Yoshi Training Diary - July 2006

By Ellen Clary
(reverse date order)

Feedback is welcome:

Fri Jul 28
(The nickname name for Yoshi's litter).  3 years old.  And still not settling down though I see small improvements.

His buddy Cooper's house is being reroofed and I wanted to give Cooper a break from the pounding so at lunch I went and rescued him.  So Yoshi and Cooper got to spend the day together.

Poor Yoshi had to go back to the vet to get his teeth rechecked as it seemed like there was still plaque on them.  It wasn't plague just that his front molars are really good at catching food and the discoloration is the enamel wearing some (his bottom molar wears against the top one.  Dr Wydner said that since dogs really don't get cavities (no sugar) that the main concern is the gumline and while I should try to keep the tooth clean that I shouldn't obsess on it, and concentrate on where the tooth meets the gum.  Got him some new treats that they had at Park Centre.

So for his birthday I took him to Dog Bone Alley and got him various goodies.  2 small kongs, 2 small tennis balls, a bully stick, a "crossaint" treat, and some more Natural Balance that we use as treats,  I showed him lots of toys but he didn't seem real interested.

I was concerned taking him to a place were dogs often go.  Fortunately there weren't any dogs in the store, but right as I got him out of the truck there was a little white dog walking towards us so we immediately headed in the other direction.  Then once I was comfortable that I had his attention, we turned and hung out near the truck while they walked past.  I held his collar and had him sitting with his back to them as t hey passed.  No problem.  Whew.

Also when we exited the store there were two Rat Terriers coming right at us so we immediately turned right and walked away - right, as it turned out, past a Standard Poodle.  No reaction from Yoshi to either party.  Apparently it does make a difference [sometimes] if he's the one in motion.

Thur Jul 27
  After his lesson Debbie says that he will be ready for HT (Herding Tested) in two more sessions, but that we shouldn't start him earlier than the National as you want to do well in your nationals and it's best to enter in the lowest level you can.  Then if I wanted to learn how to handle then I could spent late winter / early spring (after the rings have dried out from the rains) learning at the PT (Pre-Trial) level which is still a Q/NQ level though it's longer and the sheep are "lighter" (more reactive, more likely to want to run away).

They had some rented cows in the adjacent pens for an upcoming trial and all for of the HT training corgis there were distracted by the cows, Yoshi included though twice Debbie was able to call him back and get him to keep working the sheep.  Cooper and Corbu were distracted by the cows and also wanted to quit early.

There was a BC puppy there that he started to play with but he mysteriously got too rough with and Debbie picked up the puppy and Yoshi was still trying to get at the puppy even after she had picked her up.  Disturbing and I'll have to figure this out.

Wed July 26
I'm noticing that his down is great in some contexts but doesn't seem to get the cue in other ones.  Once he figures out that it's a new context then he's great about it.  I'd ultimately like to be able to down him when a strange dog appears and then I would stand in front on him.  That's going to take quite a bit of work as it's something he definitely doesn't want to do as he doesn't think taking up a submissive position in the presence of a moving unknown dog is in his best interest (outside of the obedience club) but I think it's a worthy goal and will be quite useful in herding and agility too.  So I need to start asking for the Down in all sorts of contexts and heavily rewarding it.

I experimented briefly with clicking him to hide behind me but I decided that would mess up Rally and Obedience Finishes so I stopped.  I want to also go back to teaching him Give me Five as last time I only got up to him holding up a foot.  Will need to figure out how to go further with that.

Tues Jul 25
He continues to do well as I continue to not run him in the smaller area but instead work on him paying attention to me and not worrying about the other dogs.  Neither dog that he usually reacts to was there so that helped.

In the upper fields he did great.  Sharon wants me to stop rewarding every contact with a treat and just rely on YES.  I was able to do a rear cross after him once he went on the dogwalk which I'm very encouraged by.  His weave poles are still excellent, and he will charge right ahead to the table and do a down from a distance.   He still isn't so good about sitting down on my right side and I usually have to hand position him which Sharon doesn't like but works ok.

Mon Jul 24
It's starting to cool off here.  Hooray.

Sun Jul 23
Still hot, but not as bad.  I rigged up as low tech swamp cooler of a fan and a bunch of ice cubes.  Sort of works but what was funny was Yoshi growling at it as the ice melted.  I took some photos and will try to get time to put them here.

