, click, 2 poles, click, 4 poles, click, then varied it.  Then I tried all the poles and he pulled up short expecting a treat - none came.  Did it again and he stilled pulled up.  A third time and he did it, but was hesitant.  Going back the other way (him on my left) he blazed through them and got a click right at the end.  Then went back with him on my right (his weaker direction) and he got it.

For him, I think this is a lot quicker and clearer and he absolutely loves it, I'll have to go over this with Sharon when she gets back.

For the past few days he's been occasionally spitting up.  I'm concerned that it's either the Rescue Remedy (even though I dilute it in a little water) or a new supplement that I've been giving him so I'm stopping both and will add one back in at a time.

Thur Jan 12
Dog walk at noon.  Gave him RR before hand, but he was still barky at 2 other dogs despite my doing rather forceful nose holding (his).  I don't think the RR had time to have an effect.  After one of the dogs went past we proceeded down the street along side of them.  He was essentially fine with that.  (Hmmmm.)

Wed Jan 11
Obedience class tonight.  Gave him some Rescue Remedy and it may have helped.  He was still growly at some dogs but chilled out sooner.  He may also be getting used to the open dogs.  Stayed to watch part of the open class and he did ok.  Quite willing to sit with eye contact for treats.  I also had various people give him treats, and he definitely liked that.

Funny moment was that Hazel, the instructor, was emphasizing the imporance of name recognition during a recall oer a jump exercise.  Because there was a new dog there and I didn't want a repeat of the chase the new Cocker incident of last year, we kept him on leash and Hazel held him loosely while I put him on a sit-stay and walked away to the other side of an obedience jump to call him over.  She said something like "We'll start with Yoshi" and he immediately turned around and came to her.  Well at least he has the name recognition part down.  Granted he probably should be a touch more particular about who's saying it, but he definitely knows his name.

One person there asked if Yoshi had ever been attacked by a dog.  I said that I didn't think so, but I didn't know absolutely for sure.  I do know that he's been in altercations with Gus, but I honestly don't know how serious.  Certainly when he was a pack boy he was very good at defusing situations which is not normally the case now.  (Unless a dog really wants to get him, then he suddenly becomes the ultimate "don't want no trouble" pacifist.)

Sun Jan 8
Spent the day with Cooper while Terri and I went skiing.  A very worn out happy boy.

Sat Jan 7
Santa Rosa AKC
Hooray!  He's 10 3/4".  I thanked Kera and told her that she has just changed his life.  That got a laugh.
I could go to the trouble to have him measured apart from being entered at a trial again but now that I know the wicket measures the same as I do I'm not as concerned.  I may go ahead and do it anyway as then by the time he would start competing he would have his permanent height card (he needs one more to make it official).

He was pretty reactive to all the dogs around.  Some he was fine with (like the Greyhound that he couldn't even reach to sniff properly.)  Others he was barking at.  Though Gail had him and Pic run around some in one of the fenced areas and that helped.  (I had given him RR in the morning, but a whole trial can be pretty overwhelming.)

Fri Jan 6
Agility class today.  i gave him some Rescue Remedy before we did the 45 minute drive over to Sharon's and he did surprisingly well.  It helped that only Lucky was there and Sharon had Rip out.  But Yoshi has had issues about Lucky before and he seemed generally ok around him.  In fact once when Lucky was tied to the fence Lucky growled and barked at Rip who had gotten a little close.  Yoshi was fine with us walking a little further away.  We also were practicing some longer lead outs which had me a little concerned that he was going to break and chase after Lucky, but that never happened.  I could tell he looked around and thought about it, but turned his attention back to me (Good dog.)  The field was very muddy, so we didn't work that hard.  Leadouts, Lateral leadout pivots, The former leading in to a serpentine.  Then jump, dogwalk, tire, double.  And the reverse.  Then tunnel, A-Frame, jump, jump, jump (2x) with Sharon calling them over the last jump (as she wanted them to drive ahead).  Then weavepoles.  Yoshi is better with me having him on my left which is funny as I really try to be ambidextrious, but obedience class is with dog on the left so that may be it.  She's suggesting having him do 10 poles since he seems generally fine with six.  he's cantering over the dogwalk fine and his teeter and A-Frame look good.  once I get more confident about how his is around unknown dogs, he'll be just about ready to start competing.