Sat Jul 22
It's roasting here (got up to 97 degrees which is absurdly hot for our area) and even worse (100?) in San Jose where the Bayteam trial is being held.  I worked as a volunteer and decided not to bring Yoshi, but Terri and he and Mark and Cooper came down for a little while in the afternoon which is of course unfortunately the hotest part of the day.

Yoshi was being reactive to other dogs so I took his leash and kept just enough slack out of it so he would give him self a correction if he tried to lunge.  This combined with rewarding him for looking at a dog and then looking at me or responding to "leave it" or "watch" helped but if I took my eyes off him he would still find something to set him off so I encouraged them to take him elsewhere.  It's interesting that it's usually dogs in motion when he's standing still (though at Sharon's there have been a couple of exceptions where the dog is just in his space in his mind and neither is moving.  Clearly I'm going to have to routinely take him to agility trials and just work with him at them.  As far as competing I think it's going to be just fun matches for him for a while possibly a long while.

Fortunately herding is in fenced pens because of the sheep so he can do that.  Rally Novice is all on leash so he could do that as well.

Thur Jul 20
Well it was short but Yoshi and Cooper had a good time despite the heat.  They had a substitute handler named Melinda.  Cooper did great, Yoshi was swinging wide because she handles the stick a little differently.

Yoshi has a dental cleaning tomorrow and I'm a little worried...
[ coltsrunkid pust]
So Yoshi is scheduled to have his teeth cleaned and I just got off the 
phone with one of his vets (for the local folks: Dr Applegate) and she
gave me a lot of reassurance and info.

Apparently there's a big note in his file not to use Telazol or Ace as a
sedative and while they often will use it in cats, they only rarely use
it on dogs such as a case of a big burly dog that may likely bite.
(Taking advantage of Telazol's fast reacting nature.)

While bad reactions to Telazol in dogs are rare, it does happen, (it's
even noted in the drug info as an "idiosyncratic" reaction), it's
heartbreaking if the 1 in 1000 or 1 in 10,000 dog is your dog and they
know that.

So he's getting the tried and true Ketamine/Vallium mix as a sedative.
I asked about the masking down technique and she said that they'd been
getting away from that as the gas takes a few minutes to take effect and
it can be pretty traumatic for the dog (and given that Yoshi freaks if
you even just try to take his temperature rectally, I can certainly see
that happening). There's also a risk of the mask coming partially off
and some gas escaping. Apparently there's a long term risk of exposure
to the escaped gas to the humans in the room, including risk of
miscarriage. Given that most of their employees are young women I could
see where that would definitely be a concern.

She doesn't anticipate any problems but they are certainly ready to deal
with them if they happen (and gave me a run down of their cardiac arrest

So I'm somewhat reassured.

I love my vets, they are so patient with me. ;)


Wed Jul 19
Herding starts up again tomorrow.  Can't wait.

Someone on the clickerexpo list was asking about way to teach loose lead walking.  One person suggested the Crazy Person Game where you change directions without waning while you are walking the dog on leash.  Couldn't resist telling Coe's experience when she tried it on Cali:

> Subject: Re: [clickerexpo] loose lead walking
> > >
> > > Try the Crazy Person game. Dog forges ahead, you turn around and head
> > > the other direction. No warning, no leash tug just turn around.
> >
[I wrote]
> > Funny story.
> > We tried that with our very [first] corgi who was very bright and
> confident.
> > After about 3 or 4 direction changes she decided "Well obviously you
> > don't know where you're going" and grabbed the leash and started pulling
> > back in the direction of the sidewalk.
> >
> > For pulling, I've alway had the best luck with head collars like the
> > Gentle Leader, Halti, or the Gen Con leash (available through CleanRun
> > http://www.cleanrun.com <http://www.cleanrun.com>). It's a mild -R,
> but effective as they figure
> > out quickly that they can control the pressure.
> >
> > You can do LLW games with them wearing the head collar for more effect.
> >
> > Ellen Clary
> > and Yoshi the corgi
> > Alameda, CA

Someone then responded:

> Ellen,
> That's hysterical about your Corgi--smart! I'm forwarding this to my
> daughter since she's been "trained" using prong collars! Ugh! Phyllis

[and I responded with]

Feel free - though I do see a small typo: should be "very first corgi"

I hate prong collars - I know they are not as nasty as they look, but I
was pretty quickly turned off of them when the same dog tried to roll in
the grass with one on (my fault for letting her have the opportunity)
and poked herself and then looked at me pointedly (thus making me want
to beg for forgiveness - Do I miss that dog running my life? Oh yes.).
Fortunately the Halti came out very soon after that.

You know the corgi that Karen Pryor was describing in Don't Shoot the
Dog doing this impressive demo in Europe? I though I was reading about
Cali (especially when it came to the being harassed (my wording) to

Ellen Clary
and Yoshi still learning
and the much missed Cali
Alameda, CA

Tues Jul 18
Agility class. My. My. My. What a good dog and what a difference.  Spent the time on the small field having him give me attention and eat lots of treats.  I put his Gentle Leader on and that seemed to make quite a difference.  Sharon put Thyme right next to him and we let them say hello and just share space and treat them both.  Yoshi is way respectful of Thyme as she's a classic 'everything is mine' Border Collie bitch.  He didn't react to any of the dogs except to Jake and I could see it coming and had him on a short slack leash so when he tried to turn suddenly he came up against the Gentle Leader that I had him wear during this time.  Interesting enough he responds better to "Leave It" rather than "Watch" though that works too.

Agility wise he's doing well.  Still needs more confidence about being steered and that he didn't do anything wrong.  His weave poles look great!  Running contacts are super.  And he's starting to become quite the tunnel hound as given a choice between that or the dogwalk he takes the tunnel which is interesting given his love of high places.

I was a little puzzled later in the evening when he didn't want to hold a stay when I was on one side of him but ok when I was on the other.  It was only after the run that we discovered that there had been a small King snake in the grass nearby (No wonder he didn't want to stay - and he only stayed when I was standing between him and the snake).  Otherwise his stays were excellent.

Thur Jul 13 - Sun Jul 16
Trip to Treva's in Redding.  Yoshi went with us and was generally ok unless he saw a dog walking by on the street when he was inside.  Interestingly enough on a walk in the morning, a small dog escaped from his house and came racing up.  Fortunately I could see him coming and was able to step inbetween Yoshi and him and then easily caught him.  The dog was clearly friendly, small and not white so Yoshi wasn't freaking out though a bit cautious.  It was nice that it all worked out as then Yoshi gets to see that I'm watching out for him.

Tues Jul 11
Agility class.  Trying something new.  He has never been comfortable on the smaller field and it's really getting counter productive so instead of running him during that time we're just going to do socializing work.  He's still growly if some dogs come near but he's definitely more comfortable doing this that running by scary dogs.

[time passes]

Thur Jul 6
After work, did some sitting with him in the living room waiting for passers by.  He likes to sit cat like up on the top of the sofa.  Since he likes this so much I use taking it away as a negative punishment for having a barking fit, and I must admit to being quite firm when I yank him off the top of the sofa so I think I'm working in some positive punishment in there as well.  When he settles down (we're sitting on the regular part of the sofa at that point) I then let him back up (a little positive reinforcement also).

Spent the evening putting together another herding DVD.  This one is of the June sessions (8th, 15th, 22nd) at Debbie Pollard's.  Even put in chapter headings and the titles I did as subtitles so they blended in smoothly.  Oh and I edited the most bolloxed up parts though I had to leave in the one where Cooper is yanking Mark around while Mark was trying to tape Rosie and Patricia.  I credited him too: Cinematography by Cooper.  About the only thing I should have put in is some rolling credits at the end.

Wed Jul 5
Took him to obedience class since there was no agility yesterday (it was the 4th) and no herding tomorrow.  Class was small (Rosie, Yoshi and a young GSD named Hope).  He was initially growly at Hope and at Hazel's Saints, but his outbursts were short and he was able to do figure 8 heeling with Hope as a post without incident.

When we were lining up for sits and downs Pam came in with her big black PWD Jet and he started to lunge but I gave him a very short collar correction (which cut off his bark in an amusing way I must admit) and he chilled out immediately.  Though on the sits and downs I still attached his leash to a tether for my piece of mind.  He was great.  Perfect on the down and on the sit laid down once, but no springing up or other types of breaking or barking.

Go to:

Yoshi Training Diary - June 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - May 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - Apr 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - Mar 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - Feb 2006
Yoshi Training Diary - Jan 2006

Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Nov 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Oct 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Sept 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Aug 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Jul 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Jun 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - May 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Apr 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Mar 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Feb 2005
Yoshi Training Diary - Jan  2005

Yoshi Training Diary - Dec 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Nov 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Oct 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Sep 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Aug 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - July 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Jun 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - May 2004
Yoshi Training Diary - Apr 2004

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