Tomorrow I'm going to take him up to Santa Rosa to have him measured by Kera Holm as she's patient and would likely be a good person for his first official measurement (he's about 10 3/4 so not enough to stress too much about, but still I want him to be relaxed for it as he's apprehensive of the wicket.

I will have to look up his AKC number (DN06280708) as the only numbers I have memorized are Cali's.

Thur Jan 5
Walk at noon.  Did the same thing, walked over to the school looking for dogs on walks.  Got over to the school, and was letting a stranger greet him when he say a women walking two medium size dogs he immediately started barking.  The guy and I got him to settle down when the dogs moved further away.  I then decided that we'd try to catch up to them and walk on the other side of the street.  After a couple of blocks we did catch up and slowed down to walk along beside when one of the other dogs started to bark at us.  Yoshi wanted to bark back, but desisted when I told him not to and we moved on.

One thing I've noticed is that when a dog is barking at him in a serious way, he's more than happy not to engage and to move on (giving the other dog calming signals to some extent.)  When that dog started to bark he was fine with moving on.  When the Rottweilers down the street or Annie or Kaiser bark at him (all happened today) he doesn't engage them at all.  Wonder what the difference is.

Wed Jan 4
I was eating some bread at lunch and had put it down and he was really interested in it.  I said "All right, but you have to earn it." I had the most enthusiastic dog then.  We ran to the back door and did some table, weaves and uncovered the teeter.  His weaves were sloppy but I didn't want to dampen his enthusiasm so I put the short guides back on the 2nd pole and the 2nd to last pole to help him and still let him do them fast without going awry.  Perfect now - nailed them every time so I think I'm going to leave those guides on for a bit.  He thinks bread is the best thing to work for.  Too bad it crumbles too much for it to be effective in class.

I can now tell that he is going to be an awesome agility dog.  He could actually start competing at any time, but we're in no hurry and I want to get him more used to dogs of every walk of life.

[obedience class]
Well that was educational.  We only had 3 dogs in novice and he did quite well on the figure 8 heeling once he settled down (the other dogs were dogs he knew Jet a PWD, and Chili a Duck Toller).  So he was fine until the open dogs started to come in and he started his usual routine.  This time I decided to try Binaca and more restraint.  If he barked or tried to lunge I sprayed the Binaca at him (it was smelling quite nice in our corner to the point I was telling him "My, it's smelling really good right here." and I physically restrained him by holding him and his nose.  He was struggling so hard at one point he twisted his nose against my thumb and it must have pinched him a little and he wimpered (though he was definitely not a shrinking violet.)  When he would settle down I'd give him a treat, but i'd have to watch him as he would instantly want to leap at a passing dog.  He really needs to learn this is not ok no matter how stressed it makes him.

I decided that it was time we stayed and watched the open class.  It was tough on him, but he got through it - he spent a lot of time clamped under my arm with me holding his nose as sometimes the dogs are close by and in close quarters.  What was really good was that it gave me some time to talk with the Open folks too and some were quite sympathetic as they have had reactive dogs as well.  He's not going to be happy, but we're going to do this on a repeating basis.  Though next time I will remember to give the poor stress puppy some Rescue Remedy first.

Tues Jan 3
Got a brief break in the rain and took him on a walk at noon to get a better idea how well this reassurance approach might go.  I brought the Binaca with me but didn't end up using it.  I also brough string cheese with me and did use that.

First two encounters with with mothers and their young daughters and those went well.  Though he wasn't thrilled about the first daughter's bright yellow raincoat.  Soon after we said goodbye to the 2nd set a person walking a border collie went by on the other side of the street.  He was trying his best to lung and bark but I was already kneeling beside him with one hand holding his muzzle and the other in his collar.  He kept trying to struggle but relented some though never really relaxed until the moment the dog had passed.  Then interestingly enough he was completely fine even though the dog was only a few feet past.

Finished the walk without further incident.  Will have to have several repetitions of this to see if it's any help.  What I'm hoping is that he'll learn by example mellower approaches to unknown dogs.  Now it's perfectly obvious that I'm not giving him a chance to make a correct choice, but my hope is that him having the experience of a dog walking by without him screaming will make him realize that nothing bad happened when that occurred.  In a way it's a classic negative reinforcement.  If he chills out, then I lessen the pressure on his nose as a reward.

Mon Jan 2
Rain. Rain. Rain.  Hopefully it will lighten up later so we can go out without getting soaked.
In the mean time I'm going to see how easy it would be to take the Treat and Train apart.

[later]  Well that was fun.  Here's what I wrote to the Bayteam:

Warning I do make use of a slightly off color description as it's just too perfect not to.

Treat and Train - first impressions and disassembly

When Holly posted about the Treat and Train being on sale I immediately bought one as I'd been toying with the idea of trying to invent something vaguely like it.  (Some sort of remote control treat dispenser albeit much smaller.)

As Holly says it comes with a training DVD, and it also comes with a target stick and stand which honestly I'm going to get more use out of that the treat and train itself.

The idea of a remote controlled treat dispenser is great when you want to take the focus off of you.  It's marketed as a way of teaching the dog "place" when someone comes to the door, and it's probably excellent at assisting with teaching that (in the right hands of course :)

This particular rendering of that idea is quite large (17"x8"x8") and it is noisy.  How noisy?  Read on.
My corgi is sound sensitive so when it became clear that he'd rather be rained on that spend any time near it no matter what treats were being offered (it is suggested that you use it to feed your dog with it off for a couple of days, but that won't make any difference if your dog is really bothered by noise.)  Now I could likely get Yoshi sort of used to it, but I'm not sure it's a battle I need to fight (he is quite tolerant of the dremmel so we do such things when necessary), so I instead decided to take it apart to see if there was any obvious way to make it quieter.

Short answer is no.
Slightly longer answer is not in its present form.
Longer answer is that while I had it apart something seemed oddly familiar about it.  The motor itself is not excessibly loud at all and that by itself would have been fine.  What makes most of the noise is the plastic gears that clatter (well sort of) against one another (since cheaper gears are made to have a little slop in them.  Then it finally dawned on me.  What I was looking at was the bastard child of a paper shredder (no clue who the mother is.)

So that's an excellent way to judge whether your dog will like the treat and train.  Can they tolerate being in the same room as a cheap paper shredder?  Of course one hopes that they won't confuse the two, not likely and the treat and train doesn't have any thing that cuts like a shredder does (which means the noise is a little different).  Conversely if you dog is noise tolerant and likes treats, they will LOVE this thing.

Another way is to bring Fydeau by my house and test him or her on this one before I think of another use for it (no hurry on that one).

Oh and if you decide to get one, given its heritage, you may want to buy the service contract as cheap paper shredders are famous for breaking gears, and this one has 8 of them.

For comparison, I tried it on Yoshi's corgi buddy Cooper.  Cooper is more of a typical corgi who will tolerate most anything for food.  As you might imagine, it was a nearly instant hit to the point that he wouldn't leave it alone.  Cooper has one of his own now though he will most likely get this one when he wears his out. ;)


Sun Jan 1
Happy New Year

Been thinking that I want to try more along the limit setting and physcial reassurance route with his behavior around unknown dogs.  Interesting opportunity came up today as Terri was transfering some of Cali's agility tapes to DVD.  She used to turn the sound off because Yoshi would react to the dog barking, but this time we left it on and I went into the room with him.  He was barking and growling and I sat down beside him and would hold his nose when he would bark.  When he would stop I started to pet him (not saying much just making sure I was relaxed.)  Went through a few iterations of this and then he started to relax.  The sound is still on and he's now ignoring it.

He has never paid much attention to the TV as the one in the living room is old and from what I understand the resolution is too low for them to see, but Terri's is newer and though when I would bring him close to the set to point out a dog it was like he didn't see it at all.  However when we were at a decent viewing distance, and Rio Pam's Portuguese Water Dog was on he definitely noticed and watched quite intently.  So this may be a good way to desensitize him to barking dogs.

Maybe I'll got around and videotape dog breeds that he usually barks at especially if they're barking or walking on leash.

Mark brought Cooper over and I have Yoshi sit beside me with me on the floor holding his collar when Cooper came in as they're initial greeting behavior is very rowdy and could easily escalate into a fight.  At first he was struggling to get to Cooper, but settled down very quickly and once Cooper chilled out we let them go to nicely beat up one another and have a grand time.  I was quite pleased that Yoshi seemed to get that I wanted him to calm down some before playing with Cooper.

Showed Cooper the Treat and Train and he loves it so I trained him a little with it (Mark just got one, but hadn't opened it - he's going to do so when they get back.)

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Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2005
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